Fortnite is free to play, right? Not necessarily on all platforms.
It’s officially free to play on PC from the Epic Games store, but that’s not the case for all platforms. Players on Xbox and PlayStation 4 require subscriptions to access any online game, including Fortnite.
Xbox locks its online multiplayer content behind Xbox Live Gold. There are two tiers to Xbox Live: free and gold. If you’re looking to play online, you’re going to need to pay for that gold membership. There are a few other upgrades available, including the Game Pass and Ultimate, but if you only want to go online to play with friends, Xbox Live Gold is the cheapest option.
Sony does the same thing with its PlayStation 4 console. PlayStation Plus is the Sony version of Xbox Live without the extra tiers. The program is priced roughly the same and with the option to be billed monthly, every three months, and yearly. If you want to play online, you have to pay at least a monthly fee to do so.
Nintendo Switch is the only console that doesn’t charge its players a fee to play with their friends in Fortnite. Nintendo does have a subscription service, Nintendo Switch Online, but Fortnite remains free to play on the Switch.
So do you need an Xbox Live subscription for Fortnite? Yes. And you need a PlayStation Plus subscription on PS4. If you want to avoid the subscription fee, your options are the Nintendo Switch or PC.