Featured image for post Fortnite, Gamevice, and Controller Support

Fortnite, Gamevice, and Controller Support

In the short time since Fortnite was released on iOS, we’ve been inundated with requests to get Fortnite working with the Gamevice. Believe me, all of us here at Gamevice feel your pain – we want to play Fortnite with a controller just as badly as you do! Unfortunately, due to the way controller support works on iOS and Android, there is nothing we can do to add compatibility to Fortnite.

We use the standard, universal controller interface included in iOS and in Android. We don’t have any control over whether any game gets Gamevice support. It is entirely up to game developers to include controller support in their games. If a developer includes platform-standard iOS or Android controller support, Gamevice will be automatically supported. If a developer does not include platform-native controller support, there is nothing we can do to get around that.

Apple and Google both have standard control layouts as part of iOS and Android. Controller drivers, button layouts, pressure sensitivity levels, and such are carefully defined, as part of the controller specifications on iOS and Android. In order to build a controller that is certified to work with iOS or Android, companies like ours have to carefully follow these platform specifications. Every controller certified for these platforms can be trusted to support the same basic layout, the same features, have buttons with the same colors and labels – everything you’d expect in a cohesive ecosystem.

That isn’t to say we can’t add a few innovations of our own – Gamevice goes far beyond any other mobile controller, in build quality and in features like headphone support and Lightning charging. But in terms of basic controller functionality, we aren’t reinventing the wheel. This is good – we get to focus on building great hardware, and we know our hardware will work great with every game designed for any mobile controller. Nobody wants a situation where every controller maker has their own proprietary layouts and drivers that game developers must individually support. But it does place limitations on what we can do to support specific games.

There is nothing we can program into our controllers, or into our software, to “hack” Gamevice support into games that don’t natively support controllers. Literally nothing – all our controller can do is send inputs to your phone or iPad when you press buttons or move the analog stick. It is up to the apps and games on your device to handle those inputs.

This brings us back to Fortnite. As much as we would all like to be playing Fortnite with our Gamevice’s today, there’s nothing we can do until Fortnite knows how to respond to the inputs our controllers send. And the only people who can make Fortnite do that are Fortnite’s developers at Epic Games.

Fortnite, like many popular games, is built using the Unreal Engine. This engine, and similar engines like Unity, simplifies much of the work in designing a game. There is little technical reason for Unreal Engine or Unity games to not support controllers, as basic controller support can often be added through simply hitting a checkbox. Especially in cases like this, where versions of the same game for other platforms already support controllers.

Fortnite’s developers have indicated that controller support will be coming to the mobile Fortnite eventually. They have concerns about keeping things fair, and are considering requiring mobile gamers with controllers to be kept in the same matchmaking bucket as console gamers, rather than being able to play in the mobile-only lobby.

If you want to play Fortnite with your Gamevice quicker, get in touch with Epic. Let them know it is important to you to play Fortnite with your Gamevice. We’ve already told them, of course, but it means a lot more coming from real gamers! If Epic keeps getting requests for controller support, and sees how passionate most controller-owning gamers are, it might help them prioritize adding controller support.

The same goes for any other mobile game. Want to play PUBG with a controller? Wish Final Fantasy XV worked with Gamevice, like the rest of the series? Have another favorite game that you wish worked with your Gamevice? You need to contact the developer – they’re the only ones who can add controller support! Contacting us is okay, too – we like to know which games our customers care about. But at the end of the day, all we can do is then contact the game developers ourselves. And the fact of the matter is, to most developers, having passionate gamers asking for a feature is going to make a much bigger impact