Update 31 August 18:00 ET: The following article has been updated following Apple’s termination of Epic Games’ developer account. This action made it impossible to reinstall all Epic apps associated with that account, including Fortnite and that Inifinity Blade trilogy. The title has been updated to reflect this fact.
Fortnite disappeared from the App Store earlier this month as part of developer Epic Games’ major legal and regulatory deal with Apple, but the battle for royale hit was not completely gone ̵1; at least not for a moment. Apple closed Epic’s developer account last week, making it impossible to reinstall iOS versions of Epic’s apps, but it was a short time during which iPhone and iPad owners could still get hold of Fortnite uses a lesser known feature in iOS.
If you have never downloaded Fortnite, you’re lucky at the moment – and we recommend that you avoid any of the eBay listings that seem to pop up for hawk iPhones with the game installed for as much as $ 10,000. That sounds suspicious.
Of course, those who have already downloaded the game can still play it and even install update files. But since the launch of Chapter 2: Season 4 last week, iOS players no longer have access to the latest content, including marvel-theme new season. Players who only play on iPhone and iPad (as well as macOS) cannot use crossplay with other systems.
For those who downloaded Fortnite at least once before but maybe downloaded it or removed it manually, there was still a way to reinstall the game on your iOS device. Here’s how that method worked before Apple closed Epic’s account:
- Go to the “My Purchases” section of the App Store, which you can find by clicking on your avatar (usually regardless of the Memoji or photo you selected for your Apple ID contact image) in the upper right corner of any of the main screens
- From there, tap “Purchased” and then “My Purchases” to find your app directory with all the iOS apps you’ve ever downloaded
- Search “Fortnite”
- The app should appear and if you press the cloud icon, the download process starts
You still needed to install the nearly 10 GB collection of app files, like Fortnite is available on mobile as a kind of shell for the majority of game files that need to be downloaded from Epic servers. But going through that process would have put the app back on your home screen and made it available to play once updated, at least now. The trick works even if any member of an Apple Family Sharing plan has ever downloaded it Fortnite on iOS earlier.
It’s not really right to call this a loophole, as this behavior has always existed in one form or another for iOS apps. For example, you can still play Flapping bird for several years after its creators pulled the game from the App Store until Apple switched from 32-bit apps with the launch of iOS 11 2017 and the game stopped working.
As part of Apple’s termination of Epic’s developer account, Epic will no longer be able to send new apps to the App Store or issue updates to existing ones. And because the apps are completely removed, they can not be reinstalled even if you search for and find them in your purchase history. Attempting to do so only results in a message reading “This item is no longer available.”
There’s no telling how long this will last Fortnite fight will remain or if Epic will ever decide to give in to Apple’s demands and remove its own payment method in the app. From now on, you can still take up Epic’s price reduction offer by paying less for it Fortnite V-dollar. But you can no longer buy the new season’s pass because Epic cannot update the app properly.