Epic’s Fortnite became the 800-puond gorilla of the gaming world by being free to play…but there are still plenty of ways to pay for it. In addition to purchasing “V-Bucks” for cosmetics with real money, players can buy the Battle Pass for each season for…other skins, cosmetics, and V-Bucks. Now there’s a monthly subscription, which gets you…skins, cosmetics, and V-Bucks.
If that sounds confusing, it is. Here’s the deal: the Battle Pass costs about $10 per Fortnite “season,” a timed event with special weapons and game elements that lasts between one and two months. Players will earn back a few hundred V-bucks included with that, enough to get a mid-tier skin or emote, assuming that they progress through all of the “levels” to unlock everything (which includes even more skins and cosmetics you get for free).
The new “Fortnite Crew” subscription costs $12 a month, every month, and it includes free access to whatever Battle Pass is currently active, plus extra bonuses. These include 1000 more V-Bucks every month ($10 value, worth a mid-range skin) and exclusive skins, weapons, emotes, and other goodies that aren’t available on the general store or the Battle Pass alone.
Is it worth the extra expense? That depends on how much you play—and enjoy—Fortnite. Neither the Battle Pass nor Fortnite Crew gives any player any kind of tactical advantage in the game itself: everything you can pay for is entirely cosmetic. That’s one of the things that’s kept players keen on Fortnite over the last few years, the ability to forego paying without the feeling that you’re missing something essential.
But $12 a month is a lot of scratch when compared to something like the $15 Game Pass on the Xbox, the $10 PlayStation Plus, or even the $5-a-month Apple Arcade, all of which let you play multiple full games. This seems like a good deal only if you play Fortnite more than any other game, and you really, really like collecting those player skins.
Oh, and it goes without saying that Fortnite Crew isn’t available on iOS, unless you do some interesting work-arounds. Make sure to purchase Crew on your “primary” Fortnite platform, as the V-Bucks that it comes with can only be redeemed there.