Sony finally backed away from its staunch and hard-headed approach to cross-platform play yesterday, announcing that it would start letting players of Epic Games’ Fortnite use PlayStation-linked accounts on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One, as well as play against one another on shared servers. The move is a huge win for consumers after the PR disaster Sony suffered back at E3. It may also be the first step in a broader, transformational shift in the console game industry away from the locked down and restricted approach to platforms that’s existed pretty much since the onset of widespread online multiplayers.
Still, it’s not exactly a simple solution, and Sony admitted as much when John Kodera, the president and global CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said the feature would be available in open beta “to conduct thorough testing.” On the developer end, Epic is working to help players with a feature that merges accounts, so players with multiple purchases and virtual currency can bring all of that together into a single account. Epic is also working on a separate feature that lets you unlink an account from one device and re-link it with another. (The former is coming in November, and the latter in “a few days,” according to Epic.)
Right now, however, you can get your PlayStation account on the Nintendo Switch version of Fortnite so long as you don’t care about losing access to any progress or purchases you’ve made on the Switch version. For PSN players, like myself, that never bothered playing on Switch because it meant not having access to any of my skins or Battle Pass progression, this is the simplest solution to get properly set up to play on Switch.
STEP 1: LOG INTO EPIC GAMES’ WEBSITE WITH YOUR NINTENDO ID AND UNLINK THE SWITCH
The most important thing to know about this process is that it does not take place on the Nintendo Switch itself. In fact, you never even have to properly log in to your PSN account on the Switch version of Fortnite. That’s because Nintendo does not allow you to log out of a Switch-linked Epic account from the Fortnite client itself. If you’ve logged in once, the account is stuck from Nintendo’s point of view.
Instead, the changes you’ll make occur using Epic’s online account system, which can now freely interact between Sony’s PlayStation Network and the Nintendo Account system. If you never bothered playing Fortnite on Switch and never made a Nintendo-centric account in the first place, then you’re in even better shape. Just jump to step two.
If you did happen to create an Epic account linked to your Nintendo Switch, head over to Epic Games’ website and log into your Nintendo Account. From there, click the “Account” option that drops down under your username, head to “Connected Accounts,” and click “Disconnect,” under the Switch icon. Follow through with the prompts, which will warn you about losing access to purchases, progression, and shared profile data. It will also warn you about how this process “will not unlock restricted platforms,” which is actually outdated at this point because of Sony’s policy change.
STEP 2: LOG INTO EPIC GAMES’ WEBSITE WITH YOUR PSN ACCOUNT AND RE-LINK THE SWITCH
Now, if you’re a PS4 Fortnite player, you already have an Epic account created through logging in on the console itself. Logging in to the same Epic website and heading to connected accounts will give you a list of platforms, which now includes a properly working Switch option. Clicking “Connect” will let you log in with your Nintendo Account, and that’s it. You’re linked and good to go.
STEP 3: FIRE UP FORTNITE ON SWITCH AND LET IT AUTOMATICALLY LOG IN
Head over to Fortnite on the Switch and launch it using the profile on your device that’s linked to your Nintendo Account, the very same account you just linked to PSN through Epic’s website. You’ll have to agree to a EULA, but then it will automatically put you through the login process. After that, you’ll see your account, safe and sound and with all its glorious skins and Battle Pass progress intact on your Nintendo Switch.