If you’re playing competitively in Fortnite, it absolutely pays to know about the Fortnite servers. This isn’t just the spot you’re connecting to. It decides your ping, which can decide who wins a 50/50 attempt to take a wall, which has decided who wins multi-million-dollar tournaments. These little data servers hold the fate of a lot of Fortnite players in the palm of their hands. So where are they, which Fortnite server should you be on, and why does it matter?
The Fortnite servers are spread around the world. For the most part, you’ll know which server you’re in from which region tournament you compete in. Recently Epic has made some big changes to the servers which could have real ramifications for players hoping to actually get involved in Fortnite esports. We’ll run through everything you need to know.
- 1 Are the Fortnite Servers Down?
- 2 Where are the Fortnite Servers?
- 3 Why Do Servers Matter?
- 4 Can You Play Competitive Far Away from a Server?
Are the Fortnite Servers Down?
Before we actually get into any real problems with the Fortnite servers and how they effect the game, it’s important to know if they’re even running. Epic does maintain a public-facing status for their servers. By checking the Epic Games Public Status, you can see if the Fortnite servers are up and when they’ll next be down for maintenance or one of the Fortnite patches.
In terms of server problems, that’s rarer for Epic. Normally, entire server outages are due to planned downtime or a problem reflected in this public server. It’s possible to have server issues outside of these brief downtime sessions though, so don’t panic too much if you’re getting issues and the public status says it’s all up.
Where are the Fortnite Servers?
Fortnite has quite a few different servers! There are multiple servers for some regions, although only a single server for bigger areas with fewer Fortnite players. If you’re interested in where your Fortnite server physically is, this is how the world is divided up.
- NA East (North America East) – Canada, United States, the Caribbean (Atlantic Coasts)
- NA Central (North America Central) – Central United States and Mexico
- NA-West (North America West) – Canada, United States (Pacific Coasts)
- NA (Europe) – Europe and North America
- OCE (Oceania) – Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands
- BR (Brazil) -South America
- ASIA (Asia) – Far east of Russia, Japan, Korea, China, Southeast Asia
- ME (Middle East) – Arabian Peninsula, East Africa, South Asia
Those are all of the server regions Epic currently maintains. For competitive matches, North American regions will work with NA Central from this season. This is a new change for the competitive season starting with Chapter 4 Season 2.
Given how much of a benefit closeness to the server gives for ping, some players might want more detailed locations. That isn’t entirely public and for good reasons, but some services have attempted to reverse-engineer their locations.
Why Are they a Secret?
For the most part, Fortnite server locations down to cities and streets are kept a secret.
Since ping does effect gameplay, players get annoyed when they lose and blame their ping. Epic doesn’t provide exact locations, because who would that actually help? Having to acknowledge that those in one country of Europe have a bit of an advantage in pro level tournaments would likely put a damper on things. So, we don’t get the exact location of the servers. For most players though, as long as your ping isn’t anything crazy, you’re not getting too much of a disadvantage compared to those right by the Fortnite servers.
Some locations are more publicly known. For example, there is a European server in the UK, close to London, an one in Ireland. This does mean the UK have significantly better ping access than quite a few other European counties, being so close to two different Fortnite servers. At least with the information we have. They’re likely based on where it’s best to have a dedicated server and the Fortnite player count. There’s less in some regions but the player count is likely lower there too.
Epic’s server locations likely follow this logic throughout. They’re where it makes the most sense for them to have an installation for servers, not where it’s best spread out among players. Although, NA Central’s introduction does make it clear they’re willing to improve the Fortnite server situation in the future. As of now, some have attempted to reverse engineer locations. These are the dedicated server locations based on this.
Dedicated Fortnite Server Locations
North America Regions
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- Kansas City
- Washington D.C
South America Regions
- Sao Paulo
You can probably spot some of the discrepancies here. There are some areas much less represented than others. Players in Western Europe and North America have their choice of a lot of close by servers, but other parts of the world are worse served. You can likely see why pros who moved to US coasts were a bit unhappy about the switch to NA Central for tournaments too.
Why Do Servers Matter?
That’s where all of the competitive servers are. But how do the Fortnite servers actually impact gameplay? If you’re just rolling around pubs, trying to unlock free Fortnite skins and grind out your Battle Pass, it probably doesn’t. Arguably it matters less in Zero Builds too. If you’re trying to sweat with the very best of them though, being far from a server causes problems.
Ping is something we’ve mentioned a lot already. It is a measurement of how long it takes your device to communicate with Fortnite servers. Literally to ping the server and back. If you’re close to a server or have amazing internet, you’ll have a low ping. Everything you do in-game communicates with the server.
If you’re set up to get a high FPS, but you have a low ping, it’s a problem. While your monitor can display things at a faster rate, your actual actions in-game aren’t being communicated from the server quickly enough.
In Fortnite, it causes a few very specific issues with building. In a box fight, taking a wall can decide everything. Often the wall simply goes to whoever has the higher ping. Your reaction speed may be faster, but if it isn’t communicated to Epic games’ server before your opponent, you’re going to lose.
Can You Play Competitive Far Away from a Server?
Those are some factors where the Fortnite servers can really impact the game. Is it possible to play Fortnite from a faraway server though? It still is. Even at a competitive level.
High-level internet connections can get around the server distance problem. Obviously being close with a good ethernet connection is better, but you’re still going to be ahead of a lot of people you run into.
While Epic’s main FNCS tournaments are internet-based, there’s an increasing number of LANs. There, ping has no relevancy. Players might have to put up with some problems from server distance at normal FNCS tournaments, but if they can manage it then it ceases to be a problem at the big end of year invitationals.
The location of the Fortnite servers is also liable to change. US pros found this out the hard way with the introduction of NA Central. Moving to be closer to a server is almost inviting Epic to take some revenge! While it can be frustrating to be far away from the Fortnite servers, its impact is ultimately manageable. With a decent internet connection, set-up, and the best Fortnite settings, you can make the most out of your connection. Unless your ping is sky-high, then it is actually pretty hard to get much done. Those are rare cases though. Most players have nothing to fear from a bit of server distance.