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Where are the Fortnite servers located?

If you’re struggling with latency, or just interested in how things work, you might want to know where the Fortnite servers are located.

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Fortnite server locations

If you’re struggling with latency, or just interested in how things work, you might want to know where the Fortnite servers are located.

In the dim, distant past, you needed to know server names or IP addresses to connect to an online game. You’d need to enter them into your client or pick them from an ever-rotating list. Part of the metagame became picking the best servers to play the actual game on.

Pick the right ones and you’ll enjoy lower latency. That (generally) means smoother gameplay. Pick the wrong ones? It’ll be like riding a Segway through Marmite.

One of the benefits of modern video game client-server architecture is the intelligence of it all. Your client will run tests against the available servers and, whichever one has the shortest and most-stable round-trip time for a data packet – known as a ping – will be the one you wind up on. Usually, that’ll be the one that’s geographically closest to you, but if there are infrastructure issues, you might find yourself further afield. Some games – like PUBG, for one – will even try to match players with higher latency together, so at least everyone on a terrible connection is in the same boat.

If you live in a part of the world that’s less well-served, like Africa or the Middle East, players might find they struggle with latency. So here’s a question: where are the Fortnite servers located, exactly?

Fortnite battle bus

The short answer is that Fortnite servers are everywhere. Sort of.

The long answer is that Fortnite servers are located in a deliberately distributed set of servers and locations across Amazon’s global public cloud infrastructure, known as Amazon Web Services, or AWS for short.

What is the public cloud?

The longer answer is even more complex.

Where once, you’d connect to a single physical server at a time to play an online game, to play a game of Fortnite you might be connected to several virtual servers at once. There are servers that handle authentication and manage the user database. There are servers for payments and microtransactions. There are load balancers that determine where the player base is most densely packed, and divert new player sessions to other areas.

And then there are the back-end servers you actually play on. You might be connected to authentication servers in one area and back-end servers in another. The beauty of infrastructure like AWS is that all of Amazon’s data centres – that’s large, purpose-built facilities that house the hardware their cloud runs on – are all connected via tens of thousands of miles of private fibre optic cables.

To get anywhere on the internet usually requires dozens of hops, around different routing and service providers until you get to your destination. The more hops you take from source to destination, the higher the latency, generally speaking. But once you’re into Amazon’s cloud infrastructure and onto their private fibre? The connection speed is high, and latency between Amazon’s data centres is incredibly low.

So all you need to do is get into Amazon’s network via your nearest point, then all onward connectivity to Fortnite servers and services from there should be pretty speedy. This sort of global, interconnected cloud infrastructure is exactly the same sort of technology that will power Google’s Stadia streaming service.

The other benefit of cloud-based infrastructure is that Epic can expand the Fortnite server pool on demand, without having to wait weeks for new hardware to be delivered. It just pays for what it consumes on a monthly basis, and those costs expand or contract with the amount of processing capacity, network bandwidth, and data storage the game’s players consume.

So now we understand what sort of infrastructure Fortnite is running on, and we have a rudimentary understanding of how public cloud infrastructure works. (And if you want to know more, hit me up on Twitter. Always happy to talk about this stuff, but trying to keep this piece a bit more general.) What we still don’t know is where the Fortnite servers are physically located – which Amazon data centres host Fortnite servers in which regions?

According to an article in Wired (now behind a paywall, but your first five articles are free) from August 2018, Fortnite servers run from “24 of the 55 availability zones that exist” in AWS. An availability zone, in lay terms, is one of the data centres or groups of infrastructure that makes up an AWS region.

(The US East region, for example, is made up of four availability zones clustered around Dulles airport in Virginia, known in IT circles as ‘Data Centre Alley’. This is because it’s one of the largest fibre optic interconnect locations in the world, so naturally, lots of data centres and service providers, including AWS, have set up shop there.)

To figure out which availability zone you’re connected to in Fortnite, you can use the ping tool in your client. Go to the ‘settings’ menu and then the ‘game’ tab. Then go to ‘matchmaking region’ and you’ll see both your ping response and your server location. (You can also choose to overlay this on your game HUD, if you’re worried about your latency.)

By using this feature, some enterprising sorts have built up a list of Fortnite server locations. This means they can keep a track of Fortnite’s server availability, response times, and track any issues with the game, then publish these tools and stats online. And using one of these tools – pingtestlive.com, which tracks more games than just Fortnite – we’ve built up a list of the Fortnite server locations. (At the time of writing, in May 2019.)

Fortnite server locations

Here’s a map of the Fortnite server locations:

Fortnite server locations map

But obviously, those locations aren’t exact. There isn’t a data centre in the middle of Australia – that would be silly! – but we don’t know which of Amazon’s Australian data centres specifically Fortnite is using, so we just slapped it in the middle of the country. Ditto Canada. Here’s the list in full, with some general and some specific locations, based on what we know about the availability zones they sit in:

  • Ohio, USA
  • Virginia, USA
  • California, USA
  • Oregon, USA
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • South Korea
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Mumbai, India
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Ireland
  • London, UK
  • Paris, France
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil

And that’s the list, as it stands, in May 2019. You’ll notice a few gaps in coverage – Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia – that mean some players are left with higher latency connections. This is because the “nearest” server for players in Dubai might be Mumbai in India, for example, which is around 2,000km away!

But that’s not the end of the story. While the game continues to be successful and Amazon’s infrastructure grows into new areas, there’s every chance Epic might expand the Fortnite servers into more regions, if they see a significant demand for it.

It’s certainly easy enough to do when you’re running on public cloud infrastructure.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

Guides

How to get a refund for Rocket League on Mac and Linux

Rocket League developer Psyonix is ending support for the game on macOS and Linux. Here’s why, and how you can get a refund for the game on Steam.

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Rocket League - Mac and Linux
Psyonix / Thumbsticks

Rocket League developer Psyonix is ending support for the game on macOS and Linux. Here’s why, and how you can get a refund for the game on Steam.

Psyonix announced last week that support for the Mac and Linux versions of Rocket League will end in March 2020. A final update for the game will disable all online functionality, including in-game purchases, and online multiplayer modes.

Why is support ending for Rocket League on Mac and Linux?

In a post on the Rocket League sub-Reddit, Psyonix has provided detail on the decision to end Mac and Linux support. The studio’s Psyonix_Devin explains that the forthcoming update to DirectX 11 is the primary factor, saying:

“Unfortunately, our macOS and Linux native clients depend on our DX9 implementation for their OpenGL renderer to function. When we stop supporting DX9, those clients stop working. To keep these versions functional, we would need to invest significant additional time and resources in a replacement rendering pipeline such as Metal on macOS or Vulkan/OpenGL4 on Linux.”

Coupled with the fact that macOS and Linux users account for only 0.3% of the game’s active player based, it becomes a little easier to see why the decision was made, however infuriating it may be.

Psyonix has now opened a refund programme on Steam for anyone who purchased the game on Mac or Linux. Its launch was not without a few problems, but things now appear to be running smoothly.

How to get a Steam refund for Rocket League on Mac and Linux

To get a refund on the Mac or Linux version of Rocket League, follow the following instructions.

  • Visit to the Steam Support website
  • Select Purchases
  • Select Rocket League
  • If necessary select View complete purchasing history
  • Select I would like a refund
  • Select I’d like to request a refund
  • From the Reason drop-down menu, select My issue isn’t listed
  • In Notes, enter the following statement: “please refund my Mac/Linux version of Rocket League, Psyonix will be discontinuing support”
  • If you encounter any issues, you can also try raising a ticket via the Steam Support page

Good luck!


Visit the Thumbsticks guide section for help with everything from catching a Galarian Slowpoke in Pokémon Sword and Shield to re-paring your Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers.

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Guides

How to re-pair a PlayStation 4 controller

Has your PS4 controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant PlayStation 4 controller.

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how to re-pair a PlayStation 4 controller
Sony / Thumbsticks

Has your PS4 controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant PlayStation 4 controller.

There are lots of nice things about the PlayStation 4 controller. They’re all wireless for a start, which means you don’t have to sit cross-legged in front of the telly like in the good old days. They’re also rechargeable, which means you’ll never need to fumble for a battery.

Also, they light up! (That’s not important, particularly, but the first time you see the light bar react to something in-game is pretty neat.)

You can also use your PS4 controller to wake up your console. That’s ideal because the buttons on the front of the console itself are both hidden and completely baffling. Am I pressing the power button? No, I ejected the optical drive! Am I pressing the power button? No, that’s not, in fact, a button at all! It’s just one of the plastic ridges.

But if your PlayStation 4 controller – or DualShock 4, to give it its Sunday name – becomes unpaired, you’re going to have a bad time.

How does a PlayStation 4 controller become unpaired?

You can pair your DualShock 4 with other devices via the universal standard, Bluetooth. (Interestingly, the name – and symbol – for the technology is after Harald Bluetooth and his written rune, because he united the clans of Norway and Denmark, and Bluetooth unites devices.)

But if you do use your PS4 controller with something else – like your mobile phone or your PC – then you might find it doesn’t want to talk to your console any more.

What’s worse is it can happen entirely by accident. If you plug your DualShock 4 into your PC or laptop to charge it up, because it’s a USB port you have to hand, then it might pair up with your PC and not want to talk to your PlayStation 4 any more.

It can also happen if you haven’t used your PS4 in a while. If the battery in the DualShock 4 runs out and isn’t recharged, when it charges back up, it might struggle to talk to your console.

So if you’re all charged up with nowhere to go, here’s how you fix it.

How to re-pair a PlayStation 4 controller

Unlike the Xbox One controller, which couldn’t be more straightforward, re-pairing a PlayStation 4 controller is a bit more fiddly.

  • If you have another controller that is still paired:
    • Turn on your console with the working controller
    • Wait for your un-paired PS4 controller to go to sleep (if the lights are on)
    • Go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth devices from the PlayStation 4 menu
    • Select the controller you’re having issues with and hit ‘Delete’
    • Plug the controller into the USB ports on the console
    • Hit the ‘PS’ button in the middle of the controller to wake it and pair it up
  • If you don’t have another controller you can use:
    • Power off your console
    • Wait for your un-paired PS4 controller to go to sleep (if the lights are on)
    • Grab a paperclip (yes, a paperclip)
    • Use the pointy end to press the recessed ‘reset’ button on the back of the controller
    • Hold the paperclip in there for a while (let’s call it 10 seconds to be safe)
    • Plug the controller into one of the USB ports on the console
    • Hit the ‘PS’ button in the middle of the controller to wake and pair it up

When the controller turns back on it should both power on the console and re-pair it with your PS4. Problem solved.

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How to know if you have a shiny Pokémon in Sword and Shield

Getting a shiny Pokémon in Sword or Shield isn’t easy. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you might not even notice. Here’s how you can tell.

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Shiny Pokémon in Sword and Shield
Game Freak / Thumbsticks

Getting a shiny Pokémon in Sword or Shield isn’t easy. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you might not even notice if you catch one. Here’s how you can tell.

The chances of getting a shiny Pokémon are fairly slim, with odds of 4096 to 1 of encountering one. And unlike last year’s Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu!, and Let’s Go, Eevee!, it isn’t possible to tell if a Pokémon is shiny before you battle it.

Here’s how to know that you are battling a shiny Pokémon, and how to tell if you already have one in your party or box.

How to know when you are battling a shiny Pokémon

When you encounter a shiny, it will be surrounded by sparkles. It looks, well, shiny. Most shinies can be spotted by a change in colour, but if you’re not familiar with the full Pokédex, looking for the sparkles is the simplest method of identification during battle.

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, there are two types of sparkles to look out for: normal, and square. Square shinies are all new and ultra-rare. If you encounter a shiny there’s a 1 in 16 chance it will feature square sparkles. That means a 1 in 65536 chance overall. Eek!

How to know if you (already) have a shiny Pokémon

If you capture a shiny, or want to know if you’ve already obtained one without realising it, press [X] and navigate to the Pokémon menu. Select Pokémon, then Check Summary. You will see a range of details, including its name, type, original trainer, and ID No. A red symbol comprised of two stars is displayed in the Markings section if the Pokémon is shiny.

Shiny Pokémon symbol

There are shiny variants of almost every Pokémon in Sword and Shield. However, some can never be shiny and others are shiny-locked, meaning they cannot be bred.

None of the game’s Legendary Pokémon can be shiny, and all Pokémon obtained via gifts are locked.

Shiny versions of Sword and Shield‘s starters – Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble – can only be obtained through breeding. Unlike previous generations, they cannot be obtained at the start of the game.

Increasing your chances of encountering a shiny during normal play is an art all of its own. Instagram user, shinyinstinct has created this handy cheat sheet to help you get started.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4-b4yvlOKz

Visit our guides section for more useful video game tips, including details on how to get a Galarian Slowpoke. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

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Guides

How to re-pair an Xbox One controller

Has your controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant Xbox One controller.

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how to re-pair an Xbox One controller
Xbox / Thumbsticks

Has your controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant Xbox One controller.

One of the nice things about modern consoles is wireless controllers. You don’t have to sit three feet from the TV! You don’t have to get off the sofa to turn the console on! We may not have flying cars and hoverboards, but it’s still the future, dammit.

But if your controller gets disconnected from your console, it can be frustrating. For starters, you have to get up and press the button on the front of the console, but it only gets worse when you try to actually play a game.

How does an Xbox One controller become unpaired?

Sometimes, an Xbox One controller will become unpaired from its console purely by accident. Maybe there was just a technical gremlin, or perhaps the battery ran out and the controller hadn’t been turned on in a while. These things happen.

But usually, if your Xbox One controller becomes unpaired, it’s because of something you’ve done.

Sometimes that will be on purpose. Maybe you’ve taken your controller to a friend’s house to play some multiplayer and you paired it to another console. Or maybe you’ve used it to play games on a PC, or paired it with a smartphone.

Or sometimes, it can be entirely by accident. If you have a rechargeable battery pack and you pop a USB cable into your Xbox One controller into a USB port on a PC or laptop to charge, it’ll pair itself up with the computer. Then when you come to hit the button to turn your console on, the controller won’t know which console to talk to, and nothing will happen.

That’s when you’ll need to know how to re-pair an Xbox One controller.

How to re-pair an Xbox One controller

If your Xbox One controller has fallen out with you, for whatever reason, the operation to re-pair it is wonderfully simple.

  • Turn off your Xbox One console
  • Grab a USB cable (that’s Micro USB, not the newer USB-C standard)
  • Plug the big end (the USB-A adapter) into your Xbox One console
  • Plug the small end (the Micro USB adapter) into your Xbox One controller
  • Press the big ‘Xbox’ button in the middle of the controller
  • This will wake up the Xbox One console, and re-pair the Xbox One controller at the same time

That’s it. It’s really simple. Just plug in a USB cable, hit the big button, and let the pairing process work its magic.

(And if you were looking for how to repair an Xbox One controller – that’s repair, as in physically broken, not re-pair, as in pair it up again – then this guide doesn’t cover that. There can be lots of things physically wrong with a controller, far too many for one guide to cover, and if you take it apart you might just make it worse.)

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Guides

How to get a Galarian Slowpoke in Pokémon Sword and Shield

The Galarian Slowpoke is now available in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Here’s how to catch it.

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How to get the Galarian Slowpoke in Pokémon Sword and Shield
The Pokémon Company / Thumbsticks

The Galarian Slowpoke is now available in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Here’s how to catch it.

January’s Pokémon Direct revealed details of a two-part expansion pass for Pokémon Sword and Shield. The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra will be released in June and fall, adding two new areas to the Galar region, plus 200 extra Pokémon to discover.

A new update Pokémon Sword and Shield teases the expansion pass by introducing two new trainers, and a Galarian Slowpoke to catch.

To get your hands on the Galarian Slowpoke follow these simple steps.

How to get a Galarian Slowpoke

  1. Head to Wedgehurst train station
  2. Depending on which the version of the game you are playing, you’ll meet one of two new trainers – Klara in Sword or Avery in Shield – in the station lobby
  3. A Galarian Slowpoke will follow them into the station
  4. You can battle and catch the Slowpoke in the usual way. Use a Quick Ball to make swift work of it
  5. You can now add the Galarian Slowpoke to your team

It’s worth noting that the Galarian Slowpoke won’t be added to the Pokédex. We expect this will happen when The Isle of Armor DLC is released in June 2020.

Following the release of the content expansions, the Slowpoke can be evolved into a Galarian Slowbro in The Isle of Armor and a Galarian Slowking in The Crown Tundra.

Pre-purchase of the expansion pass is not required to catch the Galarian Slowpoke. However, if you do pay up front, you get access to a bonus Pikachu or Eevee uniform. Head to the Mystery Gift menu to redeem your new threads.


Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily video game news updates. For help with more games, visit our guides section.

Support Thumbsticks

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you like what we do and want to support free, quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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