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November 18th, 2020

Houseparty Video Chat on Fortnite: Safety Tips

Today we announced a new way to connect with friends in Fortnite through video chat using Houseparty. Once you connect your Houseparty account to your Epic Games account, you can cast your video chat into Fortnite.

We’ve built safety controls into the design of this feature to help mitigate bad behavior. We also have extensive tools already in place on Houseparty and Fortnite for people to block and report others. Here’s how the safety features work. How to cast your party:

Block and Report

We’ve streamlined the steps to block users on Houseparty so you can stop someone’s audio and video in seconds. On Houseparty, you tap on anyone’s face to block or report.

Within Fortnite, you’ll use the Report A Player functionality to select your reason for reporting. You can also block the player from chat and from communicating with you.

Reports of inappropriate content or behavior may result in the reported user being banned from our services entirely. Please review the Houseparty Community Guidelines.

Who Can Use the Feature

The only way to cast video chat into Fortnite is to use Houseparty. A Houseparty user must opt-in by connecting their Houseparty account to their Epic Games account. This feature is designed for ages 13+ since you must be at least 13 years old to create a Houseparty account.

Houseparty is a video chat app with mutual friendships. Once a friendship has been accepted by both people, friends who are online at the same time can join each other to video chat in a “room.”

Friends of anyone in the room can also join with a maximum of up to 10 people per room. If you want to limit access to a room you’re in, you can lock it using the lock button screen and only you or the people in your room can unlock it. You can also turn on Private Mode in your settings to automatically lock all rooms. These Houseparty rooms are what people can cast into Fortnite with Fortnite Mode.

Who Can Use the Feature

When someone in your Houseparty room turns on Fortnite Mode, everyone in the room will automatically receive a Fortnite-themed [Frame] as their virtual background. When you see the video on Fortnite, you’ll see a zoomed in and cropped frame of the person’s face and their virtual background. This keeps video chats focused on faces and reduces the likelihood of inappropriate content.

Epic uses face detection libraries from Apple and Google to run an algorithm that will detect if a face is in close proximity to the mobile camera. The algorithm is running several times per second and if a face is not detected, video is disabled and the user is prompted in the Houseparty app to bring their face back in frame.

Parental Controls on Fortnite

Within Fortnite, there are two ways for parents or guardians to manage the experience with Houseparty. As a reminder, this feature is designed for 13+ since you must be over 13 years old to create a Houseparty account.

In Parental Controls, you can disable Houseparty video chat in Fortnite and the player will not be able to link their Houseparty and Epic Games accounts or cast their Houseparty video to Fortnite. Also, if voice chat is disabled by Parental Controls on Fortnite, the player will not be able to link their Houseparty and Epic Games accounts and the feature will not work.

Screenshot of Fortnite parental control settings, now with Houseparty video chat option

To learn more about this feature, check out our announcement blog, as well as our FAQ.

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