Do You Need a Graphics Card for Fortnite?

Fortnite is a game that almost everyone out there wants to get a taste of. Unfortunately, though, only some have deep pockets to dish out hundreds of dollars to buy a dedicated graphics card for gaming.

This begs the question, “do you need a graphics card for Fortnite at all?”

If you are talking about dedicated graphics cards – the standalone GPUs that plug into your motherboards – then fortunately, the answer is no, you do NOT need a dedicated graphics card for Fortnite.

In other words, if you have a desktop or a PC recently bought, the integrated graphics card in the CPU should be sufficient for playing Fortnite.

However, you must realize that your overall experience when playing on an integrated GPU would be far from when playing on a dedicated GPUeven if you compare it to a low-end dedicated GPU.

In the following article, I will explain the integrated graphics cards, their power, the official requirements of Fortnite, and how well-integrated graphics cards can support Fortnite.

All Games Require a Graphics Card to Run

For starters, I would like you to know that all games require a graphics card to run. You need a graphics card to get any video output from your PC and display it on a monitor.

The question concerns whether you need an integrated or a dedicated graphics card.

Integrated graphics cards are built into the CPU itself. They are weaker and generally intended for low-quality gaming. They CAN, however, manage to an extent certain light games.

Dedicated graphics cards, on the other hand, are your typical standalone devices that plug into the PCIe slot of your motherboard—these range from low-end to high-end graphics cards. High-end graphics, such as NVIDIA RTX 3080Ti, can cost you a fortune.

Could you take a look at the following table? It lists some integrated and entry-level dedicated graphics cards and their corresponding G3DMark scores. I have included the RTX 3080Ti for good measure.

Intel HD 4000 332 Integrated; very old and obsolete released in 2012
Intel UHD 630 1395 Integrated; As found on 8-10th Gen
Intel CPUs
Intel UHD 750 1684 Integrated; As found on 11th Gen+
Intel CPUs
Intel UHD 770 1928 Integrated; As Found on 12th Gen Intel CPUs.
Intel Iris Pro 580 2044 Integrated; Found on premium laptops.
Nvidia GeForce
GT 1030
2613 Dedicated
Entry Level
AMD Ryzen 5
Vega 7 Graphics
2639 Integrated; As found on the Ryzen 5600G
AMD Ryzen 7
Vega 8 Graphics
2708 Integrated; As found on the Ryzen 5700G
AMD Radeon
RX 550
2764 Dedicated
Entry Level
GTX 960
6034 Dedicated
Lower-Mid Range
GTX 1650 Super
10,046 Dedicated
Mid Range
RTX 2060
13,970 Dedicated
GTX 1080
15,121 Dedicated
High End
RTX 3080Ti
26,677 Dedicated
Top of the Line

You can see here that even the best integrated,  as found on the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G, is nowhere near comparable to the mid-range or high-end-end dedicated graphics cards.

But an NVIDIA RTX 3080Ti, just the graphics card itself, has an MSRP price tag of $1,1Mid-range NVIDIA RTX 2060 has an MSRP of $349.

As such, dedicated graphics cards are certainly something that only someone can afford.

Hence, when discussing Fortnite in this context, a better question would be: “Do you need a DEDICATED graphics card for Fortnite?”

Fortunately, the answer to that question is no. Let us explore a bit more.

Also Read: GPU Hierarchy – Graphics Card Tiered Performance List

Official System Requirements of Fortnite

According to the official system requirements, Fortnite has three tiers of requirements:

  1. Minimum
  2. Recommended
  3. Epic

They are as follows:

Minimum Requirements

CPU Intel Core i3-3225 (3.3 GHz)
GPU Intel HD 4000 on PC
Intel Iris Pro 5200
Hard Drive 30 GB (May change over as the game updates and gets bigger)
Operating System Windows 7 (64 Bit) or Newer
Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Recommended Requirements

CPU Intel Core i5-7300U (3.5 GHz)
AMD R9 280
Hard Drive 30 GB (May change over time as the game updates and gets bigger)
Operating System Windows 7 (64 Bit) or Newer
Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

New Epic Quality Recommendations

Fortnite, after Chapter 2 Season 7, launched a graphics overhaul. As a result, the revised hardware requirements for Epic settings are as follows:

The current High Setting is equivalent to the past versions’ EPIC Settings.

CPU Intel Core i7-8700
AMD Ryzen 7 3700x
GPU Nvidia GTX 1080
Hard Drive 30 GB (May change over time as the game updates and gets bigger)
Operating System Windows 10 (64 Bit) or Newer

Also Read: Build Guide for Fortnite

So Do You Need a Graphics Card for Fortnite?

No, you do not need a dedicated graphics card to play Fortnite at minimum settings.

There are three tiers of graphics requirements for Fortnite:

  • Entry: Intel HD 4000
  • High: Nvidia GTX 960
  • Epic: Nvidia GTX 1080

The entry-level requirement stipulates that the game can be played with an integrated graphics card.

In other words, to minimize bear gameplay, you DO NOT need to have a dedicated graphics card for Fortnite.

I will test this with my laptop’s Intel HD 630 integrated graphics card. This score is 1,395 on G3DMark, which is much higher than the Intel HD 4000 as required for bare minimum gameplay.

Testing Fortnite on Intel UHD 630 Integrated Graphics Card – Low Settings and 3D Resolution to 100% at FHD

So far, for starters, I tested the game by setting the graphics settings to low, the resolution to Full HD (1920 x 1080), and keeping the 3D resolution scale to a max of 100%.

Do You Need a Graphics Card for Fortnite

At a 3D resolution of 100%, the game was unbearably slow. The game kept staggering between 23-25 FPS. Note I am standing idle in an action-packed; the FPS would drop even lower.

A typical gamer, particularly for a competitive game such as Fortnite, requires at least 30 FPS, if not 60 FPS.

TL;DR: NOT PLAYABLE at 3D Resolution of 100% and Low Settings

Testing Fortnite on Intel UHD 630 Integrated Graphics Card – Low Settings and 3D Resolution to 50% at FHD

Bringing the 3D resolution down by 50% makes a whole world of difference for the FPS you can on the integrated graphics card for Fortnite.

3d resolution to 50%

With the 3D resolution set to 50%, the game constantly gave me the sweet 60FPS, even with an Intel UHD 630. This is an iGPU found on 7th and 8th gen CPUs released in 2017.

low settings 50% resolution

You can expect even better results if you have newer integrated graphics, particularly one found in the 5000 series Ryzen CPUs.

TL;DR: Yes, you can play Fortnite WITHOUT a graphics card so long as you keep the graphics settings low and tweak the 3D resolution settings to reach a playable frame rate.

But it should be pointed out that the QUALITY experience of playing Fortnite at such low graphics settings is simply horrendous. The graphics will look utterly hideous, but that only matters for some as long as you can play competitively.

Also Read: Do You Need a Graphics Card for Minecraft?

Final Words

So to conclude the question, “do you need a graphics card for Fortnite?” The answer is no. According to the official minimum requirements and the test I conducted with my Intel UHD 630 graphics, Fortnite can be played with just an integrated graphics card.

However, the game would be playable only at low graphics settings, and you will need to scale the 3D resolution down to a reasonable level to get playable frame rates.


1. Can I Play Fortnite Without Graphics Card?

If by that you mean without dedicated graphics, then the answer to that question is a yes. You can play Fortnite without a dedicated graphics card.

2. What is the Minimum Graphics You Need to Run Fortnite?

As stipulated by the official requirement and through my testing, the minimum graphics cards would be integrated graphics.

The official requirement makes mention of Intel HD 4000 as the minimum requirement for GPU. That is too weak for Fortnite, even for low settings.

At the bare minimum, I recommended having a CPU with an iGPU about half a decade or so old.

An Intel UHD 630 or better would be a good start.

3. What are the minimum system requirements for playing Fortnite without a graphics card?

The minimum system requirements for playing Fortnite without a graphics card are a 64-bit processor and operating system, 4GB RAM, Intel HD 4000 or better integrated graphics, and DirectX 11 support.

However, playing with integrated graphics may result in lower quality visuals and reduced performance.

4. Can you play Fortnite with a low-end or budget graphics card, or do you need a high-end card for optimal performance?

Yes, it is possible to play Fortnite with a low-end or budget graphics card, but the performance may not be optimal.

The recommended graphics card for playing Fortnite is a NVIDIA GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870, which are mid-range cards that offer good performance at an affordable price.

5. What are the most important factors to consider when choosing a graphics card for playing Fortnite, such as brand, model, and specifications?

The most important factors to consider when choosing a graphics card for playing Fortnite are its compatibility with your system, its performance specifications, and its price.

The brand and model of the card can also be important considerations, as some brands are known for producing high-quality and reliable cards, while others may offer better value for money.

Also Read:

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Ojash Yadav is the lead technical writer and resident tech guru at PCGuide101. He is a computer science graduate with over 8 years of experience in the IT field and a wealth of knowledge about computer peripherals. He has a passion for breaking down complex technical concepts and his goal is to make sure that our readers understand the technical details of the products they're interested in without getting lost in jargon. Ojash has over a decade of experience writing about the latest and greatest in the tech world, his articles have been featured in many popular tech publications and he's known for his thorough and unbiased reviews. He conducts extensive research and testing on the latest products to ensure our readers always get the most reliable information possible.

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