Do You Need a Graphics Card for Fortnite?

Fortnite is a game that almost everyone out there wants to get a taste off. Unfortunately though, not everyone has 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 to have a dedicated graphics card for Fortnite.

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

However, you must realize that your overall experience when playing on an integrated GPU would not be remotely as close to when playing on a dedicated GPUeven if you compare to a low end dedicated GPU.

In the following article, I will explain the integrated graphics cards, how powerful they, the official requirements of Fortnite and how well integrated graphics card can support Fortnite.

All Games Require a Graphics Card to Run

For starters, know that all games require a graphics card to run. In fact, to get any sort of video output from your PC and to display it on a monitor, you need a graphics card.

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

Integrated graphics cards are built-into the CPU itself. They are weaker and generally not intended for high 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 all the way to high end graphics cards. High-end graphics, such as the likes of NVIDIA RTX 3080Ti can cost you a fortune.

Take a look at the following table. It lists some of the integrated graphics and entry level dedicated graphics cards as well as their corresponding G3DMark scores. I have included th RTX 3080Ti for good measure.

GPU G3D
Mark
Notes
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
5600G
Vega 7 Graphics
2639 Integrated; As found on the Ryzen 5600G
AMD Ryzen 7
5700G
Vega 8 Graphics
2708 Integrated; As found on the Ryzen 5700G
AMD Radeon
RX 550
2764 Dedicated
Entry Level
NVIDIA GeForce
GTX 960
6034 Dedicated
Lower-Mid Range
NVIDIA GeForce
GTX 1650 Super
10,046 Dedicated
Mid Range
NVIDIA GeForce
RTX 2060
13,970 Dedicated
Midrange
NVIDIA GeForce
GTX 1080
15,121 Dedicated
High End
NVIDIA GeForce
RTX 3080Ti
26,677 Dedicated
Top of the Line

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

But an NVIDIA RTX 3080Ti, just the graphics card itself, has an MSRP price tag of $1,119! Mid range NVIDIA RTX 2060 has an MSRP of $349. 

As such, dedicated graphics card are certainly not something that everyone can afford.

Hence, when talkin about Fortnite in this context, a better question would be to ask: “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, Fornite 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
RAM 4 GB DDR4 RAM
Hard Drive 30 GB (May change overtime 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)
GPU NVIDIA GTX 960
AMD R9 280
RAM 8 GB
Hard Drive 30 GB (May change overtime 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 the Chapter 2 Season 7 launched a graphics overhaul. As a result, the revised hardware requirements for Epic settings are as follows:

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

CPU Intel Core i7-8700
AMD Ryzen 7 3700x
GPU Nvidia GTX 1080
RAM 16 GB
Hard Drive 30 GB (May change overtime 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 to have a dedicated graphics card in order to play Fortnite at bear minimum settings.

There are three tiers of graphics requirements for Fortnite:

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

You can see that the entry level requirement essentially stipulates that the game CAN be played with just an integrated graphics card.

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

I am going to test this myself with the Intel HD 630 integrated graphics card I have on my laptop. This has a score of 1,395 on G3DMark, which is much higher than the Intel HD 4000 as required for bear minimum gameplay. 

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

So far starters, I tested the game by setting the graphics settings to low, resolution to Full HD (1920 x 1080) and keeping the 3D resolution scale to a max 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 basically standing idle, in an action packed sequence, the FPS would be expected to drop even lower.

A typical gamer, particularly for a competitive game 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

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

3d resolution to 50%

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

low settings 50% resolution

If you have a newer integrated graphics, particularly one found in the 5000 series Ryzen CPUs, then you can expect to get even better results.

TL;DR: Yes, you can play Fortnite WITHOUT a graphics card so long as you keep the graphics settings to 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 hey, that doesn’t matter for many as long as you can play competitively. 

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

FAQ

Can I Play Fortnite Without Graphics Card?

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

What is the Minimum Graphics Do You Need to Run Fortnite?

The minimum graphics cards as stipulated by the official requirement as well as through my testing would be an integrated graphics.

The official requirement make mention of Intel HD 4000 as the minimum requirement for GPU. I find that to be a tad too weak for Fortnite even for low settings.

At the bear minimum, I would recommended having a CPU with an iGPU that is about half a decade or so old.

An Intel UHD 630 or better would be good start.

Also Read:

Final Words

So to conclude the question, “do you need a graphics card for Fortnite?” The answer is no. As according to the official minimum requirements as well as according to 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 in order to get playable frame rates.

Categories GPU
Photo of author

Author:

Atif Qazi
Atif Qazi is the founder of PCGuide101. He is a digital nomad who loves everything PC. He is a PC builder, tech enthusiast, engineer, and a lover of single player lore-rich RPG games.

Leave a Comment