Why are Fortnite servers down? Servers not responding due to update 16.20 - here’s when they’ll be back up

Fortnite’s servers regularly go down for weekly maintenance by Epic Games, but this week’s update is expected to take slightly longer than usual

The online servers of Fortnite – one the world’s most popular and most played video games – are currently down, as developers Epic Games implement a new update to the battle royale fixture.

The servers allow the multiplayer game to be played between fans across the world.

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While they are offline, the game is essentially unplayable, and this week's update is affecting fans on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices simultaneously.

The colourful multiplayer shooter is expected to be offline for slightly longer than usual this week (Image: Epic Games)

So when will they be back? Here’s everything you need to know about it.

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Why are the Fortnite servers down?

While the game being offline may seem like a rare error, it’s actually a regular occurence that Fortnite fans have become accustomed to.

The game is often briefly taken offline for a couple of hours each week, as Epic Games work to implement the latest changes being brought in by the game’s weekly updates.

It’s something that players expect, and realise is a necessary inconvenience if they want to enjoy the latest version of the game, and all the shiny new features each iteration brings.

When will they be back online?

The issue this week stems from just how long the servers are expected to be down.

On occasion, more sizeable updates might take slightly longer for Epic Games to implement, and so servers can be offline for a few hours more than players are used to.

That’s what’s happening this week as the developers ready update 16.20, which is expected to bring a new Bow, 50-player matchmaking in Creative and new vehicle cosmetics to the game.

Epic Games pre-warned gamers about the extended downtime ahead of the update, tweeting: “Please note: Downtime will be starting earlier than normal. This downtime will be of a longer duration than normal.”

The game is rumoured to also be adding an as-yet unannounced ‘glitch’ feature with the latest update, which could be the reasoning behind the slightly extended downtime.

When did the downtime start?

Fortnite’s latest spell of downtime started as expected at 7am BST on Tuesday 13 April.

"Trick out your ride with new wheels, Bow and arrow Sharpen those bow skills and focus up for a special Duos Cup,” Epic Games tweeted, adding that “exploding head 50-player matchmaking in Creative” is also coming to the game.

When will the downtime end?

There’s been no official word from Epic on when the server downtime is expected to come to an end, beyond the studio saying this week’s maintenance will be “of a longer duration” than normal.

But the developer’s official website seems to suggest the update should take no longer than five hours to implement, which would mean the game could be back online by 12pm BST.

Of course, unforeseen issues could crop up between now and then, so the game’s restart could be delayed. Likewise, things could go smoothly and take much less time than expected.

Either way, Epic Games announced that the update will be released for download “a few hours into downtime” in a Tweet, meaning you should be able to get your game updated just in time for Fortnite to go back online.

Servers should also be back online for everybody at the same time, regardless of which platform you play the game on.