Fortnite for multiple users on macOS

FortniteMy kids love playing Fortnite – but one of them has to play on my Mac when the other is on the Nintendo Switch.  They each have a macOS account, which has Parental Controls set for it, so they can’t play all night long.

An issue I found with Fortnite on the Mac was that the Epic Launcher required download of all the Fortnite files for each user, even though it stores those files in the /Users/Shared folder which is, you know, Shared. Fortnite is huge, and I don’t want to waste drive space.  I figured out how to fix it, with some help from a similar post on the Unreal Engine forum.

Here is how to get it working.

Warning

If you have games other than Fortnite installed through the Epic Launcher, things might break. You might need to copy only some of the folders from Application Support. Be careful in case you overwrite saves from other games!

Part 1 – fix permissions on Shared binaries

  1. Install Fortnite via Epic Launcher on one player’s macos account.
  2. Go to /Users/Shared/ in Finder
  3. Right click on Epic Games folder and select Get Info
  4. Change permission for Everyone to Read & Write
  5. Click padlock at bottom right and authenticate as a user with Admin rights
  6. Click the drop down next to the cog and select Apply to enclosed items.

I haven’t checked this yet, but it should allow any user to do updates in future. I’ll update if I find this isn’t the case.

Part 2 – allow launch from each users Epic Launcher

  1. While logged into the first user account, go to \~/Library/Application Support in finder
  2. Locate the Epic Folder – right click it and select Copy “Epic”
  3. Go to /Users/Shared and create a new folder called Temp – go into it
  4. Paste the Epic folder in here
  5. Log out of this account (makes sure Epic Launcher is closed
  6. Log in as one of the other users and start Epic Launcher – note that Fortnite still requires Installation – exit Epic Launcher
  7. Open Finder windows for both /Users/Shared/Temp and \~/Library/Application Support
  8. Copy the Epic folder from /Users/Shared/Temp
  9. Paste it into \~/Library/Application Support – any time it asks you to Replace or Merge, select Replace

Now when you start Epic Launcher from this user account, you no longer need to Install Fortnite – you can Launch it and it will work fine.

I did a bit more poking around, and it looks like all that is needed in Part 2 is to copy item files from the ~/Library/Application Support/Epic/EpicGamesLauncher/Data/Manifests folder.

There will be a .item file starting with a random string of characters for each game that is installed. You need to open each file in TextEdit to identify which game it relates to.

You can then copy this file from the Manifests folder in one account into that of another. The next time that Epic Launcher is opened in the other account, the game will appear as already installed. I’ve tested this for The Witness and Subnautica after getting Fortnite working as above.

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