Fortnite: Battle Royale is an immensely popular online multiplayer game enjoyed by hundreds of millions of players worldwide.
Being a multiplayer game, communicating with your fellow players—especially if you try the co-op Save the World mode—is a must.
This is why it’s particularly frustrating when you can’t seem to get your headset to function properly!
Today, we’re taking a look at the best tips we can find for troubleshooting your headset connection for Fortnite.
Fix #1: Switch Device Ports
This fix is basically just a fancy way of saying “unplug things and plug them back in other places to see if it does anything.”
This can apply to any device but is an especially common quirk of personal computers, both Windows and Mac.
On such computers, some USB ports might be more responsive than others for a number of obscure reasons.
Most commonly, OS (Operating System) updates may cause a device to stop being recognized.
However, for whatever reason, simply unplugging the device and then plugging it back in—to a different USB port than before, if possible—can sometimes resolve this issue.
If you happen to have plugged your headset in while your computer was already on, it might also be worth re-starting your computer while leaving it plugged in.
This is because your computer checks for connected devices on startup, so sometimes it might have a problem recognizing a device plugged in after this process.
Fix #2: Check Your Default Audio Device
This is another fix that most commonly applies to Windows and Mac PCs, but it can sometimes apply to other devices capable of running Fortnite as well.
If you have more than one peripheral audio device connected to your computing device, you might have to manually tell your computer which one you want it to use.
Even if you don’t think you have more than one audio device connected, it’s very likely that you do.
- Many computer monitors have built-in speakers, and even if you never use them, they will register as an audio device to your computer.
- Further, many laptops come with built-in microphones, which will likewise register as audio devices even if you always use a peripheral instead.
To make sure your headset’s speakers and microphone are set as the default audio output and input devices, respectively, you’ll need to find your computer’s audio settings.
The exact pathway to the relevant settings will again vary from one device to another, but none of them should be particularly hard to find.
When in doubt, simply consult your favorite search engine to locate the pathway to your device’s audio settings.
Once there, right-click (or long-press, or do whatever brings up a submenu on your device of choice) the entries for your headset audio and click or tap on the option to set it as default.
Fix #3: Update Your Drivers
Finally, if nothing else has worked so far, it could be that your device drivers are out of date. Drivers are the configuration that enables your computer to utilize the software.
Once again, the details will vary based on what device you’re using, but since this fix is a little more technical than the rest, we’ll walk you through how to do it on each device below.
- Click the Windows icon on your taskbar.
- Start typing ‘Device Manager’ and click on the control panel menu option of the same name when it appears.
- Click to open the dropdown menu under ‘Audio Inputs and Outputs’
- Find the entries for your headset’s speakers and microphone; there will likely be one for each.
- Right-click each of them and select ‘Update Driver’
- Follow the on-screen prompts.
In general, Apple devices give you far less control over their functions than Windows ones, so it can be a bit more difficult to attempt fixes like this on them.
- Open the Apple Menu
- Navigate to ‘About this Mac’ then ‘More Info’, then ‘System Report’
- You should now see a hardware overview and, under that, a list of connected devices.
- You should be able to ask your Mac to update drivers from this menu.
iOS Devices and Xbox One:
You have even less control on mobile and console devices than you do on a MacOS device.
Sadly, this means the only way we know of to try and get your device drivers to update is simply to make sure that you’re running the latest version of your device’s OS.
If you’ve put off installing a system update, there’s a chance installing the update will also automatically install any necessary drivers for your headset to function correctly.
If not, your best bet is probably to contact customer service for the device you’re using.
Fix #4: Check Your Volume Settings
This one might seem obvious at first glance, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook this possibility.
For your headset to do what you want it to in-game, you need two things from it:
- To allow you to hear other players
- To allow other players to hear you.
Both of these depend on volume settings.
For each of these, there are two places you need to check your volume: your headset itself, and your gaming device.
Many headsets have built-in volume sliders and mute buttons. All too often, frustrated players might scour their device settings trying to solve the issue, only to realize the physical volume slider on their headset was all the way down the whole time.
- To avoid this, first, search your headset for any buttons and sliders you may find, and identify what each of them does.
- Once you’ve done so, make sure your headset’s hardwired volume is turned up and that nothing is muted.
If you’re lucky, that alone might solve your problem and you may now be able to hear and be heard.
If not, don’t lose hope, now you just need to check the volume on your gaming device.
Exactly how to do this will depend on what device you’re playing from; Fornite is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Xbox, after all.
It should be fairly simple, however, if a bit different for each device; regardless of device, you’re simply looking for your main volume settings under an options menu.
If you have any trouble finding the correct option, simply enter “volume options for [your device here]” into your favorite search engine.
Once you’ve found them, make sure your system volume, as well as separate volume settings for your headset and Fortnite itself, are turned up to audible levels.
Fix #5: Have You Tried Turning it Off and On Again?
Most tech support specialists suggest this when troubleshooting for a reason: sometimes, it’s all you need to do to make your problem go away.
There are a lot of moving parts, both literally and figuratively, in any piece of tech complex enough to, say, allow you to play a 3D video game.
Sometimes an errant process is running in the background that will go away after a reboot.
Or maybe some random, unforeseeable check went wrong in the startup process and your device wasn’t recognized, so you need to let it try again through a restart.
Any number of possible little things could be causing an issue that goes away after rebooting, but the important thing to remember is that this is always one of the first things you should try.
After shutting down and once the device is finished rebooting, give your headset a try.
If you’re lucky, that’s all you needed to do, and everything works fine now.