Fortnite launches to the moon in new 'Lunar Horizons' simulation game

With NASA's return to the moon with Artemis 3 tentatively scheduled to touch down at the lunar south pole sometime in 2026, gamers can get into character as astronauts embarking on an expedition to our lone satellite via a new Fortnite-built  simulation packed with real-life details.

The insanely popular free-to-play Fortnite video game franchise and cross-platform sensation was first introduced by Epic Games back in 2017 and has taken on a life of its own with millions of players scattered across the globe engaged in its three main gaming modes: Fortnite Battle Royale, Fortnite: Save the World, and the limitless sandbox playground of Fortnite Creative.

Now in a partnership between Epic Games, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Hassell, Fortnite followers can travel to the moon's south sole region in "Lunar Horizons" where their goals will be to actively gather water and Helium-3 to finish the construction of the permanent ESA Lunar Habitat.

Related: Upcoming space games: Homeworld 3, Space Marine 2, Star Wars Outlaws & more

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Here's the official description:

"'Lunar Horizons' is an immersive, 3D reimagination of a future international lunar mission to the moon's south pole. As a player, you must collect resources to build up the Hassell Lunar Habitat as you learn more about the wonders of space exploration. Work side by side with RASSOR, an advanced robot to collect resources throughout the lunar landscape. Lunar Horizons isn't all about winning, take a moment to talk to the astronauts and interact with Info Points around the lunar landscape to learn more about this real-life planned mission and space!"

Team Fortnite collaborated closely with the international architecture and design firm Hassell and ESA, as both cooperating organizations delivered CAD (Computer Aided Design) digital models of the prospective lunar habitat and unmanned lunar lander to integrate into the Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) to create this dynamic and educational "Lunar Horizons" experience. ESA astronauts even play-tested "Lunar Horizons" to test the in-game cooperation.

ESA astronauts Marco Sieber, Pablo Alvarez Fernandez and Rosemary Coogan teamed up with John McFall, a member of the ESA Astronaut Reserve, to test "Lunar Horizons."  (Image credit: ESA/P. Corrales Sanchez)

"We learned a lot about space science throughout the development of this experience, such as how you can’t actually see the stars from the moon's surface, how big a problem lunar dust is, and how some areas at the lunar south pole have been dark for billions of years," the Fortnite team explains on their developers blog.

Players can access this engaging new Fortnite experience by employing code 3207-0960-6428 or by searching for "Lunar Horizons" in the in-game Discover tab.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.