If you are planning to play Fortnite, but you were a bit late to join the party, and now they have started a game while waiting for you. This is probably when you would be looking to spectate the match so you can see what your friends are doing.
However, sometimes the spectate feature is unavailable, and sometimes it will not show up. In this case, you are probably wondering why you cannot spectate.
If you want to spectate, you will have to wait for about 30 seconds after the game has started. This is from when the bus starts flying over the island. This means you will likely not be able to watch your friends jump and land. However, you will probably be able to catch the early portions of the game depending on your loading time.
How To Spectate
To spectate a match in Fortnite, you will need to be friends with the person you want to spectate, and they will need to be in a game. You will need to be able to be part of their party.
You can join a friend’s party by either looking at your friend’s list and selecting the Join Party option if it is available, or if this is not an option, you will need to be invited by them, which they can do while they are in a game, but you will likely need to wait until they are in a safe enough position to do so.
Once you are at the party, they will appear next to you in the lobby, but their skin will be faded, and it will say that they are in a match and how many people are left.
Once you see this, the button you usually press to start a match should say spectate. If this button does not say spectate, they are either too early into their game, they may be playing a game that does not allow spectating, or there may be a technical issue.
There have even been times when Fortnite has had to disable spectating for a while due to issues with the feature.
Once you have pressed spectate, the game should start loading in, and you will see the game from your friend’s perspective, and you should be able to switch between different party members as well.
You should be able to see most things the player can, and you can usually view the map and kills. However, there are some things you will not be able to see. For example, the visualize sound accessibility option will not appear when spectating someone, even if you both have the feature turned on.
Now you will be watching your friends play their game, and once they have one or been eliminated, you should be ready to join the next game.
However, this ready-up from spectating feature does not always work. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it might mess up. If you are waiting on the ready-up screen for too long, we recommend going back to the lobby with your team and trying again from there.
Spectating After Elimination
While the option we just mentioned is how to voluntarily spectate a game of Fortnite, there is another way to spectate a match after you have been eliminated.
If you are playing a team match of Fortnite, whether this is Duos, Trios, Squads, or any other mode like this, if you have been eliminated, you will be able to spectate the other players in your team.
This is mostly the same as how you spectate when you were not part of the game. However, there are a couple of differences.
Firstly, you can put markers on the map to point out different locations or signal the closest reboot van. You cannot place markers if you are just spectating, but you were never part of the game. You also have the option to rejoin the game, which you would not if you were spectating from the lobby.
To do this, your party members will need to have picked up the reboot card you dropped after being eliminated, and they use it on a reboot van. This is risky since reboot vans are often in vulnerable positions and make a lot of noise; however, it is an option to regain an advantage.
Once you get rebooted, there might be a short delay, but you will stop spectating and then start playing the game again, looking at your character.
It is worth noting that when you are downed but not eliminated in Fortnite, you will still be able to watch your character, but you will only be able to crawl on the floor and not attack.
However, your teammates will be able to revive you much quicker when downed, and you will be able to keep your weapons and items, which is not the case when getting rebooted.
Why Is Spectating Not Working In Fortnite?
If you have followed our steps from the first section and are at the party with your friends and waiting in the lobby, but you are not allowed to spectate, then there could be a few explanations for this.
As mentioned earlier, sometimes the feature to spectate has been taken down temporarily because it needs to be fixed or has issues. Sometimes this is the case on one console but not others.
For example, we have noticed that spectating is sometimes unavailable on the switch more often than on other consoles.
However, technical issues are not always the explanation for this. It could be that your friend is still too early in their game or just waiting in the lobby before their match, and you will not be able to spectate.
If this is the case, wait a little while, maybe leave the home screen or reboot the app, then try again. Or, it could be the opposite, and your friend has been eliminated, in this case, you will want to wait in the lobby until they return, and you will not be able to spectate someone who is not participating in the game anymore.