A user experience so bad I had to write about it

The story of "simply" linking a Fortnite & Epic Games account

Preface: I don't usually complain about stuff like this, but it was so frustrating that I couldn't help it.

Yesterday was my son's 11th birthday. Among other things, we got him a Fortnite gift card for a few V-Bucks so he could get some fun skins or whatever the Fortniters do.

It turns out you can't just redeem the gift card in the game. You have to have an Epic Games account first, which isn't required to simply play Fortnite. We always skip those optional, extra sign-ups because who wants to share optional data and remember more passwords?

Here we go...

So I created a new EpicGames account for him. I then discovered you can't just sign into it from Fortnite, you have to "link" accounts because he already has an established Fortnite ID.

So I had make a new EpicGames account by OAuthing (creating an account on one platform using an existing account on another platform) into EpicGames via my son's PSN account. But I didn’t remember his PSN password, so I reset it. But I didn’t remember his email password to get the reset link, so I reset that.

But nothing happened. So I tried it again, and again, and nothing. It turns out the password reset feature doesn't do anything with PSN Child Accounts. I had to log into my PSN account and reset his password in the Family Account management area.

Finally I was able to log into EpicGames via his PSN account, but since I had already a previous session with that useless new EpicGames account (and yes, I was using Incognito mode to try to avoid this), it failed quietly and found myself back inside the previous account.

So I logged out and tried again. Finally, I had a new EpicGames account linked with his PSN account, but I had to make a new username because I had already taken his usual one with the useless account. In another browser I log into the useless account to see if I can rename it to something else, but you can't do that for 14 days. We'll come back to that later.

So we came up with a decent temporary username and was finally able to redeem his gift card code — which sent me an email with another code that needs to be entered outside of Fortnite and in the PlayStation Store — with a controller. So I do that, but it failed because his PSN account's password was changed and we got kicked offline. After trying 3 times to enter the new password (I had to check Chrome's password store and yes, I was remembering it correctly), we were in, and got the code redeemed.

But the V-Bucks didn’t show up in his Fortnite account. A force quit on the game did the trick, and next sign-in they finally showed up.

Just a mere 2 hours of effort and he had his V-Bucks, and I had this wonderful new memory. I hope you enjoyed this tale of the internet we built.

great job

Published Oct 22, 2020

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