Look, I can’t break new ground on “the gamer chair.” They are familiar: hulking, pricey, and often garish declarations of Fortnite prowess, padded with locks of Ninja’s blue hair (may we remember it fondly) for good luck. To accept the gamer chair is to accept the implication of Dorito dust. To know the gamer chair is to let your pantsless butt sit on it for a long time.
I can’t tell you anything new about gaming chairs—they are still gaudy and expensive—but I have been sitting my butt on the Fortnite Battle Bus edition of the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 Series for a while now, and I can tell you that, honestly, it gets the job done
The Fortnite part
First we need to address the Battle Bus in the room. I don’t play Fortnite, but when Secretlab asked me if I wanted to review its latest special edition Titan, I thought it could be funny. For whom? I’m not sure.
For me, I guess. It’s just the Fortnite Battle Bus gamer chair. It’s magical. It feels like the Fortnite Battle Bus chair could be the egg MrBeast was born from, emerging as a fully grown adult, smiling with his menacing mouthful of gamer teeth.
It’s a conversation piece. When people see my Fortnite chair, they ask, “is that a Fortnite chair?” And, you know what, it is. On its front, it has turquoise embroidery that says FORTNITE. This is so everyone can understand that this mostly normal-looking chair is actually a Fortnite chair. Some of the chair’s accessories came in Fortnite-themed boxes, too, but, overall, it’s a normal chair that says FORTNITE on it.
I had hoped, though, that the Fortnite Battle Bus chair would look more like a Battle Bus seat so I could finally combine my love of gaming, public transportation, and hot air balloon technology. Alas, the Fortnite chair only displays an embroidered image of the Battle Bus on its back. You have to gaze into its sunset-pink threads to envision yourself floating away on the airborne Battle Bus—your butt will never know such a sensation.
Setting up the chair
The Fortnite gamer chair, in a massive cardboard box that I and a few friends could use as a makeshift Noah’s ark, was delivered August 22. That’s three weeks of sitting time for those of you keeping track.
This particular edition of the Secretlab Titan Evo 2022 is available for pre-order directly from the Secretlab site at $624 for small and regular sizes, the latter of which is recommended for people up to 6’2” and under 220 pounds, and $674 for the extra-large size, which is recommended for people up to 6’9” and 395 pounds. This size inclusivity is appreciated and a staple of Secretlab chairs—in a 2017 review of the Titan, big guy and Kotaku staffer Mike Fahey wrote that the chair was a “fine place to spend hours on your copious end.”
Immediately after the big box was delivered, my League of Legends boyfriend and I started putting the chair together. Overall, the process was simple and easily explained by the massive, poster-sized instruction sheet that came with it, but the chair is pretty heavy, and you will need a buddy if you are pea-sized and weak like me. The box comes with strips of thin foam to place heavy pieces on and make moving easier, though, which is helpful. All told, setting up the Fortnite chair took about 50 sweaty minutes.
Sitting down in the chair
I immediately started sitting down in the chair. Who wouldn’t? It’s a chair for Fortnite.
It has all the comfort-focused features of a standard Titan Evo 2022 chair, which means things like a proprietary synthetic leather, seat curved for “ergonomic support,” and adjustable lumbar support. It is a stiff chair, which might take some getting used to if you’re used to seats with more cushioning or flexibility, but its stiffness ultimately makes it feel more supportive than cramped.
The headrest is a magnetic, detachable cushion. I like that you can place it near your head or your neck, as preferred. The magnet that holds it in place starts at the very tip of the chair and ends fairly low, so I can lounge comfortably against the cushion even though I’m technically too short for the regular-sized chair Secretlab sent me.
The doorway to my gaming room was too narrow to get the chunky Fortnite chair in there, so I ended up rotating it between my living room and dining room and adjusting the chair in different ways depending on what I was doing. Sitting in the chair for an extended period of time doing different things, like typing on my laptop, playing a console game, or eating at the table, never hurt my back or felt awkward.
One impressive adjustment is how the chair allows you to go from sitting stick-straight to leaning almost completely flat on your back. During a Mets game viewing, my non-gamer friend Will sat in the gaming chair and reclined all the way back. It was the longest anyone had sat in the chair with the recline so extreme, and there were a few moments when I thought he would fall down and become concussed by the Fortnite chair. But “I feel safe,” he told me when I expressed concern. “I trust the chair.”
Complaining about the chair
The chair is supportive, kind, and loves Fortnite. These are qualities you really must admire. But, during the chair’s assembly, I was disappointed to remove some untouched pieces from their packages and find they already had dings on them. This was a review product, but if I had paid its hefty full price, I’d be frustrated by the pieces not being immaculate upon arrival. Likewise, though this chair is happy to provide you with battle royale-themed succor, I’m a nerd about fashion and the stitching on this chair, to me, looks fast and loose. Long, loose stitches mean that fabric is held less securely, making a garment or, in this case, a Fortnite chair, more susceptible to tearing or fraying.
This isn’t a complaint as much as it is a heads up—I was way too small for the standard chair at 5’4 and 120 pounds. I still enjoyed sitting in it, but sometimes I felt like a baby pretending to be the president, and often sat on it cross-legged or with both knees up. The armrests and chair height are not nearly as customizable as the back of the chair. They budge more than they transform. So if a chair isn’t in your suggested height and weight class, you might struggle in finding a perfect calibration, which is something you’re presumably looking for in dropping over 500 dollars on a chair.
This chair and its packaging was also not nearly as aggressively Fortnite-themed as I kind of wanted it to be, so if you’re a Fortnite superfan only interested in the chair for its collectibility, that is something to note, too. Secretlab also released three Fortnite-edition memory foam “lumbar pillows” fashioned after Peely, Llama, and Cuddle Team Leader, but you have to pre-order these separately for $59 each, and they currently ship two weeks later than the chair. More positively, buying the chair unlocks the rare in-game Chipset Wrap, which was originally only available to purchase in Fortnite for one day in 2020.
The Fortnite chair is enjoyable to sit in and good for people who want to talk to house guests about it being a Fortnite chair. Be aware that making the chair a good match will depend on whether or not you get a size that reflects your needs, that the chair’s quality might not be exactly what you want for the price, and that its Fortnite theme is literally skin-deep. It’s a chair first, Fortnite experience second. Hot air balloon not included.