If you loaded up the Epic Games Store today looking to play another round of Fortnite, you might have found something new and different in the launcher. In certain cases, users are seeing Epic Games Store Kestrel show up in their account without warning. What is Kestrel and why are Epic Games Store users seeing it in their account? More importantly, is it safe to download and install on your computer? In this guide, we’ll explain everything we know about Epic Games Store Kestrel and where it came from.
Epic Games Store Kestrel – Store Introduction
— Epic Games Store (@EpicGames) December 4, 2018
For those Fortnite players who are as of yet unaware, the Epic Games Store is a new Steam competitor that Epic Games recently opened through their launcher. Not only can you fight it out for a Victory Royale, but you can now also play games like Ashen, Darksiders 3 and Hello Neighbor: Hide & Seek. Other games coming to the service in the future include World War Z, Super Meat Boy Forever, and the PC port of PlayStation 3 classic, Journey.
As part of the introductory period for the storefront, Epic Games is giving out free games to its customer. Every two weeks, another game is added to the service, and it’s on the house if you grab it within that time period. As of now, the free game is Unknown Worlds’ Subnautica, an underwater survival game. Starting just after Christmas on December 28, you can grab the original Super Meat Boy free of charge in order to get ready for the runner sequel.
Epic Games Store Kestrel – What is Kestrel?
As the Epic Games Store is a brand new service, the available library is limited. In fact, outside of Epic’s own games, there are currently only 13 options. Most of those games are “Coming Soon,” meaning they’re not available for purchase. Kestrel isn’t any of these games. As discovered by several users who received the mysterious free game, Kestrel is, in fact, Donut County. This indie puzzle game is not available otherwise on the Epic Games Store, and its sudden appearance for some gamers is unexplained as of yet.
just opened up the epic games launcher and had a game in my library called "Kestrel" which didnt have a store page linked to it and its just a free copy of Donut County which isn't even on the epic store. but its cool i guess because i wanted to play it anyway lol.
— george w~ (@ubersyanyde) December 17, 2018
At least we can explain why Donut County might appear on the Epic Games Store in the first place. Annapurna Interactive currently publishes Donut County on Steam and console platforms. The company also publishes Ashen, Outer Wilds, and the PC port of Journey. These game seem to be exclusive to the Epic Games Store on PC, at least for now. In Outer Wilds‘ case, the game was pulled from an Xbox Play Anywhere release in order to launch only on Epic’s new storefront. Therefore, it only makes sense that Annapurna would port the rest of their library over to the service at some point in the future.
Epic Games Store Kestrel – Is Kestrel Safe to Install?
By all accounts, the copy of Donut County dropped into various Epic Games Store accounts under the name Kestrel appears to be a test version of the game. People that have installed it have gotten what seems to be a complete copy of Donut County without any errors coming up. The only error that does come up is when you attempt to access Kestrel‘s store page, as seen in this Reddit user’s image gallery. Still, since games on the Epic Games Store don’t require the launcher to be active once installation is finished, there should be no harm in playing this copy of the game should you have it. Just note that this test version of Donut County probably isn’t going to be patched and could be removed at any time from your account once the error is resolved.
While Epic Games hasn’t commented on the appearance of Epic Games Store Kestrel game as of yet, there has been some worry that its appearance is evidence that hackers are attacking the storefront in question. While this doesn’t seem to be the case, it’s worth noting that your Epic Games account has a robust two-factor authentication setup in place. There are plenty of folks trying to procure Fortnite accounts for various nefarious purposes, so setting this up is a good idea even if hackers don’t seem to be at play at the moment.
Epic Games Store Kestrel – How to Enable Epic Games Store Two-Factor Authentication
In order to protect your account from future calamity, here’s how to set up two-factor authentication in your Epic Games account. You need to go into Account Settings on the Epic Games website. Hit the Password and Security tab then scroll to the bottom. Under Two-Factor Authentication, click either Enable Authenticator App or Enable Email Authentication. Email Authentication is the less secure option, sending a password to your email whenever the account has to verify your identity.
Authenticator App uses an app on your mobile device to ensure that your Epic Games Store purchases and V-bucks are secure. You can use apps such as Google Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, and Authy. They’ll provide a constantly cycling code to input on your account when you log in, and that verifies who you are.
In addition to keeping your account secure, Two-Factor Authentication also gives you some bonuses in Fortnite. On the battle royale side, you get the Boogiedown emote just for turning on the extra security. On the Save the World side, you get 50 armory slots, 10 backpack slots, and one legendary troll stash llama. That’s a lot of loot just for ensuring that your copy of the Epic Games Store Kestrel version of Donut County and other games are securely kept safe from prying eyes.