Thousands of frustrated Fortnite players hoping to get an edge on the competition have been infected by malware.

The online game is free to play and challenges its players to be the ‘last man standing’.

But game-streaming platform Rainway recently discovered that its less honest players were suffering from some suspicious activity.

The company report that they received hundreds of thousands of error reports from Fortnite players which lead them to believe that cheating software was to blame.

The unofficial software is often written by scammers who promise to give their players the upper-hand by hacking the game.

Instead, the software installs malicious software which works in the background.

Rainway, who were particularly affected by one version of this malware, decided to investigate.

“We downloaded hundreds of programs, all claiming to do something to help a player get ahead,” explained Rainway CEO Andrew Sampson in a blog post.

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He details how the popularity of the game has led to the creation of countless YouTube tutorial videos and unauthorised software which claim to offer players free in-game currency and unfair advantages.

The company was looking for the specific version of the cheating software which was leading to the suspicious activity they were seeing.

“After hours of painstaking searching, we struck oil,” he said.

“Sometimes the allure of cheating is powerful, and a strong presence is needed to help push people in the right direction.”

“Epic could do a better job at educating their users on these malicious programs.”