Epic Games Store two-factor authentication: How to turn it on (and why)

A lot of security-minded folks will tell you that two-factor authentication is a good thing to have in this day and age, but for those who want to claim the free games on offer from the Epic Games Store, Epic is going to insist on it. For the next month, those looking to pick up the free games on offer will only be able to do so if they have two-factor authentication turned on, so now is a great time to flip the switch on it if you haven't already.

Epic explains its mentality in a blog post, saying simply that this is being done "in an effort to encourage our players to take steps to strengthen their Epic account security." Those who don't have two-factor authentication turned on when they try to claim a free game will see an alert that prompts them to activate it, which can be done by heading over the Epic Games account settings.

Getting two-factor authentication up and running is a pretty straightforward process, and though Epic allows 2FA through an authentication app, email address, or SMS, we'd go for the app. To set it up, go to your account page and click the "Password & Security" tab. From there, find the two-factor authentication heading and choose your preferred method. If you choose to use an authentication app, you have your choice of Google Authenticator, LastPass Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, or Authy.

Two-factor authentication is important primarily because it adds an extra step before anyone can gain access to your account. Your login information for any given account could be floating around the internet thanks to security breaches or leaks, but if you've got two-factor authentication enabled, that makes it harder for would-be hackers to gain access to your account – even when they have the rest of your login info.

It sounds like Epic won't ask for two-factor authentication all the time, as it says in its announcement today that it will "periodically require" it of people who are claiming free games. Epic will require 2FA beginning this week through May 21st.

Currently, For the King is being offered as the Epic Game Store's free game. Tomorrow, it'll be replaced by Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Crashlands, which will be free to claim until May 7th.