Player Unknown's Battleground (or PUBG for short) is a battle royale-style game that pits you against up to 99 other players in a heart-pounding survival scenario where you must scavenge for loot, explore the map and stay in the safe zone while taking out your competition. It's a highly competitive game that offers game modes for Solo play, pairing up in Duo mode, or playing as a squad of four, and every playthrough will be unique in its own way.
Originally released in China, the mobile version is now available in North America and elsewhere around the world and, in short, the hype is real. Keep reading to learn more about one of the biggest games released for Android in years.
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What makes PUBG Mobile stand out on Android?
We've all played mobile ports of a favorite PC or console game that try to take the look and feel of the full game and then oversimplify it for mobile or bog things down with too many in-app currencies and energy meters to temper your ability to just play the game. PUBG Mobile offers the gameplay you'd expect from a full PC or console game, except scaled down perfectly to play on your phone.
This would have been a golden opportunity to make this game pay-to-win with in-app purchases available to let you start with the best weaponry, but that would have completely broken the game. Instead, the game features a pletora of ways to spend money in the game both on cosmetic upgrade and chances at some rare cosmetic upgrades.
I'm typically not a fan of games offering ridiculous prices for in-app currency, but I do appreciate the $1 monthly Prime subscription that let me collect enough in-game currencey to pay for a premium Royale Pass, which in turn gave me access to collect more cosmetics and complete weekly missions. I honestly don't mind paying a couple bucks here and there for a game of this calibre, and I must admit that the Royale Pass does keep me coming back to play more often then before.
PUBG Mobile automates a few tedious actions for the player, which you will highly appreciate.
One of the biggest things holding back mobile ports of first- or third-person shooters would be complaints about touch controls, but big props to the developers here for spending the time to not only o ffer really functional touch controls but for also including a bevy of settings to tweak things exactly the way you want.
I've found the controls to be pretty stellar right from the start, but I love that you're able to really finetune look and movement sensitivity, re-map button locations, and much more to find the perfect configuration that work best for your play style. You can even impliment gyroscope controls to finetune your aim in scoped view.
The game has also streamlined some of the more finicky mechanics, so you will automatically pick up ammo and accessories for your equipped weapons along with any other upgraded equipment. The game also automatically opens doors as you approach them, although that can be turned off in settings if you'd prefer to preserve the element of surprise. Another clutch feature you'll definitely make use of is auto-sprint, which allows you to keep running in one direction while using the look button to scan your surroundings for enemies.
Frankly, I feel like third-person shooters like PUBG are perfectly suited for mobile, as you're able to quickly scan around your surroundings while still moving towards your next target as opposed to first-person shooters where your viewpoint is locked. While there's no formal controller support, people have managed to find a way to play the game with a keyboard and mouse which looks awkward as all hell and could be considered cheating, however, I really don't buy into the argument that it's a huge advantage.
Can my phone run PUBG?
The developers have done a great job making sure that PUBG Mobile is capable of running on older devices. The system requirements for playing PUBG Mobile on Android are 2GB of RAM and a phone running on Android 5.1.1 or later. That means that pretty much any phone released in the past five years should be able to run the game no problem.
There's also a version of the game specifically developed for devices with less than 2GB of RAM, so if you're having troubles running the full PUBG Mobile on your phone, check out PUBG Mobile Lite
What game modes are available?
It's clear to see why PUBG Mobile is so popular — there's so many different ways to play the same game! On top of offering a classic 100-man battle royale mode across four sprawling maps for solo, duo, and squad play, the game also offers a collection of four arcade modes, and a third section of game modes called EvoGround which are familiar favorites that really shine with the PUBG Mobile game engine.
Classic mode is the full PUBG experience, from jumping out of the plane, following the safe circles, and outlasting 99 opponents until you're the last man standing. These games can take upwards of 30 minutes to complete and offers up the full island complete with all the available weapons and equipment scattered randomly throughout the buildings.
Arcade mode is a more condensed version of the game that was specially created for mobile gamers looking for a more bite-sized chicken dinner. There are four arcade game modes — War, Sniper Training, Mini-zone, and Quick Match. The availablility of each mode rotates throughout the day and these are great for practising with your regular crew before jumping into a classic match
EvoGround is where the developers have decided to stash all the goods. These are the just-for-fun game modes that are pure fan service. It's where you'll find the two zombie game modes, Survive Til Dawn and Darkest Night, along with the new Team Deathmatch mode which is also fun as hell.
The Classic game modes are where the meat of the game occurs. It's what's linked to the Royale Pass and all the missions and rewards that is enc
Is there cross-platform support like Fortnite?
Unlike Fortnite, PUBG Mobile is a dedicated title that's wholly different than its PC and console counterparts. That means unlike Fortnite, you don't have a singular PUBG account that's available on any platform other than your phone or tablet. Instead, you're account is tied to whichever social media service you used to sign up, or just your Google account.
There are folks who like to use emulators to play PUBG Mobile with a mouse and keyboard, but the developers regularly put in the effort to crack down on any players using hacks to get an advantage over the competition.
Tips for surviving until the end
PUBG Mobile can be a cruel and unforgiving game if you're new and don't know what you're doing. The more experienced players will understand how to work each map to their advantage, so we'll first arm you with some basic strategies to stay alive.
Pick a smart landing spot: You can set yourself up for success or failure before you even jump out of the plane by taking the time to pick a strategic place start your game. You'll ideally want to try and pick a spot that's not too far off the flight path with a landing spot that's near some structures where you'll find weapons and gear. Typically 20 or so players will immediately jump out as soon as the option appears, so you're best off waiting a bit to avoid getting caught up in an early round gunfight before you've acquired proper gear for yourself.
Learn to master the look feature: The best way to get kills and win in PUBG Mobile is by getting the jump on your opponents. If you can spot an opponent way off in the distance before they can spot you, you can get off the first few shots and maybe snipe them before they have a chance to spot you. That's why you need to become best friends with the look mode, which is the eyeball icon on the right-hand side of the screen. You can set your character to sprint towards the safe zone while using the look feature to scan the horizon for enemies. Master this technique along with the intelligent use of the map noise notifications and you should be able to get the jump on enemies.
Get down and take cover: If you start getting shot at out of nowhere and you can't immediately tell where the shooter is, you need to assess the situation fast and find cover. If you're running through a grassy section, often your best bet is to go prone and crawl while using the look icon to try and get a read on where the shots are coming from. Alternatively, if there's a shelter nearby, make a beeline for it and heal yourself before engaging with the enemy.
Vehicles are also great for attacking: There's a number of reasons why it's a smart idea to make use of vehicles in PUBG Mobile. The most obvious reason is if you're well outside the safe zone and the circle is closing in on you a vehicle is often your only chance of survival. But cars and trucks can also be used as an effective weapon against other players. There's no point in sticking to the roads in a game like this, and it can be pretty easy to catch players running through an open field. Hit them going full speed and it's usually a one-hit kill. Of course, if you miss they will have a prime opportunity to shoot back — so don't miss.
Is PUBG Mobile worth your time?
Emphatically yes. This game is the real deal. If you've played PUBG on another platform, or have seen Twitch streams or Instagram clips of crazy moments from the game and wanted to check it out for yourself, you can jump in and start playing PUBG Mobile right now on Android for free.
If you're already in the game, add me by my username OGmousemachine and let's go win some squad matches!
Get the most out of your Android gaming experience
SteelSeries Stratus Duo ($60 at Amazon)
A great Bluetooth controller for use with Android games that offer gamepad support that also includes a wireless USB dongle for gaming on PCs. Highly recommended!
Ventev Powercell 6010+ Portable USB-C Charger ($37 at Amazon)
This battery pack from Ventev is recommended so often because it's so compact and convenient. You get a built-in USB-C cord, built-in AC prong for charging the unit, and 6000mAh battery capacity.
Spigen Style Ring ($13 at Amazon)
Of all the phone mounts and kickstands we've tested, the most consistently reliable and sturdy is the original Spigen Style Ring. It also has a minimalist hook mount for your car's dashboard.
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