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.

PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile is a free-to-play battle royale shooter that pits you against up to 99 other players. With an ever-growing list of maps and game modes to choose from, it's one of the best games available to play on Android.

Update June 12, 2019: Latest update brings new Team Deathmatch mode, map, and much more!

PUBG Mobile's global popularity continues to grow, as Tencent Games and PUBG Corporation announced downloads for the game had surpassed 400 million, with 50 million daily active users outside of China where the game is banned. I credit the game's success in large part due to the developers continued work delivering substantial new game modes and listening to player feedback for implimenting new features and control improvements — all of which are true of the 0.13.0 update that has just gone live in the Google Play Store.

The most exciting new addition is the 4 vs 4 team deathmatch mode that offers fast-paced matches to 40 kills on a closed arena. You can play in third-person or first-person and there's no looting involved with all available weapons laid out in front of each team. The action is frantic and arcade-like with automatic health regeneration and quick respawns, but there's still a good amount of strategy and team support required to dominate the battlefield. It feels like an entirely new game tucked inside the growing EvoGround selection of gameplay modes, and it adds some nice variety.

You can see the full release notes but here are the main highlights:

  • Added Team Deathmatch mode to EvoGround. This new mode features fast-paced firefights in both FPP and TPP. Players can also create their own rooms with room cards
  • Added control settings for FPP. Players can now have separate settings for TPP and FPP
  • Upgraded 3rd party app prevention system and enhanced detection of cheating behavior via Virtual App, emulators and modifiers
  • Added MVP showcase system at the end of each match. All players will receive a default MVP pose. The top 3 players in Classic mode or the MVP of the winning squad in TDM will be featured
  • In Vikendi, players will now leave footprints, trails and tire tracks on snow
  • Added a dedicated button for climbing that can be enabled in the settings
  • When killed by friendly fire, now players can decide if the teammate should lose merit or not
  • Added a Godzilla theme. Godzilla themed lobby background will be available together with many themed events and rewards after the update

There's a lot of great stuff included in this update beyond the new team deathmatch mode. The MVP showcase offers appropriate recognition to the best players in each match and are a great addition in my books. It's also always nice to see the developers cracking down on cheating behavior using emulators and other means of getting an unfair advantage.

Meanwhile, the Godzilla event continues with more cosmetic loot boxes and collectable tokens but nothing in terms of a substantial in-game event. The loading screens and new lobby theme seem to point to the Dino Park on the Vikendi map as a possible showdown location involving Godzilla and King Ghidorah, but whether or not that turns into a playable experience like we saw from the Resident Evil crossover event is anybody's guess.

Update May 22, 2019: Royal Pass Season 7 is underway as the developers tease a Godzilla crossover event

PUBG Mobile has recently rolled out the seventh Royal Pass Season which runs until July 14. As with previous Royal Pass event, you'll need to complete missions to collect RP Points to progress up the rewards ladder and collect new outfits and cosmetic upgrades along with up to 600UC available (which could be put towards your Season 8 pass upgrade). Really, the Royal Pass is only worth investing in if you know you'll play enough to earn back the 600UC or if you're a PUBG Prime recieve daily UC boosts.

Meanwhile, the developers are teasing a new crossover event, this time to promote the new Godzilla: King of the Monsters which hits theatres May 31. Here's the announcer trailer which mixes clips from the movie trailer with some generic footage from the game but nothing concrete about what the event will actually entail:

It's actually pretty frustrating because these events have gone one of two ways in the past — sometimes it's a boring tie-in with a new theme for the home screen or some new cosmetic upgrades hidden away ino crates, and other times we get the excellent Resident Evil crossover that introduced zombie mode to the game.

The press release warned players to keep their eyes peeled for "ominous in-game clues of Godzilla's imminent arrival" in an upcoming update that has yet to arrive in the Google Play Store. If this means that we'll get a game mode where Godzilla — or any of the other monsters from the upcoming movie — start randomly stomping across the map destroying everything in their path then I'm on board. We'll just have to wait and see what they may have in store for us.

Update April 2, 2019: PUBG Mobile adds monthly subscriptions with UC rewards for those who play daily

Tencent has done a great job of building up PUBG Mobile through its first year and have added a new monthly subscription service that they are calling Prime and Prime Plus. These subscriptions are designed to give players a reason to check into the game each day and to spend UC on Royale Pass upgrades and cosmetic crates.

The basic Prime tier lets players purchase some items using Battle Points (BP), the free currency you collect for completing achievements or progress missions. PUBG Mobile Prime subscribers will also be able to collect 5 Unknown Cash (UC) daily for up to 120UC per month. Meanwhile, the Prime Plus subscription immediately gets you 300UC and a couple crate coupons every month, along with the ability to earn an extra 20UC daily (for a total of up to 600UC per month), 10 extra Royale Points each day, along with discounts on supply crates and other exclusive deals.

The Prime subscription is available for just $1/month and the Prime Plus subscription costs $10/month — but you'll save 50% on your first month of Prime Plus.

Casual players who have thus far avoided spending money on PUBG Mobile might find value in the basic prime membership — the pricing is the same as a one-time purchase of 60UC, so if you're keen to log in every day to collect you can essentially get UC at 2-for-1 pricing. More hardcore players who play competitively but have yet to invest in UC might be intrigued by both the Prime and Prime Plus subscriptions, since you'll get 900UC for just $5 the first month and can always cancel the subscription somewhere down the line. You're also able to stack a Prime subscription with a Prime Plus subscription to combine the benefits.

This is a pretty transparent ploy to get more players purchasing and spending in-game currency, but it just might work given that you can finally get your hands on some UC for just logging in rather than spending more on in-app purchases. More importantly, your UC earned from the Prime Plus subscription can be spent on an Elite Upgrade for the Season 6 Royale Pass — although you don't earn quite enough UC with the rewards from the first month of Prime Plus to upgrade to the Elite Plus Royale Pass.

Update Feb. 22, 2019: The Resident Evil 2 zombie mode crossover event has landed in PUBG Mobile

After months of speculation and rumors, the latest PUBG Mobile update has delivered zombie mode in the form of a crossover with the release of the remastered Resident Evil 2.

In Survive Til Dawn mode, you squad up and drop into a smaller section of the Erangel map with about 60 other players with the goal of surviving through two nights of increasing hordes of zombies. Each match starts the same as any other PUBG Mobile match with you needing to search for weapons and supplies, but there's a countdown under the map to nightfall, which is when the atmosphere gets downright creepy with a thick fog rolling in and zombies popping up from the ground.

While the zombie mode is a Resident Evil 2 crossover event, the whole experience feels more like a Left For Dead crossover as the zombies are fast and drop ammo and other supplies when they die — a necessary inclusion since you would otherwise run out of health and ammo so fast. Team play is still very important as it's easy to get overrun.

Among the standard walking dead are some recognizable creatures from the Resident Evil franchise, most notable being the Lickers and Mr. X Tyrant who is highlighted on the map with a boss icon. You don't have to hunt him down or kill him to win, and frankly, his massive health bar and the creepy way he just stalks towards you makes the idea of engaging him alone quite terrifying.

Along with the zombies, you'll also still have to keep an eye out for other players, as standard PUBG rules still apply — the last team standing wins. The circle seems to close in much more aggressively here versus standard modes, so that's also worth keeping in mind.

Update Jan. 18, 2019: Royale Pass Season 5 kicks off with gameplay adjustments and hints of a forthcoming zombie mode

It's a new year and a new Royale Pass season for PUBG Mobile has arrived. The Season 5 update is built around a Shadow vs Force theme which might factor more into the game as the season goes on. As you'd expect there's a new ladder of rewards to collect whether you play free or invest in a premium pass to unlock more wares. The developers have also added a new weapon and accessory to the game: a new burst and single-fire assault rifle, the MK47, along with a new laser guide foregrip that really helps your aim when you're shooting from the hip or on pistols (pictured above).

Meanwhile, players in the know have tracked down a lone zombie trapped in the tunnels in the starting island of Erangel — a clear hint at the inclusion of a new zombie mode. There's no official word as to how zombies will be incorporated into the game — whether they will appear in the classic game modes, arcade modes, or as a brand new standalone game mode — but we'll have all the latest news as it happens. Check out the screenshot below to see our undead friend, or check it out yourself by heading into the tunnel on the Erangel starting island and keeping left.

Here are the full update notes for Royale Pass Season 5:

  • New Royale Pass and Ranked Mode – Players can pick up the Royale Pass Season 5 to experience premium outfits, emotes and participate in the Ranked Mode Season 5 with additional rewards
  • New Weapon and Attachment – The MK47 burst and single-fire assault rifle is now available for players along with an all-new laser sight to help reduce spread when firing from the hip
  • Classic Voice Commands Are Back – "Get in the car" never sounded so sweet. Players now have the option of selecting "Classic" voice command options in the settings menu
  • Gameplay Improvements – Several in-game adjustments and updates have been made for players, including shop adjustments, accessing supplies from the main menu, and much more.

Update Dec. 20, 2018: New winter-themed map Vikendi launches on PUBG Mobile tomorrow

PUBG Mobile is delivering a brand new map for players just ahead of the holiday weekend. With Royale Pass Season Four well underway, players can currently go in and download the new winter-themed map, Vikendi, before it goes live tonight at midnight.

Vikendi has been favorably compared to the default PUBG map, Erangel, in that it's a fairly large map that features a good mix of heavily forested areas and rustic towns to loot for gear. The developers have also reportedly tweaked the drop rate for weapons that will put an emphasis on close-range combat over long-range sniping, but that analysis was based on the PC version of the map and things might be different playing the mobile version.

Either way, you'll certainly be able to get better use out of those winter-themed clothing options being marketed hard by Tencent via in-app purchases, as the white clothing will help you blend in with the snowy surroundings. There's also a winter Guille suit to track down and use which should give any competent player a definitive edge over the competition.

Update Nov 20, 2018: Season Four rolls out alongside Version 0.9.5 updates

PUBG Mobile has unveiled its winter-themed Royale Pass Season 4, which kicks off this week and runs until January 17, 2019. For those interested in dropping cash into a Royale Pass upgrade, you can progress through the 100 ranks of the "Elite Royale Pass" and unlock new character and gun skins, dancing emotes and more. For those not interested in paying, the free Royale Pass path is much more sparse for content. Be sure to get in the game and collect your daily log-in rewards and progress your way through the Royale Pass rewards path.

The Version 0.9.5 update includes some tweaks and improvements to the matchmaking process and in-game chat along with delivering new in-game assets and features, including:

  • New M762 automatic rifle, available in all maps;
  • New Sanhok vehicle: Scooter;
  • Added dynamic weather to Sanhok;
  • Added hardcore mode to provide the same experience as PC;
  • Increased odds of certain crate drops.

You can check out the full patch notes for the Royale Pass Season 4 update and everything included with it here.

Update Sept. 13, 2018: Latest update serves up a brand new jungle map, Sanhok, and improves anti-cheating measures

The latest update for PUBG Mobile has officially rolled out and it includes some significant additions and improvements to the game. The biggest is the addition of a new map, Sanhok, which offers up jungle warfare with ancient temples and encampments to explore. With the new update you now have the option of downloading both Sanhok and the desert map Miramar in the game rather than including both pre-installed after the update. Here's a peek at the new island map layout:

Also included in the update is an ultra-rare flare gun which will let you call in an airdrop to your location. If you're in the circle, you'll get a typical airdrop filled with valuable supplies, but if you're outside the safe zone the airdrop will deliver a bulletproof UAZ, one of two new vehicles being added to the game.

Along with these new equipment additions, the latest update also improves some of the anti-cheating measures that include improved recognition of cheating plug-ins and more report buttons for when you're spectating and on the results page after your match has concluded.

You can check out the full patch notes here.

Update June 19, 2018: Major update adds first-person mode, Battle Pass Season 1, and a host of other cool features

The latest update to PUBG Mobile has introduced a slew of features that have made the best shooter for Android even better. You can find the full list of new features in the "What's New" section of its Google Play Store listing, but I'll highlight the most significant improvements to the game:

  • First-person perspective: Many players have been clamoring for the developers to add a proper first-person mode to the game and it's finally here. To play in first-person, you'll need to tap the new drop-down option on the main menu that says "TPP" (third-person perspective) and select "FPP" (first-person perspective). Rather than including FPP as a customization in your personal settings, the developers have basically made it a separate gameplay mode so that you'll only be playing against others using the same playing perspective as you are.

  • Royale Pass Season 1: Royale Pass is a new feature for PUBG Mobile which allows players to rank-up during each season to unlock rewards that include player profile and unlocks new crates for customizing your character. There's a free Royale Pass available to all players and the option to upgrade to an Elite Royale Pass ($10 in-app purchase). It borrows heavily from the Battle Pass found in Fortnite, and is surely intended to try and keep pace with it's top competition. There are more (and better) rewards available for Elite Royale Pass players so it may be a compelling option for some.

  • New UI improvements: Once you've jumped into a game you'll notice a few key improvements to the user interface. For starters, there's a dedicated slot for pistols now, which means you won't automatically drop a pistol if you come across a better weapon, and allowing you to carry three guns at once and preserve your primary weapon ammo as needed. The update also introduces emotes, which are located in a new menu near the top of the screen. Emotes let you react to other players with physical gestures and even dance — although the best emotes must be unlocked as Royale Pass rewards. Also another example of PUBG Mobile "borrowing" from a feature already found in Fortnite, but I'll allow it because it's fun.

Get more PUBG Mobile

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?

If you've got a newer device that allows you to play this game at the highest graphics setting, DO IT. I've been playing this on a Galaxy S8 and it plays like an absolute dream at the top settings compared to the medium settings recommended for my Pixel XL.

Reddit users have reported this game running fine on low settings on a Samsung Note 3, so you should be able to get this game to play on practically any Android phone — but it really shines the brightest on the max settings.

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.

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!

PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile is a free-to-play battle royale shooter that pits you against up to 99 other players. With an ever-growing list of maps and game modes to choose from, it's one of the best games available to play on Android.

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