PUBG: New State review — The same battle royale you know

Pubg New State Phone Hero
(Image: © Jennifer Locke / Android Central)

Android Central Verdict

Bottom line: PUBG: New State isn't anything special in terms of changing the way players on their phones experience battle royales. However, for fans of the series, it's a solid entry that builds upon PUBG Mobile, and gives players some new areas and weapons to experience.


  • +

    Game still feels like a solid battle royale

  • +

    Futuristic vehicles/weapons are fun to use


  • -

    Game still dealing with multiple bugs

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    Content is a bit barebones at launch

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    Things have not changed too much

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For years, the battle royale genre has been taking over the world of gaming, and PUBG — or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, as it's fully known — was one of the biggest reasons why. The original game helped launch the battle royale craze, and quickly made its way to mobile devices in the form of PUBG Mobile. Now, the game's sequel, PUBG: New State, is here, to advance on the lore of PUBG and bring players new content to sift through.

For fans of the genre, PUBG: New State will be a nice new experience to go through, especially for those who enjoy playing these type of games on their phone. For others, the fact that not a whole lot has changed when it comes to how you play may be something that keeps this game from elevating itself into the ranks of the best Android games out there.

PUBG: New State: What you'll love

Pubg New State

Source: Krafton (Image credit: Source: Krafton)
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TitlePUBG: New State
DeveloperPUBG Studios
GenreShooter, Battle Royale
Game size1.4GB
Play time20+ hours
Launch priceFree

Whether you play PUBG, Fortnite, or Apex Legends, battle royale games are mostly the same. Players — usually 100-150 — are dropped onto an island of some sort, and tasked with coming out as the winner. In PUBG: New State, this remains true, and for fans of the original PUBG and its many iterations, you won't be lost when diving into this new game. The main thing that has changed, though, is the location, which takes place in 2051 on a map called Troi. Despite the new name and futuristic setting, Troi looks and feels a lot like any other battle royale map, and has a variety of empty buildings, woodsy areas, and more to explore.

While the map might not exactly look new, the elements are to an extent. Located on the map are the same types of cars and vehicles that were found in PUBG Mobile, albeit with a more futuristic skin applied. Two new vehicles, the Volta and Vulture, are also found in the game. The Volta is a brand new car, while the Vulture is a two-wheeler that operates similar to how the motorcycles in the PC versions of PUBG did.

PUBG: New State is essentially the same old battle royale, wrapped in new packaging.

Perhaps the biggest addition to the map, however, is the tram system. The trams found in PUBG: New State operate as moving safe houses, allowing players to hop in them and travel across the map freely without the threat of being harmed. The trams are bulletproof, and will move you to areas way faster than having to worry about getting to them on foot. You're also able to heal or simply take a breather while in them, making it a great place to hide out if you're in the middle of a big fight.

New weapons have also been included into PUBG: New State, and while they're mostly more of the same in terms of fire rate, ammo, and style, it was nice to be playing with something other than the typical weapons that have been around in PUBG. However, it would be nice to see some even new weapons make their way into the game, especially with New State currently having a very firm meta that revolves around SMGs.

As far as the mobile side of things go, PUBG: New State is a surprisingly nice looking game. Textures seem to be a bit crisper and the surrounding landscapes of the map seem to be nicer, but nothing incredibly different compared to the previous game. Models (both human and other) also are a bit sharper, leading to an easier experience spotting an enemy from far away or if you're in the middle of an area with lots to look at.

PUBG Mobile was known for the intense power that it commanded, and New State is virtually no different. While you are able to play on a wide variety of Android devices, you'll likely benefit from playing on a newer one that has better components. Thankfully, I didn't notice any major issues when it came to crashing or being unable to process the game.

When it comes to controls, PUBG: New State feels about the same as it did with PUBG Mobile. Unfortunately for fans who were hoping for something like controller support or a different layout entirely, you're out of luck for now. Much like its predecessor, PUBG: New State seems to not support any external controller options.

While there may be good reasons for it — Krafton didn't want players having any competitive advantages over others in the past — it's still a major bummer. Games like these are best played on controllers, or with mouse and keyboard for those on PC. Limiting the playability to only a touch screen not only hinders some of the fun of the game, but could alienate a large amount of people from playing in general.

PUBG: New State: What's not so great

Pubg New State Grenade Launcher

Source: Krafton (Image credit: Source: Krafton)

As noted above, controller support not being in PUBG: New State is a major letdown, and something that goes far beyond a simple misstep by those behind the game. Elsewhere in the game, however, there were still a handful of bugs, including several times where the buttons on the screen's UI would simply become unresponsive to the touch. This extended to the main menu of the game, where a few times the buttons would do nothing when I pressed them. While this was fixed with a simple restart, the fact that it happened as frequently as it did was a bit frustrating.

Fans may go into the game expecting more than what they get.

Other bugs I ran into seemed more like server issues than anything else, including matchmaking taking some time to fill me into a game, stuttering while playing, and some other gameplay oriented issues. Thankfully, most of these seem fixable, and something that Krafton can iron out with a few updates.

However, one of the biggest problems with the game is something that is not fixable, and it's the fact that aside from a new map, not too much in the game has really changed.

For someone like myself that's a fan of both the shooter genre and battle royales as a whole, I have no real issue with PUBG: New State just delivering a new map and allowing me to play on it. However, PUBG: New State was billed as a sequel to PUBG Mobile, and not just a slight upgrade. Therefore, fans may go into the game expecting more than what they get. While some things — new weapon skins, vehicles, and some actual new content — have been added, at the end of the day, PUBG: New State feels like more of the same on a new map. If you're a fan, that's perfectly fine, but if you were hoping for something more, then you're out of luck.

PUBG: New State: Should you play it?

Pubg New State

Source: Krafton (Image credit: Source: Krafton)

3 out of 5

As far as mobile battle royale games go, it's hard to really fault PUBG: New State. The brand is by far one of the most popular in the world of mobile gaming, and will undoubtedly be fun for those looking to dive into the genre on their phones. With that being said, PUBG: New State doesn't really do too much to take itself to new heights with this release, and instead just wraps pre-existing items in new skins while dropping players on a new map.

The new map of Troi is a fun place to explore, and some things like the new Tram system change up gameplay, but all in all, PUBG: New State is essentially the same old battle royale, wrapped in new packaging. For those who like that, though, then New State is a must-play for you.

PUBG: New State is available on Android and iOS.

Pubg New State Play

PUBG: New State

Bottom line: PUBG: New State has some changes that make it worth playing for fans of the series and of mobile shooters as a whole, but not enough was changed to elevate it into the greats amongst other mobile games on the market. For those looking for the definitive battle royale experience on your phone, though, this might be it.

Anthony J Nash

Anthony Nash has been writing about games and the gaming industry for nearly a decade. When he’s not writing about games, he’s usually playing them. You can find him on Twitter talking about games or sports at @_anthonynash.