Mobile ports are usually considered “inferior” to their full-blown PC version, but PUBG Mobile isn’t one of them. Of course, it’s still a more simplified version of the game – that’s a given – but as a whole, PUBG Mobile is quite a fun battle royale game that offers a similar experience as the PC counterpart.
What Is It?
PUBG Mobile is the mobile version of one of the hottest PC games today, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). It is developed by Tencent and PUBG Corporation, and attempts to offer the same battle royale experience to a smaller screen. You’re still dropped onto an island with 99 other players, and the selection of weapons and vehicles are very similar to the PC version. Even the vaulting mechanic – which wasn’t introduced on PC until the 1.0 update – is implemented in the mobile version.
But there are a number of tweaks to the game. The graphics are not quite as impressive or detailed, and certain elements of the game (especially the environment) are simplified. Not only will you automatically pick up items by simply walking over them, there are less doors and obstacles too.
Of course, these tweaks are meant to make the game easier to play on mobile, and I imagine other players will appreciate these simplified elements.
Is It Any Good?
Compared to early versions of PUBG on PC, the mobile port runs like a dream. The frame rate is consistent, there’s no noticeable delay when I pick up items, and it’s a really smooth experience throughout. It’s worth noting that I played the game on a Huawei Mate 10 Pro – older devices may have trouble running the game as smoothly.
Aside from that, PUBG Mobile makes it much, much easier to hit your opponents too. Once you’ve aimed down on the sight with any given weapon, simply shooting around your opponents is enough to hit – or even kill – them. The game’s aim assist definitely makes it much easier to land kills.
If you’re new to the game, don’t worry: PUBG Mobile seems to add bots to make it easier for players to get into the game. This isn’t entirely confirmed, but it’s something many players have noticed. It’s not hard to notice either – bots usually have terrible aim and almost always stand in one place.
The inclusion of bots may be a way for the developers to make the game easier for new players. It isn’t uncommon to see lots of casual players sharing their achievements of winning the game on their first try, and based on our experience, the game does gradually get tougher with more human players in a single match.
According to The Verge, the ratio of real players to bots will increase as you play more often. It’s a really smart way to implement a form of difficulty curve to an otherwise unforgiving battle royale game.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
As with most games like PUBG Mobile, the on-screen controls can get quite frustrating. Not only are your fingers obstructing your view of what’s going on in the game, using a virtual joystick means movement isn’t as sharp and concise as it is on the desktop. On top of that, it’s also quite difficult to aim down sight and start shooting at an opponent in the heat of battle.
Aside from that…there are not many aspects of PUBG Mobile that are particularly bad. If I were to nitpick, I’d say the length of a match can be shorter to make it more “mobile-friendly.” As it is, you can expect to spend upwards of 30 minutes for a match to conclude, which isn’t really an issue, so to speak – depending on who you ask.
Should I Play It?
Considering the fact that PUBG Mobile is free (unlike the PC version), you should definitely give it a try. After all, it’s currently one of the most refined and popular battle royale-style games for mobile devices.
That is, until Epic Games starts rolling out the mobile version of Fortnite to a wider audience. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how the two games stack up to each other then.
Photography by Soh Li Jin and Leon Lam.