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PUBG Mobile Review - Does it live up to the original legacy?

PUBG Mobile Review - Does it live up to the original legacy?

PUBG Mobile Review - Does it live up to the original legacy?

Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) set the world on fire in 2017. It sold millions even before it left Early Access on Steam, unleashing the battle royale frenzy we're seeing now. Not too long ago, this FPS tyrant game landed on mobile.

In PUBG you play as a paratrooper mercenary with up to 99 other players on an island. Once they land, players search for weapons, ammunition, armor, and other supplies in the Last Man Death Match. The game map starts out big but quickly shrinks as the electrical storm around the island collapses into progressively smaller circles, forcing players together as the game goes on.

It's a simple concept with plenty of room for complexity. You land on an island with 99 other people and with just your fists. Find a hexagon and stay in the circle. The last one standing wins. Is it worth playing? That's what we aim to find out in this PUBG Mobile review.


The mobile version of PUBG has pretty much all the features of its PC counterpart, with a few exceptions. The game offers only the original PUBG map, Erangel - a mysterious deserted island in Eastern Europe with an area of 8 km x 8 km. Everything from the PC version of this map - from an abandoned military base to a burning nuclear power plant - made its way to the mobile version of the game.

The mobile version of PUBG has pretty 

much all the features of its PC


All the weapons, gear, and vehicles available when PUBG debuted from Early Access are also here. Weapons that have since been added are absent, as is the game's second map, Miramar.

The game is completely free. You can sign in as a guest or use Facebook to play. Play bonuses and daily login bonuses will earn your account experience and Battle Points, which can be spent on chests containing a random piece of clothing for your character. Unlike the PC version, you don't start with any available clothes, but at least getting a pair of pants doesn't take long.

Matchmaking works very quickly when queued in the group, duo, or singles mode, although there aren't many options from the PC version. Creating a private custom match does not appear to be possible at the moment. There is a menu option to create a 'room', but it seems to be for creating chat rooms, and it doesn't really seem to work yet.

I've never had to wait long to be a team match, even though connectivity issues were pretty common. Every team I played with had at least one player who broke up at the start of the match. I never had any connection issues when I played, but at least one of my mates was unresponsive in most games.

The game has a built-in voice chat, which works, although it seems like most players are using their phone's speaker for the microphone. If the microphone is located at the bottom of the phone, as it usually is, it can make some extra noise which is very annoying when rubbed into the players' palms.

It's nice that PUBG Mobile faithfully recreates the island's geography and lets you use all the weapons and drive all the cars of the original game, but if the controls aren't up to the task, everything falls apart.

To clarify: the controls in PUBG Mobile are not as good or accurate as the PC version. duh.

The game uses virtual joysticks for player movement and camera control, and a big button with a bullet on the right fires your gun. It's a little clumsy at first, but it actually feels resilient after a few matches.

It's a little clumsy at first, but it actually feels resilient after a few matches.

The game offers quite a few different control options to make everything look a little better and bears the feeling of finding buttons that you just can't find. The floating fire button, which moves to wherever your thumb last touched, makes shooting as simple as tapping where your finger actually is, rather than having to redirect your hand to get to the point where you fire the gun. Items are automatically selected, sorted, and equipped in the game, eliminating some of the tedious menu management. The game also offers gyroscopic control options, which I haven't enjoyed before, but some swear by it.

Even with these options, the game still looks a bit clumsy. This deception actually affects the types of effective tactics and playing styles. In the PC version, snipers can be very dominant. Erangel is a very wide open map, and there are long stretches of relatively even terrain dotted with hills. Finding a good location to pick up people is not difficult. The precision of the mouse and keyboard makes this even easier.

The battles in PUBG Mobile are more geared toward medium and close-range interactions. It's hard to constantly bump into people from a distance in this game. It is even more difficult when calculating bullet drop. Automatic weapons, as well as rifles, with their wider emblems, look especially strong here.

Vehicles often play a larger combat role as well. In the PC version of PUBG, vehicles become a liability as the map gets smaller - it's big, noisy, and hard to miss. In PUBG Mobile, it is very easy to miss. A fast-moving target like a jeep, especially with someone in the passenger seat holding a gun, can easily ride around the circumference of the circle and pick up people, even near the end of the game.


What makes PUBG a nice-looking game on PC is somewhat missing in the mobile version. The lighting and particle effects that really sell the look of the game have been removed, and probably for good reason. These types of items can be very demanding on devices. The result is cute-looking entertainment. The terrain, characters, and weapons all look somewhat similar to the PC version, only with more complex and less subtle textures.

The game was running steadily on my LG G6, but it definitely had its fair share of hiccups. I wouldn't recommend playing on anything much older than that. I tried loading the game on the lower iOS option, iPhone 5s, and it crashed before loading the main menu every time. I imagine Android phones of the same age would suffer just as much.

The normal gameplay was going well most of the time. There has always been a serious drop in framerate when skydiving on the island, but that's not entirely shocking. It was wiped out as soon as it landed when the game no longer embodies the entire island.

The sound is so terrible. In most versions of PUBG, hearing the direction and volume of sounds such as gunshots and footsteps is very important for recognizing an enemy's location. It is very difficult to find out this information in the mobile version. The steps were particularly high and they all looked pretty much the same to me. No matter where they were, as soon as one of them was 15 or 20 feet away from me, it looked the same. Everything looked bad too.


You don't need to be sensitive to go far in PUBG Mobile. Part of this is due to the inclusion of bots in the early levels, allowing you to get used to the game's controls without experiencing the usual disciplinary difficulties. However, imprecise game controls make the game experience more fluid and less stressful. I think that's a shame.

What makes PUBG really great on PC is the tension of having to methodically reach the middle of the map while switching between cat and mouse, and not knowing where the next enemy will appear. It's a completely different shooting experience than most games, a lot of which is missing in PUBG Mobile.

PUBG Mobile is a fun game, but not too tense.

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