You read that right… PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile has arrived. Teamed up with Tencent Games, and Lightspeed & Quantum Studios, the original team behind the massive hit PUBG (PUBG Corporation) launched a free version of the game on iOS and Android. Currently it is rolling out by regions so it might not be available to all at this time, but it will be in the near future.
So how does PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile stack up against the original? I was very skeptical of what could be pulled off with this game on a mobile platform, but so far I am very impressed. The matches still consist of 99 other opponents trying to win that chicken dinner. Solo and Squad matches are still in place (it even supports voice chat). Players start on the same island, the only difference is that it is lacking in the gun tables. The map has the same layout and buildings as well.
What impresses me the most with the mobile version of this game so far is the functionality and game mechanics they were able to retain. The airplane still follows random paths across the map, and when to jump is still in the hands of the player. Parachuting is the same, the player decides when to pull the chute, and there is even a better level of control over your rate of decent. With the original, the player needs to learn specific “wobble” techniques to obtain the rate they are after. On the mobile version, it’s a steady rate, no back and forth rocking required. The gear, weapons, and consumables remain the same as before. What about crates and clothing? I am happy to report they are alive and well in this version. All of this would be for naught without the dreaded circle. Fear not friends, the blue circle of doom is alive and well in the mobile version and it’s mechanics appear to be exactly the same as always.
Now let’s talk about the interface/HUD and the control schemes. Movement is handles in the same manner as other mobile shooters. On the left side of the screen is the emulated left stick to control front, back, and side to side movement. On the right is the emulated right stick that controls view rotation. Most mobile games give you a shoot button on the right side of the screen. This works fine for strafe style or static shooting but it makes tracking a target and shooting a bit difficult. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile gets around this by placing a shoot button to the left and above the left control. There is a reload button under the right control. Sliding a thumb up far enough on the left control enables a locked sprint mode. This allows the player to let go of that control but still remain sprinting. Believe it or not, free-look is still a thing in this version. There is an “eye” icon on the mid-upper-right portion of the screen that the player can click and slide around to get different view angles while not affecting position or movement of the player character.
Looting is accomplished in a number of ways. At the start of the game weapons and items can be collected by pausing a moment over the item you wish to acquire. Killed players still drop boxes to be looted, and they can be accessed by clicking a button that appears when standing over one of those boxes. Once a weapon is acquired, the same momentary pause over attachments or ammo for that weapon will automatically collect it for you. If there are items a player would prefer to pick up, that are not deemed auto-pickups, it can be clicked on to add it to the inventory. A player’s inventory is accessible from a button under the left control, allowing you the same ability to drop items that are no longer wanted. At the mid-bottom of the screen is the player’s health, weapon selections, consumable button, and throwable item button. The last, and most important, HUD elements to address are the map and circle timer/status bar. Both of these are found in the upper-right of the screen.
Here is my one issue with the controls of this game. There were many times during matches that, while crouch walking with ninja like stealth into position, my thumb would accidentally engage the shoot button. Over time it’s something that can be minimized, but it is frustrating and, in tense situations, heart attack inducing. Even with that control hiccup, I picked up chicken dinners on my first two solo matches. That is a feat I was never able to pull of so quickly on the original. This is potentially a new player base to a long standing shooter. What all of this boils down to is a very solid offering for a mobile version of an established shooter titan. This game is definitely worth the download.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mobile download links:
So, let’s get out there and win that chicken!
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