It's hard to believe, but Player Unknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) – the game widely considered to have sparked the battle royal frenzy of recent times – launched more than four years ago.
It's hard to believe, but PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) – the game widely considered to have sparked the battle royal frenzy of recent times – launched more than four years ago.
In that time, the likes of Fortnite, Apex Legends and Warzone have continued the gaming world's obsession with the last-man-standing mode, and only now is PUBG finally getting an entirely new title – though it's coming exclusively to mobile.
Called PUBG: New State, the game was revealed in February 2021 alongside a cryptic announcement trailer which has, naturally, left fans eager to learn more about the upcoming survival shooter.
How eager? Well, the game's developer, Krafton, recently announced that over 17 million pre-registrations have been processed on the Google Play Store in anticipation of its arrival (pre-registration is coming to the App Store between July and September 2021). Doing so gets you an exclusive vehicle skin, but the real benefit is getting the latest updates – including when you can play.
We still don't know exactly when that'll be, but since alpha testing got underway in June, we're anticipating New State's arrival in the next few months. Here, we break down everything we know about the game, from its premise to its new features.
We'll update this page with new details as they're released, so stay tuned to TechRadar for all the latest PUBG info.
As Krafton announces that 17 million players have pre-registered for the game on the Google Play Store, new alpha gameplay footage (below) reveals details of New State's futuristic map, new weapons, vehicles, gadgets and loot.
Cut to the chase
What is it? A new mobile-only battle royale game
When is it out? 2021
What will it cost? Free to play, presumably with microtransactions
What is it?
First off, it’s worth clarifying that PUBG: New State is not PUBG 2 (hence why we’re hesitant to call it a sequel). Rather, it’s a new battle royale game coming exclusively to Android and iOS, following the release of PUBG Mobile in 2018 and PUBG Mobile Lite in 2020.
The main difference to the original mobile-only game (and, for that matter, the console equivalent) is its futuristic setting: the game takes place in 2051 on a new map called Troi, and will have appropriately advanced weapons and perks.
PUBG: New State looks set to come with several new features, which we’ll detail below, but it still looks very much like the traditional PUBG experience we’ve come to know and love.
Interestingly, the game is being developed by PUBG Studio (the makers of the original PC hit) rather than Tencent, the team behind PUBG Mobile. In many ways, the mobile version of PUBG has eclipsed its bigger brother, particularly in terms of revenue (it was the highest grossing mobile game in May 2020), so it makes sense that the original creators of the game are placing more emphasis on its clearly-profitable mobile player-base.
Could this mean we can expect a more authentic, well-rounded PUBG Mobile experience? We hope so.
PUBG Mobile New State release date and price
There’s been no announcement of an official PUBG New State release date just yet, but we expect it to arrive some time in 2021 for both iOS and Android.
Players can also pre-register on the Google Play store – as mentioned above, over 17 million players already have – with iOS pre-registration ‘coming in Q3 2021’, according to the developer, which means some time between July and September this year.
Pre-registration simply means the game will automatically download to your device upon release – we’ve created a handy guide for those looking to do so here. You'll also receive a limited edition vehicle skin for registering early.
Players have been able to join timed alpha tests, though, with one Android Police reporter able to capture a whole hour of gameplay (which you'll find further down this article). Those tests have since concluded, but it's a good sign that development on the game is near completion.
In terms of price, the game will be free-to-play. Like its predecessor, though, we also expect PUBG: New State to be littered with purchasable in-game content like skins, weapons and future expansions.
Having said that, with the developers of the original game (which costs $30 / £30 / around AU$40) on board, there’s every chance that PUBG: New State might be free in a limited trial version and cost money to download in full. Even so, we wouldn’t anticipate a mobile game to cost anymore than the $5 (£5 / AU$6) mark.
What we know it'll bring
Although the announcement trailer didn't reveal much in the way of differences between PUBG: New State and its predecessor, recently captured alpha test footage hints at several of the changes we can expect from the new game.
The first obvious departure from current PUBG titles, which are all set in the present day, is the new futuristic setting. Taking place in 2051 on a new map – an area called Troi – players can expect to navigate a sprawling town with a mix of suburban living and more natural areas.
The map is 8 x 8, a similar size to Erangel and Miramar from the mainline PUBG game, and will feature plenty of locations for gamers to explore including a town hall, restaurants and a shopping mall.
.With this new futuristic setting comes a suitably-futuristic array of new gadgets, too. In both the trailer and gameplay reveal, we spotted drones that deliver loot, deployable combat shields – similar to those we've seen in Call of Duty: Mobile Season 3 – and shiny new weapons, alongside new vehicles including TRON-like bikes. We also know you’ll be able to customize weapons in-game, in a manner presumably similar to Apex Legends’ dynamic modification mechanic.
The developer also promises "ultra-realistic graphics that push the limits of mobile gaming," and that claim holds up from what we've seen from gameplay so far.
Matthew Sholtz, of Android Police, said he recorded the footage "at the highest graphics settings to show what's possible," adding that "performance was solid the entire time." Sholtz also said the touchscreen controls "work well" and "can be customized quite easily through a wide range of settings."
Expect to see a buttery-smooth framerate, then, and a marked visual improvement over its mobile-based predecessor, which is particularly badly-optimized considering it’s designed for handheld devices.
Even with all these superficial changes, though, we still expect PUBG: New State to play in just the same way as its siblings.
Parachute. Scavenge. Survive. Good luck