Everyone is talking about battle royale games at the moment and there are two which are really hitting the headlines: Drake’s favourite Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground. Both are available on mobile, offering their brand of battle royale to gamers on the go.
To help you get up to speed quickly, here are some top tips to get you gaming to your best in PUBG Mobile.
How to setup PUBG Mobile
Choose your login wisely: You can play as a Guest, use Facebook, or Twitter to sign-in on PUBG Mobile. Facebook or Twitter means you have to connect to your account, but you can then sync your data, so you can switch to another phone or tablet without losing all your progress.
Prepare your phone: PUBG Mobile is a demanding game and your phone needs to be at its best. Remove anything you don’t need on it, quit all those other apps you might have running in the background. Turn off battery saver, turn off data savers, turn off night mode for the best experience. You might also want to turn off auto-brightness – it might dim the screen during the game so you can’t see so well. Brighter = better.
Prepare your network: There’s not so much you can do here, but for a lag-free experience, you need a good connection to the PUBG servers. The mobile network will often have a variable speed so it’s Wi-Fi all the way. Test your network speed using something like Speedtest (Apple App Store, Google Play) and avoid trying to play when someone else is streaming 4K content.
Connect your headphones: PUBG Mobile has great audio and often the speakers on your phone won’t do it justice. Connect your headphones for a more immersive experience – it also helps you pinpoint approaching enemy.
Welcome to the PUBG lobby
When you start the game, you’ll load to the lobby where you can change a full range of settings, select your game type, organise your friends, claim rewards and manage your inventory.
How to pick your region server: Under the big start button you have a box to setup your game type, including the server. Tap here and on the right you’ll the different servers. If you’re trying to play on the North America server from elsewhere, you might just have a laggy experience, so check the ping, you’re looking for a nice low number like 20ms.
How to adjust the frame rate: Tap the settings cog in to the bottom bar on the right, then Graphics. Here you’ll find frame rate. If things are looking choppy, you might want to select low. If you’ve a powerful phone, try high.
How to set the graphics level: You’ll be prompted when you first sign-in, but you can adjust the PUBG Mobile graphics level too, to manage the detail. Higher is better as you can see more, but that can adversely affect performance. Have a play with this and frame rate, adjusting if the game doesn’t run smoothly – but keep an eye on the ping too, to make sure it’s not server lag. There’s also an auto/balanced option – this will keep the game smooth and adjust the settings for you.
Engage HDR mode: Again, this option is in the graphics section, although to be honest we haven’t seen a huge difference when it’s engaged.
How to adjust the aiming reticule: Tap the settings cog in to the top right-hand corner, then Basic. Here you can change the colour of the crosshair.
Turn on/off Aim Assist: How hard do you want the game to be? Aim Assist will help you hit the target if you’re generally pointing the right way. It’s in settings > basic.
Use the gyroscope on your phone to help aim: If your phone has a gyroscope, you can use motion to move in the game. The best option is to have it help aim when you’re in the scope or using the sights of your weapon – then you can move the phone rather than having to use the joystick. It can be a lot faster and natural when you have to react quickly. Head into settings > basic and you’ll find the option.
Top tip: These gaming settings above can be changed during the game, so you can switch on the fly and change if you don’t like the results. Changing the graphics level requires a game restart, however.
How to get clothes on your character: You start in your underwear, but you can accumulate clothes in your inventory. You can buy clothing with real money in the Shop, or you can unlock clothes as you play by earning BP and opening crates. Some clothes are temporary, some you get to keep. There are always clothes in the game to pick up as you play.
Turn off chat or adjust the mic volume: PUBG Mobile offers an in-game voice channel, with controls to turn off the mic or speaker for voice, or adjust the levels. In settings > audio, you’ll find the controls. If you don’t want to be listening to some fool’s jibber-jabber, just turn it off. Once you start the game, you can also turn your own mic on/off as well as voice from other players. From version 6, you can silence a particular player, but you can’t turn off text chat for your team.
Change the controls: This is a biggy. PUBG Mobile offers different controls for foot and vehicles and you can adjust both. Head into settings > controls or settings > vehicles and you’ll find the options for defaults.
Change the size or location of controls: Yes, you can also customise the in-game UI. In the controls area above, there’s a “customise” option. In here you can setup different schemes, with the ability to change the transparency of the icons, the size and the location to suit your preferences. Just play the game a bit before you start moving them.
Set shotgun/crossbow/rifle to fire on release: You can select whether to fire some weapons on the tap on the display, or on release. You might notice that when you tap your aim moves slightly, setting to release means the aim point is likely to be more steady. However, that’s less fun for quick shotgun action when you’re in a fix.
PUBG Mobile gaming modes
There are an increasing number of ways to play PUBG Mobile, with each update bringing a new approach. While the Classic game remains the same, the Arcade mode has changed in many ways. Here’s a breakdown of the current gaming modes in PUBG Mobile.
Everything here is accessed via the button under the start button – that’s where you configure the game type you’re going to play and how.
Select a different map: From version 10 onwards there are four maps – Erangel, Miramir, Sanhok and Vikendi. You’ll find the option to select the map once you hit the game type button. If you select all, it will randomly pick one for you. Different maps have different terrain, sizes and some exclusive weapons or vehicles.
How to select Solo, Duo or Squad play: You can choose to play any of the game modes on your own, as a pair or in four-player squad, this option is just under the maps. There are daily missions for different types of games, so it’s worth mixing it up. Sometimes you just want to destroy everyone, sometimes you’ll want a squad.
How to select first person or third person mode: The first person perspective (FPP) gives you a different view. At the top of the game mode selector you’ll see the option for FPP or TPP (third-person perspective). Both gaming views are ranked separately, so make sure you play both.
How to find teammates speaking your language: This is a new addition from version 9. Rather than getting dumped with a team speaking a different language, there’s now an option to select two languages as a preference. That will try to partner you up, so you can at least communicate easily. It’s in the game mode selection area as above, but we’ve not found it particularly effective.
Select Classic for the longer 100 player game. This is the original PUBG Mobile experience, played with a full roster across the entire map. You can change the teams and the map for Classic games. We still think Classic is the best, with games taking about 25-30 minutes to complete (if you’re a winner).
There are a range of Arcade modes: War, Quick Match, Sniper Training and Mini-Zone. You can have a random selection or choose which you want to play.
What is PUBG War? War mode is a continuous respawning battle, with teams aiming to get to 100 points. There are 3 points for a kills, 1 point for a knock out, 1 point for a revive. You play and respawn until a team wins. The weapon selection is usually limited to one type and everyone starts with a weapon and the same kit.
What is Quick Match? The original arcade mode, this is an 8-minute match in a small area of the map, usually with a weapon theme, like shotguns or SMGs. It’s survive as long as you can in this mode.
What is Sniper Training? We all love long guns, right? Sniper training is a 15-minute game only with sniper weapons.
What is Mini-Zone? Mini-Zone is only available on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and it gives you a smaller section of the map to play in, but with a full roster of people and more frequent air drops. It’s a little more frantic than Classic, but much the same feel. It’s one of our favourite gaming modes.
PUBG Mobile basic gameplay tips
Whether you’re in a team or on your own, here’s some tips to get you through the game.
Best clothes for PUBG characters: This isn’t a fashion show, it’s battle royale, so think tactically. Muted shades and of course, camouflage, give you a tactical advantage. With the snowy Vikendi map, you’ll want lighter colours – so that white shirt is actually useful.
If you don’t have good clothes, strip in the assembly area: This is a bit of a weird one, but when you start a game, you have a minute or so in the assembly area. You can drop your clothes and others might come over to swap. You can then swipe a better set of clothes. Ok, sometimes it doesn’t happen, but sometimes you’ll get a great set of threads!
There are clothes in the assembly area: A tower and some crates have been added to the assembly area on Spawn Island. You have about 1 minute while you wait to start the game and there are some clothes you can collect on the top of one of the crates (next to the barrels). You’ll have to use big jumps to get there, and it’s tricky, but you can get yourself a cool jacket and trousers. If spawning in the map (as was the case in version 8), there are no treats for you (that we’ve found).
Choose your moment to jump from the aircraft: PUBG Mobile plots the path of the aircraft across the map, so you can see what you’ll be flying over. It also tells you how many people are left on-board, so you’ve a general idea of the distribution across the map. Using this information you can pick your INFIL point, avoiding areas full of other players. Bigger towns attract more jumpers, so if you want to die, jump into a town.
Freefall with speed: As soon as you’re out of the aircraft, push forward on your controller and you dive toward the ground. This gets you to the ground faster, so you’re not drifting down while others are gathering weapons and preparing to slaughter you. Your ‘chute opens automatically, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Open your ‘chute early to fly across the map: If you’re out of the aircraft and you can see masses of people already falling below you, perhaps you want to be elsewhere. Pop your ‘chute manually, and you can drift a long way across the map to a different area. Remember though, that while you’re drifting, others are gathering.
Master the map: The map is your best friend because it shows you the game area, which decreases through-out the game. You need to stay inside this area, or you’ll slowly die. Drop a marker on the map and you’ll see it in your compass to help you navigate to a safe area. You might need to zoom in as the game progresses, especially towards the closing stages.
Avoid the red zone: The map also shows you the red zone, which is an artillery barrage. If you’re in the red zone, there’s a good chance you’ll get hit, although if you’re in a building you’ll be able to ride it out just fine.
Get protected with auto pick-up: Your baseball cap looks great, but a helmet stops your head splitting like a melon (usually). Grab that protective kit so you can take a little more damage. Ensure that auto pick-up is turned on and you’ll replace kit with higher rated stuff when you find it.
Get the right weapons for the job: The weapons in PUBG Mobile work like real-world weapons: shotguns and pistols are only good for short range, SMGs are great in enclosed spaces when you want to put down a lot of fire quickly, the assault rifles are good all-rounders. An assault rifle and an SMG is a great combo, two pistols is not. Version 6 added the armoury where you can see the characteristics of all the weapons and mods.
Which is the best weapon in PUBG?: Well, the short answer is the suppressed Uzi with extended mag for close range stuff – if you come face-to-face with someone, you can empty 30 rounds into them while they are trying to aim. Otherwise, the SCAR with a scope is hard to beat – it controls recoil so is pretty easy to put a burst onto target. For sniping the AWM is obviously the choice pick, but it only appears in airdrops – so the more common SKS is great – if you can find that 6x or 8x scope. A silencer always helps.
Collect sights: Many of the weapons are adaptable and holo sights and scopes make it much easier to hit the target. At the start of the game, manually grab sights and scopes you find, so they will then attach to weapons you collect. Bingo, you’ll be dropping bad guys in no time. If you have spare sights, share them with your team.
Empty your backpack: If you’re carrying loads of stuff you don’t need, you’ll fill your bag, meaning less space for stuff you need. Tap on your backpack to see the contents and then drop the stuff you don’t need, like ammunition for a weapon you’ve dropped. You can do this while running or in a vehicle too.
Manually drop weapons: Auto pick-up sometimes means that you’ll drop your scoped silenced SMG for a rifle, which you might not want. Open the backpack as above and you can drag a weapon to the trash can to drop it. You can then get the loadout you want.
Swap sights on your rifles: You’ll automatically add sights to some rifles, but you have the option to equip a particular weapon with a particular accessory. Put the 6x scope on your 7.62mm weapons, because they have greater power and range, so are better for sniping. Avoid big magnification on SMGs – they’re better at close quarters combat where you just want a holographic sight. The 8x sight will only attach to sniper rifles.
Horde sights so your enemy can’t have them: If you come across an 8x scope but don’t have a rifle for it, take it anyway. Otherwise, the person behind you might just shoot you in the back. You can always pass it to teammates later in the game, or you might find that rifle.
Use silencers: Stealth is your friend in PUBG, because gunfire is located on the map for enemies that are close by. Silenced weapons make it much harder for other players to locate you – there are silencers for many weapon types (AR, sniper, SMG, pistol) but you might have to manually add it to your weapon once you’ve found it if you already have a compensator fitted. Silencers do not change the ballistic properties of weapons. Some sniper rifles like the SKS will take the AR silencer, so it’s worth playing around.
Where do I find the ghillie suit? A ghillie suit is what snipers wear for camouflage. Sadly, it only arrives in airdrops, so you’ll have to take a risk to get the suit.
Lie down when raiding crates: When you kill someone, you can raid the crate they drop for more stuff. Lie down when you do it, because otherwise anyone else in the area will spot the green puff of smoke, then snipe you while you stand there selecting a new pair of shoes.
Master sprinting: To move across the map quickly, sprinting is often the way to do it. You can lock sprinting by tapping the running icon next to the map. Then you can run and look at the map, have a drink or whatever.
Drink energy drink for a speed boost: You’ll collect energy drinks in the game. These will give you a slow energy recovery (about 23 per cent), but if you smash down two cans, you’ll get a running speed boost too. Need to run from a building? Need to get to the game zone? Neck a couple of Energy Drinks before you go.
Load up on adrenaline, energy drink or painkillers to survive outside the play area: Sometimes you’re caught outside the play area looking for a vehicle. Load-up on an adrenaline shot and it will continue to help you recover and delay the energy sapping effects outside the play area. It’s a great tactic if you land miles from the playzone and have to run to safety.
Dash, down, crawl, observe, sights, fire: It’s a basic infantry drill that really works – much better than jumping repeatedly and firing. If you’re taking fire, move and hit the deck, keep moving and the enemy will lose you. Then you need to locate the enemy, get eyes on them, hit the aim and neutralise them. Simple. (But sometimes you’ll just get dead.)
Swim underwater: You have pretty good lung in PUBG and mostly they will let you swim across things like rivers underwater. Do this, because you can’t be seen and you won’t get shot. When swimming on the surface, you’re an easy target. Also watch the exit from the water as you’re slow, so again, easy to shoot.
Don’t jump out of fast moving vehicles: Yes, you’ll die. Try not to crash as your vehicle will take on damage. If you lose a tyre, it won’t drive so well.
Be careful using vehicles for cover: Vehicles can explode, including boats and even the armoured car. If you’re using it for cover, the enemy will shoot it until it explodes, probably killing you. The opposite applies – shoot your enemy’s vehicles.
Collect medikits, always: You will get shot and you can often recover from that with some medical attention. Pickup medical supplies because they will often be more useful to you than grenades.
Remember the aim of the game is to survive: If you want to win, you can pretty much do so by collecting your weapons, staying out of trouble and killing the last few people. The aim isn’t to kill the most people, it’s to be the last player standing. Hiding and staying out of trouble is a good way to do that.
Watch out for the bridges: As the play area shrinks, you might find you need to cross one of the bridges. Take care, as these are natural ambush points, with cars being used to block bridges so you can’t just race through. If there are people on the bridge, you’re better swimming – directly under the bridge often makes it easy. If you’re caught on the bridge, go over the edge to get out of the killzone.
Use first aid: There are bandages and medikits in the game. The medical kits are essential for recovering after taking a few shots. If you find the painkillers, these will give you a gradual health recovery, meaning you can pop them down and get moving.
How to kill yourself in PUBG Mobile: You might just want to end it all. You can’t shoot yourself, but you can kill yourself with a grenade, jump from a moving vehicle, fall from a high cliff or drown if you spend too long under water. We’re not sure why you’d want to do this, but at least you now know.
If you know you’re going to die: If you’re playing solo or your team is dead and you get knocked down, you can sit there and die, or you can be a little more annoying. Crawl away and as you go, drop your things. Once you’re dead, your enemy will come to the crate and find you had nothing. It may be bitter, but it’s your last hurrah as that 8x scope remain hidden in the grass.
Tips for PUBG Mobile squad play
Co-op play is a massive part of PUBG and here’s a couple of extra tips to help teams win. This applies both for Classic and Arcade modes.
Remember your team mates are probably idiots: Let’s face facts, a lot of team games are random pairings and you’ll likely end up with idiots. Often a team leader will dive into the biggest towns (because there are more buildings, therefore more weapons) and end up dead in the first 3 minutes. Or, they’ll drive you into a town with the same result – premature death. Consider where you’re heading and if you don’t like where the team is heading (to its doom) then do your own thing.
Turn off team voice chat: Don’t want to listen to your team mates coughing and sniffing? Want to limit their abuse when you do something they don’t agree with? There’s a speaker symbol next to the mini map – this will silence your team and save you the bother. Conversely, if you’re playing with friends, this is where you can turn voice chat back on.
Coordinate your landing zone: When you ‘chute into onto the island you can coordinate your LZ by opening the map and tapping to drop a marker. Use the parachuting tips above to get everyone in the same place. Otherwise you’ll spend half the game trying to rendezvous (but remember the “idiots” caveat above). Continue to drop markers to help people head in the same direction during the game.
Use follow me to co-ordinate your landing: An update added a “follow” feature which solves the problem above, letting a squad member act as jump leader and guide everyone else down. This gets you all into the same LZ easily. However, if the person you are following doesn’t know what they’re doing, you can “unfollow” once you’ve descending and choose your own landing point. You can also use follow on the ground.
Locate your team members: If you’re not together, you’ll find your squad locations marked on the map and in your UI, making it easy to find your way back to them.
Stick together but spread out: Bunching up makes you easy to kill, spreading out means any enemy has to make a decision. It also means you can use interlocking fields of fire to engage any enemy. Don’t, for example, bunch around a dropped crate as you’ll be taken out with a burst from a machine gun. Fighting as a team is the best way to win.
Isolate the threat before you revive: You can revive your team members when they’re injured – it’s perhaps the biggest part of being a squad – but don’t rush over as soon as they drop as you’ll probably get shot. Watch your partner’s health meter in the top left corner, while you eliminate the threat. If you die trying to revive your team, you all lose. If you’ve been shot, crawl into cover so your teammate isn’t exposed.
Don’t expose your teammate by crawling straight to them: You can see your teammates, but the enemy might not be able to. If you immediately crawl to them when you’re shot to be revived, the enemy will know where your allies are. Better to head for cover – and let your teammate revive you if it’s safe to do so. Don’t worry, your teammate knows when you’ve been shot.
Use enemy ahead to share target designation: In the text chat there’s an “enemy ahead” option. Use this while looking at an enemy and that information will be shared with your team. You can’t shout fire control orders, but you can pinpoint your enemy for effective team fire. Top tip: you can also do this after you’ve been wounded to help your teammates out.
Share kit you find: You can tell teammates when you find something that they might want using the text chat – just look at an item, open the text chat menu can you’ll see the option to say “I have SLR” or whatever.
Use voice chat to coordinate tactics: A lone sniper can only fire in one direction and team chat is a good way to decide how to coordinate yourselves. Send out a runner to draw fire while the other observes and you’ll probably spot the muzzle flash and be able to take out that sniper.
How to kill a teammate: If you need to get rid of someone on your team, then the best way to do it is with a grenade. You just have to make sure they don’t see you toss it into the same room – or use a Molotov instead to burn them down. It’s not really in the spirit of team play, but sometimes needs must. If you do kill someone, they then have the option to report you for bad play – and that will count against you as a player.
Tips for winning PUBG Mobile
All the above will serve you well, but the top 10 battle is the fiercest. Here are some tips to help you through the final stages of the game.
Get your SAW or sniper rifle from the dropped resupply crate: You’ll notice that there are regular airdrops, with a red smoke indicator on a weapons crate with great weapons in it – usually a SAW or sniper rifle. Keep your eyes on it because it has weapons that will help you win – or present you with a chance to snipe those who go to collect from it. The choice is yours.
Keep your eye out for the flare gun: This was a version 8 addition, letting you fire a flare so you can call in a personal airdrop. That’s great as the supplies come to you, but your enemy will see the signal too, so expect to draw fire as soon as you approach that crate. If you’re inside the playzone, you get weapons, if you’re outside the playzone you get an armoured car – which will take a lot of fire, but can still be destroyed. Be careful where you fire that flare – if your crate lands on a roof, you can’t get to it.
Get your belt buckle in the dirt: As the safe zone decreases, you’ll find yourself in close proximity of all the remaining players. You’ll need to be on your belly to survive, so once the circle is getting small, you’ll basically have to do everything at the crawl or you’ll be shot.
Watch the map for sounds: As people move in vehicles or shoot, the map will indicate noise with orange marks. Use these to make sure you’re aware of where enemy action is – so you can avoid it, observe it, or engage.
Use your grenades: When you’re in the dirt, you’ll often not be able to see your opponent for a clear shot. Try throwing out a grenade and they’ll run to avoid it giving you a target to shoot, or you might wound or kill them. Molotov cocktails are especially effective if you don’t know exactly where they are. Where you have a ridge, throw a grenade over to top.
Finally: how long does a PUBG Mobile game last? About 30 minutes is a safe guess if you’re playing on classic mode.
Credits Pocket Lint
I post weekly videos to my YouTube Channel, and the videos could be anything from the latest Tech News, Smartphone News, Gadget Reviews, Streaming Tips, VPN reviews and much more!