Garena Free Fire fans have been desperate to play Free Fire Max ever since news of its existence arrived earlier this year. Almost straight away, rumours began to spread about the new version's exclusive features and improvements.

There's obviously been some confusion as to what Free Fire Max actually is and what it aims to offer, so I'm going to try to clear things up. Basically, Max is a visually enhanced version of the original release that supports crossplay with standard Free Fire.

It delivers improved effects work across the board. Explosion effects, play zone effects, bullet trace effects, and much more have been upgraded. Max supports full HD, and its lighting is noticeably better than what we've seen before. Items dotted around the map have also been tweaked and improved upon, including vehicles, structures, and trees.

It benefits from a flashier UI, with animated login videos and lobby animations adding extra personality and a more premium feel to the overall experience. All additional packages will download when you boot up the game for the first time, meaning installation is relatively hassle-free.

And I'm also here to say that you should in no way expect Max to have its own exclusive in-game items. That means no exclusive skins, guns, whatever. This is a purely cosmetic upgrade.

In order for the playing field to remain level and fair, Garena needs to be sure that the enhancements and additions don't give Max players an unfair advantage over those playing standard Free Fire.

And that's likely where the need for multiple closed beta tests arises. Now into its second CBT, the experimental Max is gradually opening up to more regions. The first test was available to those in Malaysia and Bolivia, while the second test is open to Malaysia, Bolivia, and Cambodia. It's set to run from today until July 14th.

While it was initially unclear as to whether Max would indeed see the light of day, the arrival of a second test is definitely a positive sign that the first went well and that work on Max is progressing nicely. That said, I suspect that this won't be the final test, which means that fans living outside of the supported regions might have to wait a tad longer than expected.

Garena Free Fire is available for download now as a free-to-play game from over on the App Store and Google Play.

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