Which PUBG mobile is best?

PUBG: Army Attack or PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield

Which PUBG mobile is best?

There was big news in the world of mobile gaming - and the wider gaming world, for that matter - last week when not just one mobile version of PUBG landed on the Chinese App Store, but two mobile versions of the massively popular Battle Royale shooter.

We've given our early views on PUBG: Army Attack, which was the version that was easiest to get running here in the West. Since then, we've managed to play a few games of the other PUBG mobile, which roughly translates as PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield.

So which is better? Here are some thoughts on how the two compare. But first, let's dispel some myths.

Fake news, man

Initial reports suggested that PUBG: Army Attack offered a more arcadey take on PUBG, while PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield was closer to the PC experience.

In my (admittedly far from comprehensive) experience, that's a load of nonsense. There may be some side modes that offer alternative ways of playing, but at the very core of both games is a pretty faithful take on the original PUBG experience.

Image: PUBGEB (top) and PUBGAA (bottom)

As for those side modes, I've neither been able nor particularly bothered to access them at this point. In both games, everything seems to point to the main Battle Royale mode (in solo, duo, or four-person group) - as well it should.

To me, this seems like two different developers have separately been given the task of making PUBG work on mobile within a similar time frame and with similar access to the original assets. Unsurprisingly, they appear to have come up with similar, if not quite identical, answers.

Same difference

The differences between the two mobile PUBG mobiles are minor and largely cosmetic. PUBGEB is perhaps a little better looking than PUBGAA, with better lighting effects and a few nicer textures.

In terms of feel, we're talking small differences that fall in favour of both games. PUBGAA perhaps feels slightly tighter overall. Its punches feel much more satisfyingly tactile, though that's something you hardly ever make use of in a game situation.

More meaningfully, PUBGAA automatically opens doors when you run into them, whereas you always have to press a button in PUBGEB. This can mean a lot if you're running for cover from a tooled-up sniper.

On the other hand, PUBGEB gives you a nice dedicated directional dotted line for the markers you can lay down on the map, where PUBAA does not. This really helps orient yourself at a glance, and is particularly handy when you're waiting for the optimal jump-out point at the beginning.

It's also easier to switch firing modes in PUBGEB, with its bullet icon easier to both decipher and press. Swimming is more like the original PUBG too, with the ability to dive under the water.

I should probably also note that the one instance of potential cheating (which is a massive problem on PUBG proper) I've encountered was in PUBGAA. Either that or it was a major glitch that enabled my opponent to withstand around 10 consecutive Mini-14 shots and half a clip of my AKM.

Whoever the player is that killed me in the above post-death screenshot is either very lucky or a big fat cheat. Take a bow, either way.

Level playing field

So what's the level of play like on the two versions? Generally speaking I haven't found a massive difference. Most of the players you face early on don't tend to be particularly good, and I frequently find myself getting to the final dozen or so on both.

I should clarify that I'm not a particularly great player myself, but I did well simply by following the general tips I've picked up from watching a few original PUBG streams. Which is a good sign in itself.

I've scored a pretty equal spread of second place finishes across the two versions, and just the one Chicken Dinner (that's a win in PUBG parlance) which came on PUBGAA.

So which is best?

So which of the two PUBG mobile games offers the best PUBG experience? Hopefully you've realised by now that it's very difficult to pick a winner winner, Chicken Dinner on this one.

If you were to push me for an answer I'd probably go with PUBGAA for its auto door-opening and slight accessibility advantage. It just feels a smidgen more polished and refined at this early point. But it really is very close.

Image: PUBGEB (top) and PUBGAA (bottom)

Slight differences aside, your best bet is probably to get yourself a Chinese App Store account and download both games. It's not uncommon to have difficulty connecting to the servers of both games, so you can switch between the two and increase your odds of getting a game.

Whichever game you play, you're in for a surprisingly faithful PUBG experience.

Next, read our thoughts on 5 things PUBG mobile gets right, then take a look at 5 things PUBG mobile gets wrong