PUBG Mobile VS PUBG Console - which is the best version to play?

PUBG Mobile VS PUBG Console - which is the best version to play?

PlayStation Plus, or mobile, wherever you may roam? One easy(ish) answer...

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When PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds had its first moment of breakout success on Steam, I was there, not understanding how to play, but having fun driving around the huge map on a motorbike anyway. Conceptually I loved it, and I wanted to enjoy it.

Fast forward to today and the gaming landscape is very different. PUBG is now on almost every platform (looking at you, Nintendo Switch) and it has ushered in a brand new shooter genre, one which almost every big publisher has scrambled to capitalise on, to varying degrees of success.

But PUBG perseveres, whether that's on PC, console, or mobile devices. PUBG still demands huge numbers of players, a dedicated following, and makes plenty of money. And wouldn't you know it, PUBG is now welcoming a bunch of new players into the fold, including on PUBG Mobile with the New Era update, and on console with the game now available for free via PlayStation Plus.

But the big question is whether or not you should actually be interested in jumping on the bandwagon, and wheter you should be looking at the controversial console port, or the built-for-purpose mobile adaptation. You can't go too far wrong no matter which way you lean, but in this guide we're going to run through some pros and cons for both…

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The visuals

PUBG Mobile's New Era update has given the game a massive graphical overhaul, and believe me, this was necessary. Brand new models and textures for many of the games environments, especially in Erangel, the most infamous of PUBG's maps, and upgrades that bring the game more in line with the PC version.

When PUBG Mobile first launched, it didn't exactly look incredible. Now, it looks like one of the better games you can play on mobile. More graphical options than ever, better framerate options, lush foliage in the environments, and much more. PUBG Mobile New Era is the best the game has ever been on mobile.

Now, let's compare that to the console versions. I've been playing the game on the PS4 Pro, and, well, it's a mixed bag. At times the game can look really, really good. At other times, I'll have landed on top of a building before the building itself has actually managed to load. A strange state of affairs, and a state I would dread to see on the base consoles.

And this is after a swathe of patches which brought the Xbox One version of the game up to a far better standard that it was at launch. All things considered, this is pretty far from perfect. But hey, PUBG Mobile? Looks better than ever.

The performance

Now of course this heavily depends on what kind of device you're using. If you're playing PUBG on a console, you should expect a very steady framerate, if nothing else. Emphasis on the "if nothing else" part of that sentence, because it's capped at 30FPS.

This isn't a death sentence by any means, but after you've spent some time playing the likes of Apex Legends at 60FPS, 30FPS feels hard to grapple with.

PUBG Mobile meanwhile has had enhanced framerate options in the past, but not a solid 60. Until now. With the New Era update, and a good mobile device, you can run this game at 60FPS or better, depending on what your phone can handle.

Once you've played this game at 60FPS on your phone, you'll be wondering what is wrong with the console versions.

The game modes

Outside of the usual Solo/Duo/Squad battle royale modes, PUBG does offer some other entertaining modes for you to waste your time with, and that's lovely. The problem is that most of them really suck.

On console you have the basic battle royale game modes, both in third and first person perspectives, in addition to a team deathmatch mode which is, in short, really poor. As it turns out, team deathmatch ruins the whole concept of a battle royale.

PUBG Mobile however has a shocking number of game modes to play once you get bored of the main game. Gun Game, Arcade, Domination, Arena, EvoGround, and yes, team deathmatch. I might not be a big fan of them, but it's very nice to actually have options in my game.

The UX

Translating a full mouse and keyboard set up with a game as complex as PUBG to a controller is not easy at all, and the team has been struggling to make it work since the launch of the Xbox One version of the game.

As it stands now, it works, but not amazingly. You can play dozens of matches and still accidentally press the wrong button, forget which d-pad button is for grenades or your sidearm, confuse ADS (tapping the left trigger) for general aiming (holding the left trigger) and so on. It's baffling to the point where almost every button has a different function if pressed, held, or tapped quickly.

Compare that to the simplicity of PUBG Mobile. Yes, you will absolutely be dealing with a fair number of confusing icons on your screen, but unlike PUBG on any other system, every action you can perform is laid out in front of you, and you'll never be faffing around in your backpack, or another player's, while trying to loot some items. Simplicity is key here, and in PUBG Mobile it just makes sense.


So what's my conclusion here? Honestly, it's a mixed bag. PUBG on console absolutely feels like the more refined and "serious" version to play, but it also feels compromised compared to what you can find on PC.

Conversely, PUBG Mobile is built for mobile, works well, and is better than ever as of the New Era update.

So ultimately I'm not sure which I would advise more, but you'll certainly be getting a more ideal and tailored experience with PUBG Mobile.

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