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It used to be that where PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds went, Fortnite followed. Now it’s the other way around.
A mobile version of Battlegrounds (affectionately referred to as PUBG by fans) launched for Android and iOS devices late Monday. Its release wasn’t exactly a surprise — there was a “soft launch” last week in Canada’s Google Play Store — but that doesn’t make it any less exciting.
PUBG Mobile, as the new release is called, replicates the popular battle royale game that’s also available on Windows and Xbox hardware. It’s not cross-play like Fortnite, meaning mobile players can only play against other mobile players, but it’s otherwise the same game PUBG fans know and love.
Each match drops 100 players into a vast, open map where they scrounge up gear and wage gun battles in an effort to be the last player or squad standing. A randomly selected “safe” zone pushes players into an ever-shrinking portion of the map, ensuring that matches end in a reasonable amount of time.
The PUBG Mobile release comes only a few days after Epic Games launched an invite-only kickoff for Fortnite: Battle Royale. This mobile version of Fortnite’s PUBG-like online mode allows mobile players to duke it out with people running the game on consoles or Mac/Windows PCs.
PUBG has a leg up in the number of devices it plays nice with. While Fortnite requires iOS 11 and iPhones as old as the 6S, PUBG can run on iOS 9 and iPhones as old as the 6. The difference in Android requirements isn’t as clear-cut, largely because Fortnite is only available for iOS devices right now; that said, PUBG runs on Android versions 5.1.1 or later with at least 2GB of RAM.