The Indian government has struck again. After the first set of 59 apps that were banned in June, followed by another 47 apps and this time it is 118 apps with Chinese connection that have been shown the exit gate.
This extreme measure was taken because the federal agencies have received multiple reports of these applications involved in espionage and stealing and transferring user data to foreign locations. According to the government, these activities are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of state and public order.”
However, these freshly banned applications include various games and applications that are highly popular among the Indian users and it is a major setback for most. Be it games like PUBG Mobile, Ludo All Star or Carrom friends or applications like WeChat, Apus Launcher, etc, millions of Indians have been using them daily but after this federal order will have to look for alternates.
So, here’s a quick list of a few applications or games that you can get from the relevant app stores and are legal to use in India:
PubG is the most popular and high-ticket app that got blacklisted by the Indian government. It has users who spend hours playing the online multiplayer game where players fight in a digital landscape until the survivor earns his or her chicken dinner.
According to a report from early July, PUBG in India has over 175 million installs, more than any other country across the globe and Indian users have contributed massively in its revenue gain of $1.3 billion in the first half of this year. It was developed by a South Korean company called Bluehole and has been booted out in the third list due to its connection with the Chinese investment firm Tencent Holding.
Like TikTok, though PubG may look like an innocuous application, however, it has had its fair share of controversies around being highly addictive and has been reportedly involved in copying data from clipboard without user’s permission.
Alternatives to PubG Mobile
Probably the closest to PubG in terms of gaming experience and modes, Garena FreeFire is also a multiplayer shooter game that has only one winner, the last one standing. With over 500 million downloads on Google Play Store and App Store, Free Fire is a highly popular game and can be played solo, in duo mode with friends and with a squad.
It comes across as a game with easy to use controls and since it's slightly lighter as compared to PubG, it can be easily played on devices with average technical specifications.
Free Fire offers various avatars or characters to choose from most of which can be either bought with in-game currency or bought by spending diamonds that you get while playing the game. The game is free to download, however, it does have in-game purchases and regular online contests.
Call of Duty: Mobile
From the house of Activision, Call of Duty Mobile is another popular Battle Royale game that is available for free. Though like PubG, it also had an association with Tencent, however, Activision's decision to part ways with Tencent may reap good results.
In terms of gameplay, graphics and features, COD Mobile is equally good or slightly better than PubG. To recall, PubG was found reportedly “copying” features like Gun game mode, aerial platform and location from COD Mobile.
The fact that COD is available in different versions for Mobile, POC and Consoles offer a well-rounded gaming experience. To make the mobile version interesting, the game borrows a lot of features from the PC/Console games and has added mobile-specific features like battle royale involving 100 players, Prop Hunt, Rapid Fire, Sticks, and Stones 2v2, Capture the Flag, One Shot One Kill, Snipers Only and more. Along with Free Fire and COD Mobile stands to gain the maximum from the PubG mobile ban in India.
Ludo All Star
Ludo All star is a popular board game with over 10 million downloads on Play Store. It became a rage among users as not only it invoked nostalgia but is fairly easy to play game that does not require a high-end smartphone.
Alternatives to Ludo All star - Ludo King
Ludo King is a homegrown application and in fact has more downloads than Ludo All Star. It is a fairly easy game that can be played by almost anyone. Since most Indian households have the old Ludo game at home, there is no learning curve required to play this game.
Ludo King gained immense popularity during the recent lockdown as it became the favourite multiplayer game for almost everyone locked in the confines of their homes.
Though WeChat is very popular in China, it does not have as many features and users in India. It also has a slightly difficult user interface and has a steep learning curve for starters. Yet it is one of the most prominent apps that has been banned this time around, below are the messaging alternatives for WeChat.
With over 100 million users, Apus launcher is one of the most used launcher applications on Android. It offers a high level of personalization and is a graphics-heavy app that is liked by a lot of young users in the country. The best alternatives to the Apus launcher are mentioned below.
Alternatives to Apus Launcher - Nova launcher
When it comes to personalization on android phones, nothing comes close to Nova launcher. It is extremely flexible, fast and has loads of add-ons to enhance its functionalities. It even allows you to import the layout from the previous launcher that you were using and can let you customize your smartphone to the level you need.
Download Nova Launcher here : PlayStore
Yet another extremely easy to use and customizable third-party launcher application. By default, it offers a Pixel-like experience on any phone. This is an open-source application with great community support.
Download Lawnchair2 here: PlayStore
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Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.