It's hard to believe, but PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) – the game widely considered to have sparked the battle royale frenzy of recent times – launched more than four years ago at this point.
In that time, the likes of Fortnite, Apex Legends and Warzone have continued the gaming world's obsession with the last-man-standing mode, and only now is PUBG finally getting an entirely new title – even if it's coming exclusively to mobile.
Called PUBG: New State, the game was revealed in February 2021 alongside a cryptic announcement trailer which has, naturally, left fans eager to learn more about the upcoming survival shooter.
How eager? Well, the game's developer, Krafton, recently announced that over 50 million pre-registrations have been processed on the Google Play Store in anticipation of its arrival, with pre-registration now also available on the App Store. Doing so gets you an exclusive vehicle skin, but the real benefit is getting the latest updates – including when you can play.
And as per our previous prediction, PUBG New State was recently confirmed to be launching on November 11, 2021 simultaneously on Android and iOS devices.
We'll update this page with new details as they're released, so stay tuned to TechRadar for all the latest PUBG info.
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Cut to the chase
- What is it? A new mobile-only battle royale game
- When is it out? November 11, 2021
- What will it cost? Free to play with microtransactions
What is it?
First off, it’s worth clarifying that PUBG: New State is not PUBG 2 (hence why we’re hesitant to call it a sequel). Rather, it’s a new battle royale game coming exclusively to Android and iOS, following the release of PUBG Mobile in 2018 and PUBG Mobile Lite in 2020, the latter of which has since been discontinued.
The main difference to the original mobile-only game (and, for that matter, the console equivalent) is its futuristic setting: the game takes place in 2051 on a new map called Troi, and will have appropriately advanced weapons and perks.
The once peaceful city of "Troi" is no more.Severe poverty and economic division have driven the city into an era of darkness.What will your experience in Troi 2051 be like?Beyond Battle Royale, #PUBGNEWSTATE pic.twitter.com/FR8OhOlSDTApril 24, 2021
PUBG: New State is adding several new features to the existing battle royale formula that helped put the game on the map, which we’ll detail below, but it still looks very much like the traditional PUBG experience we’ve come to know and love.
Interestingly, the game is being developed by PUBG Studios (the makers of the original PC hit) rather than Tencent, the team behind PUBG Mobile. In many ways, the mobile version of PUBG has eclipsed its bigger brother, particularly in terms of revenue (it was the highest grossing mobile game in May 2020), so it makes sense that the original creators of the game are placing more emphasis on its clearly-profitable mobile player-base.
Hopefully, this means that New State is in safe hands, operating on a vision that resembles the original release of the game.
PUBG Mobile New State release date and price
Following Krafton's confirmation that PUBG New State is launching on Android and iOS devices in late 2021, an imminent release date for the game has since been announced: November 11.
Players have been able to join timed alpha tests in the meantime, though, with one Android Police reporter able to capture a whole hour of gameplay (which you'll find below).
Players can also pre-register for the game on both the Google Play and App stores – as mentioned above, over 50 million players have already done so via the former.
Pre-registration simply means the game will automatically download to your device upon release on November 11 – we’ve created a handy guide for those looking to do so here. You'll also receive a limited edition vehicle skin for registering early.
The launch seems pretty far away.. or does it? 🤔Maybe it's right around the corner 👀You might want to pre-register now.. just in case 💡Pre-register now: https://t.co/EBb0JzdZYc pic.twitter.com/cS8OPFJCCxJune 16, 2021
In terms of price, the game will be free-to-play. Like its predecessor, though, PUBG: New State will no doubt be littered with purchasable in-game content like skins, weapons and future expansions.
Having said that, with the developers of the original game (which costs $30 / £30 / around AU$40, or free to download on Xbox Game Pass) on board, there’s every chance that PUBG: New State might be free in a limited trial version and cost money to download in full. Even so, we wouldn’t anticipate a mobile game to cost anymore than the $5 (£5 / AU$6) mark.
Krafton has since confirmed the game "will launch as a free-to-play experience," but it's worth highlighting the above possibility (even if unlikely). Krafton's wording there certainly suggests the company is leaving its option open for a shift to a premium release, but we don't think that will happen any time soon.
What we know it'll bring
Although the announcement trailer didn't reveal much in the way of differences between PUBG: New State and its predecessor, recently captured alpha test footage (coupled with information shared at a recent media showcase) hints at several of the changes we can expect from the new game.
The first obvious departure from current PUBG titles, which are all set in the present day, is the new futuristic setting. Taking place in 2051 on a new map – an area called Troi – players can expect to navigate a sprawling town with a mix of suburban living and more natural areas.
The map is 8 x 8, a similar size to Erangel and Miramar from the mainline PUBG game, and will feature plenty of locations for gamers to explore including a town hall, restaurants and a shopping mall. Below, you'll find details of the new map in full. You can also see a complete top-down view of the new environment here.
Interestingly, the game will also arrive with three other maps at launch, including the aforementioned fan-favorite Erangel, which has been “updated with futuristic twists” for New State, specifically.
With this new futuristic setting comes a suitably-futuristic array of new gadgets, too. In both the trailer and gameplay reveal, we spotted drones that deliver loot, deployable combat shields – similar to those we've seen in Call of Duty: Mobile Season 3 – and shiny new weapons, alongside new vehicles including TRON-like bikes. We also know you’ll be able to customize weapons in-game, in a manner presumably similar to Apex Legends’ dynamic modification mechanic.
The developer also promises "ultra-realistic graphics that push the limits of mobile gaming," and that claim holds up from what we've seen from gameplay so far.
New State will use a state-of-the-art rendering technology to bring its mobile gaming experience on a level with the PC version of PUBG, employing features like global illumination, auto instancing and auto-exposure. The gunplay system, too, has been completely redesigned thanks to these new graphical enhancements – you can check it out in action via the tweet below.
See how your favorite weapon fares as we compare recoil and spray performances of some of the guns that are available when used in different shooting positions.Pre-register now: https://t.co/UN0rjLpsVv pic.twitter.com/pIMBFfq7apOctober 12, 2021
New State’s impressive graphics won’t be limited to users of the latest mobile hardware, either. During the showcase, Krafton confirmed that the game has been optimized to be enjoyed by the majority of players, hence its forgiving system requirements: iOS 13 or later on at least an iPhone 6S, and Android OS 6 on any Android device with at least 2GB RAM.
Expect to see a buttery-smooth framerate, then, and a marked visual improvement over its mobile-based predecessor, which is particularly badly-optimized considering it’s designed for handheld devices.
#PUBGNEWSTATE Minimum Device Specs‼📱 pic.twitter.com/PDCFqRW06jAugust 9, 2021
Even with all those superficial visual changes, though, we still expect the game to play in just the same way as its popular battle royale siblings.
Parachute. Scavenge. Survive. We'll see you on November 11.
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