It’s been just over three years since the launch of the original – and hugely successful – PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), the game widely considered to have sparked the battle royale frenzy of the last few years.
Now, PUBG is finally getting an entirely new title – but it’s only coming to mobile.
Called PUBG: New State, the game was revealed in February 2021 alongside a lengthy (albeit cryptic) announcement trailer which has, naturally, left fans eager to learn more about the upcoming survival shooter.
How eager? The game's developer Krafton and PUBG Corp announced over five million pre-registrations on Google Play in the week after the game was announced (pre-registration is coming to the App Store later this year). Doing so gets you an exclusive vehicle skin, but the real benefit is getting the latest updates – including when they can play.
That might not be for awhile: Krafton and PUBG Corp have not announced when the game will go live, though we do know alpha tests are coming later in 2021. Here, we break down everything we know about the game, from its premise to its release date.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A new mobile-only battle royale game
- When is it out? 2021
- What will it cost? Free to play, presumably 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 main differences to the original mobile-only game (and, for that matter, the console equivalent) seem to be its futuristic setting: the game takes place in 2051 on a new map called Troi, and could have appropriately advanced weapons and perks.
PUBG: New State looks set to come with several new features, 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 Studio (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.
Could this mean we can expect a more authentic, well-rounded PUBG Mobile experience? We hope so.
PUBG Mobile New State release date and price
There’s been no announcement of an official PUBG New State release date just yet, but we expect it to arrive some time in 2021 for both iOS and Android.
Players will be able to join alpha tests later in 2021 before the full release, though again, we don't know when that's happening. They can pre-register on the Google Play store – and in a week, over five million players have, Krafton announced – with iOS pre-registration coming later.
You did it! We did it! Thanks to our AMAZING community, we’ve hit over 5 million pre-registrations on Google Play within a week! 🙏We're excited to share more exclusive info soon, so keep an eye on our social channels and spread the word! 👀#pubgnewstate #pubgns #newstate pic.twitter.com/gBrtPism6cMarch 5, 2021
Despite this, the launch trailer did confirm that pre-orders are now live, meaning, if you have an Android phone, you can pre-register on the Google Play Store to automatically download the game to your device upon release. We’ve created a handy guide for those looking to do so here.
iOS pre-orders will ‘open soon’, according to the developer. There's also a bonus for people who pre-register – you’ll receive a limited edition vehicle skin.
In terms of price, the game will be free-to-play. We expect PUBG: New State to be free to download and play, but like its predecessor PUBG, also littered with purchasable in-game content like skins, weapons and future expansions.
Having said that, with the developers of the original game on board (which costs $30 / £30 / around AU$40), 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.
What we know it'll bring
Despite giving little details as to release date and price, the announcement trailer did reveal some of the differences we can expect to see in PUBG: New State compared to its predecessor.
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, judging by the trailer.
With this new futuristic setting comes a suitably-futuristic array of new gadgets, too. In the trailer, we spotted drones that deliver loot, deployable combat shields 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,' so we expect to see a buttery-smooth framerate and a marked visual improvement over its mobile-based predecessor (which is particularly badly-optimized considering it’s designed for handheld devices).
Even with all these superficial changes, though, we still expect PUBG: New State to play in just the same way as its siblings. Parachute. Scavenge. Survive. Good luck.
- Check out our round-up of all the latest PUBG news