Though Fortnite may have finally landed on Android, the PUBG hype hasn’t faded away and is not expected to anytime soon. This is because Tencent is now looking to court more users with the release of PUBG Mobile Lite for entry-level and low-end smartphone users. It is giving all kinds of Android users a chance to try the phenomenal battle royale experience.
PUBG Mobile Lite is available only in the Philippines right now, but we’ve managed to get it working on our Nokia X6, which is not exactly a budget phone, but it is the only device that we could run the ‘lite’ variant on, before registrations were temporarily suspended.
So, let’s not waste any time and take a look at what’s new and what’s changed in PUBG Mobile Lite and whether it delivers the same thrills and funs as the official mobile game.
PUBG Mobile Lite Features
When you first power up PUBG Mobile Lite, you will notice that the visuals are similar to the full game. The login and splash screen are exactly the same, and so is the matchmaking screen. Users who played PUBG Mobile before the 0.7.0 update will be more than familiar with these surroundings.
Right off the bat, the first thing that we noticed was the huge difference in app size. While the official PUBG Mobile game weighs in at around 1.8GB, the lightweight version comes in at a relatively meager 338MB in size. So, you should have no difficulty installing it on phones with limited storage.
Everything looks familiar at first sight but it’s not difficult to see that the graphics quality is sub par in PUBG Mobile Lite, which is obvious because of the optimizations for entry-level phones with under 2GB RAM.
The graphics have been set to ‘low’ by default and the setting to change the same has been dropped in the Lite version. It is not an eyesore and playable quite easily but the objects and players at a distance will look pixellated and contorted at most times. You should, however, not face any troubles in joining on the battle royale madness just like everybody else, but facing real players may be a challenge (more on that later).
In comparison to the ever-improving PUBG Mobile, the lite variant seems low on features. You can only pick a solo, duo or squads match in third-person perspective (TPP) in Classic mode, which we must say are decent enough to start with.
Tencent has decided to change the dynamics of their battle royale experience in PUBG Mobile Lite with the introduction of a smaller, new 2×2 km island map, which looks like it’s a part of Erangel.
There’s lush greenery and similar-looking homes, lighthouses, and vehicles, along with a limited number of weapons and boosts, spread across the map. You can also see a delta, as well as a river cutting the map in half, which is a nice touch for a smaller map.
Another big change introduced in PUBG Mobile Lite is that it’s not 99 other players vying with you for the top prize. Instead, the total in-game player count has been reduced to just 40, which means it’s you vs 39 other players for a chance to grab that Chicken Dinner.
An average PUBG Mobile Lite game lasts around 10-12 minutes, which is thanks to fewer players and a fast-approaching blue zone. It, however, also makes the game a little more exciting and fun to play, which brings us to my experience.
Gameplay Experience (Bot Invasion!)
The gameplay is by and large the same, where you drop off the airplane, collect loot, and take down enemies to emerge as the last-man-standing.
PUBG Mobile Lite is a little low on features but the gameplay experience is what matters the most. And from the multiple matches I played over the weekend, my experience has been quite decent, to say the least.
The servers are well optimized and I’ve been getting pings in the range of 170-270ms on the Asia server, even on a VPN. So, Tencent is using its experience from PUBG Mobile to efficiently manage server loads this time around.
PUBG Mobile Lite feels smooth to play, except for the sporadic frame drop or lag while jumping out of windows or driving vehicles. The parachuting or looting experience was okay-ish, but I was surprised to see that the weapons also work a lot like the official game. The gun mechanics are a little skewed but I was happy with the overall experience.
Everything looks good to me in PUBG Mobile Lite and I feel budget device owners will be elated to finally be part of the battle royale tribe.
While all this is good, my biggest qualm with PUBG Mobile Lite is the number of bot players. We understand this when the game is new, but the ‘lite’ version is littered with bots and I’ve only come across a couple odd real players in each match. Bots in a match with just 40 players are very conspicuous.
Thanks to the bots, getting that Chicken Dinner in PUBG Mobile Lite is like a walk in the park — that too with a lot of kills. I enjoy a bit of thrill and action in my games, but the gun fights in PUBG Mobile Lite are rare, except when the penultimate blue zone starts to close in.
When is the India Launch?
As for an India launch, we can expect it to happen in the coming weeks as Tencent has confirmed that it is currently testing and optimizing PUBG Mobile Lite for Indian networks and devices. However, if you are eager to try the game on your budget smartphone, then you can surely check out our tutorial.
So, how excited are you to finally be able to take a stab at PUBG on your budget device? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.