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? Well, the game’s developer, Krafton, recently announced that over ten million pre-registrations have been processed on the Google Play Store in anticipation of its arrival (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 a while, though. Krafton and PUBG Corp have not announced when the game will go live, though we do know alpha tests are commencing in June 2021. Here, we break down everything we know about the game, from its premise to its release date.
We’ll update this page with new details as they’re released, so stay tuned to TechRadar for all the latest PUBG info.
Krafton has announced that alpha testing for PUBG: New State will run from June 11 to June 13 in the US, with applications now welcome on the developer’s official website.
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 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 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 before the full release, though, which Krafton has confirmed will run from June 11 to June 13 in the US. Applications are now welcome on the developer’s official website.
YOU CAN NOW APPLY FOR #PUBGNEWSTATE ALPHA TEST‼🎉GO! GO! GO! : https://t.co/318QRnXpTc pic.twitter.com/zLMusW2b6dMay 21, 2021
They can also pre-register on the Google Play store – as mentioned above, over 10 million players already have – with iOS pre-registration ‘open soon’, according to the developer.
Pre-registration simply means the game will automatically download to your device upon release – 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.
We’re happy to report that we’ve hit over 10 MILLION #PUBGNEWSTATE pre-registrations on #GooglePlay. We’re humbled by the community’s overwhelming response and can’t wait to share our new battlegrounds experience with you later in 2021. pic.twitter.com/WN3ptw3ylqApril 9, 2021
In terms of price, the game will be free-to-play. Like its predecessor, though, we also expect PUBG: New State to 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) 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.
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 – 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,’ 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).
In May, Krafton released a second trailer for the game, but like the first, it’s more cinematic than informative. Still, it only adds to our anticipation for the new battle royale’s arrival.
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