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Battle Royale on mobile - PUBG, Fortnite and three more great BR games

It's a battle royale of Battle Royales
Product: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds | Publisher: Tencent | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad
Updated July 13, 2018: We have a new entry!

Battle Royale games are the big thing in online gaming right now.

Thanks to PUBG and its chief imitator and rival-in-chief Fortnite, the whole world (it seems) is running around virtual islands, scavenging supplies and taking pot shots at one another.

It would be heart-warming if it wasn't so brutal.

Read more: Fortnite mobile vs PUBG Mobile - Which is best?

The great thing is that mobile gamers haven't been left out of this. It might have started on PC and spilled onto console, but smartphone and tablet users can now play a fine spread of BR games.

Here are five that you should check out, starting with the most obvious.

#1 PUBG Mobile

Product: PUBG MobileFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Tencent Games

PUBG Mobile
If you'd told us a year ago that we'd be playing actual PUBG on our mobile phones, we'd have laughed you out of town. Yet here we are, playing PUBG on mobile. And it's awesome.

Of course, the game has been massively downscaled visually, but it's remarkable just how faithful this feels given the constraints.

For our money, PUBG Mobile provides the tensest, truest Battle Royale experience on mobile. Its Erangel map is a modern classic - just big enough for exploration, small enough to guarantee encounters - while the gunplay and looting system is the best of the lot.

#2 Fortnite Battle Royale

Product: Fortnite Battle RoyaleFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Epic GamesGenres: Action, Shooter

Fortnite Battle Royale
If PUBG is a really good conversion, Fortnite mobile is literally Fortnite on mobile. It's basically the same game as the other versions, courtesy of Epic's unparalleled game engine mastery.

Fortnite plays quite differently to PUBG, with a faster pace, brighter style, and a focus on building ramps and defensive forts rather than military sim-like combat.

Whether you prefer it to PUBG is purely a matter of preference. What isn't open for debate is the fact that Fortnite mobile is the slickest, best-looking BR game on mobile.

#3 Battlelands Royale

Product: Battlelands RoyaleFormats: Android, iPhone, iPadPublisher: Futureplay Games

Battlelands Royale
Battlelands Royale is a very sharp attempt to pare the Battle Royale template down for a mobile audience. It seems to marry the intuitive appeal of an .io type game with established BR mechanics.

You're dropped onto an island with a bunch of other people (just 32 this time) and asked to gun them down. There's a shrinking circle and a bunch of loot to hoover up.

But the moment-to-moment action is closer to a top-down twin-stick shooter, the rounds are snappier, and the graphics are bright and bouncy. We also dig the MOBA-like stealth mechanic, whereby if you stay still in long grass you're invisible.

#4 Rules of Survival

Product: Rules of SurvivalFormats: Android, iPhone, iPad

Rules of Survival
Remember the time when playing PUBG and Fortnite on mobile seemed like wishful thinking? Back then, Rules of Survival was arguably the most successful at replicating Bluehole's formula on the go.

This remains a very playable BR experience, with an art style and tone that falls somewhere in between the two aforementioned big hitters. It's nowhere near as polished as Fortnite or as fine-tuned as PUBG, though.

One advantage of Rules of Survival over the big two is sheer head count. The game's original map permits 120 players to join the fray, while the new map permits a ridiculous 300 people onto the battlefield.

#5 Guns Royale

Product: Guns RoyaleFormats: iPhone, iPad, ARGenres: Action, Multiplayer, Shooter

Guns Royale
There are quite a few other Battle Royale games out there, but they're scarcely worth mentioning now that PUBG and Fortnite are available, and none offer the worthwhile alternatives of RoS and FortCraft.

We will mention Guns Royale, though, because it tries to do something different. It reimagines PUBG as a blocky twin-stick shooter, with a much smaller map, way fewer players, and much quicker matches.

There's an argument to be made that this is better suited to mobile than any of the other games on this list - although the ability to improve your base abilities through play leads to an uneven playing field.


Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 13 July 2018
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