There are some great-looking mobile battle royale games on the horizon, including PUBG: New State, Farlight 84, Apex Legends Mobile, Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, and – quite possibly – Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile.
We wrote all about them a few weeks ago.
Just this week we’ve reported on the imminent pre-registrations for the closed alpha for PUBG: New State, meaning it can’t be all that far away.
Before the new guests arrive, however, it’s worth taking stock of the ones we already have. There are some brilliant battle royale games on the Google Play Store, some of which look nothing like Fortnite or PUBG.
Here are some of our favorites.
Fortnite Mobile isn’t as easy to get hold of as it used to be, thanks to a long-running dispute with Google and Apple, but you can download it on the Epic Store if you don’t mind going off-road. It’s worth it. While Fortnite isn’t the first big battle royale, it was the one that sent the genre into the stratosphere, thanks to its bold, cartoony aesthetic, fun weekly challenges, and perfectly balanced gameplay.
PUBG can rightly claim to be the original battle royale game – the mod that became a runaway success and spawned a whole new genre. It’s not hard to see why. The mobile version of the game has been cleverly optimised for smartphones, with plenty of automated actions to save you getting shot in the face while frantically swiping at your screen. It’s an impressive technical achievement, too.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and exactly the same principle applies to shooting virtual strangers to death on a shrinking island. Guns Royale takes the battle royale concept and makes it ultra casual, ultra accessible, and ultra cute by presenting the whole thing from a top-down perspective. Without question, it’s easier to play on a touchscreen than its third person rivals, and it’s a lot of fun in its own right. There’s an augmented reality mode, too.
PUBG Mobile has just over 37 million reviews on the Google Play Store. That’s a lot, right? Garena Free Fire has 85.5 million. It was also the most downloaded game globally in 2020. Its success is largely down to its popularity in SE Asia, India, and Latin America, but this year Garena Free Fire overtook PUBG Mobile in the US too, meaning if you haven’t played it yet you’re seriously behind the curve.
You may know Knives Out as a fabulously entertaining whodunit from Rian Johnson, but it’s also a fabulously entertaining battle royale game from NetEase. While it takes its gameplay cues from PUBG Mobile et al, Knives Out borrows its aesthetic from a Luc Besson film, or the entertainingly bonkers Thor: Ragnarok. Persistent technical niggles keep it from the top of the pile, but Knives Out is absolutely worth checking out.
Like Knives Out, Frostfall is not without its technical issues, but this likeable battle royale from Dusk Games deserves a look thanks to its unusual fantasy-infused take on the genre and its bold, cartoony presentation. You’ll play as a fox, a basilisk, and a sea captain, combining weapons and spells before jumping into five-minute matches. There are quests to complete, too.
NetEase’s Rules of Survival came out in 2017, a while before PUBG Mobile made the transition to mobile. That’s why you won’t find much originality in this huge battle royale – it was created to fill a niche that effectively disappeared when PUBG Mobile came out. Don’t let that put you off giving it a go, though. Rules of Survival is a slick shooter with vibrant visuals and an established player base.
Creative Destruction is to Fortnite what Rules of Survival is to PUBG – a niche filling exercise from none other than NetEase, which has three games on this list. Released before Fortnite hit the Google Play Store, Creative Destruction is a 100-player battle royale that lets you destroy and create structures to alter your playing environment to your advantage. It also looks a lot like Fortnite, which is no bad thing.
Like Guns Royale, Battlelands Royale is a casual twist on the battle royale genre, presenting the action from a mobile-friendly top-down perspective. Matches involve 32 players going up against one another in 3-5 minute rounds, and you can play solo or in a duo. That’s it – no complicated lobbies or menus. If the cut and thrust of conventional battle royale gameplay is too much for you, this is the answer.
“But it’s not a battle royale game. The Call of Duty battle royale game is called Call of Duty: Warzone, and there are credible rumors of a mobile version in the pipeline!” That’s you, telling us what we already know. Call of Duty: Mobile may not be a straight up battle royale game, but it does have a battle royale mode. It’s also a brilliant online shooter, and if you like your battles to be royale you’d be a fool to miss out on it.