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Wondering what the best mobile battle royale title is between the two behemoths, Free Fire and PUBG Mobile? You’re not alone! These two wildly popular games may have some surface-level similarities, but they’re actually quite different in terms of their game modes, mechanics, graphical fidelity, and other features.

In this guide, we’ll discuss and compare Garena Free Fire and Krafton’s PUBG Mobile so you can find the right mobile battle royale experience for you.

Battle Royale Gameplay

At their core, Free Fire and PUBG Mobile are battle royale experiences. This means there’s an ever-shrinking safe area to fight in during a match, and the last team or player standing wins. Players collect upgrades such as weapons, armor, and equipment to outlast their opponents.

There is one very distinct difference between PUBG Mobile and Free Fire. The latter has a much faster pace, and many consider it “arcade style” because the matches end quickly more often than not. On the other hand, PUBG Mobile has slower-paced gameplay due in part to its bigger maps—much like its PC/console counterpart PUBG: Battlegrounds (fka Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds).

Where to get both Free Fire and PUBG Mobile

Both these games can be downloaded for free from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. The PUBG Mobile game is around 1GB larger than Free Fire so keep that in mind when downloading as Free Fire is listed as being 1.5GB, while PUBG Mobile is 2.6GB.

Free Fire vs PUBG Mobile – Game Modes

PUBG Mobile and Free Fire boast a variety of multiplayer game modes alongside the staple battle royale experience.

PUBG Mobile Game Modes:

  • Arcade Mode
  • Classic Battle Royale Mode
  • Arctic Mode
  • Rage Gear Mode
  • Payload Mode
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Infection Mode
  • War Mode
  • Metro Royale

Free Fire Game Modes:

  • Classic Battle Royale
  • Ranked
  • Clash Squad
  • Rampage 2.0
  • Kill Secured
  • Bomb Squad
  • Gun King
  • Big Head
  • Pet Mania

During events and with the release of new seasons, both titles have added new game modes into the mix.


Free Fire has six battle royale maps at the time of writing (July 2023), while PUBG Mobile boasts nine. Free Fire’s maps are generally smaller than those of PUBG Mobile, with fewer points-of-interest and areas to discover.

PUBG Mobile Maps:

  • Erangel
  • Miramar
  • Vikendi
  • Sanhok
  • Karakin
  • Paramo
  • Haven
  • Taego
  • Deston

Free Fire Maps:

  • Alpine
  • Purgatory
  • Kalahari
  • Bermuda
  • Bermuda Remastered
  • Purgatory

Weapon Types

As in every other popular battle royale game, there is no shortage of weapons types in Garena Free Fire and PUBG Mobile. Both titles feature your classic weapon types, including:

  • Submachine guns (SMGs)
  • Assault rifles (ARs)
  • Light machine guns (LMGs)
  • Sniper rifles
  • Pistols
  • Shotguns
  • Launchers
  • Melee weapons

The biggest difference is that PUBG Mobile features designated marksman rifles (DMRs) as a weapon type, while Free Fire does not. As of July 2023, PUBG Mobile has five more weapons than Free Fire.

Player Character

PUBG Mobile has some default characters and eight special characters: Victor, Sara, Andy, Carlo, Anna, Sophia, Riley, and Emilia. Each character has one unique skill for players to upgrade. For example, Sara’s passive skill increases vehicle durability by 10%.

In Free Fire, there are the two default characters, Adam and Eve, alongside dozens of unique characters to choose from! Each character features a special passive skill, which are more significant than those of PUBG Mobile. For example, the character Caroline can move much faster.

When it comes to offering a wider variety of player characters, Free Fire beats PUBG Mobile.

Graphics and Performance

There is a stark graphical difference between Garena Free Fire compared to PUBG Mobile. Free Fire is built on the Unity engine, while PUBG Mobile is built on the Unreal Engine. As a result, PUBG Mobile’s graphics are sharper.

The tradeoff for better graphics is that PUBG Mobile requires higher smartphone specs to run smoothly. On the other hand, even the Free Fire Max version can run on lower-end devices with relative ease. Free Fire Max also has a smaller download size.

PUBG Mobile’s realistic graphics and visual style lend a more authentic look and feel, while Free Fire graphics verge towards a cartoonish and colorful art style, which fans of Fortnite will appreciate. It’s up to each gamer to decide which graphics style they prefer.

Player Count and Overall Popularity

Free Fire and PUBG Mobile are extremely popular video games, and they both consistently trend close to the top of the Google Play Store.

The latest source indicates that Free Fire surpassed 187 million daily active users in 2023. In 2021, Free Fire beat out PUBG Mobile as the top-grossing mobile battle royale game in the United States, according to a detailed report from analytics firm SensorTower.

As of July 2023, specific information about PUBG Mobile’s daily active players is not available. However, it undoubtedly has a high number of players when you consider it has more than 500 million downloads and 44.5 million reviews.

How Are Free Fire and PUBG Mobile Similar?

Despite the differences noted throughout this comparison article, Free Fire and PUBG Mobile share many similarities. As you already know, both titles are very popular battle royale games, which means they also have a similar core gameplay loop.

Here are some other ways Free Fire and PUBG Mobile are similar that you may not know:

  • Free-to-play on Android and iOS (Apple)
  • Seasons with new content, including Battle Passes with free and paid tracks
  • Multiple maps of different sizes
  • An item shop with microtransactions
  • A wealth of cosmetic items
  • Dozens of weapons and gear
  • Several vehicles to use in matches

While Garena Free Fire and PUBG Mobile may look nothing alike, thanks to their polar-opposite graphical styles, they have much in common as giants of the battle royale gaming experience on mobile devices.

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