It’s hard to believe that battle royale wasn’t a mainstream gaming genre just a few short years ago, such is its total dominance today. And the first great battle royale game, the one that created the genre single-handedly, was PUBG.

In 2018 PUBG Corporation, working in conjunction with Tencent, followed up its PC hit with PUBG MOBILE, and this awesome smartphone spinoff has just achieved a couple of life goals. 

400 million downloads. 50 million daily active users.

On the off chance that you’re not one of those 400 million gamers, here’s everything you need to know. PUBG was originally a popular mod for ARMA 2, created by a modder going by the handle PlayerUnknown. 

This mod was inspired by the cult Japanese movie Battle Royale, which is a dystopian thriller about a group of students fighting to the death on an island. 

So that’s what the game lets you do. At the beginning of every round you jump out of a plane at the moment of your choosing onto an 8x8km island along with up to 99 other players. Using the landscape and the weapons you find lying around, your goal is simply to be the last person standing. 

Also, the island battleground on which you’re fighting shrinks in stages over the course of the round, so that by the end you’re nose to nose with your adversaries. 

OK smartphone

PUBG started life on PC, which many consider to be the ultimate set-up for multiplayer action games. But the code wizards at PUBG Corporation and Tencent somehow managed to squeeze every drop of PUBG’s greatness into the smartphone version. 

That means the islands are every bit as feature-packed as on PC, with all the buildings, trees, hills, open areas, and other details you need for a tactically thrilling battle of wits and bullets. 

The really advanced, hardcore stuff is in there too, such as sideways shooting, bullet flight time, and trajectory straining, so you can bring your hard won PC gaming skills to bear on the touchscreen version. PUBG MOBILE even has its own technical flourishes, like 4D touch and gyroscope controls for fine-tuning your aim. 

PUBG MOBILE has gone down extremely well, with positive critical responses all round and a Mobile Game of the Year Golden Joystick Award, as well as a clutch of awards from Google Play. 

You can download it for free right now on Google Play and the App Store