A beta for PUBG‘s free-to-play mode begins today.
Dubbed “PUBG Lite,” this free-to-play model of the game isn’t quite the PUBG that you get when you purchase the premium version of the battle royale title. Instead, this version of the game has been designed to accommodate lower-end PCs that may not have been able to run the full version of the game before. While PUBG isn’t actually that technically demanding of a game, the somewhat shoddy engine the title is built on does sometimes cause technical problems.
Of course, even those who have higher end machines can still play this lite version of PUBG. The trade-off at the moment is that this free version of the game only offers the ability to play the game’s first map (Erangel) and will only let you play third-person solo/duo/squads. That means you can’t access the first-person only servers and won’t be able to take advantage of the game’s rotating special modes.
It’s not all bad news, though. The developers have stated that they are interested in adding new maps and modes to the lite version of the game in the future, so there’s a chance that it might eventually offer much of the full PUBG experience. The team has also hinted that they might offer exclusive updates to the lite version. However, these might be limited to technical updates designed to accommodate lower-end PCs.
As you’ve probably already gathered, it seems that this lite version of the game will only be available on PC. While there’s always a possibility that could change, the fact that PUBG is already on Game Pass might hint that a console version of PUBG Lite isn’t in the studio’s immediate plans.
Still, this is a good move for PUBG. It seems that the game is still doing quite well from a financial perspective, and expanding the title to the free crowd might encourage some people to either invest in the full game or take advantage of some microtransactions. This also brings them one step closer to Fortnite‘s wide availability and sweeping popularity.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.