Last Updated: March 17, 2021.
Capitalizing on the boom in battle royale style games with online multiplayer capabilities, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has since its launch in 2017 become one of the most popular games out there.
Originally designed for Microsoft Windows, PUBG seamlessly made the transition to iOS and Android at the same time as the console version was launched in 2018.
But while it is enjoyed by millions of players worldwide, the game has been controversial, leading to bans in many countries.
The first country to ban it was India, leaving gamers high and dry – but there are still ways that fans can download the game.
Let’s take a look.
Note: We do not encourage you to approach/open any websites that are legally banned in a locality/country. This article is sponsored and for informative purposes only.
PUBG Gameplay and Main Info
PUBG was inspired by the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale and expanded into a full game based on mods for other games created by Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene, who oversaw the development.
In the game, up to one hundred players parachute onto an island and scavenge for weapons and equipment to kill others while avoiding getting killed themselves.
The game was released in 2017 by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole on Windows, with console versions following later. The iOS and Android versions were released the following year and helped cement PUBG as one of the hottest games on the market.
Part of the mass appeal of PUBG is that it can be played by gamers of varying skill levels and is highly re-playable, attributes noted in positive reviews it garnered upon release.
PUBG is one of the best-selling and highest-grossing video games of all time, having sold over 70 million copies on PCs and consoles, and 734 million downloads and grossing over $4.3 billion on mobile devices.
PUBG Ban in India
The game has courted major controversy, particularly in Asia – India was the first country to ban PUBG in March 2019, with the local government in Gujarat declaring it too addictive and violent.
It was also seen as a distraction leading to adverse performances by students – some of them were even arrested after being caught playing.
The ban was not lifted after exam season and eventually widened to a nationwide prohibition, with the government specifying that the mobile app was engaged in activities that are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity, defense, and security of the country.
Bans in other countries
India is the highest-profile country to outlaw PUBG, but it isn’t the only one. Many Asian countries have followed suit, with China the most notable. This comes as a surprise, as Tencent – the official distributor for PUBG mobile – is a Chinese company.
The Chinese government claimed that the game is too bloody, prompting Tencent to release an alternate game called ‘Game for Peace’, featuring green instead of red blood, and dead players waving and flying off rather than decomposing in a puddle of blood.
Other countries to have banned the game include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Korea, Jordan, Nepal, Israel, and Iraq – as well as concerns about the violence most also cite an unhealthy influence on players and a lack of warnings on the dangers of screen time.
How to Download and Play PUBG in India
Despite the ban, the game is still possible to acquire in India – there are third-party downloads available (although this could at times be buggy and harmful for your phone).
One way to get hold of the game if you’re in India is to access the PUBG while using a VPN, thereby disguising your location.
All you need to do to unlock the game and its features is to download and activate the reliable VPN on your phone.
There are also illegal copies of the game available we don’t recommend for which players are advised to use caution and discretion if accessing.
Other Popular Games in India
PUBG’s banning has shone the spotlight on other popular mobile games in India. Among the most popular are first-person shooters such as Call of Duty which made a hugely successful migration to the mobile format in Autumn 2019.
8 Ball Pool has also found a large audience, with billiards, snooker, and pool being popular pursuits in India for more than a century.
As with many other parts of the world, online casinos are also hugely popular in India, and players are spoiled for choice with iconic classic games such as poker, blackjack, slots, and roulette, or local casino favorites such as Teen Patti or Rummy.
Though India is primarily known for its love of cricket, soccer fans have made FIFA20 one of the most popular mobile games, with stunning graphics, gameplay, and a host of global leagues and tournaments to play in.
PUBG may have been banned, but it’s abundantly clear that there is still a huge demand for the game. And, judging by its continued popularity, where there is a will, there’s a way.
However, while waiting on its potential fully legal return, players are currently either choosing the VPN approach or indulging in other huge games on the market.