Let’s face it: PUBG Mobile is one of the biggest battle royale games to ever release on mobile, accounting up to more than 10 million players worldwide every month. If you never played PUBG before and want to take a piece of that battle royale pie that everyone’s biting out of, PUBG Mobile delivers almost the same experience as its PC counterpart. The only differences in the mobile are the lesser resource usage including graphics and rendering, RAM consumption and a frame lock at a maximum of 60 fps
Yes, it sounds like a dream come true: PC-quality gaming that you can experience on the go anywhere at any time. However, it’s always natural to worry about one thing besides the overall game performance on your phone: how much mobile data does the game eat?
We’ll start off with the general data usage and then break down on how it all happens. We will conclude the article with a short comparison between PUBG and PUBG Lite and PUBG Mobile.
Mobile Data Consumption in General
To be quite frank with you, PUBG Mobile never accumulates that much data at all. No, you don’t need a high-profile phone carrier so you can play the game smoothly via mobile internet. Even if you have a cheap phone carrier, you can play this game for hours on end without getting paranoid about paying more than usual on your monthly phone bill.
Also, the game servers on PUBG Mobile uses very little resources in order to be mobile-friendly and easily accessible to the masses of both casual players and hardcore gamers. If you check out forums about the game, you can easily see that players are happy with the low data consumption.
On average, you spend around 20 to 30 MB per hour; that’s 2 full matches within the hour. So, as for calculations, let’s say you consume 4 to 8 hours with the game – so that’s already 80 to 120 MB. Total it for 30 days, given that you play on a daily basis, and that’s around 2.4 GB to 3.6 GB. And that’s only if you’re fully invested in the game. If you play it casually like just around an hour or playing an average of around 5 matches in a week, mobile data consumption is obviously significantly lower.
And yes, even if you use a high-powered PC with an ultrawide screen, the results are still the same, given that you’re using a mobile hotspot as a connection.
Surprising, isn’t it? For a triple-A game, you’d think the numbers would be higher but this is good enough for the casual player.
How Do They Make the Game Eat Little Mobile Data?
Is it the graphics? Your internet speed? Your phone in general? Nope. In gaming, data consumption means everything in order to play an online game properly. We call this the netcode or net optimization.
This means that no matter your internet speed, no matter your phone’s processing power and gaming prowess and no matter where you are living in, it’s all on the game’s local servers and your ping.
According to an article from PCGamer, “When a PC or console ‘pings’ the server, then it sends an ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) echo request to the game server, which then answers this request by returning an ICMP echo reply. The time between sending the request and receiving the answer is your ping to the game server.
This means that with a ping of 20ms, it takes data 10ms to travel from the client to the server, as the ping is the round-trip time of your data.
Higher ping values mean that there is more delay or lag, which is why you want to play on servers with very low pings, as that is the basic prerequisite for games to feel snappy and responsive.”
PUBG’s Network Model
PUBG Corp implements a Client-hosted network on PUBG, PUBG Lite and PUBG Mobile. Just like any popular shooter including Fortnite and CSGO, matches in PUBG Mobile rely on the client’s ping to the game’s server. Fortunately, the battle royale bases the ping through 4G LTE instead of Fiber or DSL. Thus, people who play the game using just mobile data won’t have a hard time connecting to other players that circle within the same server.
This also means packet loss data is minimal. Packet loss simply means failure to connect to the host – which barely happens in PUBG Mobile. Ironically, the mobile game performs significantly better than the Steam version. Why? Well, nobody exactly knows – only the devs at PUBG Corp can answer that.
However, this still means that lag can still happen depending on your phone’s signal. If you do experience delays in hit detection or seeing players running in a stationary position like on a virtual treadmill, here’s what u/HellDuke said in r/PUBATTLEGROUNDS regarding lag and delayed hit detection:
“PUBG does not have any kind of lag compensation. For small games like CS you can actually run the hit detection serverside, however, for something as big as PUBG or even Battlefield, you are forced to run client side hit detection. Battlefield 1 also does client-side hit detection, however if the client’s ping to the server is too high, the server can deny the hit registration, thus nullifying the shot.
Note that this does not remove what people call desync, that is frankly speaking not possible, however it does deny hits for players with bad ping so that players with good ping do not feel a negative impact. This is also something that is based on a threshold so you have to be very careful with it. Set it too low and most players will find that most of their shots are not registered and be frustrated. Set it too high, however, and you will still get hit far behind cover.
This is why games like PUBG and Blackout all suffer from the same kind of ‘desync’. Not sure if Fornite does anything, but my guess would be not and it probably also suffers from the same problem.”
The Big Differences Between PUBG, PUBG Mobile and PUBG Lite
Maybe you’re confused with the different versions of the game as if it was just like Street Fighter II. Hopefully, we’ll be able help you spot the comparisons in brief paragraphs.
This is the Steam/PS4/Xbox One version. It’s still the best-looking PUBG game compared to the other versions but it does have lots of issues – specifically when it comes to the game’s optimization (particularly PC and Xbox One) and the ongoing problem with hackers from mainland China.
Gameplay-wise, it has a more realistic approach where there are no sound indicators on the map and with more manual-based controls. And yes, it is arguably the best when it comes to controls.
Ironically, PUBG Mobile is the best-performing game in all of the versions. At some point, a large chunk of the playerbase migrated from the Steam and console version and into the mobile version via emulator or just on their phones.
Both net and performance optimizations are well and, sometimes, even above and beyond.
While the controls do feel wonky a lot of times, you’ll get used to it. Or, if you’re willing to become a really good PUBG player that desire better controls, you can always use a MOGA controller or an emulator.
Note for emulator-based players: you can only connect with other players using the PC emulator too. There are no cross platforms between phones and PC emulators.
Alright, so within PUBG Lite lies 2 versions (yes, it’s a version-ception at this point). There are 2 kinds of LITE: Lite PC and Lite Mobile.
Briefly speaking, Lite PC is good for budget/low-end PCs so players can still experience the same battle royale gameplay while sacrificing all the good visuals.
On the otherhand, Lite Mobile is for the phones and handheld devices that cannot run modern mobile games properly – mainly due to RAM consumption and almost-obsolete processor. Lite Mobile also includes just 40 players in one match, under a smaller map and lesser stunning visuals. And no, you cannot connect to PUBG Mobile players using Lite Mobile.
To make it short, PUBG Mobile doesn’t use lots of mobile data, making it a breeze to play whenever you feel like earning the chicken dinner while taking a bus home. If anything, it’s the better version compared to its Steam counterpart.