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The best-ever PUBG Mobile experience is not on mobile

May 2, 2018 — by Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh0

The number of people playing PUBG Mobile on their PCs via an emulator is so high, that Tencent have actually taken steps to prevent those actually playing on a mobile device from getting paired against players playing on emulators. The reasoning of course being that playing on a keyboard and mouse is just too much of an advantage, and we agree. All of us have PUBG Mobile on our devices, but one of us decided to give the game a try via emulator; BlueStacks. The difference is noticeable almost immediately; aiming becomes much much easier.

Gaming Buddy

The solution is that now, if you were to play PUBG Mobile via an emulator, your are prompted with a pop-up that says “emulator detected”, and you will now supposedly only be paired with and against other players who are playing on emulators. Which in our opinion is completely fair. While the majority playing with a keyboard and mouse are indeed emulator players, we don’t think it detects those who are using Bluetooth keyboards and mice to play, or using means other than emulators to gain an advantage.

Gaming Buddy

The most popular emulator people are using to play PUBG Mobile on is BlueStacks. Everything is already mapped to PC controls so if you’re familiar with most PC shooter games, you’ll feel right at home. However, there are a few differences in the default control schemes between PUBG for PC and PUBG Mobile on BlueStacks, however, it can very easily be remapped on BlueStacks to any key of your preference.

While one of us was browsing the PUBG Mobile group on Facebook, we came across Tencent’s own PUBG Mobile emulator for PC. It’s called Tencent Gaming Buddy and Tencent claims to be the “best-ever emulator for PUBG mobile”. We found it pretty odd that Tencent has their own emulator, and one that’s targeted specifically at PUBG Mobile for that matter. While Tencent initially comes off as condoning emulation, it appears it may not be the case.

Anyway, we decided to run a comparison between BlueStacks and Tencent’s Gaming Buddy to see which of the two emulators did run PUBG Mobile better and offered an overall better experience.

PUBG Mobile – BlueStacks vs Gaming Buddy

BlueStacks can be quite a hassle, it tends to download apps without telling you and it takes a good amount of time to start up which is incredibly annoying. However, it does its job of emulating pretty well. BlueStacks itself is a little heavy on the CPU and RAM usage, but it’s nowhere near the resources PUBG PC would use. On BlueStacks PUBG Mobile peaked at 15% CPU usage. But it should be noted that BlueStacks works for just about anything Android and you can run a lot of other games on it. Understandably, not all of them use the same control scheme. The fact that you can be flexible with the controls at all is a point in its favor.

Gaming Buddy

Tencent’s Gaming Buddy on the other hand loads up pretty fast once downloaded. The site to acquire the emulator is Chinese, and googling the emulator will not give you anything. If you want to download the emulator yourself, go here. The whole thing did appear a bit shady to us at first, we weren’t sure if we should risk downloading it. Especially since our Google searches brought nothing up, but we did it anyway and scanned the download just to be sure. It seemed safe enough to continue.

Gaming Buddy

Now once we can confirm that the emulator does actually belong to Tencent we’ll let you know, but you can be sure that you will immediately be flagged as someone playing via emulator. Anyway, as opposed to BlueStacks, the sole purpose of this emulator seems to be to emulate PUBG Mobile. That’s the only game available on it, we didn’t see any options to download any other game. We’re guessing in the future when the client is actually out maybe they’ll add more of their titles like Arena of Valor for example but for the time being it’s PUBG Mobile only. As such, since the client seems to be optimized for PUBG Mobile, it runs really efficiently and takes up hardly any resources. It peaked at just 5% CPU usage during our use. And this was on the high graphic preset. So while it can’t run anything else, it runs the one thing it can really well.

PUBG Mobile Gameplay – BlueStacks vs Gaming Buddy

As we mentioned above, on BlueStacks, the controls for the most part mimic PUBG PC’s controls. However, you might need to constantly keep bringing up the controls to see what key does what, unless you’re used to it or mapped it yourself right at the beginning. Bringing up the keyboard mapping in the middle of a game can easily mean death. It’s quite risky. Also, you have to swap between locking and unlocking your mouse in order to tap on objects if you don’t know the key that’s mapped to the action.

In the case of Tencent Gaming Buddy however, the keyboard controls are overlayed on the screen. But they’re subtle enough to not mess with your gameplay experience. If that wasn’t enough, all of the controls are present on the right of the client for the player to check at any given time. Also, the keys are more familiar with PUBG PC than BlueStacks is, without needing to remap anything. So in terms of UI, Tencent Gaming Buddy is a clear winner.

PUBG Mobile Ping – BlueStacks vs Gaming Buddy

The one thing we noted in favor of BlueStacks was the ping. On BlueStacks we had a stable ping of around 56ms. However, it was 96 on Gaming Buddy. This is despite the fact that we played on the Asia server in both cases. It may have something to do with the fact that Gaming Buddy is not officially out yet, or at least, that’s what we’re guessing, or maybe they just go through different routes? Either way, in this case, BlueStacks had the advantage. In our experience, especially when it comes to online competitive gaming, ping is really important, so this a major up in favor of BlueStacks. However, we should also point out that even 96 ping is not so bad. It’s definitely not at the unplayable range and is definitely at a point where you can play the game comfortably. 50 ping is a big difference though.

So what do you think? Are you pro-emulator? Or do you condone them? Is Tencent’s decision to segregate them from mobile players a good one? Or should they have done away with them entirely? However, like the title says, it clearly looks like mobile is not the best way to play PUBG Mobile.

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Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh

If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.

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