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PUBG relaunches in free-to-play form

Extended mag.

Battle royale behemoth PUBG has relaunched in free-to-play form.

It’s free to download across platforms (PC and console) now. The fancy live action free-to-play launch trailer is below:

It’s worth noting new players start out with a free basic account, which has access to most in-game content but not all. You have to upgrade to Battlegrounds Plus to unlock the premium gubbins.

Returning and current players who already bought the game before the switch to free-to-play see their accounts automatically upgraded to Battlegrounds Plus, and get a bundle of rewards called the PUBG – Special Commemorative Pack.

As you’d expect, PUBG is running several drops events for this relaunch across platforms. It’s all about driving engagement – you get rewards for completing in-game missions, inviting friends and watching partner streams.

The latest update to PUBG, 15.2, adds new features such as a drone, the EMT healing boosts, and two in-game tutorial modes, dubbed basic training mode and AI training match.

The idea here is clear: developer Krafton expects a glut of new players to try PUBG now it’s free, and these tutorials should help them get to grips with how it works.

It’s been over four years since PUBG exploded onto the scene, popularising the battle royale genre before Fortnite and co got in on the act. But it remains enormously popular, with 370,000 concurrent players on Steam at the time of this article’s publication. PUBG Mobile, meanwhile, is one of the most-played games in the world.

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