India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) banned 118 Chinese apps recently. This move per se didn’t come as a surprise, considering that the government has banned popular Chinese apps including TikTok earlier. However, the shocker this time around was the inclusion of what is arguably the most popular mobile game in India, PUBG Mobile.
With 33 million active users of PUBG Mobile in India, it’s obvious that players of the game have some crucial questions, such as is PUBG Mobile is still working in India, is PUBG still running after the ban, and more. If you’re a PUBG enthusiast wondering if you can still play the game, we’ve got the answers to all your questions.
Why was PUBG banned in India?
MeitY has banned both PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite in the country, citing concerns that these apps “collect and share data in surreptitious manner and compromise personal data and information of users that can have a severe threat to security of the State”.
Soon after the ban, both these games have been pulled from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. However, if you are wondering why PUBG is still working in India, it’s because if have the game installed on your phone, you will still be able to play it until a blanket ban is enforced or if PUBG itself restricts access for users in India.
Can you play PUBG with VPN?
So, the next question that arises is whether you can play PUBG Mobile in India using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN masks your IP address, thus letting you access region-restricted websites and apps.
However, it’s worth noting that using a VPN didn’t work for apps like TikTok and others after the earlier ban, and is likely to be the case for PUBG Mobile as well. This is because the government had imposed a blanket ban on these Chinese apps, asking telcos and internet providers in the country to restrict access to them as well.
The blanket ban is imposed by blocking the device ID as well as the IP address of the smartphone that’s detected using the banned apps. Therefore, masking just the IP address — which is what a VPN does — will not help in this case.
Can you play PUBG on PC or console?
The good news is that the government of India has only banned the mobile versions of PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, which are developed by China-based Tencent Mobiles.
However, the PC and console versions of the game are not developed by Tencent, and are still accessible for Indian users. These games are published by the PUBG Corporation owned by a South Korean video game company called Bluehole. Tencent does own a 10 percent stake in Bluehole but Bluehole’s servers are based in South Korea and not China.
Therefore, if you have a compatible PC or gaming console like an Xbox or PlayStation 4, you can continue playing PUBG in India. The game has much better graphics and visuals on these platforms and costs around Rs 1,000 for both the PC and console versions.
Top 5 PUBG alternatives you can play
Not everyone has a PC or a gaming console, and many can’t afford to spend Rs 1,000 for a game. This is the reason why mobile versions of PUBG were so popular in the country. The game was free to download and offered great graphics as well as visuals on supported smartphones. There are other battleground games that have a chance to shine, now that PUBG is out of the picture.
Here’s a list of top 5 PUBG Mobile alternatives you can try:
- Call of Duty: Mobile
- Fortnite (not available on Play Store and App store, but can be downloaded from the Epic Games Store)
- Garena Free Fire
- Battlelands Royale
- Hopeless Land: Fight for Survival