The Software and Game technology giant has launched an official Android emulator for PC, which lets you fire up the mobile version of the popular Battle Royale title on your desktop and use your mouse and keyboard as input devices.
Players who take this route will only be paired with others who are also using the emulator, so you won’t have an unfair advantage over those playing on touchscreens.
The installer itself has a small footprint, but it then takes a few minutes to download the entire Android version of PUBG before you can get down to business.
You can then choose between 720p, 1080p, and Ultra HD 2K resolutions the last of which requires at least a GTX 1060 graphics card to work well. I tried it on the lowest settings on my work laptop, and the game ran pretty smoothly.
The controls functioned just like you’d expect with a native Windows game default key bindings are listed alongside the gameplay window, and there are also on-screen buttons as in the Android version which you can click on in case you forget what certain keys do.
Aiming and moving around is much easier with a mouse and keyboard, but pretty much everything else is more difficult. Vehicles are particularly unwieldy, and sometimes turn wildly without control inputs. The control options in the menu are the same as the mobile version, so inputs need to be manually set through the emulator.
Performance is notably better than in standard Android PC emulators, but the controls are only marginally better. Hopefully they’re better optimized as the game is updated.
Graphics are obviously no where near the original Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds for PC, and for now it’s capped at 30fps. That might be fine on a smartphone, but the standards for PC gaming are much higher. Many players are requesting 60fps support in the game’s official forum, as well as fixes for texture issues and other bugs.
Like the PC version, the emulator for PUBG Mobile features bots and a leveling system. However, players seem to be much better and there are fewer disconnects, so don’t expect to win as many matches as you have in the mobile version. All of the tips and tricks for PUBG Mobile still apply to the emulated version, so with a little practice you’ll still snag that chicken dinner.
At the moment, there is no cross play between PC players and mobile users, but this will likely be added in the future to compete with Fortnite Mobile. It’s a bit puzzling to see the PUBG franchise pushed forward by a company other than Bluehole, but with Tencent involved, nothing is off limits.