When you’re playing a game like PUBG Mobile, frame rate is everything. Without it, you’re fighting at a disadvantage; your skill erased by micro-stutter and frames that never were. But things have come a long way in recent years. New “budget” oriented smartphones pack in enough power to close the frame rate divide between players. With higher refresh rates being hard to attain due to Tencent’s selective enabling, PUBG Mobile is becoming far more accessible by extension: a move that the past has proven is key to the growth of esports titles.
Marketing deals consistently push the idea that professional PUBG Mobile play requires high-end devices. Sponsorships with commodity vendors like Razer and ASUS ROG spin the idea that without a top-tier phone with cutting-edge tech, you’ll never compete. But with last year’s release of the Snapdragon 765G SoC in big brand phones like the Google Pixel 5, the scales are beginning to even out. What was initially viewed as a bewildering cost-cutting effort will, over time, prove to be one of the best things to happen to the mobile gaming community as a whole.
Unlike top-tier phones, which typically retain much of their value on the second-hand market, mid-range phones like the Vivo X51 5G are the bargain picks of tomorrow. Lesser devices can be had at half the cost, but it’s not only slower CPUs they pack under the hood: Reduced memory and screen specs keep costs down, but risk introducing unpredictable micro-stutter and blurry visuals that can hide enemies in plain sight. The Snapdragon 765G, on the other hand, typically sits alongside other top-tier specs, offering speedy load times, rock-solid 60FPS performance, and high resolutions at a reasonable cost. You should still crank down the settings, but that’s a universal tip whether your phone set you back $200 or $2000.
They may not be the cheapest devices available right now, but with so many set to enter circulation, the second-hand market will soon offer an enticing price-to-performance ratio due to high market saturation. And it’s not just raw frames where Snapdragon 765G handsets pull their weight. Although the feature is starting to trickle down into budget devices, the 5G modem built into the chip will provide lightning-fast update speeds and presumably far lower ping, making on-the-go gameplay more tempting than ever before. Testing these claims during a pandemic isn’t easy, but should it hold true, playing in a spontaneous tournament on the bus ride home might begin to make sense in the near future.
What initially looked like a sign of weakness from manufacturers like Google, Vivo, and OnePlus, now reads more like a step in the right direction. Recent Steam player surveys show most PC players are having solid experiences in key esports titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Apex Legends, and League of Legends on mid-range hardware released close to five years ago. Esports has always thrived on accessibility. Mobile gaming is already the dominant form of the medium in key eastern areas like India, China, Thailand, and we should expect modern mid-range mobile SoCs to have the same effect on the emerging mobile front in the years ahead. The Snapdragon 765G is just the start.
Disclaimer: Fanbyte is owned by Tencent, which also runs Tencent Games, developer and publisher of PUBG Mobile. Tencent also subsidizes much of Fanbyte’s PUBG Mobile coverage by covering freelancer budget costs. Those covering PUBG Mobile for the site have no contact with Tencent, however, and are given complete creative control to write whatever they wish.