Unranked Returns to PUBG Mobile Tomorrow, January 14

Newbies welcome. Bots maybe.

If you started this year thinking “I want to get into PUBG Mobile,” but was put off by the idea of diving straight into ranked competitive play, the new patch 1.8 is for you. Set to land tomorrow, January 14, the latest in a long line of massive PUBG Mobile updates is bringing back unranked play, which has mysteriously been absent from the game for as long I’ve been playing. Maybe forever. It’s hard to say for sure, and the patch notes certainly aren’t willing to admit just how long new players have been forced into the rigors of a ranked playlist.

After reintroducing a bunch of fan-favorite modes that could have been mistaken for fan-made custom games over the last two updates of 2021, the first PUBG Mobile patch of 2022 is finally making an attempt to welcome new players or those who just want to practice without getting demoted. In the past, new players had little choice but to learn the ropes of the 100-player battle royale by having their skills graded at the end of the match. And if you’re anything like me, the stress of feeling like you’re being evaluated on your skill can be a major turn-off — especially when you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s often enough to scare people away from giving the game a chance. Whether you’re playing just to have fun or want to try out a new weapon in a more realistic setting than its custom games without risking your rank, you’re all set to go with this patch.

In PUBG Mobile‘s defense, it’s widely understood (by initiated players, at least) that the first “ranked” match someone plays is exclusively against brainless ego-boosting bots. So much so that if a search for the common gloat doesn’t take you to a Reddit post detailing the buzzkill, you’ll land on YouTube videos where creators unwittingly torch bots for million viewers. And even if you’re one of the top-ranked players in the game, the arrival of a PUBG Mobile unranked queue might just give your less-experienced friends the courage to download and play the game alongside you knowing they can’t tank your hard-earned rating. It’s a win-win.

So what’s the plan when PUBG Mobile 1.8 goes live? How do you get into an unranked match after years of being forced into ranked battles? Through tabs, of course. PUBG Mobile’s menu system has been gradually adding more and more tabs throughout the years as new modes and matching sub-categories have been added. Thankfully, you won’t need to navigate through too much fluff to dodge having your skills graded whenever you want to drop into Erangel.

If unranked doesn’t become the default setting on patch day, just look for the little tab along the top row of the mode select screen — you should see both Ranked and Unranked options here. They’ve always been there, but the Unranked one has been locked since time immemorial. At least, that’s how it feels. Of course, these steps could be completely invalidated by any accompanying design change the patch may bring. The somewhat hard to understand patch notes do allude to the menu changing for the sake of clarity, so apologies in advance if these “wise words” are anything but come tomorrow’s update.

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.