With Call of Duty Mobile crushing it in the world downloads at over 100 million in its first few weeks, Tencent has created its own in-house rival to PUBG Mobile. Long before launch, when the game was testing in select regions, many PUBG Mobile players already felt as if CoD Mobile was set to replace it. And their fears and wishes appear to have landed… pretty close to home, actually.
But for the PUBG Mobile veterans, and those new to the mobile gaming space merely checking on the game quickly becoming the most hastily downloaded title in history, a question looms: CoD Mobile or PUBG Mobile? Which is better? Which should you play? It’s naive to say there can only be one, but with some near-identical features, it makes sense to stick with a single game. So which do you choose? We’ve played a bunch of both to come up with this CoD Mobile vs. PUBG Mobile comparison guide to help you out.
CoD Mobile vs PUBG Mobile at a glance
If you’re looking to make a quick decision, here’s what stands out between CoD Mobile and PUBG Mobile:
Call of Duty Mobile
- Better graphics
- Nostalgia factor with classic maps
- Faster-paced action
- More gameplay variety with classes and killstreaks
- Less cluttered UI
- First-person focus
- The original Battle Royale experience
- Plenty of skins to play with
- Multiple large maps
- Simple premise that’s easy to learn
- Far more modes
CoD Mobile vs PUBG Mobile – Graphics
For all the wrong reasons, we’re naturally drawn toward the game which looks the best. Graphics are everything to the player in this industry. Especially action fans. So how to CoD Mobile graphics compare to PUBG Mobile graphics? Well… we’ll let the comparison shots below speak for themselves.
As you can see, CoD Mobile graphics are quite a bit more impressive — but that’s not to say PUBG Mobile looks bad by comparison. PUBG Mobile was a surprise release that really pushed the boundaries of what players thought was possible on mobile devices, its vast open-world being something we thought was only possible on high-end consoles and beefy PCs. But the rapid advancement of mobile processing power means PUBG Mobile is showing its age when compared to the new kid on the bloc.
If you’re looking for the cream of the crop when it comes to mobile shooter visuals across these two mega-popular titles, Call of Duty Mobile‘s more vibrant colors and thoughtful set pieces should stand out.
CoD Mobile vs PUBG Mobile – Minimum & 60 FPS Specs
Of course, with great graphics comes great mobile device requirements. These graphically advanced titles can’t run on every mobile device out there, and the better the game looks, the harder it is for your device to play comfortably.
If you’re the kind to pick up a budget phone every few years, chances are PUBG Mobile is going to be your best bet if you want the smoothest shooter experience between the two. PUBG Mobile was designed to run in countries where high-end devices are sparse, and PUBG Mobile Lite came along recently to lower those system specs even further. Basically, most Android or iOS smartphones purchased within the last four or five years can probably run a version of PUBG Mobile, but it the full-fat version or its newer Lite counterpart.
CoD Mobile specs, on the other hand, demands at least an Android device equipped with 3GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 625 chip. So that’s something like 2016’s Motorola Moto Z Play or Asus Zenfone 3. It’s not going to be the most fluid experience at around 30fps, but it’ll get you into the game. Apple fans can expect to achieve similar performance with the aging iPhone 6.
For a far more fluid experience, an iPhone 7 or above is recommended. Back on the Android train, the sheer number of device specs out there make a solid recommendation difficult. We’d usually just say to look for flagship phones from the last two to three years for optimal performance, but the staggering increase of cheaper devices running high-performance processors purely for avid mobile gamers means budget devices like the recent Red Magic 3 or even the Pocophone F1 (which packs the same Snapdragon 845 chip as Google, Samsung, and OnePlus’ 2018 flagship devices) can max out Call of Duty Mobile with a solid 60fps cap. Anything above is just icing on the cake, as they say.
CoD Mobile vs PUBG Mobile – Gameplay
Not long ago, the clearest difference between Call of Duty and PUBG would have been the focus on traditional multiplayer like Deathmatch and Search & Destroy over the Battle Royale formula. That’s no longer the case. Both games feature very similar game modes; they both have Battle Royale and Team Deathmatch. Call of Duty Mobile brings more tactical modes like Search & Destroy back from its console counterparts, whereas PUBG Mobile tends to stick to its open-world survival roots with things like Quick Match and War.
Where the two games seperate more cleary is the player split between third-person and first-person perspectives.
PUBG Mobile started life as an over-the-shoulder or third-person shooter like Fortnite or Gears of War. It added a first-person mode to appeal to fans of titles like Counter-Strike and, of course, Call of Duty, but queues for first-person matches are noticeably longer.
Then it’s the direct opposite for Call of Duty Mobile. It’s a FPS title first and foremost, but you have the option to queue for third-person Battle Royale matches. Just don’t expect much life in that queue, either.
If you prefer the larger field of view an over-the-shoulder camera affords you, PUBG Mobile is where you’ll find like-minded players. If you grew up playing FPS titles or want to become the Scump of mobile shooters, CoD Mobile is a solid choice. Call of Duty‘s signature killstreaks and new class-based Battle Royale system brings a welcome amount of variety to the mix. But if you like to keep things simple, PUBG Mobile has your back.
CoD Mobile vs PUBG Mobile – Controller Support
Despite how it looked leading up the launch, CoD Mobile doesn’t support controllers. That could change in the future, but the feature was pulled right before launch to stop from splitting the playerbase any more than official emulator support already has.
And it’s the same deal with PUBG Mobile. You can get both to run with a controller with fancy key remapping, but it’s not something many people will have the expertise to pull off. Unless you’re well versed in third-party tools, it’s safe to say the comfort of a controller is off the cards right now in both PUBG Mobile and CoD Mobile.
CoD Mobile vs PUBG Mobile – Difficulty
The issue with fast-paced mobile shooters is just how complicated they can feel when every possible action is an individual button on the screen. Without mastering the three-finger method, it’s hard to run, aim, and shoot all at the same time — a method that comes immediately to console and PC players. But which is more difficult?
That’s easy. PUBG Mobile. Being a survival game where one mistake or misstep means you’re out of the match, PUBG Mobile is by far the more unforgiving title. It’s vast open-world can hide players like ghosts and you’re more likely to get killed while managing your inventory and deciding which of the 20 items in a single house is worth bringing along. And lets not get started on the tiny pop-up menus and buttons for looting, opening doors, and hopping into vehicles.
With similar game modes, CoD Mobile isn’t massively different. You can comfortably play one after learning the other. It might seem like a little thing to complain about, but you’ll sooner get lost in PUBG Mobile‘s main menu UI than in CoD Mobile. The former is extremely cluttered and convoluted, while the latter is relatively clean and self-explanatory. Of course, that could all change as new features are added over time.
There’s no clear winner here given both games share many similarities across their more prolific game modes.
CoD Mobile vs PUBG Mobile – Customization
Where PUBG Mobile clearly betters CoD Mobile right now is in the skins department. Skins are a massive part of multiplayer gaming these days. Greater customization gives players a way to express their individuality while giving developers a way to monetize their game in different ways, allowing them to offer the core experience for free. It’s a win-win despite how sleazy some people say it feels.
PUBG Mobile is a game about the everyman. You can drop in with full military garb, or you can roll up in a shark suit, sailor uniform, samurai armor, or in your underwear. You’ll hear a lot of complaints about how PUBG Mobile skins take precedent over bug fixes and new features (it’s not true), but you have to hand it to Tencent, their skin game is on point. With weapon, vehicle, and even parachute skins on top, there’s a lot of ways to stand out in PUBG Mobile.
CoD Mobile, on the other hand, is absolutely a military-style shooter. There’s a lot of camo garb around. It’s too early to say whether we should expect to run around as a banana any time soon, but we can’t see CoD Mobile skins getting quite so silly. It’s a sure-fire way to alienate the players who come in hoping to live out their G.I. Joe fantasies. Too bad those elementary school Fortnite dances have become a staple of the whole genre now.
So for now, if you like to play dress-up, PUBG Mobile is the clear winner. CoD Mobile players should expect to get their ghillie on.
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.