Hardcore Mode Returns to PUBG Mobile – But What Is It?

500 upvotes can't be wrong, I guess.

You can learn a lot about a PUBG Mobile player just by whispering “Harcore mode” into their ear. If they go all wide-eyed, you’ve got yourself a veteran who likely doesn’t stop going on about the “good old days.” With a release date set for tomorrow, March 3, keep these kinds of players close. You’re going to want in your squad when the fan-favorite mode makes its triumphant return.

At 500 upvotes over on Reddit, it’s clear a lot of year one players have stuck around. Why? Because the PUBG Mobile Hardcore mode was as closest the game has even gotten to its PC/Console release in terms of realism.

In the tail end of 2018, “Classic” mode took its place. Now that it’s set to return in patch 0.17.0, expect the pros to hop over and for Classic to be little more than a place for the lower ranks to miss 90% of their shots as they cycle through the countless different control methods their favorite influencers say will get them to the top.

So what makes Hardcore Mode such a big deal anyway? If you’re one of the hundreds who’ve already upvoted the announcement, you’re probably well aware. But for the rest of you, it’s great because it’s hard.

The move to Classic made was made to automate a ton of game interactions. You know how you can gobble up a stack of guns, ammo, and equipment in a second just by looking at it? That won’t work in Hardcore. And the same goes for opening a door by running right at it like The Hulk. Classic mode simplified a lot of the additional steps that just didn’t work well on a touch screen. If you think PUBG Mobile is hard on the old fingers these days, you clearly weren’t there for the original Hardcore mode days.

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But for veterans of the game, this sense of “realism” is what made it great. Those extra steps were part of the strategy. Before auto-equip came into play, players would hang around loot stashes deliberating between a simple helmet swap far longer, making it easier for a perched sniper to home in on the kill. It’s the little things that made the difference.

Since it’s removal back in 2018, the phrase “I play PUBGM for the realism” has become a bit of a meme; not solely for what Classic mode did to the game, but because of the weird and wacky skins that started to show up soon after. They’re hardly related, but it’s proof that a core part of the PUBG Mobile playerbase yearns for a return to more realistic gameplay, and Hardcore mode finally coming back should set things straight.

It’s not just a lack of action automation or decision making that has turned Hardcore mode into this idealization of the “true” PUBG Mobile experience, either. The minimap won’t tell you where shots are coming from, guns spawn unloaded, and you’ll even have to manually tap the reload button when your clip runs dry. It all leads to a more involved match. Players need to weigh up their options carefully, while the savvy types out there can press for advantages in light of these new “limitations.” You’re going to want to be very comfortable with your button placements to get good at this.

But at the end of all this, don’t just take my word for how welcome a return to Harcore mode is. As ffSpartan on Reddit so eloquently put it, “Finally, some good fucking mode.” Put that on the marketing, Tencent.

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.