I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally be able to report this!! With the latest version of PUBG landing in the Play Store today, we can finally say with great confidence that the massively-popular game is up and running on Chromebooks with Intel internals.
Up to this point, PUBG has only worked (poorly) on ARM-powered Chromebooks. Since there are no Chromebooks with powerful ARM chips, the experience has been only so-so. I played on the Samsung Chromebook Plus and the experience was not great.
I’m happy to say – though there are caveats that apply here – PUBG on Chrome OS is now live across the board for all devices that run Android apps. Let’s talk about those caveats, though.
Quick Side Note
If you aren’t familiar with PUBG, just search the internet for it. It is the originator of the battle royale (last man standing) craze that has been fully leveraged by games like Fortnite in the past 6 months. I won’t get into the whole PUBG vs. Fortnite thing here, but I’m a PUBG fan as it is playable on my phone right now. Whenever Epic finally decides to get their mobile game out on Android, I might change my tune. For now, PUBG is continuing to make the whole game experience better with each update and there are millions fully enjoying the experience.
About Those Caveats
As I said, there are some issues still in play on Chromebooks. First is the lack of proper mouse/keyboard support. WASD works for general direction, but mouse support is lacking and there aren’t mappable keys for other things. Basically, without a touch screen, you can’t play this game on your Chromebook.
Hopefully they are going to finally decide to allow controllers in the future as well. Just that addition would make the whole lack of mouse/keyboard support a bit easier to swallow. However, as the focus of this game is mobile, I’m not holding my breath for extended controller support. If it shows up great, but I’m not expecting it.
Second, the graphics support is half-baked right now. In the app, you have the ability to choose between low, medium and high quality graphics. On my Pixelbook (7th-gen Core i5), the game defaulted to low and wouldn’t allow any setting over medium. Even at that lower setting, frame rates are just decent and not the silky-smooth experience I get on my Pixel 2 XL.
Some of this is to be expected. I highly doubt they are leveraging the processor and GPU on Chromebooks to the fullest extent just yet. The game runs and is playable, but the graphics leave a bit to be desired at this point.
I fully expect for this to get ironed out in future updates.
Last, the gyroscope support is very wonky. It was turning left as I tilted up, right as I went down, and left/right were moving on a diagonal. It was very strange, but again I’m unsure that all the hardware items are getting utilized properly here.
Still, We Have PUBG on Chromebooks!
In the end, I’m just super-excited to see the end of the black screen era for PUBG on Chromebooks. My hope? That lots and lots of Chromebook users start downloading and playing PUBG and they realize there is a large player base here. If so, they will likely get the game running at higher quality for those users much quicker.
Additionally, it may make them reconsider adding keyboard/mouse/controller support in the future as well. If there are enough people using external controls, they could group those players together to keep things fair. But for that to happen, we need people playing. So, what are you waiting for? Go get PUBG and let’s play!