PUBG New State – the new game by the original creators of the battle royale genre – is finally upon us. With a fantastic pre-launch campaign, tons of teasers, and a global launch under their belt, Krafton has delivered a real gem in PUBG New State. I may or may not have stayed up far to late last night to be among the first in line to dive into the new, refreshed take on PUBG for mobile devices and I can say from about an hour of tweaking settings and a full round of gameplay that this new PUBG is insanely good. I plan on many, many hours of battle royale action in my future for sure.
One unique thing about this title is the fact that it actually looked set to launch on a Chromebook – albeit, only one – alongside the myriad of mobile smartphones and tablets it is also working on out of the box. That lone Chromebook is the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5, and I have to say I’m really impressed both by how well the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 in this device is holding up and how well-made PUBG New State is to be able to run on mid-range hardware like this.
I was easily able to crank the graphic settings to the max and frame-rates stayed high most of the time. Taking things down a single notch on both frame-rate and overall graphic fidelity yielded the best results, but you’d be fine jumping in a match with either of those options and not feeling like you were playing the game on a device not necessarily made to run high-end Android games.
Of all the things I was anticipating and anxious about with this game, chief among them were how well the game would run on the Pixel 6 and how it would perform on the Duet 5. Chromebooks have never fared well with PUBG Mobile and the Pixel 6 doesn’t have the option to crank up the settings to the max in that game currently. The hardware is there, but PUBG Mobile is a bit of a mess and needs to be optimized for particular processors to get the full, smooth graphic experience.
To my great relief, both of these concerns were completely unfounded. As stated above, the Duet 5 ran the game quite well and the Pixel 6 runs the game with intense smoothness on the highest settings and I’ve no doubt that many users will be able to play this even on devices like the Pixel 4a, Pixel 5 and Pixel 5a as well. Put simply, this game is made the right way for these types of devices.
A fly in the ointment
There are two concerns I have when we talk about PUBG New State on the Chromebook, however, and the first is availability. Krafton has been clear that they won’t allow any emulators for any reason and many times – though inaccurately – Chromebooks appear as emulators to different games. If keyboard/mouse support isn’t recognized and only the touchscreen is used, however, there’s no difference in playing PUBG New State on a Chromebook versus an Android tablet, so I’d love to see more devices included as time goes on and some assurance that playing on a Chromebook won’t get you banned.
Second, and most troubling for me right now, is the fact that the gyroscope simply isn’t recognized on the Duet 5. The settings are there and motion controls (the ability to move the phone to adjust aim) work fine on the Pixel 6 and other phones, so I’m unsure where the disconnect is at this point. Call of Duty Mobile has motion controls that work just fine on the Duet 5, so there’s no hardware issues there. For some reason, though, the option is there to turn on gyro-assisted aiming, but there is absolutely no response when moving the tablet around during game play.
We’ve reached out to Krafton for a response and we hope to hear back from them on this. Overall, for those who haven’t trained their brain to use motion controls, the game is perfectly playable on the Duet 5 and, dare I say it, even enjoyable. That’s just not been the case with these types of games in the past on Chromebooks, and I’m beyond excited that there’s at least one Chromebook that really takes full advantage of such an awesome game on launch day. Now we just need more Chromebooks in the mix.