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PUBG vs Free Fire: Which Battle Royale Game is More Popular?

Based on total worldwide player count and revenue, PUBG Mobile is more popular than Garena Free Fire as of 2022. PUBG Mobile has over 600 million downloads on Google Play alone and up to 70 million daily active users. Meanwhile, Free Fire has amassed over 1 billion downloads but only around 150 million monthly active users.

Popularity and Downloads

In terms of total worldwide downloads across iOS and Android devices, Garena Free Fire is ahead of PUBG. Free Fire has been downloaded over 2 billion times according to estimates, while PUBG Mobile sits between 1-1.2 billion total downloads globally.

However, PUBG Mobile has two key advantages:

  • More downloads on Google Play Store: PUBG Mobile has over 600 million downloads vs. Free Fire‘s 1 billion.
  • Higher number of daily active users: PUBG Mobile has around 50-70 million DAUs globally, compared to Free Fire‘s 150 million monthly active users.

This shows that while more players have tried out Free Fire, PUBG sees higher daily engagement and activity from its player base. The below graph shows how PUBG Mobile averaged around 60 million daily active users throughout 2022 – more than Free Fire‘s MAU count.

Game DAU MAU
PUBG Mobile 50-70 million 600 million
Garena Free Fire N/A 150 million

Revenue and Player Spending

According to market research firm SensorTower, PUBG Mobile grossed a whopping $2.9 billion in 2021, more than triple of Free Fire‘s $1.1 billion. Lifetime player spending in PUBG Mobile is now over $7 billion making it the second most lucrative mobile game behind Honor of Kings.

The average revenue per download also favors PUBG Mobile. Each PUBG user contributes about $4.7 on average compared to $2.4 spent by the average Free Fire player. PUBG‘s higher monetization indicates more engaged users who actively spend on upgrades.

Competitive Esports Scene

PUBG Mobile has a more established and structured esports ecosystem compared to Free Fire. The PUBG Mobile Global Championship (PMGC) offers prize pools of over $6 million and sees participation from top professional teams worldwide.

According to Esports Charts, PUBG Mobile tournaments reached a peak of over 2 million concurrent viewers in 2021. Free Fire is quickly catching up with peak viewership of over 1 million but its esports scene is still developing.

The PUBG Mobile World League (PMWL) and Pro Leagues organized by Tencent showcase the game‘s thriving pro scene. Besides viewership, the PUBG ecosystem also features more career opportunities for players, casting talent, strategists, and managers.

Gameplay Modes and Features

PUBG Mobile offers a great variety of gameplay modes that provide unique twists on the core battle royale formula. Signature modes like Metro Royale, Vikendi,payload, and zombies offer PUBG players diverse gameplay experiences beyond the classic 100-player matches.

The game also receives frequent major updates like Aftermath and Through the Looking Glass that introduce new maps, weapons, vehicles, events, and mechanics. PUBG‘s content roadmap ensures something new every few months.

In comparison, Free Fire‘s updates focus more on costumes, cosmetics and balance changes rather than bold new ways to play. PUBG‘s varied content and gameplay evolution gives it an edge over Free Fire.

Conclusion

Based on worldwide revenue, downloads, daily active users, and esports footprint, PUBG Mobile edges out Free Fire as the more popular battle royale game as of 2022. PUBG boasts a greater level of depth and polish in graphics and gameplay for serious gamers.

However, Free Fire‘s accessibility and optimized experience make it the better choice for players on low-end devices. Both games have their own place and appeal. PUBG caters to players who want tactical, high-stakes competition while Free Fire‘s fast arcade-style action makes it suitable for casual entertainment on the go.