Call of Duty vs PubG Comparison: which one has the better battle royale?
This is our first 1 vs 1 game review: we’re pitting Call of Duty vs PubG. To keep things slightly simpler, we’ll focus only on the battle royale modes of the two games. Let’s get to it!
Graphics and styling
If you’ve read our previous mobile game articles, you already know that we consider CoD: mobile one of the best looking games for smartphones. And with good reason. The visuals are so good, sometimes you just sit and wonder how we can have a game that looks so good on your phone.
The good impressions start as soon as you enter the game and see your character model. Extremely detailed, no flat textures trying to hide the lack of polygons. Once you jump into action, the goodness continues. The environment is as realistic as you get: trees, grass, mountains, they come together perfectly to create an immersive environment.
Over at PubG mobile, things aren’t too shabby either. The game looks good as well, however, the way the different elements of the levels come together isn’t as cohesive as that of CoD mobile. It’s like someone sprinkled house models randomly all over the map and scattered some vehicles to top it off. This isn’t such an issue with the maps that were added later and focus on a certain type of environment, but the default one is definitely not as polished as that of CoD.
You probably won’t notice that in the heat of the battle, but those are things your mind picks up subconsciously and can affect how much you enjoy the game.
One big difference between the two games is how they approach character models. In CoD, it’s all about looking badass with your matching military outfits and tricked out guns. In PubG, you get a lot more freedom to customize the looks of your character, starting from skin color, hair and so on. Then you get to the clothes. There are so many pieces of apparel and accessories in this game it’s kind of ridiculous. At some point, you start wondering if you’re playing a shooter or another iteration of Sims.
So while CoD tries to make you feel like a highly trained killing machine out on a mission. Meanwhile, PubG gives you the choice to be as serious or as goofy as you want.
Once you start playing, however, it’s like the games have traded philosophies. PubG becomes more strict, serious and old-fashioned, while CoD takes up a more arcade approach. In many aspects, the games are extremely similar, but there are some differences that make the gameplay feel very different. You’ll see what we mean as we go through the each game’s features.
Cameras and controls
Let’s begin with the basics! You can play both games in either first person or third person mode. One difference is that PubG lets you switch between the two from an on-screen button as often as you like, but only if you’ve joined a game with the third-person mode selected. The reason for that is simple, in third person you can peek around corners or over edges without exposing your character to enemy fire. Some players prefer to not have that option and choose to play in first-person mode.
Both games offer single three modes when it comes to team size: single player, meaning you against everyone else, duos, where you’re paired with another player or a friend, and quads, or teams of 4. Here, the extra point goes to CoD: Mobile for having the option to revive dead teammates using their dog tags. A revived player will be able to join the action after jumping from a plane in a couple of minutes. The problem is, many players don’t have the patience to rejoin the action and leave the game before they can be revived, making the feature redundant.
The similarities continue when it comes to controls. Both games offer extreme levels of customization. You can move and resize buttons any way you want, choose your preferred way to aim or steer a vehicle. The same goes for the looting options. You can select which items your character will pick up automatically and how many of each, if they should open doors automatically or not and so on. With enough time, you can tailor the game settings to fit you perfectly.
One major difference between the two games is that Call of Duty has an auto-fire mode that PubG lacks. With autofire on, when your crosshair is on an enemy player, you start firing automatically. This can be useful, since it means your thumbs are free to control movement and aim, however, it has some obvious drawbacks. For example, if you’re taking a shot from a distance and the enemy is moving, you have to aim in front of them to hit them. With autofire on, you won’t be able to do that. Overall, it’s better if you pull your own trigger in battle royale mode.
Okay, you’ve selected your preferred time size and camera view, your controls fit like a glove, it’s time to get in the action! In both games, that means jumping off an airplane. In CoD, it’s a cool, futuristic one, while in PubG it’s a standard turboprop one but players can choose different skins for it! What’s more important is where you land.
This is the Ace PubG has up its sleeve. The game has 4 massive maps with completely different environments. The original one was followed by a desert one, a winter one and an Asia-themed one. You can select them individually or at random. The number of maps greatly improves replayability and ensures you won’t get bored from seeing the same locations all the time.
To be fair, Call of Duty is a much younger game and we’re sure it will get additional maps as time goes by. For now, however, it’s trying to catch up by offering diverse environments all in the same map. You have snow in one corner and desert in the other with green grass and trees in-between. Sure, it’s not very realistic, but it lets you change the scenery in a matter of minutes.
Each map, regardless of the game, offers a wide variety of sub-zones, from small villages to industrial sites and military bases, hills and canyons. No two encounters will be the same with that many locations.
As is tradition with battle royale games, the round starts with the full map available, then the play area starts to shrink, forcing players closer to each other. The rate at which that happens largely determines the length of each round. That’s where we see another big difference. In Call of duty, the circle starts getting smaller rather quickly and if you’re good enough to reach the final stages of the game, a round will last about 15 minutes. That means less time for looting and more time spent moving across the map and engaging enemies.
With PubG, it’s quite different. If you land in a remote part of the map, it can be 10 minutes before you even see another player. And if you’re the last man standing, it’s usually after around 25 to 30 minutes of gameplay, almost double that of CoD. The difference is important for one simple reason: ergonomics. Playing a shooter is not the most comfortable experience when you’re holding a flat slab of glass which can get quite hot. Having to do that for 30 minutes takes a toll on your hands rather quickly. PubG’s gameplay is just unnecessarily slow for that platform.
Weapons and attachments
In both games, you begin without any firearms and getting one fast is a top priority. Here, Call of Duty’s focus on fast-paced action becomes apparent once more. Powerful weapons are more readily available in CoD than in PubG where at first you might find yourself running around with a frying pan in hand. Besides the density of the weapons, however, the two games are quite similar when it comes to gear.
You can choose from a wide range of pistols, shotguns, rifles, sniper rifles and machine guns. When it comes to unique types of weapons, PubG has a crossbow while CoD has a couple of rocket launchers. Overall, we’re giving CoD the edge when it comes to the coolness of the weapons it offers.
Of course, each game also provides a plethora of accessories for your guns: stocks, handles, scopes, extended mags, you name it! Attachments can improve the gun’s accuracy or reduce its noise output so that you’re harder to locate on the map. Scopes, of course, let you aim better, especially from a long distance.
Throwables are also plentiful. Mastering the different types of grenades is what separates the advanced players from the mediocre ones. Beyond the standard frag, smoke and stun grenades, CoD also has four other types, including one with poisonous gas, while PubG offers the classic molotov cocktail.
Healing equipment is also available in both games in a variety of forms, nothing really interesting here. You spend a few seconds to bandage yourself up or have an energy drink and jump back into the fray.
Call of Duty classes
Speaking of healing, however, we get to another unique Call of duty feature: classes. There are 6 classes free to use and 4 additional ones that need to be unlocked. Each class gives you one special ability that has a cooldown and a passive perk. The six classes are: Clown, Defender, Mechanic, Medic, Ninja, and Scout. Some are obvious in their roles, while others might sound confusing. The Clown, for example, lets you deploy a device that summons zombies to attack your enemies. The Ninja, on the other hand, can use a grappling hook to quickly move around. Some classes, like the Medic and the Mechanic, are more useful when playing in a team.
While classes do add some nuance to the gameplay, on their own they’re not enough to make you choose CoD over PubG.
When it comes to vehicles, Call of duty is one step ahead ones more. Besides the usual motorbikes, cars and boats, CoD has two more that are extra fun to use. The first one is the buggy with the machine gun on top. Sure, you’re a bit exposed while firing it, but if there’s a friend driving around that’s not a big concern. Yes, PubG has a buggy that lets the second player shoot his gun as well, but it’s not quite the same. What PubG doesn’t have at all, however, is a helicopter! The chopper in Call of duty is surprisingly easy to fly and lets you and your team traverse the battlefield in a matter of seconds.
The vehicles follow the theme of each game with CoD’s being more futuristic and military-grade while PubG’s soviet styling comes with some retro ones that are fun in their own way. As an extra bonus, you can unlock skins for vehicles. Whenever you get on a vehicle for which you have a coloring different from the default one, it automatically changes to the one you’ve picked in your loadout. Vehicles magically changing colors breaks the immersion a bit, but it is a sacrifice we need to make, after all, customization is what keeps these games going.
Since both Call of Duty and PubG are free games, they need to make money through in-game purchases. Both games include a massive number of things you can unlock and customize. From victory dances to parachutes and wingsuits to grenade skins. Cosmetics are king! As we mentioned earlier, PubG heavily leans on clothing. Pants, skirts, bandanas, sunglasses, the list of clothes and accessories you can get for your character is almost endless. It can even get annoying when you loot an enemy’s box and half the things you have to scroll through are clothes. Of course, you can steal those as well and wear them, but you can’t keep them after the round is over. If you have a soft spot for in-game collectibles, both games will have you hooked in no-time.
So, time for the bottom line! The great debate, Call of Duty versus PubG, which one is better? Well, PubG has more maps and more clothes. If these two things are very important to you, then that’s the game you should go for.
For the average player, however, Call of duty offers more polished and entertaining gameplay with better visuals and interesting features. If you’re looking to sink hours into a mobile shooter, that’s the game to do it!