PUBG Lite beta test: a free to play PUBG with lower system requirements

mongeese

Posts: 627   +122
Staff member
In brief: The developers behind PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds have announced a dedicated team has been working on PUBG Lite in secret. PUBG Lite will be a shrunken down version of the PC game designed to run on older GPUs or even integrated graphics, and it will be available completely free. There’s no release schedule yet, but the beta is already available in Thailand and is coming to other regions soon.

PUBG Lite is cut down in the ways you’d expect, at least for now. The two largest differences are that it only has PUBG’s original map, Erangel, and that first person is unavailable. The developers have said that it still features solo, duo and squad modes, but that feature modes might be added later. While many MacBooks meet the system requirements, it currently does not support macOS.

The minimum requirements for the original PUBG calls for a mid-tier quad core CPU, 8GB of RAM and a GTX 960, but those specs can’t quite run the game at 60 fps on very low. Up until now, the only option budget gamers have had is to run the free PUBG mobile app on an Android emulator, which is about as bad as it sounds.

Our goal for PUBG Lite is simple:

Deliver the PlayerUnkown Battleground’s experience to players in areas where the core game’s required specifications are more difficult to achieve due to the hardware available. To this end, the PUBG Lite team has focused on balancing lower hardware requirements, without compromising on our quality standards. The end result is a build that is playable even on computers and laptops utilizing integrated graphics.

The minimum specs for PUBG Lite is a Core i3 that runs at least 2.4Ghz, with 4GB of RAM and Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics. The recommended spec is a Core i5 that runs at least 2.8Ghz, 8GB of RAM and a GTX 660 or Radeon HD 7870. If you happen to know your Fortnite trivia, you may have realized that the world’s most popular battle royale has the exact same requirements.

Comparing the recommended and minimum specs of the two PUBG games, it seems that PUBG Lite picks up about where PUBG becomes unplayable. For anything less powerful than a GTX 970 or GTX 1060 it makes sense to choose PUBG Lite, as the higher frame rates will make for a more pleasant experience, despite some visual compromises.

Speaking of visual compromises, PUBG Lite only takes up 4GB of storage, compared to PUBG’s 30GB. While there are fewer maps, that’s still a potentially large shrink in texture file size.

The Intel i5-4430 that PUBG says is the bare minimum for the full PUBG scored 479 points in Cinebench, way back in 2015 when we tested it. While I don’t have an old i3 that PUBG Corp says is the minimum for Lite, locking my own system down to 2 cores 4 threads at 2.4Ghz brings down the Cinebench score to 270 points (56%), and that’s with modern IPC and RAM.

On the GPU side, the recommended GTX 660 is about 40% as powerful in 3DMark as the GTX 960 PUBG recommends as a minimum. Integrated graphics is around 5-10% depending on how modern it is. Either PUBG Corp has worked miracles to optimize the game, the visual quality has been completely ruined, or they’re being overly optimistic with the specs to draw players away from Fortnite.

Games with such low system requirements that still manage to look good usually use cartoon-style graphics, like Fortnite or Overwatch, or very basic geometry like CS:GO. Could PUBG Lite be successful using either of those? The obvious real goal of PUBG Lite is to poach the free-to-play everyone-can-play business strategy from Fortnite, but add the realism and feel that made the Battle Royale genre so popular in the first place.

PUBG Lite is what many players have been asking for, but only time will tell if it can live up to its promise.

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MaXtor

Posts: 417   +434
Why don't they just do a proper port of the mobile version to PC as a "lite" version?

From my experience in Pubg, the GPU is more important than the CPU. I'm still rocking an i7 3770k overclocked to 4.8GHz, with 32GB of DDR3 overclocked to 2400MHz, and a 1080ti overclocked to 2100MHz/12000MHz. Playing at 3440x1440, my frames usually stay above 100fps with everything except Post-Processing on Ultra. Although the higher resolution puts more stress on the GPU over the CPU.
 

144hzGamer

Posts: 214   +131
So we have 10 expensive and fast GPUs releasing on the last months, yet devs keep pushing low spec games. PC gaming most played games charts are already infested with CS GO, League, Dota, Heartstone, overwatch, world of tanks, warframe etc and the exclusives are RTS or some indie low demanding. One of these days PC gaming is like mobile with no devs pushing the boundaries of the platform
 

m4a4

Posts: 3,102   +4,150
TechSpot Elite
Why don't they just do a proper port of the mobile version to PC as a "lite" version?
My initial reaction: they probably are borrowing assets/techniques/tricks used in the mobile source. But it would be easier to just work off of the original PC source (since the controls, settings and whatnot are already setup and working). The visual bar for the Mobile will be much lower than the bar they want for the lite version anyways. And it's usually easier to go from high quality down (which is why console ports to PC are usually not great).

Assuming it's not very optimized, slimming down a game isn't as hard as it sounds (just usually takes time). It's the "keeping the visuals" part that gets tricky. Obviously it's going to lose visual fidelity slimming it down as much as they have, but using complex materials/shaders/systems to get a similar look for cheaper is where they'll have to make up for it (with also having it cheaper for the GPU).
And of course with complexity comes potential bugs lol
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,967   +4,560
So we have 10 expensive and fast GPUs releasing on the last months, yet devs keep pushing low spec games.
Where's the problem in that? Unless you're mentally ill you would know most people don't have those 10 expensive and fast GPUs. Why make games for a small amount of people? What a dumb take.

PC gaming most played games charts are already infested with CS GO, League, Dota, Heartstone, overwatch, world of tanks, warframe etc and the exclusives are RTS or some indie low demanding.
Most of those games are really good hence why they stay popular.

One of these days PC gaming is like mobile with no devs pushing the boundaries of the platform
What more do you want to see from PC gaming?
 

144hzGamer

Posts: 214   +131
Where's the problem in that? Unless you're mentally ill you would know most people don't have those 10 expensive and fast GPUs. Why make games for a small amount of people? What a dumb take.


Most of those games are really good hence why they stay popular.


What more do you want to see from PC gaming?

I want to see what I seen on the late 1990s and 2000s. Single player exclusives that push the boundaries and use recent pc hardware to its fullest. Quake 1, MDK, Soldier of Fortune, Duke Nukem 3d, Black and White, Crysis 1, Little Big Adventure, Dark Earth, Exhumed ,etc.

Nowadays you get either ubisoft console ports with aggressive DRM stressing your cpu and 0 graphic innovation, or indies/e sports titles.

And about cs go, lol, dota etc is not only about them being good or bad, thats subjective, is about the fact they run on a potato and they are heavy esports titles, so kids dreaming of being a "pro player" are all there.
 

Bpsti

Posts: 18   +7
Why don't they just do a proper port of the mobile version to PC as a "lite" version?

From my experience in Pubg, the GPU is more important than the CPU. I'm still rocking an i7 3770k overclocked to 4.8GHz, with 32GB of DDR3 overclocked to 2400MHz, and a 1080ti overclocked to 2100MHz/12000MHz. Playing at 3440x1440, my frames usually stay above 100fps with everything except Post-Processing on Ultra. Although the higher resolution puts more stress on the GPU over the CPU.

Thats funny you say that. I felt like I got a bigger jump in performance going from a i7 960 to an 8700k than I got going from a 970 to a 1070ti. I got a big framerate boost with the cpu upgrade. Thats not to say the 1070ti wasnt a vast improvement, it was.

As for this game? I think its a great idea. My question is, are the servers joined? Can a "lite" player join the same servers as a "normal" player (given they select the same map)? Splitting the player base again seems like a bad idea. I can see wanting to keep mouse and keyboard players off the mobile version (which ill admit, was a fun diversion while it lasted, well for me anyway. Probably not as much fun for the mobile players being laserbeamed). A F2P version that doesn't share servers with the paid version seems like a really bad deal for current pay version players if it steals a chunk of the player base.
 

Bpsti

Posts: 18   +7
Where's the problem in that? Unless you're mentally ill you would know most people don't have those 10 expensive and fast GPUs. Why make games for a small amount of people? What a dumb take.


Most of those games are really good hence why they stay popular.


What more do you want to see from PC gaming?

I want to see what I seen on the late 1990s and 2000s. Single player exclusives that push the boundaries and use recent pc hardware to its fullest. Quake 1, MDK, Soldier of Fortune, Duke Nukem 3d, Black and White, Crysis 1, Little Big Adventure, Dark Earth, Exhumed ,etc.

Nowadays you get either ubisoft console ports with aggressive DRM stressing your cpu and 0 graphic innovation, or indies/e sports titles.

And about cs go, lol, dota etc is not only about them being good or bad, thats subjective, is about the fact they run on a potato and they are heavy esports titles, so kids dreaming of being a "pro player" are all there.

Are we seeing the same industry? There are so many good games out now that even with unlimited time I can't possibly play them all. In the 90s we had masters of orion 1 or 2 and masters of magic. Now we have stellaris, endless legend, endless space 1 and 2, surviving mars, etc. We have epic adventures like the witcher 3, kingdom come: deliverance, and divinity original sin 2. One of the best survival games ever made, Subnautica and its sequel arriving tommorow.

So many amazing games and indies are a huge part of that (and no, not the endless stream of 8-bit nonsense that seems to flood the market now. Crappy graphics does not always = nostalgia). And lets be honest, MDK and SoF were pretty crappy games. I couldn't play more than an hour of MDK and SoF was hilarious fun removing bad guy body parts piece by piece but overall it was not a very good game. I'll admit I wish more games still contained that level of gore. It *was* entertaining.

Ill also agree that a number of franchises people our age remember have been bleed dry to the point of being depressing (im assuming your a child of the 80s-90s like myself, I was born in 78). Fallout 1 and 2 had some incredible story telling and with the release of FO76 Bethesda has finally flat murdered the fallout universe. Its been in hospice for a few years now but Bethesda just euthanized it.

Also, as for "stressing GPUs" the problem there is unrealistic expectations. When we went from 1000 polygons onscreen to 10,000 it was amazing. When we went from 10,000 to 100,000 it was less amazing. Each step up while requiring massive amounts of GPU power will be less noticeable to the player. We would play a low poly count game at 1024x768 and now we play a high poly count game at 1920x1080 or 2560x1440 at high refresh rates. The next big thing in computer graphics is going to be VR. Raytracing is interesting but its not really game changing for the user while VR absolutely is.
 
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MaXtor

Posts: 417   +434
Thats funny you say that. I felt like I got a bigger jump in performance going from a i7 960 to an 8700k than I got going from a 970 to a 1070ti. I got a big framerate boost with the cpu upgrade. Thats not to say the 1070ti wasnt a vast improvement, it was.
I'd call that a significant upgrade though with at least 2x the performance in gaming. The performance difference of my 3770k overclocked to 4.8Ghz and an 8700k (not overclocked) wouldn't be.

Disclaimer: I'm also justifying to myself why I should not do a full platform upgrade, haha.