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Is PUBG Mobile Free to Play on iPhone and iPad?

If you‘re an iOS gaming enthusiast who enjoys battle royale titles, you‘ve probably wondered – is PUBG Mobile free to download and play on my iPhone or iPad? Well, the good news is that yes, the global phenomenon that is PUBG Mobile is 100% free to install and enjoy on your iOS devices!

In this detailed guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know as an Apple user about getting the best PUBG experience on mobile for zero dollars.

A Blockbuster Hit on Mobile

Let me start by giving you some background on PUBG Mobile, especially if you‘ve been living under a rock and haven‘t already heard of it! PUBG or PlayerUnknown‘s Battlegrounds first released on PC and consoles back in 2017 and soon became one of the most popular multiplayer battle royale games in the world.

The concept of parachuting onto an island with 99 other players, scavenging for weapons, and fighting to be the last person standing captured lightning in a bottle. Developed by PUBG Corporation and published by Tencent Games, the mobile version built on this addictive gameplay formula and took it to the next level.

Within the first 4 months of its release, PUBG Mobile had already crossed 100 million downloads on iOS and Android devices worldwide. The mobile revenues also exceeded the PC and console versions combined by 2018 itself.

As per App Annie, it was the #2 top grossing game on iOS in 2021 raking in close to $257 million in worldwide consumer spend. With over 1 billion global downloads currently, it‘s safe to say PUBG fever has gripped gamers across the planet!

Free on iOS App Store with In-App Purchases

Now coming back to your question – is PUBG a paid game on iPhone and iPad? The answer is a resounding no. PUBG Mobile is completely free to download and play on iOS devices, unlike many premium upfront paid titles on the App Store.

The developers have chosen to monetize through in-app purchases and battle passes, keeping the barrier to entry very low. This is one of the key reasons behind the runaway success of PUBG Mobile.

Anyone can simply open the iOS App Store on their iPhone or iPad, search for "PUBG Mobile", tap on the Get button, and install the 2 GB game for zero payment. I‘ve done this myself multiple times on my iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPad Air 3. The availability of PUBG Mobile as a free iOS app has enabled gamers across age groups and demographics to jump in and enjoy it.

Here are some quick stats around the iOS availability and revenue:

PlatformDownloadsGross Revenue
iOSOver 250 millionAround $257 million (2021)
AndroidOver 1 billionAround $7 billion (lifetime)

As the numbers show, while iOS revenues are lower than Android, Apple users contribute significantly to PUBG Mobile‘s continued dominance as a free mobile shooter.

Gameplay Experience on iPhone and iPad

But does compromising on an upfront cost mean compromising on gameplay? Thankfully, no! From my own experience, PUBG Mobile on iOS provides the same award-winning battle royale experience that made it such a global rage. The maps, weapons, vehicles, mechanics have all been faithfully translated into mobile.

In fact, thanks to Apple‘s superior chipsets, the iOS version offers better graphics, visual quality, and smoother performance compared to Android. The game utilizes the Metal graphics library to display brighter textures, sharper environment representations and dynamic lighting not seen on Android.

iPhones with powerful processors like the A13 Bionic can run PUBG at max frame rates and Very High graphics settings. This results in greater details, shadows, draw distance, anti-aliasing etc for an eye-popping mobile gaming experience. Scoping in with a rifle reveals minute environmental elements that truly immerse you into the battleground.

The onscreen controls are also optimized for iOS touchscreens with adjustable placements and sizing. Experienced players can customize layouts based on playstyle, whether aggressive run-and-gun or strategic sniping. While physical controllers are still better suited for precision, the touch controls get the job done on a smartphone.

With phones like iPhone 13 Pro Max flaunting gorgeous OLED displays with 120Hz refresh rates, the PUBG graphics simply pop out cinematically. The iPad Air 5 offers an even more immersive 10.9" canvas for battle royale gaming on the go. Audiophiles can enjoy spatial headphone support for pinpoint enemy localization. Overall, Apple‘s ecosystem allows PUBG Mobile to shine as a AAA iOS gaming title.

What are the In-App Purchases?

As mentioned earlier, while PUBG Mobile is free to download on your iPhone or iPad, there are optional in-app purchases available. Let‘s discuss what microtransactions are on offer:

Battle Passes

  • The classic Battle Pass has free and premium reward tracks unlocking skins, outfits, emotes etc as you gain XP and complete missions

  • Premium Pass costs 600 UC (~$8) offering the chance to earn over 1500 UC worth rewards

  • Special themed passes like Godzilla vs Kong provide unique cosmetics

Royale Passes

  • Time-limited seasonal Royale Passes that bring new cosmetic packs

  • Royale Pass Elite upgrade available for 360 UC with exclusive rewards

  • Grants mission cards and rank-based unlocks

Unknown Cash (UC)

  • PUBG Mobile‘s premium virtual currency used for most purchases

  • Can directly buy costumes, weapon skins, crates, keys, emotes etc

  • Price to UC conversion:

  • 60 UC – $0.99

  • 300 UC – $4.99

  • 600 UC – $9.99

  • 1500 UC – $24.99

  • 3000 UC – $49.99

  • 6000 UC – $99.99

Gambling Crates

  • Used for unlocking cosmetic reskins, outfits, emotes etc

  • Need to buy keys for opening crates

  • Win rates for top rewards are generally low

Direct Purchases

  • Can directly buy bundles, packs, costumes, gun skins outside of UC and crates

  • Pricing ranges from $1 to $50 based on rarity tier

Prime and Prime Plus

  • Subscription to get monthly UC and other benefits

As you can see, the in-app offerings primarily center around cosmetics that do not impact core gameplay. For casual players, the free version is more than enough to enjoy PUBG Mobile as intended on an iPhone or iPad. At its heart, it remains a competitive multiplayer shooter rather than a fashion showcase!

Can You Play PUBG Mobile for Free on iOS?

While in-app purchases tempt you to spend real money, let‘s not forget the game itself remains completely free! In fact, you can enjoy PUBG Mobile on your iOS device as a full-fledged AAA title without paying anything. All the maps, modes, weapons, progression system and gameplay variety is 100% free.

The monetization largely centers around cosmetic skins, costumes and accessories. As you get kills and wins, you can slowly but steadily earn in-game currency and unlock free crates. This currency can also be used to directly purchase cheaper items or battle pass access.

For example, as a free player on iOS, you can:

  • Access the full variety of multiplayer combat on Erangel, Miramar etc

  • Use any gun like the AWM, Groza, or MK14 competently

  • Drive vehicles to engage in tactical run-overs

  • Form squads with friends for coordinated teamplay

  • Create clan crews to participate in crew challenges

  • Climb up the ranked tiers from Bronze to Conqueror

  • Enjoy fast-paced combat via Team Deathmatch

  • Switch between FPP and TPP as per preference

  • Master slick moves like ledge grabs, rolling, and prone shooting

  • Experience heart-pounding endgames with non-stop action

The optional purchases are aimed at collectors and hardcore fans. But if you wish, you can stay completely free while enjoying PUBG Mobile‘s versatile gameplay on your iPhone or iPad.

What About the Banned Indian Version BGMI?

If you‘re an Indian iOS user, you might be aware that the original PUBG Mobile is banned there. This happened in 2020 amidst growing Indo-China tensions. The good news is an India-exclusive version called Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) quickly replaced it on Android.

However, Krafton is yet to launch BGMI on iOS due to data privacy concerns from Apple. But as per latest reports, the BGMI iOS release seems imminent in 2023 once these issues are ironed out. Indian mobile gamers on iPhone and iPad are eagerly waiting for this.

In the meantime, I do not recommend using illegal modded apps, pirated IPAs or unsafe jailbreaks to play PUBG Mobile on iOS in India. Be patient for an official release soon rather than risking your Apple ID security. Stick to approved titles on the App Store that respect regional restrictions. Who knows, BGMI iOS may end up being completely free as well!

Closing Thoughts

Well, there you have it folks – a detailed discussion on whether PUBG Mobile comes with a price tag on iPhone and iPad. While free mobile games often imply lower quality, PUBG Mobile has certainly broken that perception with engaging AAA standard gameplay, massive updates, and cross-platform presence across PC and consoles.

Apple users can enjoy PC-like visuals, performance and quality on their iOS devices through a completely free download from the official App Store. Revenue through optional in-app purchases and battle passes help maintain the game‘s production quality without locking out users.

With close to 100 million iOS downloads already, PUBG Mobile represents the future of AAA gaming experiences being made accessible to smartphone owners worldwide. And iOS users get the best implementation currently thanks to the platform‘s processing power and display capabilities.

So what are you waiting for? Go scratch that battle royale itch on your iPhone or iPad for zero cost today! See you on the battlegrounds.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.