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PUBG is going Free to Play in January 2022

Announced during The Game Awards, one of the original battle royales is undergoing a big change.

PUBG, one of the original battle royale games that popularized the genre, is transitioning to a free-to-play model on January 12, 2022. Announced during The Game Awards, this news comes five years after the game’s initial release into early access on PC, before it expanded to multiple other platforms.

As a replacement for the premium model, PUBG will receive an optional premium account upgrade called Battlegrounds Plus. This one-time purchase provides access to a selection of additional features otherwise not available to those with a free Basic account.

The features provided with the Battlegrounds Plus upgrade include the following:

  • Bonus 1,300 G-COIN
  • Survival Masters XP + 100 percent boost
  • Career - Medal tab
  • Ranked Mode
  • Custom Match functionality
  • In-Game items, including the Captain’s Camo set, which includes hat, camo mask and camo gloves

Those who may have bought a copy of PUBG aren’t coming off this transition empty handed, as they’ll receive a content package called the PUBG - Special Commemorative pack. This includes an automatic upgrade to a Battleground Plus account, plus a selection of cosmetic rewards such as an exclusive costume, a new skin for their trusty pan, and a new nameplate.

“The game has grown substantially since we brought it to early access nearly five years ago, and we believe it offers one of the best values in gaming," said Krafton CEO CH Kim. "Whether it’s the game’s eight unique maps, consistently updated features or engaging in-game partner activations, transitioning to F2P is the next step in our journey to widen the scope of the PUBG IP through content that both new and veteran players will love.”

The upgrade to Battlegrounds Plus comes at the cost of $12.99 or your regional equivalent. What are your thoughts on this shift to a free to play model? Personally, while it’s certainly an understandable move, what it has set aside in the Battlegrounds Plus upgrade did raise an eyebrow. Having to pay for access to Ranked playlists and custom games seems a bit much, surely?

Last night’s Game Awards have been a massive source of news and reveals! If you missed the show, you can check out the new Elden Ring story trailer and Halo TV show sneak peek here.

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Connor Makar avatar

Connor Makar

Staff Writer

Connor is VG247's live service staff writer. He writes news, guides, reviews and investigative features on some of the biggest games out there right now. He's also a passionate fighting game fan, glued onto the genre and its community. He is tragically a grappler player.

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