PUBG Mobile: Let's Play Spot the Bots!

Here are a few tips to tell whether you just 1v1'd a real person or a piece of code!

Fresh off the press just last week, Tencent Studios and PUBG Corp quietly released a full version of PUBG Mobile while fans of Fortnite Battle Royale were still falling over each other waiting on invite codes from Epic for closed beta.

And it looks fantastic! Hardly any lag, some super-handy additions like color markings on your map for better sense of surrounding dangers when you don't have headphones in, a left-hand fire button for when you want to strafe and fire.. it's nice.

It's been easier than ever to pop into a PUBG game.. and easier to walk away with a winner, winner, chicken dinner. 

There have been tons of people taking to Twitter posting about their newfound skill on the killing floor, vanquishing dozens of other players to come out on top in ways they were never able to do on either console or PC.

And then early reports started filtering in - from large numbers of players on Twitter and various online forums, a number of different outlets including The Verge, and on the PUBG Mobile Reddit in a PSA

So far it looks like the official word from the developers have been to keep mum about the entire situation, but at this point we're all fairly certain that if you've jumped into a PUBG Mobile game, you've found yourself pitted against bots. 

Not everyone in these games will be a bot, but the ratio definitely seems to skew towards giving players a learning curve when they're bad/just starting out - for both learning curve purposes, and just to deter the inevitable rage quit frenzy.

How can you tell if an enemy player is a bot?

These aren't hard and fast rules, but there are often some telltale signs. 

  • Visual cues: I spawned into one game with a huge chunk of enemy players were running around in the same shirt with the same haircut. Now PUBG Mobile may not have the most down to the details character creation menu, but most people on the Internet have a little more room for variation than that. 
  • Situational awareness: If you creep up on a player (for example when they have their back turned), they shouldn't have any idea you're there. Bots will notice you pretty much as they appear in your line of site, regardless of whether or not they should be able to. 
  • Gameplay intelligence: There are a lot of dumb players out there, but that doesn't change the fact that 9 times out of 10, bots can be pretty dopey. If the fact that they can scope you out too easily scares you, they're also not very smart and are designed to be more or less cannon fodder.
  • Extra loot: When you kill a bot and loot their body, you'll often find they were carrying more than they visually appeared to be (e.g. armor when they weren't wearing any). 
  • Loadout: Similar to above, most of the bots are running around with only one weapon, and won't ever attempt to switch between the two (they don't really need to). If they're still around in endgame, you can be pretty certain that even the noobest player on the planet will have scavenged around enough to kit themselves out a little better. 

Any of this sound familiar? Bots. Definitely bots. 

But don't be mad. There are tons of players registering on PUBG Mobile every day, and whether or not the bots are there to boost player count for faster game queues, to provide practice, and/or just to make players feel good about their kill counts, you're sure to start 1v1ing real players very soon. 

How do I get rid of the bots? 

You don't. There's no real way to disable them or kick them out of the game. They're simply a fact of gameplay life, at least while you're starting out. Players report that once they won enough games to rank themselves up out of Bronze level, they started seeing the number of real players in their games spike dramatically. 

In the meantime... just enjoy the feeling of being on top of the scoreboard for a little while longer. You're going to start feeling the challenge soon enough! If you've got more questions or need more tips to step your game up, feel free to peruse our PUBG Mobile guides.

Featured Columnist

Avid PC gamer and long-time console lover. I enjoy sneaking, stealing everything not nailed down, and shooting zombies in the face. I'm also a cat.

Published Mar. 25th 2018

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