Rules of Survival Review: PUBG Atmosphere Captured on Mobile

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is one of the most beloved games around at the moment. It is undoubtedly of the few that marked 2017. Bluehole hadn’t come up with the Battle Royale concept, but they revived it among the players worldwide. It doesn’t come as a surprise that other studios also want a portion of the profit. Rules of Survival for the mobile market is one of those attempts to cash in somebody else’s success.

You probably read the news that PUBG will be coming to China thanks to the agreement with Tencent. However, we assume that you didn’t know that the Chinese market already offers copies of the third-person shooter you love. We are not talking about taking inspiration from the BR concept, but about copying the game (almost) entirely and adapting it for the mobile market.

So, what is the result of this attempt and are Rules of Survival any good? It depends on how much you are ready to sacrifice to enjoy a game similar to PUBG on your mobile phone. It has its flaws, but it is worth giving it a shot if you are a fan. The good news is that ROS is free to play. You can find the version for Android here, while iOS users should visit this page.

Google Translate Anyone?

The game was initially designed for the Chinese market. Mobile gaming dominates there and considering that China is a big country, it doesn’t seem unusual that NetEase wanted to keep things national at first. However, when they had decided to make ROS available worldwide that also included translating the game to English.

Unfortunately, that didn’t pan out as the developers hoped for during the process. It seems like they pulled everything from Google Translate. It’s not that you can’t understand what the game is trying to tell you, but you will notice mistakes from the starting screen. Fortunately, that doesn’t affect the gaming experience.

Get Ready for Battle Royale

Everything starts with a home screen where you select the desired server. It should be the closest one to your geographical location, but you can choose any of them. There are three available – Europe, North America, and Asia, and you can probably expect other players from that part of the world on a selected server. The game provides you information about the healthiness of the server, so you know if everything works correctly at any moment.

You are then taken to the Create a Character screen where you can enter your fighter’s name. That’s pretty much all the editing you will do at the start. You can’t change your looks and clothes, and other items can be bought from supply boxes later. The only adjustment you can make for now is to select your preferred gender, although that doesn’t affect your battle style or performance.

Parachute Your Way to the Island

Based on your ranking, the game suggests you specific match category. Rules of Survival is doing an excellent job here because if you are a newbie chances are that most of the other players will be beginners, too. There can be up to 120 players in one session, and you can play solo or in teams. As for squads, you can play with a friend or up to three of them.

If no one of your friends is playing, just use the selection of currently online players to invite them and form a team. The lobby also has a chat room in the bottom left where you can chat with players from other parts of the world. Once you are ready, you find yourself on a plane flying over the map where the action will happen. You choose the selected spot to jump out and then navigate your way with the parachute. That means you can land wherever you want and make sure that your starting position is as good as possible.

A Huge Map, but No Mistakes Allowed

The developers did an excellent job in designing a large map that can accommodate over 100 players at the same time. You will probably have time to explore a bit before you encounter an opponent (unless you are out of luck). If you look around, you will see houses to get into, and they will, in most cases, have weapons, ammo, or armor for your needs.

You can also look for towers that will give you a beautiful overview of the surroundings and are perfect for those who like the “wait and shoot” tactics in this type of games. That is where Rules of Survival makes its most significant victory. It captures the atmosphere and the tension you feel while playing a Battle Royale session. Even if you are hidden in the tower, you need to show your face at some point. But each time you do, you potentially put yourself in danger from other shooters out there. The game might be a blatant PUBG copy, but it manages to capture some of the right things, too.

Not Suitable for Small Displays

Soon enough, you will discover the biggest downside of the release. While that might not be the developers’ fault, this genre doesn’t seem to be fit for touch controls and small displays. As for the controls, you have the movement controller on the left along with the default action button (use your fists or shoot depending on whether you have a weapon available).

On the right side, there is another action button that does the same job, but it’s there for your convenience. Aside from that, you also see the icons to jump, crouch, and prone. Swiping the screen anywhere will move your line of sight or aim. While the controls are as good as they could be on a touchscreen device and they are pretty intuitive, things still tend to get sloppy. Just imagine how easy it is to hit the wrong button when you are under pressure, or they are shooting at you, especially if you are playing on a smaller display.

You Will Dream about Winning

As for the graphics, NetEase did a fine job, although the quality of the visuals might vary depending on the quality of your phone and the internet connection. Stability issues with servers are rare, but we recommend choosing lower settings for the graphics just to be on the safe side.

Of course, just one of 120 players will win, so you can’t expect an easy task. It might get a bit easier (and more fun) if you are playing in teams, but it still devilishly hard to come out with a victory. Regardless, you will have your share of fun and excitement, as well as rewards depending on how long you survived. Rules of Survival is a fair and free-to-play game, which is a nice turn of events for a change. No stamina bar controls how many matches you can play in a row, and you will collect enough of the in-game currency for a supply box in three or four sessions.


In the end, this is a formidable adaptation of the Battle Royale concept to mobile devices. There is a massive map with weapons and equipment everywhere, and the atmosphere and tension you will feel are at a high level. That especially goes if you find yourself out of the diminishing safe zone or in a bombing area. Overall, ROS is a free release that is worth trying if you can’t use your PC to play the real thing for any reason.

Written by: Biggie S. Hope

I love to write articles about games. Besides being an avid gamer I also watch lots of movies and read all about technology. If you have any interesting conversation topic, hit me up!

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