What Is Garena Free Fire? PUBG Mobile’s #1 Competitor

What Is Garena Free Fire? PUBG Mobile’s #1 Competitor

Written by 

Coleman Hamstead


16th Apr 2021 17:30

Garena Free Fire is a mobile battle royale game that shares striking similarities with heavyweight titles PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile. However, Free Fire has its own unique style that has allowed it to stand out from the crowd.

Battle royales, along with mobile gaming in general, have blasted off in recent years, and Free Fire has been at the forefront of this success. Free Fire’s success came to a peak when it was announced that Free Fire had surpassed PUBG Mobile as the highest-earning mobile battle royale in the United States through Q1 of 2021.

Diving deeper into the details, the past three months have seen Free Fire earn $100 million in revenue. PUBG Mobile, on the other hand, netted just $68 million. Compared to last year, Free Fire’s first-quarter revenue increased by 4.5x. This is a nearly unheard of increase. PUBG Mobile, for example, increased just nine percent on the previous year’s revenue. But Free Fire’s success hasn’t all been sudden. Free Fire was the third most-watched game on YouTube in 2020.

Garena Free Fire’s tremendous growth can also be attributed to a couple of outside factors. For one, PUBG Mobile has been banned in India. As a result, a ton of former PUBG Mobile players moved on to Free Fire. Secondly, Fortnite’s disappearance from the iOS App Store has left a void in the battle royale market. Mobile gamers that previously played Fortnite have gone on to play Free Fire. Free Fire is thriving on the downfall of its competitors.

As you can see, Free Fire’s name belongs with the big boys now. But at the end of the day, Free Fire didn’t reach this point purely through luck or good timing. At its core, Free Fire is a good game. So what is it about Garena Free Fire that makes it so special?

Garena Free Fire vs PUBG - mobile app charts
Click to enlarge

Extreme Customization

Free Fire’s customisation far exceeds the offerings of its counterparts. Similar to games like Overwatch and Rogue Company, Free Fire has a diverse cast of playable characters. Players can choose from dozens of different characters. Each character has their own look and comes with a set of unique perks and skills.

Additionally, the level of personal customisation in Free Fire is off the charts. Free Fire’s characters are all fully customisable. Each character can be equipped with interesting cosmetics from head to toe.

The extended customisation does not stop at characters. Players can equip their profile with avatars and banners, choose from different backpacks and parachutes, and attach colourful wraps to their weapons and vehicles. But best of all, Free Fire has pets. Players can collect pets like dogs, penguins, and foxes that will follow their owner around on the battlefield. The cosmetic combinations are endless.

Free Fire’s insane level of customisation is one of the game's most attractive features.

Garena Free Fire Characters
Click to enlarge

Non-Stop, Fast-Paced Action

Free Fire is perhaps the most action-packed mobile battle royale on the market. Traditionally battle royales such as PUBG Mobile begin with 100 players dropping in on a massive map. Free Fire’s starting player count and map size is half of that. Free Fire’s max player count is 50, and the maps are miniature compared to PUBG Mobile.

The result is extremely fast-paced, frantic gameplay. The action never stops. In a game like PUBG Mobile, players could go minutes without any action. That isn’t going to happen in Free Fire.

Free Fire offers the battle royale experience in an exhilarating package of non-stop action.


Free Fire is as accessible as it comes for a battle royale game. Free Fire requires just 1GB of space to download and only 1GB of RAM. For comparison, PUBG Mobile requires more than double that. Free Fire’s small size makes it compatible with even the most low-end budget devices.

Free Fire is also exceptionally accessible in terms of its gameplay. PUBG Mobile can be a bit overwhelming for a new or inexperienced player. In contrast, Free Fire caters to that type of player. Free Fire is much easier to learn than some of its counterparts. For example, Free Fire has no bullet drop or bullet travel time — every gun is hitscan. This means that wherever you’re aiming, that’s where the bullets will hit.

PUBG Mobile has far more realistic behaviour. Bullets drop when travelling great distances, and they also take a few seconds to reach their destination. These mechanics can be frustrating and difficult to learn for beginners.

Free Fire is the perfect game for the average, casual gamer.

Garena Free Fire mobile gaming
Click to enlarge

Game Mode Variety

It’s hard to get bored with the wide variety of game modes at Free Fire players’ disposal. Free Fire comes with a batch of more traditional, permanent game modes such as Classic, Ranked, Squads, and Duos. However, the developers also constantly introduce new limited-time modes (LTMs). Kill Secured, Big-Head, Cosmic Racer, Zombie Mode, and Titan Attacks are just a few of the many interesting and unique game modes added to the Free Fire rotation.

Other games such as PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile introduce LTMs from time to time, but Free Fire is constantly swapping new modes in and out. Every few days, there’s a new game mode players can hop in and play.

Free Fire’s plethora of game mode options makes it an appealing choice for players that love to change things up.

Free Fire’s extreme customisation, non-stop action, accessibility, and game mode variety are to thank for its grand success. Free Fire has won the battle, but not the war. How will the duel between Garena Free Fire and PUBG Mobile ultimately shape up? Only time will tell.


Images via Garena | Sensor Tower

Coleman is a freelance journalist at GGRecon. While gaming has always been his passion, it wasn’t until he worked as a Sports Journalist at the Community College of Baltimore County that he found his enthusiasm for writing. In the time since Coleman has had his work featured in publications such as The Washington Post/Launcher and ESTNN. Coleman is a graduate of Towson University with a degree in Sport Management and Business Administration.

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