PUBG Player Count: How Many People are Playing the Famous Battle Royale in 2023?

Updated · Mar 06, 2023

You probably know that battle royale is one of the most popular game genres out there. Quick games or slow ones, casual or advanced, it seems like people enjoy fighting for chicken dinner.

This whole craze was started by one single game, and no, it wasn’t Epic’s Fortnite.

For those of you who said “PlayerUnknown’s Battleground,” congratulations, you’re right!

PUBG is a straight-out addictive battle royale and among the world’s biggest record-breakers, amassing an enormous following.

So today, we’ll take an in-depth look at what makes it so popular and compelling—get ready for exciting facts about the PUBG player count, where to play, and how its new (lack of) price tag serves it.

Explosive Stats About PUBG Player Count in 2022 (Editor’s Choice):

  • PUBG broke the world record in 2018, with more than 3.24 million concurrent Steam players.
  • Its 2018 record still stands first, while the 2022 one is currently in sixth place.
  • Right after becoming free-to-play, it almost doubled its number of concurrent players.
  • The transition was met with a 486% spike in player count.
  • There were more than 400 million registered PUBG players in 2018.
  • The latest number of PUBG’s sales was around 75 million.
  • 17.12% of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds players were from the US.

PUBG General Facts

PUBG’s so popular that there’s so much info about it out there.

Don’t worry, we’ve selected only the details worth knowing. Read on!

1. PlayerUnknown created PUBG.

(Source: VICE)

Another PUBG trademark (other than its success) is its name. Just everyone wants to know who is PlayerUnknown.

It turns out that is a pseudonym Brendan Greene, the game designer behind PUBG, uses. He was known for creating the battle royale mod for Arma 2 called DayZ and the H1Z1: King of the Hill before finally moving on to PUBG.

2. The PUBG’s maximum number of matches in casual mode is three.

(Source: AltChar)

PUBG’s team released this update in September 2021. It lets users hone their skills in a less stressful environment by the number of players to 12 and filling all remaining slots with bots. Additionally, it allows for up to three matches a day and a single map (Erangel).

If we had to guess, we’d say the reason probably lies in preventing players from abandoning the usual battle royale experience.

3. About 75 million units of PUBG were sold until the end of 2021.

(Source: Statista)

The game sold exceptionally well for a long time, despite its price tag. But how well precisely? How many people have bought PUBG? The game turned free-to-play in the beginning of 2022, so up until December 2021, approximately 75 million units were sold.

The most significant jump was recorded between September 2017 and June 2018, when sales went from 10 million to 50 million. Moreover, there were 2 million sales only in May 2017, so it’s safe to say the 2017-2018 period was definitely the game’s most successful one.

It’s true, PUBG isn’t at its peak right now. However, the transition to a free-to-play model keeps it up and running in the gaming world.

4. In an attempt to up the PUBG player count, the game became free to play in January 2022.

(Source: Polygon)

The team announced the decision during the Game Awards 2021. Before we learn how this affected the PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds player count, let’s see what became of the game’s paid version.

Battlegrounds Plus came to fruition—for just $12.99, one gets Ranked and Custom Match modes, an XP boost, G-coins, in-game cosmetics, etc. Moreover, those who’ve purchased the game beforehand automatically got Battlegrounds Plus in addition to a special pack with more cosmetics.

5. The move to free-to-play almost doubled the PUBG player base at the start of 2022.

(Source: Steam Charts)

Right after the decision became public, the results were evident. In December 2021, the peak number of concurrent PUBG players was 363,839. Just a month later, it soared to 696,704.

6. Paid PUBG still holds the record for most concurrent players on Steam, while the free-to-play version is in sixth place.

(Source: PCGamesN)

Apparently, the paid version set the bar as high as possible—it had over three million concurrent players at the beginning of 2018.

Free-to-play PUBG, on the other side, started 2022 with almost 700,000 peak players. While these numbers differ significantly, they are still some of Steam’s very best.

How Many People Play PUBG?

So what’s the total number of PUBG players? Nobody can give an exact answer since the game is still so popular that the number of its players changes constantly. However, we do have some exciting details and facts that will paint a clearer picture of its player count.

7. In January 2018, the game had 3,236,027 concurrent players.

(Source: Steam Charts)

The first month of 2018 is also the one with more than 1.5 million average players! Additionally, it was then that PUBG broke the concurrent players' record on Steam. All this easily made it the #1 Steam game, even though it wasn’t free… yet.

8. There were more than 400 million registered PUBG users in 2018.

(Source: Technology News)

In comparison, Fortnite only reached 350,000,000 in 2020, which leads us to conclude that PUBG is the more successful of them both. However, as you’re about to see, PUBG Mobile crushes them all.

How Many People Play PUBG Mobile?

PUBG Mobile seems to be the game’s strongest link. What does its future hold, though?

9. The PUBG Mobile player count is 30 million, even after the India ban.

(Source: Business of Apps)

Sadly, there are no current updates on the mobile version’s player count. In March 2020, 65 million people played the game. However, the India ban dragged more than half of the player base away in December 2020.

What provoked the ban was Tencent Games investing in PUBG developer Bluehole. The company is notorious for its avoidance of China’s brutal censorship.

10. As of late March 2021, PUBG Mobile had over one billion downloads.

(Source: The Verge)

The PUBG Mobile player base is arguably more prominent than its original counterpart. It probably helps that it’s been free-to-play from the very start, though.

According to The Verge, PUBG Mobile had a billion downloads and counting in March 2021. The most incredible part is that this number excludes Mainland China’s count!

11. PUBG Mobile passed the $6.3 billion lifetime revenue mark in March 2021.

(Source: LEVVVEL)

If you’re wondering whether PUBG is still alive, the answer is very much yes…. and that’s largely thanks to its mobile version.

It may be free-to-play, but that doesn’t prevent it from making serious money. Thanks to its many cosmetics and randomized content, it’s estimated to make over $6.3 billion in revenue during its lifetime.

PUBG’s Chinese version alone made $1.6 billion in revenue, which is more than half of the 2021 one. China is followed by the US and Japan in the top three most profitable countries list.

Fun fact: PUBG’s 2020 revenue was $2.6 billion. It seems like it’s getting closer slowly but surely to its predicted value.

PUBG Players

For such a popular game, the info on its demographics is surprisingly scarce.

Here’s what we’ve managed to get a hold of:

12. Most PUBG players are 18 to 25 years old.

(Source: LEVVVEL)

Since there isn’t any considerable research on PUBG demographics, Reddit will have to suffice.

According to a Reddit poll, the 18–25 age group is best represented. It’s followed by players aged 26–35, while minors are only the third biggest group. Last are users aged between 35 and 45.

13. US players make up 17.12% of the total count.

(Source: PlayerCounter)

Looking at different PUBG players by country stats, we can determine that the game is by far the most popular in the US. The States even have more players than India, which stands at 7.98%. The top five list includes Brazil (6.5%), Turkey (5.63%), and Russia (4.76%).

PUBG Platforms

The famous battle royale is available for Windows, PlayStation, Xbox, Android, iOS, and Stadia.

Player counts for most of these versions, too, remain unknown.

So here are some key stats on PUBG’s performance on the different platforms:

14. The game’s player count on all platforms combined increased by 486% following the switch.

(Source: Screen Rant)

The increase on Steam alone was almost 200%… but if that doesn’t impress you, just wait until you see what happens if we put all platforms together—the number of active PUBG players rose by 486%. Even more, the new players' count increased by 537% in certain regions.

15. PUBG boasted over 9 million Xbox One players in September 2018 alone.

(Source: VGChartz)

And that’s all we have on the PUBG Xbox player count.

Pretty impressive, to say the least, as PUBG reached such high numbers in less than two years and many games never do…

PUBG Competitors

Every successful game nowadays has its copies.

In fact, copying is considered such an everyday occurrence that it sometimes reaches blatant and absurd levels.

Being one of the most popular games there is, PUBG probably has way more copies, not to mention competitors, than you would have imagined.

16. As the first big battle royale, PUBG has spawned many copies.

(Source: Beebom)

The PUBG popularity was so gigantically high right after its inception that numerous other developers gave their all to copy it.

Multiple versions came out, all with various degrees of success.

Still, some managed to stand out. Fortnite, the mobile version of Call of Duty, and Garena are all titles that come to mind. Also, if you’re from India, FAU-G is another solid option.

17. PUBG averages over 500 million active monthly players, while Fortnite usually has around 270 million.

(Source: ActivePlayer)

Fortnite is highly popular in the US, making many people think it’s the more preferred choice.

But facts and numbers paint the Fortnite vs. PUBG debate in a completely different light.

PUBG is insanely famous in China and still relevant in other countries around the globe.

Since the start of 2021, it has been averaging about half a billion of MAUs (monthly active players). On the other hand, Fortnite can pat itself on the back with its average of 270 million a month.

Wrap Up

The transition to free-to-play sure made this a fantastic time to breeze through the essential PUBG player count stats.

Unfortunately, it looks like the battle royale won’t ever reach its former peak. It’s okay, though, as a game can only be popular for so long.

However, don’t be fooled. That’s not to say the game is fading out in any way whatsoever.

Marina Stanisheva
Marina Stanisheva

With charmingly infectious enthusiasm, Marina is always thrilled by forthcoming challenges. Thanks to her knack for gathering useful (and not so much) information, she is here to get you any answer you need.