Rules of Survival – A Mobile Battle Royale

Jan 4, 2018

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome – it’s a good motto to keep in the back of one’s mind when entering Rules of Survival’s harsh and unforgiving battle royale arena, as it’s every man, woman, and organism with opposable thumbs for themselves.

Developer NetEase has created their own excellent take on the battle royale schematic and has brought it to the App and Google Play Stores on mobile platforms in the form of Rules of Survival. Players will literally be dropped into the game’s world and will need to procure weapons, armour, as well as ammo and healing items on-site to ensure they are the last player standing. While there are some aspects of Rules of Survival that prevent it from achieving true greatness, what is included in this package is fantastic and will have players entertained for hours on end, with not a penny out of their pockets.


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Rules of Survival takes the battle royale formula established by the insanely popular PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and modifies it to be playable on mobile platforms. Having played PUBG, NetEase has perfectly captured the essence of what makes battle royale so enticing and backs it up with mostly stellar touch-control gameplay and game structure. For the uninitiated, players begin the match with 120 other players in a cargo plane high above the map and choose a point where they want to drop. Upon touching down, the player will then have to search the surrounding area to find weapons, ammunition, and items that can be used to buff their stats, heal themselves, or modify their weapons. As time goes on, the playable area on the map begins to shrink, causing any player outside of the specified zone to take damage until they’re within safe boundaries.

Rules of Survival provides one of the truest battle royale experiences next to PUBG itself, and is highly recommended for battle royale enthusiasts to enjoy.

While the death toll is usually high at the beginning of matches, as the playable area becomes smaller and smaller, the gameplay becomes tense and more stealth-based, as being hidden is a huge benefit and often provides the upper hand during enemy encounters. Even on mobile devices, it always feels good to sneak up on someone completely oblivious to your presence and to then flatten them out with a frying pan before they even have a chance to retaliate.

Online play in Rules of Survival is simple and streamlined. There are solo, duo, and squad mode options that allow for players to invite their friends and team up to fight together. While there is a noticeable amount of loading screens before beginning a match, it doesn’t take excessively long to boot up. During my time of playing, there was very little lag present and I wasn’t removed from any matches I was playing in – I also didn’t notice any irregular or erratic behaviour from other players signifying internet issues were being experienced.

For being a third person shooter on a mobile device that uses touch controls, Rules of Survival plays surprisingly well. Without aim assist I don’t think I would’ve been as successful, but it makes combat enjoyable and responsive. The buttons to jump, crouch, and lay prone are all close to each other, and with practice, changing stance on the fly becomes quite easy. There are also different controls schemes offered, and all can be adjusted in regards to sensitivity. Sometimes my fingers would slide over the fire button and I would alert nearby enemies to my location by firing accidentally, but most of the time I was able to navigate without making it too easy for enemies to end me. Driving controls are also quite intuitive and easy to learn, although during my play it wasn’t often I was able to have access to a vehicle.

After playing PUBG and one of its most popular knockoffs, the Fortnite Battle Royale mode, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect when booting up Rules of Survival – how would a game of PUBG’s scope look and perform on a mobile device’s hardware, and would it be able to smoothly recreate a similar experience compared to its original source material? I played the game on my personal iPad Air 3 – the performance would sometimes bog down during moments where I was in a high-traffic area, or I would notice very blatant texture pop-in after landing from the cargo plane, but my overall experience of playing on my iPad was very impressive. I managed to even make it to being one of two remaining players standing during one of my matches (out of 120 players), a feat I hardly came close to reaching while playing PUBG or Fortnite.

It offers incredibly addicting third-person shooter action, connects players with others around the world, and encourages cooperative gameplay.

While Rules of Survival is free to play, it does offer microtransactions which can be used to buy loot boxes that contain cosmetic items to give your character a different look and clothes to wear. In an age where certain game publishers seem to be shoving loot boxes down consumers’ throats to encourage progression, I feel Rules of Survival gets a pass because the core package they’re offering, which is free in its entirety, is astonishingly good and very enjoyable to play.

Rules of Survival on iOS and Android mobile platforms is an absolute blast, and perfectly captures what makes the battle royale formula so enticing. It offers incredibly addicting third-person shooter action, connects players with others around the world, and encourages cooperative gameplay. Due to being on mobile devices (depending on their screen size), people with large hands will have some issues with fingers leaving their control zones and making undesired inputs, but with time, repetition, and muscle memory creation, this can be easily fixed. In addition, sometimes there were minor texture pop-in issues and delayed environment loading, but due to what the game offers, this is something I easily overlooked. For a game that is entirely free, Rules of Survival provides one of the truest battle royale experiences next to PUBG itself, and is highly recommended for battle royale enthusiasts to enjoy.

Our Rating

Addicting Battle Royale Gameplay and Excellent GraphicsMinor texture pop-in and environment loading delays
Developer: NetEase Games
Price: Free+
Rules of Survival
Rules of Survival
Developer: NetEase Games
Price: Free+
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