A few weeks ago, when rumours about the Payload mode in PUBG MOBILE broke out, I scoffed at it, feeling that the developers are now taking too far from the authentic PUBG experience. The idea of bringing airborne vehicles and air combat weapons to a game that started out with the simple concept of ‘last-man-standing’ would simply fall out of interest with the players, as is the case with the zombie mode. It seems that I was wrong. Completely wrong.

Because the Payload mode is anything but boring in PUBG MOBILE. Now before you wonder how I have got access to the mode even though the launch is scheduled for October 16, let me tell you that I had access to the beta version of the upcoming 0.15.0 update. And given that ‘PUBG-ing’ around is my favourite time-pass, I have spent some considerable time in the hallowed grounds of Erangel within the new Payload mode. And while it’s too early to give a definitive verdict, here’s how it feels at first glance.

But what is the Payload mode?

Simply put, it’s a new gameplay mode under the EvoGround section that allows players to fight against each other in the classic ‘last-man-standing’ concept. However, to make the gamplay interesting, the developers have thrown-in helicopters and anti-air weapons into the mix. And right from the beginning, it seems that the PUBG MOBILE concept creators have achieved what they wanted.

What does Payload mode bring to the table?

The biggest one (literally) has to be the helicopter. The game throws in helicopters around the map as vehicles for players to use and move across the map. And depending on your intellect, you can use it as a great weapon to wipe-put your enemies.

However, if you or your crew are unlucky enough to miss out on the nearest chopper, don’t lose heart as the game then gives you access to anti-air weapons. What weapons, you wonder? Missile launchers, grenade launchers and new ammunitions – what else you need?

And to spice up the gameplay even further, there are big weapons crates called Super Weapon Box present in few spots of the map. And as you must have guessed it already, the Box contains rare weapons that you use to shoot down helicopters and your enemies.

The Payload Mode also borrows one big feature from Call of Duty Mobile – reviving dead players. Call of Duty Mobile offered team members to collect tags of eliminated team members and reach the nearest communication tower to revive them in the match. The Payload Mode also brings the same, thereby making it more meaningful to play with your crew or friends.

Payload mode brings ‘Mission Impossible’ action to small screens

As I said, I only tried out the Payload mode in the beta version that is riddled with bugs and a weird watermark layout over the interface. Hence, the version that you are going to get on October 16 will be better and more polished. That said, the beta had shown me enough to talk about here.

At the beginning, the Payload mode starts similar to any Classic mode match. There are a total of 60 players jumping into Erangel with no weapons. The first few moments are quite simple – you jump from the airplane, you dive down to your chosen spot, pick up weapons and then get ready for combat. Only this time, I was greeted to the sight of a helicopter atop a helipad surrounded by anti-air weapons. And it was at this spot that I understood what the Payload mode is all about.

Payload mode is about giving equal opportunities to players and crews alike. If you or your crew gets access to the helicopter first, your enemies will have the opportunity to blow you out of the sky from that very spot. However, your crew can shoot them down as you ascend. This is where players will have to go through a lot of action just to get control over the match.

From the ground, you have access to grenade launchers and rocket launchers to bring down the helicopters. And the best part is that if you get the heat-seeking missile launcher, you can see all your enemies and knock them down easily. However, while the launchers lock in on the target helicopter, the enemy can swerve and zoom ahead to save himself/herself.

And as for the helicopter, it feels as easy to fly as any other chopper from any other video game I have ever played. You get two buttons for ascend or descent, and then use the arrow keys to navigate ita round the map. The helicopter handles like a helicopter, i.e. it glides up smoothly and swerves in any direction naturally like a real-world helicopter. You can’t go much higher which at first felt sad but it gives on-ground enemies a better chance to engage you in a battle. Sadly, the pilot cannot use weapons while flying. And this is when I spotted an enemy, I had to land and shoot him down (sadly, he shot me down by the time I stepped out of the chopper).

I couldn’t try out the revival feature in the beta mode as I had no crew to play around with but Erangel gets communication towers evenly spread across the map.

PUBG MOBILE Payload mode first impressions:

When the version 0.15.0 update goes live on October 16, you should leave everything and try it out immediately. Because it is after a long time that PUBG MOBILE brings something fresh to the old ‘last-man-standing’ formula after the zombie mode earlier this year. The Payload mode can make for some amazing air combat spectacles for players and for those who love action, there’s nothing better than that. Just ensure you have got your skills right as the Payload mode is taking the PUBG action to cloud nine.

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