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Garena Free Fire

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Garena Free Fire
You can't fire freely without some microtransactions.
Genre(s): Battle royale
Platform(s): Android
Release: August 23, 2017
Engine: Unity
Developer(s): 111 Dots Studio
Publisher(s): Garena
Country: Vietnam

Garena Free Fire (also known as Free Fire) is a battle royale game developed by 111 Dots Studio and published by Garena for Android and iOS on August 23, 2017.

It became the most downloaded mobile game globally of 2019.


A battle royale match consists of up to 50 players parachuting onto an island in search of weapons and equipment to kill the other players. Players are free to choose their starting position and take weapons and supplies to extend their battle life.

Why It Is Not Free to Fire

  1. It's yet another PUBG clone that is condensed to fit into your phone.
    • In fact, the game was initially developed as a free-to-play clone of PUBG specifically aimed for Southeast Asian market, as Garena provided online services for several PC games under Tencent's portfolio. After Tencent acquired a considerable amount of share from PUBG developer Krafton and published the mobile version of PUBG themselves, Garena decided to expand the brand as a mobile alternative to PUBG.
    • Some parts of the map are cloned from PUBG or Fortnite.
  2. Despite using Unity, the graphics are notorious for how awful and ugly they are, and are on par with some late Nintendo 64 or early GameCube and PlayStation 2 games. Ironically, there are a plethora of games released for both systems with even better graphics.
    • The developers claim that they can't add fancy graphics like PUBG Mobile, because they wanted the game to be playable on low-end Android devices, so at least it's excusable.
  3. Free Fire decided to implement not only one, but several different features that will enhance the power of your characters if you are willing to pay real money. While you can get some for free in events, the best skins, characters, and pets all sit behind a paywall to force you to spend real money to get stronger.
    • Because of this, some online marketplaces are stormed by user accounts for sale containing these paid features.
  4. The gameplay is abysmal, especially if you have a duel with another player as you just stand in a place and tap the shoot button.
    • The guns in this game have no gun recoil and bullet spread, meaning the accuracy is 100% accurate.
    • The aim assist in this game is so strong you don't even have to try to aim, but on the other hand, due to how strong the aim assist is, it can be extremely hard to aim at long distances because the aim assist somehow will move the reticle apart from the objective, and it just gets much worse when you're using a sniper rifle.
    • When you kill an opponent, he can take a few seconds to react to being killed!
  5. The game, just like Mario Kart Tour, especially lower ranked levels, is full of bots.
  6. Like Fortnite, because of the game's popularity, Garena then started milking it in an attempt to pander towards the country where the game was popular.
  7. Free Fire apparently copies other battle royale games' events. For instance, the PUBG Mobile x McLaren collab, which added the 570S as one of the vehicle skins. So, Free Fire added the P1 as one of the vehicle skins too (which looks like a stock model for a 2015 shovelware mobile racing game in any way). And don't forget one too, McLaren even made a bespoke car for the game called the MCL-FF.
  8. When you get off the plane, you land with a skateboard instead of a glider or a parachute which is a cheap way to be cool with the kids.
  9. All characters except special look almost completely similar because each gender wears almost the same clothes but differently colored which shows lazyness of 111 Dots Studio.
  10. On July of 2022, a bunch of trailers for a new game mechanic released. For one trailer though, they lazily copied off Fortnite skin models and pasted them cheering at their game characters. There was a huge controversy around this trailer that the developers, afraid of a lawsuit, quickly privated the trailer a day later.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The controls are responsive, at least.
  2. So much collaborations has been done with Free Fire since 2020. Ranging from Cristiano Ronaldo, Street Fighter, Money Heist, to even One Punch Man.
  3. An optimized version called Free Fire MAX, was released. It featured graphic overhauls like water reflections, vegetation effects, a map creator, sound overhauls, full 360 degree view of the main menu, and a "cross-version" multiplayer, meaning you can still play online with the original version even with people who have installed the MAX version.


Many users, mostly from Latin American countries and several Asian countries like Vietnam have heavily panned this game due to the aforementioned problems.

The game, however, achieved immense commercial success. It earned approximately 182 million downloads in 2018 and grossed $19 million in monthly revenues, making it one of Garena's most profitable games to date.


  • It was the fourth most downloaded game on the Google Play Store in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the fourth most downloaded game worldwide in 2018 on iOS and the Google Play Store together. The game later became the most downloaded mobile game in 2020.
  • The game won "The Best Game by Popular Vote" by Google Play Store in 2019 and 2021.
  • On Febuary of 2022, the game was banned in India due to the link between Garena and Tencent following a ban of various Chinese apps in 2020.
  • On August of 2021, it became the third android game to ever cross 1 billion downloads, only behind Candy Crush Saga and Subway Surfers.


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