Garena Free Fire: What It Is, Why It Was Banned & 5 Alternatives To Play In India

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Garena Free Fire has been banned by the Indian government, in an order issued on Monday. The Battle Royale game is among a list of 54 apps that have ties to China and could pose a security threat to India. The app has also been temporarily blocked on Google Play Store as per government orders. Garena Free Fire gained its current popularity as an alternative to PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite which were banned by the government in September 2020.

Garena Free Fire: what is it?

Free Fire is a battle royale game developed by Garena International in 2017. The game involves 50 players competing in a deathmatch where the last survivor is declared the winner. Similar to other battle royale games, players are thrown out of an unarmed plane and must scavenge respective weapons, ammo and attachments, medical items, and armor to survive in the match. All of the aforementioned items are spread across the map, and players can also loot them by eliminating the enemy.

Like in other Battle Royale games, players in Garena Free Fire must collect weapons, ammo, and other items to survive before time runs out. Alternatively, players should also make sure they are in the safe zone as the cards are constantly fading during a game.

Garena Free Fire: why was it banned?

Garena Free Fire, along with 53 other apps, was banned by the Indian government in an order issued on Monday. In a statement, the government mentioned that “these 54 applications would obtain various critical permissions and collect sensitive user data. This collected real-time data is misused and transmitted to servers located in a hostile country”. The government has also mentioned that there can be serious security breaches and spying that these apps can perform via camera/microphone, GPS, and malicious network activities.

The government statement further added, “These apps are said to have been engaged in activities detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of the country, also posing a serious threat to the state security and defense of India.” . Google has informed Gadgets 360 that it is temporarily blocking access to Garena Free Fire from Google Play Store, specifically the Illuminate version. Garena Free Fire Max for premium devices is still available for download from the Google Play Store.

Garena Free Fire Max and Free Fire Illuminate are basically the same games, but the former has some gameplay improvements. It offers better graphics and gameplay compared to Free Fire Illuminate.

Separately, the Garena Free Fire ban comes after PUBG developer Krafton filed a lawsuit against Garena, Apple and Google. Krafton claims that Garena copied his popular battle royale title.

As mentioned, Garena Free Fire started gaining popularity in India after the government banned the popular PUBG: Mobile along with PUBG: Mobile Lite and 116 other apps that had ties to China.

Garena issued a brief statement in response to the development: “We are aware that Free Fire is currently not available on the Google Play and iOS app stores in India and the game is currently not usable for some users in India. country. We are working to remedy this situation, and we apologize to our users for any inconvenience.”

Garena Free Fire: 5 Alternatives

Since Garena Free Fire was banned in India, here is a list of other battle royale games you can play instead.

India Mobile Battlegrounds

The original app which was banned by the Indian government – PUBG Mobile – has returned to Indian shores and been renamed Battlegrounds Mobile India. The app made concessions to comply with Indian government laws when it relaunched last year.

New Mobile State

New State Mobile is the second game launched by Krafton in India after PUBG Mobile was banned. New State Mobile is set in the year 2051 and features futuristic weapons and vehicles. The game was recently renamed from PUBG: New State to New State Mobile.

Call of duty mobile

Developed by Activision in collaboration with Tencent, Call of Duty Mobile was downloaded over 100 million times in the first week of its launch.

fortnite mobile

The popular battle royale game has been out for a while now. Fortnite also supports cross-platform play. It helps mobile gamers to play with their friends who may have it on their consoles or PC.

Unknown Pixel Battleground

PUBG Mobile themed, Pixel’s Unknown Battlegrounds has over 50 million downloads on Google Play Store. The game features pixelated characters that appear to have been inspired by Lego.


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