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Garena Free Fire Banned in India: What Is It, Why Is It Banned, Alternatives and All Details

By: Abhik Sengupta

News18.com

Last Updated: February 18, 2022, 14:03 IST

Garena Free Fire one billion downloads on Google Play in January 2022.

Garena Free Fire one billion downloads on Google Play in January 2022.

If you're a fan of battle royale games on smartphones, the good news is PUBG Mobile is back in India in the form of BGMI and PUBG New State.

Garena Free Fire, the popular battle royale game, has been banned in India owing to national security threats. The app, along with 53 Chinese applications, was banned by the Indian government earlier today amid political tensions with China. This is the fifth major crackdown on Chinese apps since November 2020, when the government blocked 43 apps over the same national security risk. But there’s one thing that’s quite interesting, Garena Free Fire is not a typical ‘Chinese app’ as it is developed by Singapore-based SEA Limited.

This time, the biggest shocker is Garena Free Fire which gained massive popularity following the ban of original PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite in September 2020. Even though Krafton released Battlegrounds India last year and PUBG New State early this year, Garena Free Fire still remains a loyal fanbase.

Also read: Garena Free Fire Ban: This Is What Garena Has To Say After Government Banned The Game In India

ALSO READ: Govt Bans 54 More Chinese Apps Posing ‘Threat to India’s Security’ Amid Border Row

What is Garena Free Fire?

To put it simply, Garena Free Fire is a battle royale-style mobile game where 50 players compete against each other in a deathmatch. Players are thrown out of a plane without any weapons, and to ensure their survival, they have to kill other players. There are weapons all across the map, and you take your opponent’s artillery after killing them.

ALSO READ: Full List Of 54 Banned Chinese Apps In India: Garena Free Fire- Illuminate, Tencent Xriver And More

In normal mode, the game can go on for as long as there’s only one survivor. Garena also gained popularity among fans for interacting with them daily. The company offered daily redeem codes that deliver premium rewards to give them an edge in games.

Also read: Realme 9 Pro+ Free Fire Edition Confirmed: Will This Smartphone Launch in India After Garena Free Fire Ban?

Not only in India but the Garena Free Fire also remains a top battle royale mobile game in the US. App growth tracker Sensor Tower claimed that Garena Free Fire overtook PUBG Mobile from Tencent in terms of player spending in the US in Q1 2021. Additionally, the action title clocked one billion downloads on Google Play in January 2022 - becoming the first “mobile battle royale game to achieve this milestone".

ALSO READ: Govt Imposes 5th Major Ban on Chinese Apps In India: What Happened So Far

What is happening?

Garena Free Fire and its enhanced version Garena Free Fire Max remain banned on the Apple App Store. The Max version; however, remains available to download on Google Play and users can still play the game on their smartphones. It is unclear whether the vanilla Garena Free Fire remains playable on smartphones, but its servers will likely get blocked soon. The same happened to banned Chinese apps in India in 2020.

Interestingly, Garena Free Fire distributor Garena International’s official website claims the company is based out of Singapore It’s developed . However, the company has not clarified why its name is highlighted in the government ban list for Chinese apps.

Additionally, the ban on Garena in India comes a month after a lawsuit by PUBG maker Krafton became public. Krafton claimed that Garena copies elements of PUBG and should be banned from Google Play and App Store. It also sued Google and Apple for not taking action against Garena.

Garena Free Fire alternatives

If you’re a fan of battle royale games on smartphones, the good news is PUBG Mobile is back in India in the form of BGMI and PUBG New State. Users can also play Call of Duty, though the game is heavy and may not work smoothly on budget smartphones.

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first published:February 14, 2022, 16:41 IST
last updated:February 18, 2022, 14:03 IST
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