The best shooter on mobile. PUBG killer. Tencent’s best. That’s just some of the lavish praise Chinese gamers are heaping on Call of Duty Mobile.

The game’s success in China is notable because it’s not available there. Ironically, despite being developed by Tencent, Call of Duty Mobile hasn’t officially launched in China, where authorities are often slow to approve new games.

The absence of the world’s largest mobile gaming market hasn’t hurt the game so far: Call of Duty Mobile has already amassed more than 30 million downloads and raked in US$2 million in revenue worldwide in just 36 hours after its launch, according to Sensor Tower.

Those numbers likely do include Chinese players, given the chatter about the game online. Plenty of tech-savvy Chinese gamers have been getting their fix by using VPNs and overseas App Store accounts, and they’re happily sharing their opinions online.

“Across the entire mobile games market, there hadn’t been a game that could make me all the way happy until I met Call of Duty Mobile,” one of the most upvoted comments on China’s top mobile gaming forum Tap Tap said.

Many Chinese gamers say Tencent has outdone itself with Call of Duty Mobile. (Picture: Tencent)

While they are two very different games, many are comparing Call of Duty Mobile with PUBG Mobile. It could be because they’re both from Tencent, or because the latter game is the current king of mobile shooters: PUBG Mobile, along with its China-only counterpart Game for Peace, has grossed more than US$1 billion.

“As a [mobile] shooter, it dwarfs all other games of the same genre in terms of how it feels,” another popular Tap Tap comment said. “It’s even better than Game for Peace when it comes to how fluid the control feels and how comfortable the shooting feels.”

The authentic feel of the game is also garnering praise. Call of Duty Mobile includes a bunch of classic maps from the series, like Killhouse, Crossfire and Nuketown. And unlike PUBG, it has a variety of modes like Team Deathmatch, Domination and more -- alongside, of course, battle royale.

“As a Call of Duty mobile game, it has very accurately represented the original Call of Duty games. All the classic characters, the same and familiar [fast] pace of the game as well as all the combos are there,” a gamer wrote on Tap Tap.

Call of Duty Mobile even has a flamethrower. (Picture: Tencent)

That’s not to say the game didn’t face criticism. Server issues, common in many online games at launch, irked some fans. Another complaint revolves around the lack of feedback when you get hit, and the difficulty of switching into a prowling position.

Still, it’s been a great start for the game. Now let’s see what happens when it manages to release in China officially.