While there’s doubtlessly a few thousand dedicated players still battling for supremacy across the interesting islands of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, it’s no secret that in the wake of several successful games imitating the title’s Battle Royale style, Bluehole’s survival shooter is maintaining steady success. The genre-defining hit from last summer is releasing new updates all the time, even if the best video game releases are subject to the natural entropy of all media.
I remember a time when I believed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to be the be-all and end-all of multiplayer experiences which would boast a thriving community until the end of time. Yet, ten years and a weird remastered edition later, and it’s been left in the dust by subsequent releases and a new generation of CoD fans.
That said, PUBG is very far from abandoned, and new players are still queuing up daily to battle it out in pursuit of a chicken dinner. And, while games like the aforementioned Call of Duty franchise are often praised for their “easy to learn, yet hard to master” multiplayer experiences, PUBG demands a lot of the player from the get-go.
There’s hardly anything worse than getting completely defeated match after match thanks to an unwieldy, rig-intensive piece of software. So, with that in mind, come one, come all as we take a look at 20 things that casual PUBG players totally miss. It won’t be an easy journey to the top, but that chicken dinner isn’t as far away as you might think.
20 Is It A Bird? A Plane?
One of the most crucial aspects of Battle Royale success is usually a player’s ability to hit the ground running—literally. If you’re not exactly an accomplished parachutist, I would be willing to bet that the first few moments of the match are difficult to endure. Keeping clear of the flight path is a handy tip to avoiding combat, but players landing later may find themselves immediately forced into a firefight.
I wasn’t aware of this when I first started playing, but you can actually hit "F" on PC to fall faster once the parachute has been deployed. I often felt that the mandatory parachute deployment at 230 feet was something of a hindrance, but, with this tip in mind, you can become a much more difficult target to hit.
19 While You Were Sprinting
Speaking of the Call of Duty franchise, does anyone remember that infamous Modern Warfare 2 glitch which allowed player’s carrying a care package marker to sprint significantly faster than anyone else? I’m actually not sure if this was a glitch or an intentional game design element.
This was often the signature movie of nimble, knife-wielding combatants.
PUBG may have taken a play from CoD’s playbook in this regard, as when you holster your weapon, which can be done by hitting the "X" button on PC, you can actually sprint six percent faster. Sure, that may not seem like much of a difference, but, as many veteran players will attest, subtle details like this can at times be game changing. This is one of those little things that can make a big difference to new players.
18 Keep That Grenade!
It can be a major annoyance to new players to accidentally pull the pin on a grenade and scramble to get rid of it before it either ends your session prematurely. Given the overly-complex controls present in PUBG, this situation is likely familiar to many fresh players, and, even if you survive your equipment malfunction, you’ve just alerted every nearby player to your whereabouts.
This may be common knowledge to savvy players, but on PC, you can actually drag your grenade back into your inventory, and it won’t go off. The same thing can be accomplished by hitting Y on Xbox, and this can literally be a game-saving action. Not only are grenades kind of rare, but their lethality could be a concern to unconfident first-timers.
17 Location, Location, Location!
As any CS:GO player worth their salt will tell you, you need to make callouts and be aware of your location at all times. Getting lost is never good, and if a partner gets tongue-tied while commuting an enemy’s position, it can often cause issues for both of you.
Learn the names of the locations within the game, and ensure that you’ve got a grip on the cardinal bearings of other landmarks. This isn’t the kind of knowledge that can be picked up right away, but familiarity with the play space can often lend players the upper hand in combat.
Plus, Bluehole included a compass on the HUD for a reason. Announce the direction in which you’re heading to keep your team on the same page. This simple stuff can elevate your play, and you’ll be well on your way to your team becoming a well-oiled machine the likes of which others will fear.
16 El Pollo
This is more of an easter egg, but knowing tiny details like this will help to put any player in the upper echelons of PUBG play. Gamers are notorious for finding weird, obscure goofs or glitches in games, but this one is very much intentional and out in the open.
On the new Miramar map, players can spot graffiti on some buildings reading “El Pollo es mio,” which translates from Spanish as “the chicken is mine.” That, as you might imagine, is a reference to Battlegrounds’ well-known “chicken dinner” win state.
This would be the ultimate place to successfully conclude a match, and little things like this help Bluehole to endear themselves in the hearts and minds of the gaming populace—especially in the wake of a litany of semi-frivolous lawsuits.
15 Keep The Doors Closed!
There’s an old saying that goes something like “an open door is an opportunity” or something along those lines. Well, in PUBG, that’s kind of the case, but, more often than not, players should be wary of opened doors.
This is because all doors in the game are closed by default at the beginning of each match.
That means, if you happen across an opened door, it’s a pretty good indication that someone else has been there, unless you’re partner hasn’t been too communicative, or perhaps you happen to have a very poor short-term memory.
Either way, subtle hints like this can often end up being very helpful. While lots of players rely on expensive headsets to listen for whatever others might be up to, small visual queues may at times be just as telling.
14 Know Your Loot
While some have voiced their concerns over the semi-arbitrary and blatant attempt to encircle surviving players together at the end of each match, there are a few other facets intelligent players should understand about this mechanic.
It’s a dangerous proposition to be sure, but adventures or brazen loot hunters can often find better equipment on the outskirts of the map. Major towns or cities can also be a great place for such stuff, but that comes with the caveat of frequent firefights.
If you are really willing to risk your neck and contend with PUBG’s omnipresent ensnarement, you can find some really cool gear out on the map’s perimeter. Of course, you’ll also need to worry about bringing it back alive, but survival isn’t as tenuous a proposition when you heavily outclass most of your adversaries.
13 Honk For Service
Another easter egg sharp-eyed players have noticed that some of the vehicles on PUBG’s new map Miramar have the same rear license plate. A mess up at the DMV, perhaps, but developer Bluehole actually encoded a silly hidden meaning behind these plates. Reading “F2HNK,” these trucks are actually offering a subtle hint toward the little-used ability to honk a vehicle’s horn in the game by pressing F on PC.
Vehicles are definitely loud enough as it is, so I doubt that you’ll ever need use the horn to alert someone of your presence.
Still, it can be fun to run someone down while blaring the horn like a madman, rubbing your victory in the face of your tire-marked opponent. New players may want to avoid vehicles altogether, though, as they come with a whole set of unique headaches.
12 Bridging The Gap
This might seem like a ridiculous notion, but tactical, covert PUBG aficionados will often go out of their way to avoid bridges in the game. Sure, on the surface, they seem like a way better crossing method than swimming under it or finding some other way around, but bridges are usually scoped out by aggressive players and used as dangerous funnels.
If you’re racing toward a bridge in a vehicle, your movements will be very easy to anticipate, and you and your team will be little more than fodder for incoming enemy fire. If you’re able to climb to the top of one of these metal monsters, you’ll be treated to a prime sniping location. If you’re new, though, I would seriously recommend steering clear of these things unless there really is no other option.
11 Free Parking
Remember, vehicles in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds are loud—like, extremely so. Tearing up the streets of some apparently vacant town is reckless and can often land you in some The Last of Us-styled trap.
If you and your buddy are planning on scoping out some spot in the distance, your best bet is to park somewhere far away. Mark the location on your map, and make sure that nobody is camping you out when you return to your truck.
A major part of PUBG is keeping as quiet as possible, and motorized vehicles are about as far from subtle as you can possibly get.
You might as well sprint around while screaming in proximity chat. Park in some grassy knoll and proceed with caution. You never know who could be out there, and you’re infinitely more likely to come out on top if you see them before they see you.
10 Take A Look Around
Third-person shooters tend to offer the player a bunch of tactical options that wouldn’t normally be available in a first person perspective. You can peek around corners without revealing yourself, get a better view or your surroundings, and look in multiple directions without actually repositioning your character.
This can be doubly helpful in PUBG because familiarity with your surroundings is downright vital.
Of course, the camera is typically locked behind your character, but it can actually be pivoted and swung around in a full 360 degree circle with the press of the "Alt" key. With this feature, you can keep an eye on what’s going on behind you while running forward, easily check up on your teammate, or get a lay of the land without taking a step.
9 Back Into Action
Remember back in the days of Halo 3 when players could accidentally (or, more often, intentionally) pilot a vehicle into a ravine or off of a cliff without a care for the repercussions?
Since most ships in that game could simply be flipped with the press of a button, it didn’t really matter where your ride ended up. Don’t you wish the same thing could be done in PUBG? At the very least, don’t you wish you could survive a crash like you could in Halo 3?
While it isn’t exactly the most convenient tactic, a well thrown grenade will actually re-orient a flipped car. This makes PUBG’s driving mechanics approximately 0.537 percent less bad—trust me, I did the math. If you’re in a pinch and need a vehicle, then I suppose this is useful. Otherwise, it could potentially be a dangerous, risky waste of a grenade.
8 Cars Are Just Bad
This might sound like a bit of a cop-out, but I really find the cars, trucks and bikes of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to be way, way more trouble than they’re worth. Sure, I understand that much of the game revolves around staying inside of that ever-shrinking safezone, but vehicles basically double as a beacon pinpointing your location to potential adversaries.
Plus, given that most players would rather stalk some forms of transport and wait to eliminate others who come along hoping to catch a ride, you are almost more likely to live longer if you just ignore these steel coffins. Yes, some players can use them effectively if they adhere to a strict set of rules, but the wonky controls, bad handling, and the hassle of getting in and out of them make them borderline unusable.
7 Hay There!
Let’s embrace our inner peasant sensibilities and ditch our cars in favor of large stacks of hay—no, really! I’ve gone on endlessly about how dangerous automobiles can be in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, but weirdly enough, bales of hay can be super helpful. If you crouch, you can actually crawl into some of them! Thanks to the third person perspective, this affords you a broad, sweeping view of your surroundings while simultaneously allowing for full concealment.
In terms of hiding spots, that’s about as good as it gets.
Though of course they aren’t everywhere on the map, they still provide for a situational tactical advantage. That works both ways, of course, so, if you come across a stack of hay, it’s best to exercise some caution.
6 Marathon Runner
I’ve always hated the implementation of stamina systems in most video games. Again, CoD is a huge offender—we spend most of the game in the shoes of an elite, highly trained soldier, yet he can’t sprint for more than eight seconds? Don’t tell me he’s weighed down by all of the equipment: if you had to run for your life from a firefight, you wouldn’t get tired and start walking after ten feet.
PUBG, fortunately, opted for surrealism of an entirely different degree: you can sprint pretty much forever. As far as I know, the only repercussion is that if you spend too long holding your breath while using a scope, you won’t be able to sprint right away.
Other than that, keep your finger on that shift key, and you’re off to the races. Actually, you can just hit the "=" key once to toggle between running and walking, which is very convenient if you’re looking to avoid early onset arthritis.
5 Drop ‘Em
Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3 was the first game I can remember which featured bullet drop, the mechanic by which bullet trajectories may take a much more realistic flightpath. It was a big deal at the time, though I’m sure it is far from the first game to implement such a feature.
Yet, that extra degree of realism added to the gunplay really helped to differentiate the title from its competitors.
Today, bullet drop and non-hitt-scanning weapons are common features in most games, and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is just another in a slew of semi-realistic military simulations to include the mechanic.
That said, you can’t ever quite trust your weapon sights when aiming from great distances, and if you find your accuracy to sharply decrease the further out your target, aiming slightly over the heads of your enemies may help you to hit your mark.
4 Grenade Bowling
Using grenades in a close-quarters situation can be a really risky and tenuous proposition. Sure, they can be effective, but more often than not it seems like these armaments end up closer to my feet than the feet of my enemy.
Grenades either bounce off walls, roll down hills, or just don’t end up anywhere I want them to.
The right mouse button on PC or the right D-pad on an Xbox controller will allow you to toggle between throwing and rolling your grenades, which can allow for much, much more precise explosive placement indoors.
Plus, you get to seem like some sort of tactical genius SWAT team operative as you gently roll a grenade down the hall toward a group of bad guys. It still won’t work out in your favor all of the time—few things in PUBG do—but things won’t blow up in your face, at least.
3 Practice Makes Perfect
It’s no secret that experience often makes or breaks a player’s chances of winning a PUBG match. I’m sure a small few have managed to luck their way into the top ten during their first couple of outings, but most will find themselves long since exterminated by the time the end of the match rolls around.
Don’t worry, though, if that’s been your experience, you’re definitely in the majority.
Though I’ve advocated for and adapted my playstyle toward a more covert, less combat-focused method, you’ll never get anywhere by spending the whole game hiding. Sure, the first couple of fights in which you engage probably won’t end your way, but learning the ins and outs of the game’s military mechanics can go a long way in terms of personal longevity.
2 Don’t Waste It
I’m not sure I can stress this enough: healing items are few and far between in PUBG, so don’t waste them! While it’s essentially a basic human function to keep self-preservation at the forefront of our thoughts, a minor issue is almost never worth healing unless you’ve somehow come across a cache of medkits and energy drinks.
In particular, medkits are capable of fully replenishing your health, so I would reserve them for nothing short of a huge problem.
Boosters, on the other hand, will replenish some of your health over a period of time. They certainly aren’t as valuable as medkits, but I still wouldn’t use them to liberally. Nothing is less fun than nearly eliminating your prey, only for them to sneak off and come back, fully healed, with a vengeance.
Play smart, though, and you could be the one left standing as the smoke clears.
1 Rebind The Controls
This may seem like a no-brainer, but first time PUBG players often complain about the game's less-than-user-friendly mouse and keyboard setup. Though a step or two away from something you might see in the ARMA series, PUBG's in-depth control scheme is a mind-boggling amalgam of weird key placements and awkward multi-button shortcuts.
Any experienced player will tell you the the first thing you should do before skydiving into the fray is adjusting the controls to your liking.
For a game this in-depth, I would also recommend a gaming-oriented mouse, which should offer a much needed extra set of switches to allow for that extra bit of in-game leverage. Even the best video game experiences can be brought down by a mediocre control configuration, so don't let yourself be bested by players with a far more ergonomic setup.