As you may have gathered from my review, I quite like PUBG. Having got my first Chicken Dinner not so long ago, I finally think I’m in a position to write some hints and tips and to share some of my more successful strategies.
This will end up being a 4-part piece (probably) where I’ll cover some general information and tips, before I move onto the start, middle and end of each game and the strategies that I’ve found that work best in each section of play.
First off you need to understand the basics. You parachute into each map and have to scavenge the gear you need to survive. Once landed you have to make your way to the first white circle; which will be the initial play zone. After the timer is up, a large blue circle starts to shrink toward the white circle. Anyone caught outside white circle receives constant damage that will in time, kill you (you want to be in the white circle at all times basically).
Once the blue circle meets the white. Another white circle, smaller this time appears randomly within the last circle (now blue) and after a timer has gone, the blue circle shrinks again. Rinse and repeat until either everyone’s dead (baring you hopefully), or the final circle is there. And the final circle is very very small. It’s a great mechanic and it forces everyone into constant confrontation, so you shouldn’t be bored for too long in any round…
After the circle (and there is a whole range of tactics involved around the circle) you need to worry about weapons and gear. Your immediate priority is a gun. Any gun. And then you need to find Armor; bullet proof vests and helmets along with jackets and gloves (the last two not offering any real protection). Next, a backpack, and then more weapons. Following that optics (I.e. Sniper scopes) and then you can relax. Ha.
I usually like to have one short range weapon (a shotgun or sub-machine gun) and then a long range, either a sniper or an assault rifle. This covers me for house-clearing and long to mid range combat. You’ll want at least a x4 scope on your long range and then ideally a red dot for your up close weapon. You’ll find a preferred loadout (not that you’ll always get it given drops are random), and your play style will end up revolving slightly around that. It is very much worth playing with as many different weapons as you can to give you the best chance of survival. There are different tiers of gear and weapons (1, 2 and 3, with 3 being the best) and it’s always worth seeking out the higher tier weapons if you can. For example, a motorcycle helmet will usually protect you from one shot to the head (depending on weapon, and not including the face). A military helmet (t2), 2 shots, and the Tier3 (which looks like a welding helmet, replete with face mask) protects from 3. This is similar for the Body armour, where at tier 3, and depending on weapon, you can expect 4-7 shots to be needed to kill someone. Headshots people, headshots.
So assuming that you’ve got the gist of movement and scavenging and you’ve cut your teeth on combat, here are my general tips- things that may seem obvious, but have served me very well.
1- Positioning is key. Seriously. You need to be constantly thinking about where you are, where you’re going, and who (potentially) can see you. Human eyes have evolved to see movement. This becomes incredibly apparent when you’re playing PUBG. It’s surprisingly easy to pick out people running across open ground at distance, or movement in a building.
So, anything that breaks the line of sight is paramount. Run next to walls, run from bush to bush or tree to tree. Never sprint upright unless you’re desperate- crouch-run to lower your profile. Also, never, NEVER run or move across the top of a hill- you will stand out for miles and believe me, if someone’s got a sniper, they WILL shoot at you. Being silhoueted against the sky is a quick way to die. But be aware at all times. If you’ve realised this is a good route to use and the cover up ahead is perfect for you, so will someone else. I’ve lost count of how many times i’ve died using cover to someone who just got there before me.
2- Choose your engagements. Every time you see someone think; can I kill them in about 6-7 shots. That’s the average for someone wearing tier 3 gear (as you’ll not hit every shot, especially on the head). If they’re moving, where are they going? is there cover they can reach, am I exposed? If they see me am I vulnerable? And most importantly, if someone hears the shots (and someone will), how far am I from safety.
The golden rule is basically this (taking all of the above into account): can you guarantee the kill? If not, think twice about taking the shot.
3- information is everything. Seriously, Everything in the game is giving you information. Sound in particular is a HUGE source of info- footsteps in particular.
Taking the previous point- you’ve decided not to take the shot. But now you have a huge advantage over the player. You (should) have an idea about what gear they have (the weapons and gear are distinctive) and where they’re heading, ESPECIALLY if you’re a few circles into the round and hopefully, they don’t know where you are. So, you can choose your next engagement, or leave them alone, but safe in the knowledge that you know where one enemy is.
Towards the end of the game knowing where the enemy is, without giving your own position away, is a key strategy you need for winning. Engagement discipline is even more important then. Gunshots or engine sounds are great indications of where people are AND the weapons they have. The kill feed too even goes as far as to tell you what weapon killed who, so after you hear a gun crack nearby, check the kill feed and you’ll see what weapon was (probably) used.
Think about the world around you. There’s enough information coming your way to give you an edge.
4- When you engage, commit. Weirdly, this is the one I struggle with most. I often stop firing to wait to see what happens without thinking about it. Now when I decide to shoot at someone I keep shooting as quickly as I can, as consistently as I can (while maintaining accuracy) until they’re dead, I’m dead, or I run out of ammo. With certain weapons (especially single shot or weapons with a single fire mode) it can be too easy to find yourself halfheartedly firing at someone waiting for them to fall over. Seriously, why send 3-4 bullets when you can send 20. Be aggressive and Ensure that kill. If you’ve got the drop on them, it’s your kill to lose.
5- Get to the circle early. Where the first circle starts, given its random nature, you can easily find yourself on the other side of the map with a lot of ground to cover to be safe. This is dangerous for two reasons; the first is that travelling paints a big target on you. Especially in a vehicle. Don’t get me wrong, vehicles are vital, but anyone and everyone takes potshots at passing vehicles. And running is even worse, as on both maps there are plenty of open spaces that are NOT fun to be caught out in. The second reason is a purely logistical one, if the circle IS on the other side of the map, you have to get there or the blue circle will kill you.
There is a whole tactical essay to be written on the circle and how to ‘play’ it, but just think of it this way. The more time you have to spend travelling, the less time you have to scavenge. The less time you have to study your surroundings and gather information. And the less time you have to engage on your own terms. If you do engage it’ll likely be in response to an attack from someone in a far better position than you and often, without even knowing where it came from. This is bad.
Another thing to remember is that if you get to the centre of the play zone early, it gives you the pick of positions (ideally a defendable building or vantage point). This then means you are free to gather information on your surroundings (something people entering the zone have to do on the fly) and it means people are coming to YOU, rather than you going to them.
The final most important point to consider is this; being in the centre of the last circle gives you a much higher chance of being within the next one, which means less movement, less distance to travel to centre of next circle, and then we repeat the above.
6- Aim. As daft as it sounds, take time to aim before you shoot. If people are moving you need to lead your shot a bit. If they’re more than 100 m away, you need to adjust for bullet drop. And aim for the head. Always the head. Especially if you’re sniping. Wait for them to be still, line it up, then shoot them in the head- but remember point 4; keep shooting. Bullets take time to travel. So send a few, be generous. Odin likes the generous.
7- Never stop moving. See point 6. The sniper is waiting for you to stay still for a second so they can loving place a little nugget of lead in your helmet. Don’t allow them the opportunity. Move forward and back, lean side to side, anything- just don’t stay still (but obviously try not to attract ‘too’ much attention doing it. Dancing isn’t recommended. You’ll see top-players do this and once it’s done to you (down your scope) you’ll see just how effective it is.
As I said, a lot of these seem obvious and some are slightly counter-intuitive, but you’ll be surprised how difficult it can be to keep discipline in this game. You can spend 15 minutes not encountering another soul only to have a 2 minute multi-participant gunfight at the end. Get into good habits, stick to those habits and more often that not, you’ll come out on top.
Any hints/tips of your own? Drop them in the comments below.