A comprehensive play guide on how to get yourself to the top in the newest fight for survival.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a game that has seen an unparalleled boost in popularity recently, despite still being in Early Access. You’re put into the shoes of one out of a hundred other players and airdropped onto an island full of guns, motorbike helmets, and invincible frying pans. Our play guide will let you know how to deal with survival in this new battle royale and set you up for a win.
As the game goes on a blue force-field continually shrinks to a random point on the map, damaging you if you’re not quick enough to get inside the safe zone. This forces players to get closer to each other until a victor is decided. Your aim? Kill the other 99 players, and be the last one standing.
Here is what you need to know to stand the best chance of doing that!
Ctrl+T to mute all voice chat
Remember this, ‘Ctrl+T’ mutes all voice chat. You start in a lobby with up to 100 random players on a tiny island, you can pick up guns, practice aiming and firing, get used to the movement of the game and make good use of the time. A few people will take advantage of everyone being close together and start shouting down the mic, you have until the game begins to press ‘Ctrl+T’, which will mute what is about to make your ears bleed (it usually gets worse once you load into the plane).
Another way to deal with this problem, that you can do before even clicking play, is swap to team voice chat. Click on the cog in the top right to go to options, then find the sound tab, and scroll to the bottom. Here you can change the ‘voice channel’ from All to Team Only. Through doing this, you can only hear voices from your squad and get rid of constantly having to mute and unmute. Unless your friends are the ones shouting obscenities in the lobby.
To All chat, or not to All chat
Surprisingly, there are advantages to having all chat on. There have been multiple times I have been hiding on the roof of a house, cowering away like the *ahem* survivalist I am, only to hear a group chatting to each other as they walk up to the house I lay in wait on. A shotgun and a couple of stun grenades later, I’m thanking that I’d forgotten to turn all chat off. On the off chance that someone forgets to turn it off, having all chat on in a group game can save yourself from an unpleasant buckshot surprise, so think about turning it back on when you get off the plane!
Possibly the most important part of this play guide, where should you drop from the plane? This will set you up for the rest of your match, so don’t take it lightly. We’ll tell you where the best places are to land, and the maximum distance you can parachute.
Where to go and when
First, a map of the loot spots will give you an idea of the most attractive areas. If you’re wanting an all out firefight, just drop in the one closest to the path of the plane. If you want to stand a better chance of winning, there’s more to it.
What do I mean by there’s more to it, you say. Well, take at a look at the path of the plane. Is it only going over one or two of the High Loot areas? If so, those will be so packed it’s almost suicide dropping into them. For example, if the plane is flying over the southern side of the island, from Primorsk to Mylta and not passing further north, there will dozens of players dropping into the military base and Novorepnoye.
When the plane is travelling along one side of the island, and sticking to that side, I would always suggest dropping somewhere near a car and driving to the opposite side of the island. Not only is it safer, but there’s a high chance you can loot an area all for yourself. Be aware, others will be doing the same so be on guard, and if you’re playing solo there is a much higher chance of other players being there.
How far can you go?
A key tip in this play guide is how far you can travel from the plane. Can you make it to that town in the distance and get away from the throng of pan wielding looters? A simple way to know this is using the grid squares on the map. If you drop from the plane and immediately look up in the direction you’re aiming, then release your parachute as early as possible, you can travel two whole yellow grid lines, around 2km. Releasing a parachute so early is incredibly slow. However, if you drop the from the plane and immediately look up, but wait to release your parachute until the latest moment, you’ll travel 1 and a half yellow grid lines, or 1.5km. Use this knowledge to tell whether you need to release your chute as soon as possible, or you can afford to wait.
Another key tip of the play guide is to not hold down W while you parachute down. Tap W to wiggle the parachute back and forth, this will let you travel further through the air.
The effect of solo, duo or squad
Be aware, what game mode you’re in should change how you play the game. If in squad there are 100 players in a game, each with up to four, there will be 25 groups of players. If we extend this to duo, there are 50 groups. Solo, there are 100 different moving ‘groups’ of players. Take that as you will, but as a worst case this means you are 400% more likely to find a player in each given town in solo, than in squad. You will find more players, that’s a given. Bear this in mind when you loot in each game mode and it may help your chances of survival.
So, you’re on the ground, you’re running through a house and you see a shotgun! But wait, there’s another player, and he sees it too. You run, accidentally crouch, and jump through the air, you kneel down to pick it up. You get a face-full of buckshot. Why? He used drag looting and you pressed F. Drag looting is instant, if you press F your player model is forced to carry out the looting animation.
Instead, you can press TAB and drag the items into you inventory. While this might take some getting used to, it gives a major advantage, especially in the early game. Don’t get a face-full of buckshot, change your looting habits! It’s also key to know you can also reload, open doors, and move while you drag loot, so keep moving!
The main features of combat in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are the ability to lean, holding SHIFT to steady your aim when looking down the sights, and knowing how to zero and lead a moving target. While this is a section that will need a play guide all on it’s own, along with the different weapons, it will be covered briefly here.
You can use Q and E to lean in and out of cover, while exposing the least amount of yourself to the enemy. It’s possible to quickly snap in and out of aiming down the sights as you lean to take out an enemy with precision at the same time. A tactic I commonly like to use if it’s possible is to lean while stood up, then, if the enemy is still alive, crouch and lean out again. If you’ve leaned out in a standing position several times, the enemy will think you’re going to again, so tricking them may buy you valuable time to shoot.
SHIFT will allow you to steady your aim and reduce recoil, when aiming down the sight of your gun. It also gives a slight zoom if you don’t have a scope! Bear in mind however, that you have limited breath represented by the lung icon that appears. If this runs out, you become unable to use shift. This breath does not regenerate if you sprint, so stand still if you need to recover it before another firefight.
Ending the Game
You’ve looted, you’ve survived, now how do you win? There are several ways to go about this, each with a couple of drawbacks and perks. As you play you’ll get a feel for your options in a given situation. There are also many other ways not described in this play guide! However, these are two tactics that have served me well during my several hundred hours.
Heading to the Centre
The blue force-field of death is a circle, and where is the safest place in a circle that kills you? The centre. This option will put you in the best position for wherever the circle goes next, you get there quicker, you get a better position than everyone else. Simple, right? The problem being, lots of other players are going to have the same idea, and you’re going to get surrounded.
Players can be on all sides and if you’re in a house you’re likely going to get squads converging on your position. One after the other. Now, if holding a house is your preferred play-style, find one in the circle centre and wait! You’re not out in the open, no one can head shot you with an AWM, and you get the drop on anyone that slips in. Get lucky and you’ll not have a leave a house near the circle centre until the very end.
I would recommend this kind of play to any that wish to simply survive until the later game stages. It may be less exciting, but it’s guaranteed the safest way to get a high ranking finish.
Hugging the Blue
My favourite way to play is hugging the blue. No, I don’t mean showing it physical affection, I mean staying as close to it as possible. Aggressively scout out the edge as you stay close to the blue. Then move in behind anyone that will likely be looking away from the blue force-field for easy kills.
This way you mostly only have one direction to worry about, and can consistently flank your enemies. By hunting them down you can gain higher quality loot, which makes every difference come the final firefights.
The drawbacks are it’s possible to be flanked yourself if an enemy gets the drop on you. Move from cover to cover, pause to scan the area if needs be, and move again. While leaving you more in the open, this gives you a better view of the surroundings and where other squads or players may be, and prevents you from being surrounded with ease.