PLAYERUNKNOWN'S Battlegrounds Beginner Strategy


Hot off the heels of H1Z1: King of the Kill EA release we've been seeing an increase in play and interest in PLAYERUNKNOWN'S Battlegrounds. The games play so similar in style and visual appearance that it's hard to tell the two apart, and for good reason with PLAYERUNKNOWN being an original contributor and Arma 2 & 3 modder. PUBG recently hit 1.0 release with a new map after an extended early access campaign.

Not long after the original release I was going through a 3 week battle of bronchitis and spent my worst days laid up in bed watching Summit1g's twitch stream, who was running up his #1 North America rank in duo play. The only good thing that came out of my bout of sickness was being able to learn the strategy used by the top player in the world for surviving in a Battlegrounds match. Once I'd recovered I bought some copies for the shop and have since tried applying what I've learned to my own play. So if you're looking for a strategy that will get you deep in every game with a chance at a win or top-5 placement, read on!

Early Game - Just Survive

At the very beginning of the game just as players are allowed to jump from the plane, if you pan your camera to the back of the plane you'll see a good 20-30 players who immediately jump out. These players generally all parachute in on the same area, ending up in fist fights or getting gunned down in the first few minutes. For a game whose sole purpose is surviving the longest this is a terrible strategy with slim odds of making it out of the first few minutes, and even if you do survive your chances of running into several heavily armed players in the first half of the game is very high. The few games you make it out geared to the teeth are not worth the many early to mid-game exits

If you wait in the plane and watch people fly out, or hit "V" to view the interior to see how many are left, you can wait it out and get down to under 20% of people left in the plane very quickly.  This greatly increases your chances of being able to loot hassle-free and get geared up early game while avoiding early combat. When you do release you can choose to head for a large city and take your chances with only 2-3 others around, or just find a small cluster of houses near a road with likely 0 competition while you gather your loot. The goal is to avoid an early exit while getting yourself amply geared for the mid game.

Mid-Game - Vehicles, Circles, and more Surviving

So you're all geared up with a backpack, some armor, at least one decent gun, ample ammo, bandages and first aid kits, hopefully a 2x or better scope (you're going to need it!) and the first circle is just starting to contract. Time for mid-game strategy!

Vehicles are sometimes necessary if you're so far away from the circle that there is just no way to make it on foot.  Motorcycles, cars or jeeps spawn near any populated area or just on the outskirts of a town. Beware that vehicles are noisy and big targets, both of which will more easily give away your position. When possible it's a much better strategy to travel on foot!

When approaching the first circle remember from which direction the plane travelled in and try to get a rough idea of which edge of the circle you're most likely to run into people, then travel to the complete opposite side.  When heading to subsequent circles, it's advantageous to approach the edges of the circle which have the smallest gaps between the white and blue edges, as you can use the blue as your back reducing the amount of area you have to scan for players.

If you happened to have a terrible time looting early game and are running around with a shotgun or pistol, it may be a better option to instead head to larger cities in search of some gunfights to gear up or take the early exit. Gearing up is a gradual curve throughout the game but you don't want to fall behind the curve heading into late game!

Late Game - Retracing Ground

The rest of the game is a practice of looting houses, scanning for enemies and retracing your steps in a spiral towards the edge of the new white circle.  When the new circle arrives you've already "cleared" an area of players, so you're going to just head back in the direction which you came in an arc towards the new circle.  This ensures you're unlikely to be attacked from behind and most of your threats are in the 150 degree cone in front of you.

Follow a pattern of retracing your steps similar to this.

This is the part of the game where you're looking to gear up through player kills. The weapon upgrades, med kits, and improved scopes you capture will all help carry you deep into the game. The later the game goes the more important the terrain around you becomes. Rocky ridges are a good cover to ambush and defend from either side, and heavy forest allows good shade cover for gunfights. While you have no control over where the circle will head next you can plan ahead based on the terrain and try to position yourself in a way to move within cover and avoid open fields. Houses, and especially houses near the edge of the new white circle, become more dangerous to enter as the game wears on. If you arrive at one early enough they may make a great spot to sit and wait for players to come in, but beware approaching a house near the edge of the circle late in the cycle!

End Game - Get Camped On

If you've followed this strategy then it's possible you've made it all the way to late game with few engagements. The end game is extremely campy with snipers abound everywhere. Stay prone and in the shade and try hard not to give away your position. The end game may take you to a forest, a town, a rocky cliff side, the middle of a field or a beach. In the end it's going to be a bloodbath and you're going to have to fight your way to the win. Those last few minutes of every game are such an adrenaline rush and always fun live or die.

Come Play With Us

We have Battlegrounds games happening all the time at the shop and would be happy to Duo or Squad with you!
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