You’re going to die a lot in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. That’s just how it is. It’s an unforgiving game that is designed to push players into a confrontation, and the only way to win is to be the last person alive. There’s also a steep learning curve to the Battlegrounds and a lot of the best tricks and tips you’d normally have to learn the hard way. So to get you started, here are 11 things you should know about Battlegrounds that could save your life.
1. Knowing where to start
There’s a catch-22 about your starting location in Battlegrounds. If you land in one of the more loot heavy areas on the map you’ll be fighting off other players looking for the best guns. But your chances of having the best gear for future battles greatly increases. On the flip side, landing in a secluded area means you can probably sit out a few early battles, which does put you closer to victory but also means you may be out-gunned in the later stages of the game. You’re going to have to experiment with this one as there’s no one right answer.
2. Get your boots on the ground
At the beginning of every match, players parachute can choose when to eject from airplane and parachute into the map. Though there’s a number of reasons to wait for the perfect place to drop into, the reality is you really don’t want to be the last person to get on the ground. The early stages of Battlegrounds are all about scavenging for the best gear, and you don’t want to be the last person to find a viable weapon.
3. Freelook is your friend
Though you do want to stay on the move for most of the game, there will be times when sitting still is equally as vital. Lining up shots, scoping out a stronghold, praying that a car full of killers don’t notice you as they drive past – instances where you don’t want to move, but you need to look around. Simply hold down Alt on your keyboard and move the camera freely without moving your character. It’s also great to use when parachuting to locate places to land.
4. Stay on the move
A moving target is harder to hit, it’s as simple as that. If you’re in a firefight in an open field start strafing, or if you’re worried you’re in range of a nearby sniper get your ass indoors. You’ll be at your most vulnerable when looting so be sure to move around a little by using the WASD keys while using the mouse to move items around – anything you can do to make killing you harder for your enemies. It’s also worth noting you’ll move faster when your weapon is unequipped (the X key).
5. Vehicles make you a big target
Getting around the map on a motorbike or in a car is a smart move if you have a plan of action, but generally speaking, cars are loud and easy to spot. If you’re under-equipped for a battle stick to walking. Conversely, if you do see someone approaching in a vehicle go for the tires to stop them faster than trying to blow them up.
6. Tracking enemies using doors
Every door for every building in Battlegrounds is closed at the start of the round. If you ever see an open door it means someone has either entered this building or has open the door to make you think that’s what’s going on. It sounds simple, right? But it’s little tips like this that you can use to help you either track people or setup traps.
For example, you could remind yourself to always close doors to cover your tracks, or you could open a few and find a good vantage point to snipe people slowly entering buildings. Doors are just one element you can use to read your environment. Keep an eye out for abandoned cars too, which may indicate a nearby competitor. Thinking ahead of your current position is key to surviving in Battlegrounds.
7. How to use armor
Armor has two traits you need to know about – durability and damage reduction, both of which are governed by their tier level. Durability is about how much damage a piece of armor can absorb before being destroyed, while damage reduction lets you know how much damage the armor will reduce for you while it’s intact.
Armor durability does not affect damage reduction, so even a vest with that is about to be destroyed if it takes one more hit will still mitigate 100% of its potential damage reduction before being destroyed. Legs and arms are not affected by armor but have an automatic 50% damage reduction while headshots have a 2.5x damage multiplier.
Tier 1: 30% damage reduction, 80 durability for helmets, 200 durability for vest
Tier 2: 40% damage reduction, 150 durability for helmets, 220 durability for vest
Tier 3: 55% damage reduction, 230 durability for helmets, 250 durability for vest
8. Bushes – friend and foe
Turning all your graphics settings to max is almost instinctual for PC gamers, but you could be making Battlegrounds harder on yourself if you do. Trees, plants, bushes – all of these things make spotting enemies much harder, so you’re better turning the foliage down to low. Of course, you could also do the reverse and use foliage to your advantage. Hiding in bushes is not a bad strategy, and combining it with freelook (holding Alt) is a commonly used tactic.
9. Using boost
Painkillers, adrenaline, energy drinks – all of these items can be used to boost your abilities. Above your health bar are four thinner yellow bars that represent your boost stage. Here’s what each stage entitles you to:
Stage 1: Slowly heal over time
Stage 2: Heal over time quicker
Stage 3: Run faster
Stage 4: Aim your weapon faster
Aside from using a (very rarely found) medkit, using a boosting item is also the only way to regain 100% of your health after taking damage. If you manage to carry a bunch of boost items into the endgame when the map is at its smallest it’s worth consuming them to keep you bars full and ready. Don’t hoard them for too long! It’s better to be boosted and ready that die with a surplus you never got to use.
10. Watch out for red zones
To keep the action condensed Battlegrounds has an ever-shrinking safe zone that is surrounded by the blue death-field. Even if you’re new to the game you’ll learn pretty quickly about that wall of death, but don’t take your eye off the red zones. Periodically these red zones will be firebombed, so be sure to stay aware of them when you’re out looting by checking your mini-map. You can survive in a red zone if you can avoid being blown up or find cover, so if you’re ever being pursued it could be worth the risk hiding out in one of these areas.
11. Bulletproof water
If you’ve ever seen that one episode of Mythbusters you know that most low caliber ammunition can’t penetrate water. Forget what you’ve seen in action movies, water becomes like a concrete wall when hit at high-speed, even by a bullet. And having its roots in the realistic military shooter ARMA means Battlegrounds adheres to this rule – bullets don’t travel through water. So if you’re being shot at while swimming, get beneath the surface and pick the best time to come back up for air. You may buy yourself a few more seconds to think about your next move.
Found any secrets or tips you want to share? Let us know in the comments below.