PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a battle royale MMO game produced released by Bluehole games in March 2017. As such, it is the predecessor of Fortnite that was only released in July 2017. The basic premise of the game is for between sixty and a hundred players’ avatars being randomly assigned to a group of participants according to their map choice. Once they have dispersed across the map according to their preferences, they will then need to scavenge for weapons and items to use to kill other avatars, with the goal of being the last -avatar in the game. The designer, Brendon Greene, was inspired to create the game based on the concepts introduced by the Japanese movie ‘Battle Royale’. It can be played from both first or third-person perspective.
PUBG is a mixture of pay-to-play and free-to-play models, with the mobile version being free and the PC and Xbox versions being pay-to-play. There are three possible modes, solo, duo and squad (four), with duo and squad pitting teams against teams to be the last team standing.
The game starts with players being dropped from a plane via parachute and being able to choose their starting point by controlling where they land. If other players have the same idea, they may find themselves combatting opponents almost immediately. In all cases, a player’s chances of survival will depend on both skill and luck, as while skilled players certainly have the advantage, if they cannot find the right equipment in time, they could be killed purely because a less-skilled player stumbled across better loot before they did.
As they move across the map, players will be able to explore a variety of different locations, including cities, military bases, canyons, prisons and many other aspects. As they explore, they may come across various vehicles, weapons, ammunition, armor, healing items and other useful equipment. Some of these items will be strewn randomly on the map, while others can be found in crates from random air drops. The air drops are obviously risky, as they are likely to attract other players who either want the contents for themselves or view them as an opportunity for carrying out ambush attacks on risk-takers.
As the game progresses, avatars will be forced into conflict by parts of the map being bombed and destroyed. Players receive prior notice of the areas to be affected by those areas being highlighted in red on the map with an accompanying count-down timer. Any avatars remaining in the danger zones when those areas are bombed will slowly lose health from radiation poisoning and may die if they fail to make it to the safe zone in time.
Players will also need to focus on auditory cues, in addition to visual cues, as they will be able to hear footsteps, vehicles and other sounds that will alert them to the presence of other characters. Additionally, players will have an inventory cap that will limit the number of items that their avatar can carry at one time. However, they can increase this limit with armor.
Winning the game, ranking high in the game in terms of final positions, kill rates and other considerations will award players with Battle Points (BP). This is the in-game currency that can be used to purchase various skins and crates.
Cosmetics and Items
PUBG’s clothing range is often on the quirky side, but as with the landscapes, the color schemes and tones tend towards a grungier and more worn-out look. While new players will have access to a limited number of free cloths, characters and items, they can further unlock new cosmetics and items in a number of ways:
- Using real-world money to buy crates.
- Using real-world money to unlock certain crates.
- Using their BP to purchase crates. Some of these crates will require keys to unlock, while others are free to unlock. Each week, when a player purchases their first crate, it will cost them 800 BP, with each consecutive crate doubling in price (the second will cost 1,600 BP, the third 3,200 BP, etc.). This will be reset at the beginning of each week. Each of these contains one randomized item. However, only certain types of crates can be purchased with BP. This is important, as the various types of crates dictate the type of item that they can potentially acquire.
- Twitch Prime Crates: Amazon Prime members can periodically claim free loot crates from Twitch.
- Event passes. PUBG occasionally hosts events that require real-world payment to gain access to. As the players complete the event’s objectives, they will unlock new clothing and items that are exclusive to the event. One or two items may be
- Buying Items for real-world money on Steam. Players can sell and buy their items to and from
Users can mix and match items, regardless of which set they are part of. This means that they can decide which character they would like to use, as well as every item of clothing that they will wear. All clothing and items are unisex, making it possible to create a quite few interesting looks. Users can change their character’s appearance for 3,000 GP, this includes gender and ethnicity. Clothing can also be used to as camouflage aides.
There are various types of weapons, each with their own capabilities. Within these categories are weapons that are more or less common, and that inflict varying degrees of damage on opponents. Weapon types include sniper rifles, pistols, grenades and assault rifles. Many of them can also be enhanced with specific attachments.