I’m not very good at PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. But I somehow managed to win a few squad matches—and we all managed to survive, too, which is not an easy thing to do, especially since the point of the game is to kill other players.
Which is to say, I’ll be the first to admit I’m unqualified to give Battlegrounds pointers. But if you’re struggling to win your first match, these tips may take you from occasionally landing in the top 20 to consistently getting in the top 10—or maybe even getting a chicken dinner.
Winning a Battlegrounds match is incredibly difficult for any number of reasons. As much as the game is about strategy and skill, luck also plays a big part. With these tips, you might have a chance at winning. Or, more likely, you’ll die outside of the play zone near the end of the round.
When you die in Battlegrounds, you stay dead. So, it’s natural to want to camp. But that can be so boring, and oftentimes the more aggressive you are, the more successful you are at surviving.
Firefights are one of the game’s most exciting elements, and it’s such a rush to wipe out opposing groups. If you see a player and have an opportunity to shoot, take it. Don’t wait around for them to come into your house or run into another squad. Take the initiative and take them down.
Plus, the more aggressive you are, the more practice you’ll get with the game’s different guns, which can be tricky to use. As you get practice, though, your kill count will start to go up, making encounters a lot more manageable when it really counts.
There will always be situations when the smart thing to do is run. But you’ll have a lot more fun if you’re bold and seek other players out. Trust me, you don’t want to spend the entire round just sitting in a house only to get killed without firing a single shot. That turns a fun game into a slog real quick.
They say the best offense is a good defense. That doesn’t apply to Battlegrounds. The next time you land in a crowded city, find yourself a gun and immediately start shooting other players. You’ll die a lot. But you’ll kill a lot of people, too. After all, the fewer players there are, the better chance you have of surviving until the end.
And if you die, there’s always next time.
This builds off the “be aggressive” approach, but camping really takes the excitement out of the game. Even more than that, though, camping can royally screw you over depending on where the circle ends up.
The circle basically determines where you and other players will play on the map. Trust me: You don’t want to get stuck outside the circle near the end of the game, because it can take big chunks out of your health. I don’t know how many times I’ve died outside of the play zone because I couldn’t keep up.
The best strategy is to be proactive and get as far inside of the circle as possible. This will give you time to assess the situation and plan your next move, rather than constantly trying to keep up as the circle closes.
Continuously moving also applies to firefights. If you engage with another squad, staying in the same spot can be very dangerous. Not only will it allow other squads to rush you, but your location will be given away to nearby players.
The next time you engage other players, trying shooting a few rounds and quickly finding another cover spot. When you’re fighting, you shouldn’t stay in the same spot for more than sixty seconds, because it could put you at a serious disadvantage.
Communication is key
It goes without saying that communication in any team activity is crucial to success. In Battlegrounds, communication is paramount for survival. That’s why practicing good communication skills is necessary if you hope to get a chicken dinner. They’re just as important as having luck and skill.
Communicating with your teammates can be as simple as calling out loot or letting others know you’re entering a building. (There’s nothing worse than entering a building and getting smoked by a teammate because they thought you were a hostile.)
Communication is also crucial when engaging other squads so you can help teammates identify enemy locations. When you play, you’ll see a compass at the top of your screen along with a set of numbers, making it really easy to shout out directions. So, for example, you can shout “enemy at East 105,” and your teammates will know exactly where you’re looking.
Even if you’re not the most skilled Battlegrounds player, if you practice good communication, you’ll have a chance of surviving. Whether you’re healing or simply tracking movement in the distance, being on the same page as your teammates is incredibly important. And it’s just a hell of a lot more fun when you and your squad are talking throughout the match.
Find a car
If you find a car, take it. Running around the map can be very dangerous, especially if you’re struggling to keep up with the circle. Cars make getting around so much faster, especially if you need to travel long distances.
As you’re parachuting down into a city, keep an eye out for vehicles, ideally a closed top UAZ, which seats five people. A common strategy is to land in a crowded city—Pochinki, for example—and immediately find a vehicle and drive to an empty city on the other side of the map. This strategy only works, however, when the starting plane has a funky flight path.
I know I’ve said being aggressive is the best way to play Battlegrounds, but there are times when you’ll need to run. Vehicles are the best way to escape hairy situations. But be careful, as vehicles are very loud, and can therefore alert nearby squads to your whereabouts.
Vehicles are also good for running people over as a last resort—just ask PewDiePie.
Gear is your friend
Grenades, attachments, weapons, and equipment, loot is a very important part of survival
Once you’ve landed and the first wave of people die, you’ll have a small window of opportunity to loot houses in your area. Make sure to seize the opportunity by stocking up on anything and everything.
You don’t want to collect items indiscriminately, but grabbing most of the loot you see at the start of the game will allow you to whittle down your collection once you find the right guns. (The right guns depend on what you’re comfortable using. Most people seem to favor the SCAR and AKM.)
As you find the guns you want, outfitting them with attachments can make all the difference. Finding a good scope is great for long-range attacks, while red dot and holographic sights are useful when you’re up close and personal.
Other gun attachments, such as extended magazines, grips, and compensators help, too—the latter of which reduces recoil, (hopefully) making you more accurate, and therefore more deadly.
You should also make it a habit of picking up every medical item you come across, from painkillers to bandages. There are even energy drinks, which slowly regenerate health and increase a character’s boost by 40 instantly.
You have a 1/100 chance of winning a round of Battlegrounds, which aren’t good odds. But if I can do it, so can you.
Four million people and counting are already playing the game, so your chances of winning will only get worse as other players hone their skills. That, and once the game becomes more optimized, which developers are continuously working on improving.
Battlegrounds is still in Early Access, so plenty of work needs to be done before it’s in good shape for a consumer release. As it stands, the game is a lot of fun even in the shape it’s in, and in my opinion makes other multi-player shooters feel a little boring.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is set for an official release later this year, followed by a release for the Xbox One.