For cowardly incompetents such as myself, this has provided some much-needed easy target practice – thanks, guys. However, while online games such as PUBG can be soul-destroyingly hard for new players, there are some tactics and strategies that can radically enhance survival rates and, hence, chances of winning getting regular top-10 finishes.
This is by no means intended to be an infallible how-to guide – only you can learn how to shoot a bit straighter, rather than running round in circles discharging your clip into the ceiling – but, in time, it ought to increase your chances of getting a win if, like me, you’re just not very good.
- If you thought you heard the footsteps of another player, then you probably did!
This is the absolute number one rule and it’s normally your belated cue to make less noise yourself by crouching or pressing ctrl (or whatever’s the Playstation/Xbox controller equivalent) to tippy-toe round – the slower you move, the less noise you make and the harder it is for other players to work out your location.
- Eight deaths out of ten you will be heard before you are seen
So, MAKE LESS NOISE. PUBG is a stealth, survival shooter: only run around like a maniac if you’ve accidentally dropped into Pecado, you have the blue zone nipping your backside, or you have to in order to finish off a miscreant before they can heal up, or something like that. As a rule of thumb, the slower you move, the less noise you make.
- Don’t jump around
This isn’t Fortnite. Besides, jumping makes you an easier target whose movement becomes quite predictable when in mid-air.
- Perfect the ‘open door shuffle’
One doesn’t simply open a door and run into a room in PUBG – not if one wants to live: one opens the door, shuffles sideways and, then, only if one isn’t greeted with a hail of welcoming bullets, does one sashay through the door.
- Move in mysterious ways
Even though it’s surprising how rarely you’ll get fired upon running over open country, it’s still a wise precaution to bob from side to side in order to make it much harder for a miscreant with a Kar98 to line-up an unsporting headshot.
- Only take a vehicle when you have to
There are no Teslas in PUBG, only noisy UAZs, nasty Dacias and highly exposed motor bikes and go-karts. As such, the sound of a combustion engine attracts attention, and that’s the last thing you want if you can help it.
- Don’t crash through windows
Yes, it’s fun to make a swift exit by crashing through a window, A-Team style, but the sound carries a long way and points in your direction.
- In the same vein, don’t open fire on anyone unless or until you absolutely have to
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You want to be Rambo and rip through the pack of players to be crowned champion. But, let’s face it: it’s not going to happen.
Opening fire on another player doesn’t just tell them where you are, it tells everyonein the vicinity, who’ll all be looking down their scopes in your direction. If you have to open fire, do it because you have to and/or make it count.
- Leave the school/Pecado/Bootcamp etc to the big boys
By all means drop-in to such busy spots if you fancy a bit of practice, but bear in mind that nine times out of ten you’ll die within a minute.
You’re not Shroud, Dr Disrespekt or some wanky Twitch streamer: just like real life, if you want to beat people who are, frankly, considerably more competent than you, then you’ll have to play smarter, sneakier and be prepared to spend a lot of time hiding in toilets.
- Don’t be afraid of other people’s noise
If they’re not firing at you or turning your head into a brand new style of Swiss cheese, it needn’t concern you. Except, that is, as an indication of where to avoid. Noise can also provide the cover you need to make like a shepherd and get the flock out of wherever you are – not just covering up footsteps for you as you run away, but diverting attention too.
- Go crevicing
Crevice is not a dirty word – in fact, crevicing is probably the single most important skill to master in PUBG. Lots of players whine about the wide open spaces of Miramar, for example, but the undulating hills and sand dunes make great places to hide while most of the other players are putting themselves in mortal danger by hopping from building to building and town to town.
- Take the road less travelled
Unfortunately, it’s rarely possible to bog-sit your way all the way to the Top-10. At some point, you’re going to have to move.
As such, remember the line of the plane and plot a course to avoid wherever it is you suspect everyone else went – taking note of good crevicing territory as the game progresses to your inevitable heroic failure.
A not uncommon early-game strategy is to parachute down a road, landing close to any vehicle you see, then driving as far away from the line of the plane as possible.
- If you’ve got a scope, use it!
First, to check out wherever it is you’re running to – if doors are open and there are dead bodies everywhere, it might be an indication that it’s not entirely safe. Proceed with caution.
Second – and this is the fun bit – when you’ve got a bit of cover and a wide, open rolling vista and you want to let rip. Check first around buildings and anywhere someone may use for cover. Look for evidence such as badly parked vehicles or open doors.
When it comes to opening fire, just bear in mind that the target in the centre of the scope is exactly 100 metres away and that each marking under that represents a further 100 metres.
- When to open fire
The rule of thumb, of course, is only to open fire when you have to. Then, not only is your conscience clean, it minimises the risk of getting your own head blown off.
But there will be times when you have no choice, such as when someone opens the door of the toilet you’ve been cowering in.
The key, of course, is to open fire on your own terms: that means resisting the temptation to take potshots – they could be good players and come and kill you! – and being perfectly prepared to run away from anyone who’s got a Kar98 sniper rifle and knows how to use it. You can deal with them later by, for example, viciously bleeding all over their feet in the later stages.
In addition to taking people by surprise in toilets, there are a number of other scenarios in which it’s worth having a go.
First, when you’ve stumbled across someone prone – get your best weapon out, make sure it’s on single shot for maximum accuracy and aim for their heads. A few single-shot taps on an M16 and they’ll be back in the lobby in no time.
Second, when you see a miscreant idly fannying around behind a rock, no doubt fiddling with their accoutrements (this is not a euphemism). Again, take your time, aim for the head and give them a damned good British-style thrashing, while they’ve got their trousers down.
Third, shoot and move. Opening up, seeing your target run off and expecting them to walk back into range is asking for trouble – they may have run off, but they’re more likely working out a way to take you from behind, so to speak.
Meanwhile, you’ve just alerted everyone else within earshot to your presence and highlighted your location.
Don’t bother with stun grenades, they’re rubbish. Molotovs can be fun and smoke grenades are great for providing visual and aural diversions, but frag grenades are what you really want. Remember to press ‘R’ to cook ‘em before you throw ‘em so your target can’t run away.
- Aim for the head
Sure, people’s heads are small relative to their bodies. But they make excellent target practice and you’ll bring a miscreant down much more quickly with just a few wayward shots sprayed carelessly from your MicroUzi.
Disclaimer: Bear in mind, kids, that in real life a bundle of bandages or a handful of painkillers aren’t miraculously going to make you better if you’ve just been shot in the head.
When you land, of course, you’ll need to pick up whatever weapon you can get your hands on, which is normally a pistol or a shotgun. However, you’re probably not going to do very well with these later on when it’s one-on-one for the prized chicken dinner.
Ideally, you want two weapons: one for dishing out piping hot lead in a hurry – a sub-machine gun (such as an UMP-9) or assault rifle (such as an M416); and, something for taking longer-range pot shots. Ideally, that’ll be a sniper rival or designated marksman rifle (DMR), such as a Mini-14 or SKS, with a 4x scope or better.
But if you can’t get your hands on one of these (and normally you can’t) then you’ll just have to make do with an AKM or M16 on single-shot, and something else for more up-close and personal business.
By accoutrements, I do of course mean attachments. Some of the weapons have quite a fierce recoil – making you shoot upwards and over your enemy’s heads – so a vertical foregrip, if your weapon will take one, is highly desirable.
A compensator will also help, but a suppressor is probably a better (and more fun) choice as it makes it harder to locate the shooter.
An extended quickdraw magazine or plain old extended mag is also highly desirable – essential in the case of the Vector sub-machine gun – but a quickdraw mag on its own is rarely worth getting excited about.
- Finally, be especially careful of toilets
There’s no harm in a spot of PUBG cottaging, but there is a risk that you’ll meet someone else who’s read this guide cowering behind the door.
- Always look behind you – it ain’t cricket, nor do the Queensbury rules apply;
- The bluezone gets more punishing the further into the game you go – you don’t want to be caught outside late in the game, but early doors it’s not so bad;
- If you must drop into a town, do so from one end so you can survey all the other ‘chutes dropping in;
- To minimise the risk of early game trouble, pick a location on the edge of the range from the plane, and towards the end of the run;
- The Kar98 is ace an ace sniper rifle in the right hands. Unfortunately, yours probably aren’t;
- Winchester ‘94 rifles are bloody awful in anyone’s hands;
- Do your mother proud and close doors behind you: It helps put miscreants off the scent and, if they run-in to a hamlet you’re looting it can lull them into a false sense of security, making it easier to take them by surprise. It also encourages opponents to waste time looting houses that have already been looted;
- Taking shoes off doesn’t make much difference. Sure, your footsteps sound quieter to you, but to the other players you just sound like Mr Gollum Flappy Feet;
- Always check out the deathcam to see where or how you went wrong.