PUBG Beginner Guide

PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds Beginner's Guide

What impact did PUBG have on BRs?

PUBG was a step up from the likes of H1Z1 and DayZ, bringing semi realistic graphics and guns into an extremely large map with vehicles and a lot more weapons that had even more attachments available to them. When it was originally released it was widely popular and despite the bugs and glitches was a fan favorite in the genre before it was ultimately overshadowed by the likes of Fortnite. Regardless of what we have heard about the ownership and progression of the game, it is responsible for where BR games are at now, and what their future can look like, thank you for your sacrifice PUBG.

The game may still yet make a small comeback as people are coming up with more reasons to complain about the monument that is Fortnite, and as it stands it is still a very good game in its own right. So if you’ve made it to this guide, let's start guiding you to the top of the table.

What are Battle Royale games?

Battle Royale games are always a challenge, there isn’t usually a tutorial, there is never a great introduction. The best you can hope for is some tips on the loading screen and some explanation of the items when you have them in your inventory. Being the last survivor out of 100 people isn’t an easy task and when you have to go into it blind, the skill ceiling is enormous. PUBG offers a lot of things other BRs don’t though, and they are all tough to figure out initially.

The amount of weapons and attachments that can be found are incredibly high. There is no real worst and best weapon, each has its perks and drawbacks to watchout for. So play with whatever you find and make the best of whatever situations you find yourselves in. Some guns can’t utilize all the attachments and some do, while others cannot use more than one or two. They are often offset by other advantages and shouldn’t be looked down upon because they can’t be upgraded much.

There is a detailed tag on all the attachments showing what guns the attachment can work with, so if we plan on picking up something later, holding the attachments that work for it isn’t the worst idea, just be mindful of your inventory space and make sure to use what attachments you can to make the weapons you already have even just a little bit better.

The power of weapons really relies on when they are being used, in the early game that Pistol is just as strong as the AR if we hit our shots, whereas later on it gets outdone by the AR because it has less versatility.

The maps all seem to more or less be bigger than the likes of other BR games, which often leads to easily stacked players and harder to predict circles. There are a lot more vehicles in the game which are always dangerous to use but can be the only way to make it out of a storm in time. While vehicles in themselves are not exactly new or unique in the BR world, their importance is understated in PUBG. That last minute of looting can swing the players arsenal a lot if they can hoof it out of the storm, vehicles make that happen.

PUBG is one of the few BRs that has multiple maps, making their que times a little longer but offering a change of scenery adds some intrigue to the game. There are pros and cons to everything, especially with PUBG, but overall the option of multiple maps makes it more playable with there being the chance at playing your favorite map rather than playing a new version of the same map over and over.

There are three playable maps and each one has Solo, Duo, and Squad mode options. They all play a little differently and some of them have items and weapons you won’t find on another map. There are some other nuances but for the most part any and all of them are fun to play and have the same loot. BR games are all about what loot you pick up and whether or not you know how to use it. There is no shortage of loot in PUBG and there is arguably more loot than most other BR games that have come out. We all love our Kar 98s but we should really get into the groove of using whatever we find, so that we can learn how to use all that is available.

Some of the better weapons are fairly even in relative power, but the snipers are some of the best weapons we can find, so finding one should excite you. As it stands though we aren’t very good at this level and should be more focused on grabbing Assault Rifles and Submachine Guns. What you end up using isn’t exactly set in stone, sometimes we find the upgrade we needed and sometimes we get stuck trying to force close combat fights in an open field because the Uzi doesn’t reach that house on the other side.

How should I practice in PUBG?

When you’re trying to learn how to play PUBG, whether you have BR experience or not, there is a very forgiving ranked mode but all the same, there's no reason to rush into it and set yourself a little further back than would be necessary. There are the standard non ranked modes of every type and on every map. Use these modes to truly learn the maps and weapons you can find as well as drop strategies and everything else PUBG has to offer. Once you’re more comfortable on all maps and with multiple desirable loadouts, then begin your ranked climb.

As there are multiple different drop strategies available let's talk about the main two theories that surround all BR games with a “Drop in” feature. You can play around the outskirts of the map that typically have less people there taking loot, but also arguably less or worse loot. Reversely, you can drop hot and have more and better loot, at the risk of having to fight multiple people before you’re completely ready.There are many more specific theories but let's save those for the other guides as they tend to get more complicated than most newcomers can take in.

When it comes to dropping on the outskirts of the map, you are often opting into playing a much longer match, with as little fighting as possible in order to maximize loot potential before taking a fight. The winner of the game is whoever the last alive is and contrary to popular belief, you never have to fire a shot in order to win a match. Of course it is always easier to win if you do shoot your weapons, regardless the goal is to survive. And you maximize your chances of doing so by taking less fights than most other people do that game.

It tends to be longer because if we aren’t fighting we aren’t dying, so make sure that if you’re short on time but want to get one more game in that you seriously consider whether you have the time to go this route. After you drop at the outskirts the main focus is playing at the edge of the circle, slowly following people who are ahead of you and making sure that when you reach those final few circles you are safe from every angle but the one you’re facing.

This playstyle is often considered the lesser of the two or cowardly but at the end of the day, one person wins and 99 people lose. If you’re someone who prefers the action packed stressful and completely RNG based playstyle and drop into hot zones, you will more often be engaged in jenky half cocked fights for the first few minutes of the game. You can come out ahead or you can end multiple games in less than 10 minutes.

The idea behind this strategy is that if you come out on top of the slaughter, you will have the best loot at the end of it. Making any future fight a little more in your favor with better loot, and will be able to spend less of the mid and late game looking for the finishing touches to your loadout and more time keeping track of enemies and their position.

This is one of the quickest ways to feel good or feel bad, it’s not exactly the most optimal strategy but it can lead to a more optimal endgame or a quick ticket to the next match. There is a bigger need in this scenario to know your way around a majority of weapons on the chance that you get a pistol when the other guys have SMGs or ARs.

It can be a great idea and a way to learn about the game in a trial by fire type way, but it isn’t necessary and there is plenty of middle ground as well. Just be wary and don’t let yourself get brought down by consecutive failures, they’re going to happen even when you think you have the advantage. The best practice is continual practice, and no matter what your gameplan ends up being the only way to get better at it is to keep playing it. Just try not to jump straight into the ranked mode and take the time required to learn more about how the game works at all levels.

Practice with friends, there is ranked duos and squads as well so if you know people who play the game ask them for help learning the smaller details and you can often have more fun with friends as well. It is important to note that the gameplay changes a little bit when you play solo versus duos or squads. Try to keep the bad habits a little seperate when playing alone versus playing with friends.

What is Loot?

While it will be a lot easier to learn what the loot is by playing the game, we should still go over some of the things that are more important and most optimal. From armor and heals to Weapons and attachments there is a lot more loot than one would expect even from a BR game. This is just a little overview, make sure to test everything out on your own and make use of what you can when you have to. Weapons are in abundance and overall are pretty balanced. Shotguns aren’t good for long range fights, snipers are suboptimal for close quarters combat. ARs are the most  flexible weapon and there are a few of them, the Groza is pretty hard to find but it is regarded as the better of the ARs, M4s and AKs are in abundance and are pretty even in terms of statistics, whichever one you like more is really going to come down to personal preference.

SMGs are rather weak but still pretty good for close to mid range combat. UMPs are the typical pickup but the Thompson and Uzi are good as well. There are a couple Pistols in the game but none of them are especially strong, if you have no other option though they can get the job done. Shotguns are of course available but they play a much smaller part in PUBG than they do in other BR games. Use them early, drop them later.

Snipers are the cream of the crop in PUBG, whether it's a Kar 98k or an SKS, finding one on the ground feels good, but the M1 you can get from the care package is a whole different level of power.

There are helmets and armor available in three different levels. Level 3 being the best and level 1 being better than nothing. There are also melee weapons but they are mostly unimportant other than the Pan. Pans can deflect bullets and offer some protection when getting shot in the back. Helmets are especially important because they null the first headshot damage you take by a lot, though they really are only good for one shot and if the enemy places their shot correctly only the level 3 helmet can protect you from a dead on headshot from a Kar or M1.

Melee weapons have a place, just not very often are they useful. The sickle and crowbar also pale in comparison to the Pan because of the defensive capabilities that the Pan offers, being able to block shots from the back or front when equipped.

Armor is important for close range and midrange fights, long range armor is less useful than the Helmets are simply because you’re more likely to get headshot than body shot during long range fights.

There are also some grenades that can be useful. Molotovs, flash bangs, Smoke grenades, and the classic Frag Grenade. They are all helpful when the fights are more personal and third party players aren’t engaging on top of us mid fight.  The Frag Grenades and Smokes are the most useful of all the grenades as one deals damage and is super effective when trying to gain control of a building within the safe zone, and the other covers you when trying to navigate through a fight to an advantageous position.Mollys and Flashes are still useful as mollys can force enemies out of their position and flash bangs disorient our enemies but the use case is limited and overall they aren’t the first thing we grab for when trying to breach a house or room.

Of course healing items are a must if we want to continually vy for the chicken dinner. There are Bandages, Painkillers, Medkits, and Energy Drinks.. Energy drinks offer a little health over time as well as a stamina boost that makes you run a bit faster.

Bandages and Medkits heal a static amount instantly after a small charge up time. They can only heal you up to 75% health though, so you need the Painkillers and Energy Drinks to top yourself off. There is also an adrenaline syringe that is very rare but fills up your stamina bar maxing out your movement speed. 

The notorious attachments are nearly everywhere when you don’t need them and nowhere when you do need them. A lot of attachments can be used on multiple weapons and some of them belong to only one or two specific weapons. There are a plethora of scopes from red dots to 8x sniper scopes. There are a few weapons that can’t use them but for any gun that can use a scope attachment they are almost always necessary to help us aim more accurately.

Foregrips are useful for increasing accuracy at different ranges and whichever one you use will ultimately help in the long run, angled and straight are their names.

Quick mags are magazines that allow you to reload quicker while extended mags are there to put some extra bullets into your gun. The best of both worlds however lies within the Quick Extended Mag. There are some stocks as well that aren’t as necessary to have especially because the good ones are rare and the bad ones are only for the Uzi.

The best attachment to pick up, next to the scopes, is the barrel attachments. Whether it’s a flash hider, compensator or silencer, they make any weapon that much more useful. Silencers are arguably the best of the three but any barrel is a great boost to your weapon. There are more weapons items and attachments than what was listed, but all the main ones were covered so fear not when you find something not listed here, read what it does and use it as you see fit.

How does tilt affect you in PUBG?

Whenever we go to play BR games, when we die early on we often forget about it and just go next. When it’s our pride or ranking on the line though we can easily get upset when some unfortunate things happen, and when the game has a great deal of RNG, unfortunate things are just a part of the game. Of course when we are more practiced the bad RNG won’t affect us as much, but for now we need good RNG to even stand a chance at the match we are in to be able to come out on top. Tilt is one thing that players tend to have trouble dealing with. We get mad just a little too often and that brings our performance down in most cases, costing us much needed rank points.

First things first, when we want to play BR games we need to remember that RNG doesn’t have to be better than skill, if we find ourselves lagging behind and losing where we shouldn’t, it doesn’t help that we got the pistol and they got the shotgun. At the same time though, if we were just a little better equipped to handle the situation then we may not have lost that fight. RNG is unavoidable in PUBG, and good or bad we have to be ready for whatever we get hit with and the only way to do that is to practice with every weapon that is in the game, so we know our way around it and can use it to our full potential when we get it.

In PUBG this is essentially more difficult than other BR games because of the wide variety of weapons and loot. Ultimately however the more games we play the more chances we have to learn everything, sometimes we just have to force ourselves to play with what we find until we die and then do it all over again.

Casual modes are perfect for this kind of practice, you already go in no pressure and if you know you’re going to inhibit your chances to win as a choice, you can lose games all day without it affecting your mentality. When we are consistently losing out on ranked points because of small errors or bad RNG we tend to forget to take a break. Take frequent breaks, even when you’re winning, coming back to the game with a fresh mindset is a lot healthier than continually stressing ourselves out and putting us in a worse position right out the gate.

If we already are out of the right frame of mind, continually putting ourselves into the position of “just one win will make today worth it” isn’t a good take. Make sure that you limit your losses by choosing to wait a little longer that day to play more games.

There is always going to be a tomorrow and sometimes we have to sacrifice a day of playing in order to come back refreshed the next day. Or even just later that day after we’ve had some time to not think about the game and gave ourselves some more time to prepare for that bad RNG that is yet to come. This is especially important as when we are getting higher on the leaderboards we won’t be able to take as many breaks. Both because we won’t be unlucky as often as our idea of unlucky has evolved, and because the race gets tighter the better we get.

Play with your friends, it’s easier to take the L when we are among good company. There is also a ranked version for duos and squads making it both good practice for solos, but a chance to test our metal as a team against some of the best by climbing that ladder.

Yeah sure, sometimes even our friends aren’t the best tilt buffer, but being able to joke around and make light of the worst situations, can be a lot better than being forced to brood over our mistakes when we are playing alone. Friends can also be used as a great teaching tool. We can learn from them and they can learn from us and the more we play together the better we can become as a squad, meaning more fun and rewarding wins. The only downside to playing with friends is that the ultimate strategies can change from Squads to Duos and even Solos. The added threats and bonuses from playing as a team rather than alone makes the game modes a lot different from each other than we may find in other genres.

What is my next step?

PUBG stands as a more realistic, dangerous, and more rewarding Battle Royale game. The trick to learning how to play simply comes with understanding what there is to learn in the game, and forcing ourselves to learn how to use everything. More games is directly equal to more learning. Whether or not it ends with more wins is yet to be decided. Take all of these suggestions and begin your climb, when you’re ready, we have more guides to help get you into that next level of gameplay. Be wary of the things we warned you about though, have fun with your friends but don’t forget that the strategies you employ with them most likely don’t exactly translate to Solos.

Cameron Carr image

Cameron Carr

12 November 2019
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