PUBG Beginners Guide to Start Off on the Right Foot
If you have only now succumbed to peer pressure and media hype, deciding to dive into PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, then this PUBG Beginners Guide should be the first weapon in your arsenal. It could also very easily be your ticket to a chicken dinner!
There is a widespread belief that skills will beat strategy and tactics in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds so that only a few people think of PUBG in terms of strategy and tactics. This is true only for the top players, the Twitch PUBG experts who have spent the past years in PUBG, CS:GO and other similar shooters. The rest of us mere mortals need to pay good attention to tactics if we want to have a shot at winning the Battle Royale matches.
Situational (Tactical) Awareness
Both in the military as well as in many types of organized games and sports the situational (sometimes also called tactical) awareness is the key to victory. This means that the player needs to be aware of his or her surroundings all the time, about the possible covers, dangerous paths, the most likely direction the enemy will arrive from. First thing in a PUBG match you need to be aware off is the flight trajectory of the plane. The best way to do that is to note the quadrant where the plane comes over the map and then calculate where it will exit. When you land and the first circle appears, you can make a very educated guess where the majority of players is by taking into account how far away they can jump from the line of flight and what their direction will be towards the newly formed circle.
There are many settlements and compounds across the map, so be aware what the most likely path for players will be. There will be choke points which will make for excellent ambush points, but only if they are now in the path towards the center of shrinking circles. Nobody likes campers or getting ambushed, but if the enemy approaches the settlement with all the doors open and nobody in sight, they will usually keep running, thinking everyone is already gone. If you are not too skilled with skirmishing on open ground, this is your chance to get kills.
Watch Your Back
Make sure no one can creep up from behind you or try to keep the chance of that as low as possible.
When a circle is formed, the majority of players will run towards the center of the circle, following the helping straight line that is shown on the mini map. Run towards the very edge, make sure the position is clear, and then turn back to the direction where you came from (effectively turning your back to the center of shrinking circle). If you are patient, you can easily pick off latecomers that are trying to outrun the blue wall. Everything is on your side and chances are that you will manage to kill off the enemy without much trouble. Of course, when you linger close to the edge of the circle, there is always danger that the next inner circle will spawn way too far from you and that you will have to run far to get to safety, but that is just part of the game.
Ride the Edge of the Circle
The game is getting close to the finale, and the next inner circle has appeared. Your safest and most effective strategy is to ride the very edge of the circle. What does that mean? Observe the map and watch where the existing blue line is the closest to the white line of the new circle; the wall will be contracting the slowest in that part and as you sweep to your left or right along the shrinking edge, you will effectively flank enemy players who will mostly be looking ahead of them, straight to the center of the new circle. People impetuously rush off to the very middle of the circle, often to their deaths. By occupying the center, you are exposed to possible attacks from all sides. When you ride the edge of the circle and try to contract along with the wall, you can flank unsuspecting opponents and obey that other important rule of watching your back.
Don’t Be Trigger Happy
Shooting gives away your position, alerts both the person(s) you are attacking and attracts others to your position. Many times I had friends fire on a guy in a compound and knocking them down only to alert his entire team. He’d be revived and healed up in no time and we found ourselves sitting 200 meters away from several houses we couldn’t possibly take over before the wall gets us to move.Alternatively, we’d keep a low profile, allow the enemy team to leave the houses and attack them in the open, where their chances are non-existent. If you are playing alone, you might also not want to shoot every time you see an enemy, especially if they are engaged with someone else. Wait instead and see who will stay alive; maybe another shooter will reveal himself, or the winner of the duel will come over to loot the loser. Sometimes it is good to have someone run ahead of you like test canaries that were used once in mining shafts.
The Weapon of Choice
At early stages of PUBG, the silencer was an OP weapon, driving people crazy since they had a very hard time guessing from where the shots are coming. That has changed significantly, and now the majority of players can tell exactly the direction and distance of the shooter, even if he is using a suppressor. Actually, there are more and more people preferring compensators to silencers, even at the very end game. Whatever you do, don’t hesitate to shoot when the time is right just because you are not suppressed.
When starting out, especially if in urban areas, you will grab an SMG or a shotgun to clear houses. That will be replaced with some kind of long-range weapon, preferably a fully kitted out sniper with an x8 scope. But as you approach the very end of the game, the x8 scope might become overkill and you would and you would want to switch down to x4 scope. If possible, always keep one in the backpack. At the finale, the best combo is an assault rifle with a red dot as well as a sniper with an x4 scope.
Especially on the larger Miramar map, the vehicles are a must have. Do not hesitate to use them and drive straight into inner circles only because of the noise you make. Bike and buggy are very fast, but expose you to enemy fire far more than a UAZ or a pickup. The additional quality of the pickup is that it can serve as a very good cover. If you run into an ambush and think you can’t escape, break and turn the right side of the car to the attacker, then jump out and use the car as a cover. If the vehicle gets too damaged from enemy fire and threatens to explode, fall back in a straight line to the enemy, keeping the car between you, until you reach a safe distance of some 10 or 25 meters. Once the car explodes, run back up to it and keep using it as cover.
Lone Wolf gets the Chicken Dinner
While dropping off in highly popular areas such as The School, Military base, Pecado and similar gives you a huge adrenaline kick, chances are that you might easily die there or, if you are playing on a team, that one or more teammates will die in the initial drop while frantically searching for a weapon. It is often much safer to drop in less frequented areas, gather gear and stay out of fights for as long as possible, since statistically the chances of you getting shot down increase with every encounter with the enemy during the game. This is especially true for squads since it is a great advantage to have all four members alive and geared up for the fight in the final part of the game as opposed to the teams lacking one or more members.
Adapt & Survive
Finally, the best advice you can get is the old marine mantra of adaptation and survival. Observe every situation, decide on the best possible move and do so, no matter the circumstances. Don’t feel bad about retreating from a fight where you are either outgunned or in a bad tactical position. Camp in the dark corners of looted buildings if you feel your shooting skills are no match for other players. Avoid fights altogether if you don’t have the right weapons for it. If you need to crawl and hide, do so without hesitation. There are countless games won by people who shot three, two or only one opponent.
After all, it is the chicken dinner that counts.