PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (or PUBG as it’s commonly known) spearheaded the popularity of battle royale games. It was a breakout hit that inspired countless competitors such as Fortnite and Apex Legends, but it still remains one of the most played games on Steam and Xbox Live.
Unlike its rivals, PUBG is a more simulation-focused affair, with real-world weapons and physics to consider, such as bullet drop and variable weather conditions. If you’ve been turned off by Fortnite’s flamboyant art style or the relentlessly fast gameplay of Call of Duty: Warzone, PUBG is well worth a go – it’s also on Xbox Game Pass.
Since its meteoric rise from a Steam Early Access title to achieving the highest concurrent player count on Steam back in 2018, PUBG has made its way to PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, Android, and iOS. There’s also PUBG Lite, a free-to-play adaptation of the game which can run on lower-spec hardware, such as laptops. PUBG also receives regular updates, adding new content, features, and – perhaps somewhat predictably – plenty of fixes for annoying bugs.
Where we droppin'?
But what is PUBG? Well, if you’ve ever watched the film Battle Royale, you should understand the basic idea. 100 players drop onto a deserted island and quickly scavenge for loot. You’ll need to find armor, weapons, and healing items, then do whatever it takes to survive until you’re the last man standing.
To make things more interesting, you’ll have to move to a constantly shrinking zone that randomly appears on the map, via land, air or sea. If you get caught outside of the zone, you’ll gradually take damage, which increases dramatically as the game progresses. Pro tip: don’t get caught outside the zone.
Should you manage to survive until the very end, you’ll see the coveted “winner winner chicken dinner” phrase appear on the screen. And due to the overwhelming odds stacked against you during every match, you’ll probably want to screenshot it as they don’t come around very often – which makes them taste all the sweeter.
Despite the game now being available on multiple platforms, PUBG continues to evolve with the addition of new maps, survivor passes, and modes for players to enjoy. We’ll show you what’s new, why it matters, and what’s planned for the future of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
What's the latest PUBG update for PC?
Update 8.1 (now on test servers)
PUBG's latest update welcomes players back to the jungles of Sanhok as part of Season 8, which arrives on July 22 for PC players and July 30 for Xbox One, PS4, and Stadia players.
Sanhok has been comprehensively remastered for update 8.1, as almost every structure, tree, rock, and material in the close-quarters map has been rebuilt from the ground up. Player feedback has influenced a lot of the design decisions, too, with popular locations like Boot Camp, Ruins, and Quarry all undergoing significant changes.
Along with an overhauled Sanhok, update 8.1 adds a loot truck, which are autonomous cargo transports that offer players a new way to obtain gear. If the trucks receive damage, it'll drop some loot. Destroy them, however, and you can expect to receive a bigger cache of weapons.
Some of the weapons that the loot trucks drop will be fully-kitted out and ready to use, with pre-installed attachments and unique skins, a first for the game.
Update 8.1 also introduces the improved Jerry Cans changes which were supposed to arrive in update 7.2 and ranked mode has been adjusted so that points are given based on team placement instead of your individual performance. Vikendi has also been added to the ranked mode map rotation.
Footsteps, a long-running point of controversy in PUBG, have been improved to provide clearer and better sounds. For example, footsteps sounds over distance have been tweaked, as has the difference between going barefoot and wearing shoes.
Of course, like any new seasonal update, a new survivor pass will be available to purchase. Called 'Payback', players can unlock skins that are themed around the new remastered Sanhok.
The update is available to try out on the PUBG test servers now, or alternatively, you can wait until July 22 for the patch to roll out on Steam.