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Battlegrounds

Mobile ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ games for China market look impressive

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Chinese game giant Tencent announced in November that it would be bringing a version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to mobile devices in China. It seemed like an impossible task given the game’s less-than-ideal performance on PC and Xbox One, but two separate games are now in their testing stage on the Chinese iOS and Android stores, and the footage we’ve seen has us hopeful they come to other regions. The first of the two offerings is called PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield (some have translated it as “Thrilling Battlefield”), and it’s designed to emulate the basic structure of the original PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

You are dropped onto a giant map filled with 99 other players all looking to be the last one standing, and you can fully customize your character with many of the same tools available on the other versions. It includes first-person mode and third-person mode, and without the virtual buttons on the screen, it’s quite difficult to tell it apart from the PC version. Frankly, the framerate in the mobile game often looks better than it does on Xbox One X.

The other game is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: Army Attack, and it’s a little bit different. In addition to containing naval battles, it has snappier combat that feels like it was designed with the platform in mind. Kills come quickly, and large hit markers help you to determine if you’re doing damage.

Like its sibling game, it runs at a buttery-smooth framerate on the iPhone X. So, which of the two has taken off in China? Actually, both of them have.

Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad revealed that the two games had 75 million players preregister, and they are currently first and second on the Chinese iOS download charts. Given the original PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds‘ popularity on both PC and Xbox One, the latter of which already has 4 million players in just a few months, it appears the two mobile titles are certain t be a hit overseas. We’re hoping Tencent expands its vision for a global launch, as well as a version on the Nintendo Switch.

All we want is to eat a chicken dinner with the power of the Joy-Con controllers.

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9 tips to help you get better at PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds

Your friends won’t stop clamoring about PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds (more commonly referred to as PUBG) and all the chicken dinners they’ve won. So you go and buy a copy of the game to see what all the fuss is about. You queue up a match, drop from the plane onto a massive island and die within seconds of touching the soil.

Frustrated, you queue again. Offed, within seconds. Drop in again.

Dead. Completely irate, you quit the game and consider never playing again. PUBG, especially when you’re first starting out, can be one of the most intense, overwhelming and infuriating games you’ve ever played.

But given some time and practice, it can be one of the most exciting and rewarding games in recent memory. Getting started, however, is especially difficult if you don’t know a few basics. Here are nine tips to get you started.

Drop location is key

Pick a drop location that’s far enough away from the flight path that it won’t be too crowded.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Like other battle royale-style games, each PUBG match starts with 100 players dropping from a plane over an island.

Based on the plane’s trajectory, you must choose where to drop over the map (or get booted from the plane before it’s over water again). Choosing when to jump and where to land are crucial for a good start. If you land in a city not far from the flight path of the plane, dozens of players probably landed there as well, and you’re going to be met with a ton of confrontation almost immediately.

Instead, if you land in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to start with little to nothing to loot and have to hoof it to the nearest town and hope it hasn’t been looted or that you don’t run into someone on the way. Your best bet is to shoot for little satellite groups of houses or barns on the far reaches of the flight path of the plane. The further out you drop, the fewer people you will run into and the longer you will have to loot.

The loot may not be as great or plentiful, but you’ll have some peace and quiet to help ease you into the game. And unless you get lucky, it also means you’re going to have to travel a lot to stay inside the play area as it shrinks.

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Don’t be afraid to test busy drop points

On the flip side, if you spend all your matches dropping as far away from other players as possible, avoiding conflict and sneaking your way into the top 10, you probably won’t last once you’re finally met with a gunfight. Sneaking can only get you so far.

The only way you’re going to learn to survive a hellacious gun battle is to throw yourself into it from time to time. Take your time and get familiar with the controls, looting and the map. Then throw yourself into the heat of a battle by dropping into one of the major cities near the center of the map.

They will be several frustrating matches, but they will be very educational and help you learn the ropes much faster.

Prioritize your looting

Don’t lug around ammo for a gun you don’t have.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Looting is a skill that must be learned and perfected. You have to be quick and must not dwell on one spot too long. The play area is going to start shrinking before you can find all the gear you need and you’re going to have to deal with what you have.

Some games you will be over-encumbered with amazing loot. Other games, you’ll find yourself struggling to find anything but a shotgun and a level one backpack. The very first thing you should do after every drop is arm yourself.

Anything will do, because you don’t want to be caught in a gun battle with nothing but a pan or your fists. Once you have a gun and some ammo, look for body armor and a helmet. First aid should come next, and be sure to grab a backpack if you can find one.

Upgrade your helmet, backpack and body armor if you come across a level two or three. And if your body armor or helmet get damaged, even if it’s a level three, a level one replacement with no damage might provide more protection. In your first several matches, especially those where you drop in far from the center of the map, practice getting faster and faster at looting.

Find a partner or squad to queue with

Playing as a duo or squad can help you learn the ropes faster.

Taylor Martin/CNET

I struggled quite a bit with PUBG at first.

I would play three or four matches, die quickly and give up for a long time. Only to return after seeing the allure of the game. Wash.

Rinse. Repeat. It wasn’t until I started queueing with other players that I started to learn the way of the game.

Part of what made it easier was not only that they shared the tips they learned along the way, but dropping in with a teammate or an entire squad takes some of the pressure off you. Instead of you against 100 other players, it’s you and a few teammates against 25 (or so) other teams. While there are just as many people, you can loot as a team, watch each other’s backs and vote on decisions on the fly.

Positioning is often better than loot

There is nothing more frustrating in PUBG than dropping in a location full of great loot (Karabiner 98 with an 8x scope, am I right?) and arming yourself to the teeth, only to die outside the play area.

You have five minutes to loot once the drop plane has left the area before the play area begins constricting. Those five minutes will pass quickly, especially when the loot is plentiful and you find yourself having to pick and choose between several great guns. If you’re far from the next play area, you’ll need to find a car or start running early to make it.

In this case, you have to choose between being well-equipped or constantly chasing the next play area. Sometimes, it’s better to get just enough loot and put yourself in a better position to take out incoming players, rather than being on the receiving end of a sniper who’s ready and waiting. The same goes for looting the body of a person you’ve killed.

Gunfights tend to draw lots of attention, especially toward the end of the match. If you’ve got enough equipment to last the rest of the game, it’s best to not get greedy. Instead, post up nearby and see if someone else takes the bait.

Chances are, some of your opponents didn’t find the best loot at their drop and will be desperate for a decent gun, more ammo or first aids. This is a balance you will eventually learn.

Know when to engage and when to run

Just because you have a clear shot doesn’t mean you should always take it.

Taylor Martin/CNET

This isn’t the kind of shooter where running in guns blazing pays off very often. Just because you have an 8x scope and see a player sitting still in the distance doesn’t mean you should take the shot.

If you aren’t positive you can get the kill, it’s often better to let them pass. A missed shot will give away your location, and there might be someone watching you. There is no shame in being selective of your battles in PUBG.

And knowing when to fight and when to run will usually be the difference in making it to the top 10 and dying early. That said, if you’re hidden and see someone coming for your building, you can often startle them and catch them off guard by rushing them. If you give them the time to enter your building and they suspect someone is inside, even though you’re hiding and ready, they could still get the jump on you or toss a grenade inside.

Sound is extremely important

Sound is one of your most valuable resources in PUBG.

Not only can you hear footsteps of nearby players, you can hear bullet impacts and the crack of the shots, which will tell you where the shots are coming from. You can hear doors being opened, shotguns being racked and players crashing through windows. You can learn a lot about your surroundings by just listening, so I suggest putting on headphones and cranking the volume a bit.

Conversely, you should be aware of the sounds you make. Crouching doesn’t necessarily make your movements more quiet. But going barefoot sometimes can.

And sneaking (holding Ctrl while crouched) will.

Zig then zag

If you’re getting shot at, crouching behind an object can save your life. But if you’re out in the open, it’s best not to drop to prone. Run.

Just don’t run in a straight line. Zigzag your way to cover, be it over the nearest ridge, behind a car or anything that puts an object between you and the shooter.

Once behind cover and healed, you have to decide whether you should engage or flee.

You sprint faster without a weapon

Taylor Martin/CNET

You’ll often find yourself outside the play area, running for your life. If you’re not sure you’re going to make it, bandage up, drink an energy drink or take pain killers and run as fast as you can.

That means putting your gun away. You’ll be slower on the draw, should you come across another player. But you’ll also run significantly faster.

It’s a risk you have to be willing to take.

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Fortnite vs PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds: which is the game for you?

Towards the end of 2017 it was abundantly clear that ‘battle royale’ was the game genre of the moment, with Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds[1] being the most popular games in that genre. 

Now that 2018 is well underway, we’re only seeing the popularity and scope of both titles increase, but which game is best for you?

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was the first of the two games to be released, and it took the PC gaming and streaming worlds by storm. Its growth has been nothing short of astounding, and towards the end of 2017 it was boasting an Xbox[2] One port and 3 million concurrent players.

Of course, any fan of battle royale games knows that you don’t get to be alone for long, and PUBG’s competition soon came along in the form of Epic Games’ Fornite. With similar gameplay it’s proven to be tough competition, and in the last month along its increased its playerbase by an incredible 10 million. 

And so the battle royale of the battle royales continues.

On the surface, Fortnite and PUBG share many similarities but they have significant differences in content and style which make them feel notably different to play. 

To help you decide which game is best for you right now, we’ve compared the different offerings of Fortnite and PUBG below. Which will be the last game standing?

Graphics

PUBG and Fortnite are both battle royale games with similar mechanics, but when it comes to visuals they’re very distinct. Which one you find is better, however, is largely down to personal preference. 

While PUBG goes for a gritty militarism that feels more realistic, Fortnite is much more colorful and cartoonish – kind of in the vein of titles like Overwatch[3]. It’s really down to you which kind of world you prefer to play in.  

Maps

First things first: PUBG’s maps are larger than Fortnite’s. 

But bigger doesn’t always mean better, and there are positives and negatives to both games’ maps.

Being so large, vehicles are required for traversal in PUBG, particularly if you’re unlucky enough to land far from the safe zone. Unfortunately, using vehicles tends to draw the attention of other players, so if you’re forced into using one, getting across a PUBG map can sometimes feel like a tense dash that’ll leave you reaching for some deodorant. 

Fornite’s smaller map means you have less space to play but it’s much easier to traverse ,and matches tend to be much shorter. 

A big plus in PUBG’s favor is that it offers two maps – Erangel and Miramar. The map you play in is random, but the variety here does keep things interesting and forces players to stay on their toes. 

It’s worth noting, however, that Fortnite has recently received an update which adds five new locations to its map. These new locations range from underground mines to built-up cityscapes, and these force players to take different approaches to combat thanks to their different layouts. 

Each game, then, takes a different approach to offering variety. While PUBG prefers to opt for large individual maps, Fortnite has decided to expand and improve its existing map. Fortnite’s developers have, however, said[4] that more maps will be added to the game, just “not right away”. 

It’ll take some time to determine which game is taking the better approach. But at the moment it seems fair to say that that those looking for long-lasting tense matches with plenty of risk-taking on sprawling varied maps should opt for PUBG, while those looking for something a little more contained and faster-paced may prefer Fortnite’s single, densely-packed island.

Gameplay

Both of these games are battle royales, and as a result they feel pretty similar in terms of gameplay and goal: do whatever it takes to survive as the map shrinks around you. Whether you like to play solo, with a friend, or with a group of your friends, both titles will give you this option. 

But there are big differences, the first of these being weapons and items. In a battle royale game weapons and items are key, but Fortnite and PUBG take slightly different approaches to them. 

Befitting of its gritty realistic visuals and large maps, PUBG has far more items and weapons than Fortnite. That’s not to say Fornite is short on weapons — there are a range to choose from, and Epic Games has stated that it’ll be adding more in the future. But its system is less full, complex and deep than PUBG’s and fans of serious shooters may find it less satisfying. 

Another big difference between the games is that Fortnite includes construction elements – something which is probably much more achievable and workable thanks to the game’s contained map and shorter game times. 

When the game map shrinks to the point where things are coming to a close, Fortnite players can use all of the construction items they’ve picked up over the course of the match to build structures which will afford them protection or vantage points. It is worth noting, though, that all cover in Fortnite can be destroyed. 

In some ways this encourages players to face up to one another in the end and finish things. It’s hard to hide when you’re building something, especially on a small colorful game map, so finding other players and being found can be much faster. You could, of course, not build anything, but then you run the risk of being at a disadvantage if other players have gained the higher ground. 

Because of its construction mechanic, Fortnite matches tend to be more direct in their closing moments, though not always. 

In PUBG, when the map has shrunk down, players must use the world around them to move to higher ground or duck for cover. Generally, PUBG matches are much more tense and stressful affairs. 

Because you can’t build your own vantage point or protection, you have to move to an advantageous position fast or you’ll end up dead. And because you can’t use player-made structures to safely pin-point the locations of other players, the chances of someone hiding in an abandoned house waiting to ambush you are much higher. 

This tends to mean PUBG players are far more cautious and matches can last far longer, while feeling far more intense in their final moments. 

Which has more players?

When you’re playing online multiplayer games, naturally you’re going to want to see a highly-populated lobby. 

At a certain point, though, specific numbers are kind of pointless. As long as the game is popular, you’re going to encounter players to fight and run from. That’s where we’re at with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite at the moment. No matter which game you go into, you’re going to find an active and large playerbase.

However, it’s perhaps worth noting how trends are swinging at the moment. Fortnite has recently seen an explosive growth. Between December 2017 and January 2018 it’s managed to gain another 10 million players[5], taking its number to 40 million with a record of 2 million concurrent users. There’s also been an upswing in the number of streamers turning to Fortnite and away from PUBG. 

In December 2017, however, PubG managed to hit 3 million concurrent users[6], which is an incredible amount. You’ll understand, then, why we’re saying player numbers and popularity probably shouldn’t be the driving force behind any final decision you make. 

Platforms

At the moment PUBG is available on PC and Xbox One[7] while Fornite can be played on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4[8].

Performance seems to be fairly consistent across console and PC for Fornite (probably down, at least in part, to Fortnite’s larger budget and development team), PUBG has been criticized[9] for its performance on Xbox One and the Xbox One X. 

It should be noted, though, that patches are being issued to address this so the game’s console performance should improve over time. Whether or not PUBG will ever be ported to PlayStation 4 hasn’t been confirmed but it’s not an impossibility.

PC is a good option for either game, but those who prefer console gaming should almost certainly look to Fortnite first at the moment. 

Price

If you’re a complete battle royale novice, then you might be glad to know that Fortnite’s Battle Royale base game is free-to-play on all platforms[10], so it’s a good way to dip your toes into the genre. 

Epic Games has taken a service approach to its title – the game is free-to-download and updates are frequent, with many of the changes being based on player feedback. 

With the base game being free, there are, of course, options to pay. Players can buy season passes which give in-game rewards and offer cosmetic loot rewards to players who complete daily challenges. 

The battle pass is really only worth the money if you’re willing to plug some time into the game, as the more you play, the more rewards you unlock. However, it doesn’t give any kind of advantage over other players as Epic Games has promised that no items that can be purchased will ever offer any competitive advantage.

PUBG can be purchased on Steam and on Xbox from £24.99/$ 29.99/AU $ 39.95.

So, which one should I play?

On the surface Fornite and PUBG are very similar games. They’re both battle royales, they both allow you to play alone or with others, they both feature shrinking maps and the ultimate goal is to be the last player standing. 

However, on closer inspection they offer very different experiences and it depends entirely on player preference which one is better. Both have massive playerbases, so you could hardly call either of them bad. They simply have different appeals. 

If you’re looking for colorful aesthetics, accessibility and fun on console then Fortnite is the one to choose. For those unfamiliar with the concept of battle royales it’s certainly a good initial option – not only is it free, it’s easier to get to grips with and its shorter matches make it a more casual experience.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on the other hand is for those looking for something a little more serious. Its grittier visuals, longer match times, larger maps and more complex weapon and item system mean it’ll take more of your time to learn and play. For serious shooter fans who prefer realism and accuracy, PUBG takes the chicken dinner. 

Whichever one you choose, just prepare yourself for a lot of stress and know that any victories will be hard-earned. 

References

  1. ^ PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (www.techradar.com)
  2. ^ Xbox (www.techradar.com)
  3. ^ Overwatch (www.techradar.com)
  4. ^ said (www.epicgames.com)
  5. ^ gain another 10 million players (kotaku.com)
  6. ^ 3 million concurrent users (www.eurogamer.net)
  7. ^ Xbox One (www.techradar.com)
  8. ^ PlayStation 4 (www.techradar.com)
  9. ^ been criticized (www.techradar.com)
  10. ^ Battle Royale base game is free-to-play on all platforms (www.epicgames.com)
  11. ^ Don’t go into PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds alone – take our handy tips and tricks guide with you (www.techradar.com)

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