Well worth the battlefield from PlayerUnknown

The Beginner's Guide to PlayerUnknown (aka PUBG) Battlegrounds

So you want to try the new battle royale sensation that is conquering the whole nation, but you don't know how to get started. That is understandable: PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds is a complete game based on an old one ARMA Mod, and it's still in early access. The game lacks a ton of features, mostly any kind of tutorial or guide for players who are just starting out. But when you're ready to dive into the depths of this online multiplayer arena, here are some tips to get you going.

The basics: what is PUBG?

If you haven't read "PUBG" the way it is, the most important thing is that you and up to 99 other real-time players will parachute to a distant island. The island used to be inhabited, but now it is deserted and all cities and buildings are left to nature. Weapons, ammunition, clothing and armor, healing items and power-ups are randomly scattered around the island and can be found in buildings, as well as some vehicles that are still moving.

Your goal: be the last man or woman in life. Every player tries to kill every other player. You can do this in any way: run and shoot your way across the island, wait and hide in an ambush or find a sniper's nest, lie down while the other players take out each other, or even find a car and players run past GTA-Style. But at some point you need to get up, move around, and go to a more populated part of the field of play.

The game begins with a gigantic eight square kilometer grid, but slowly compresses the playing area into smaller and smaller circles. Whenever the play area is restricted, you will have a few minutes to get there on foot or by vehicle, move or retreat from players along the way, and check buildings for more weapons and loot. If you are outside the restricted circle when the countdown reaches zero, another blue circle will condense in the play area, slowly killing any players it catches. If your health reaches zero and you are not in the safe zone, you are out.

Other environmental variables can affect the game, such as the random path the plane takes to para-drop players, weather and time of day that postpone each game, the random "red zone" where bombs every player outside of the game Animal shelters can take care of, and the supply, which the aircraft at regular intervals puts into the playing field. As the number of players remaining decreases, the survivors are divided into smaller and smaller zones until hiding or sniping is no longer an option and you have to deal with whoever is left.

Even if you're not the last player ("winner winner chicken dinner" as the game infamously rewards you), it doesn't mean your game time is a wash. The in-game currency rewards are based on your survival time, the number of players left when you die, and the number of other players you personally took down. The currency can be exchanged for loot boxes, which admittedly provide a slim reward for the shape of clothes and accessories you can wear at the start of the game instead of swapping them out in the middle.

And that's it: parachute in, find a weapon, find a hideout or a vehicle, or just wander around, go to the shrinking play area however you like, kill every other player you encounter, and survive as long as you can can. For something this simple and with only one winner in a hundred, it's amazing that you can find a largely complete game on any server at any time of the day.

Check your setup before you start playing

Before you start your first game, be sure to go to the graphics and controls settings to adjust the settings to your liking. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

PUBG is based on one ARMA mod, so it's more about the actionTechnical filming and less cartoon action. You should therefore note other technical settings such as the ignition mode switch: Many weapons can switch from single fire to burst or fully automatic. They always start in single fire mode (semi-automatic) if several are available.

PUBG flips through iron sights or telescopic sights with a double click. A single tap only zooms in slightly.

Players can switch between first person and third party views at any time using the Toggle Camera button. Double tap activates the visor, even with a third person. The third person is obviously best for moving quickly with situational awareness, while the first person is best for quick and accurate shooting and sniping.

Make sure the map and inventory buttons are easy to get instructions and upgrades at a glance. Also note the Freelook button: it's extremely useful for checking your surroundings even when you're on the go.

You may want to set the foliage setting very low. The game is prettier with lots of plants. The less that is rendered, the better you can see other players.

Game start: Get out and get armed

When you jump off the plane at the beginning of the game, your top priority is to get armed. Even the lowest tier weapons or a grenade will give you an advantage when you meet someone who hasn't found one yet. If you only have your fists or a melee weapon, approach as fast as you can and jump and attack at the same time. This makes you harder to hit and also does a little extra damage to you.

From the plane it is possible to move one and one half to two kilometers (squares) before impact, depending on when you deploy your parachute. At the beginning of the game, the player distribution looks like this:

Keep this in mind as the map shrinks and players are pushed into smaller and smaller areas. So you can roughly guess where the players are from.

Avoid hotspot areas such as the school, hospital, shooting range, and military base at the start of the game. These tall buildings are tempting because they house a lot of weapons and equipment, but they also attract a lot of other players looking for the same thing. The more players there are in one place, the less likely you are to come out alive in the first few minutes.

Watch out for signs from other players in your area: an open door means that either someone is already in the building looting the place, or they have been and have left. Skilled players will of course close doors behind them to set traps. The most important thing is that you prepare for a fight when you enter a structure.

Mid-game: move, delete, move, repeat

Remember the path of the plane and the likely distribution of players: at the start of the game, no more than two spaces from the plane on the main map. Players who find vehicles may continue to travel, but in general most players will move in an almost straight line from their original landing area to the outer edge of the play area. You can predict the direction of movement of other players and avoid them by taking a less direct route, or hide in likely places to intercept them as they travel.

Pay attention to your deadlines. You don't die instantly once the play area is restricted. You have extra time as the blue circle contracts into the white to get to safety. Players cannot walk out of the blue circle, but if you get close to the white circle and the blue one is still miles away, you will likely have time to do a little looting or scouting. Even if it gets tight, standing behind the blue circle won't kill you right away.

If you've just made it into the safe zone in time, it's not necessarily time to relax: the safety zone will contract in a few minutes. It may be more cautious to use the downtime to get closer to the center of the safety zone, especially if you are walking. The next security zone is always completely in the last zone, generally towards the center.

Choke points on the map, especially the north-south bridges over the water, are the most likely to encounter other players. Pass them with caution. If you have enough time, it might make sense to swim over it: it's a lot slower, but less likely to attract attention, and diving for short sessions can help you avoid gunshots.

Picking up a vehicle is always something of a double-edged sword. It makes reaching the restricted play area a breeze, but the high value of your ride and the loud noise of the engine make you an immediate destination. Avoid the main streets (where other players are already looking for randomly appearing vehicles) and go off-road if you can. Be careful: there is a chance that if you crash, you could harm yourself. When you get out of your vehicle, quickly walk away: other players will see it and keep an eye out. It's a good idea to leave them near a building and then immediately switch to another to throw them off your trail. Also note that all random vehicles will appear in an easterly direction. So if you see one in a different direction, another player has moved it and may be building a trap.

Plane supply drops are the best place to find high-tier weapons, but they're also lightning rods for other players. Be prepared for a fight when you approach one. Other players may be hiding in the area, waiting to find someone to approach.

Finding equipment during the game

If you've played first-person shooters before, you probably have a certain style of play that you're used to: long-range snipers, medium-range automatic rifles, short-range shotguns. Unfortunately, the nature of it is random Battlefields means you don't always have your weapon of choice, or even weapon types. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with all weapons, especially the most common pistols, machine guns, and flat rifles to help make yourself more competitive.

Remember, every gun starts unloading. Whenever you get a new one, switch to it immediately and hit the reload button to prepare it for battle.

Battlefields is a very technical shooter, and you can expect to miss a lot in the run-and-gun action. It may be more careful to have a lower level pistol with fewer modifications than a higher level pistol with less ammunition.

Wait until you've made any changes or increased the power ups until you're sure, especially at the start of the game. This holographic view will not help you at all if someone breaks into the building and blows you up while you are on the inventory screen.

Advanced tips to stay alive

If you want to get better quickly, you are likely to be complaining about the lack of a practice area or study mode. If so, consider playing a few games in what I like to call "blow off". Purposely go into the crowded areas of the map for a few rounds and look for specific weapons or weapon types so you can instantly see how they fare in the game. You will die a lot, but you will quickly gain some vital experience as at all other times releasing your position when no one is in your sights is a tactical mistake. The picnic tables in the pre-game launch area are also a great place to quickly try out new weapons.

CONNECTED:What is the difference between virtual and "real" surround sound gaming headsets?

Play with headphones if you can. It is much easier to determine the direction of the sounds, even if you have a stereo system instead of surround sound.

In a vehicle, Ctrl + 1 takes you to the driver's seat, while Ctrl + 2 to 5 take you to the corresponding passenger seats. It's much faster than getting in and out if you're approaching from the wrong side. Senior players drive up to other players on foot, switch to a passenger seat (where they can use weapons), get the kill, and return to the driver's seat without ever stopping.

A vehicle is great for getting to distant locations for equipment and back to the play zone, but they become less and less useful as the game progresses as most of the map is locked and more players are forced into a smaller area. When the number of players remaining drops below 20 and / or the playing area drops below a square mile, it's time to drop them - the noise makes you a target for everyone.

Remember to constantly check your surroundings with an unobstructed view, especially when moving to a new area. It's easy for someone to sneak behind you for a quick kill and mask their own steps.

Whenever you are chasing someone, especially towards, at the end of the game, always wait for them to move first if possible. It might even be worthwhile to drag damage out of the blue circle for a few seconds to force them out of cover rather than making yourself an easy target.

And finally, don't be discouraged. You will only win one in a hundred hits (assuming you are as good as everyone else). But as your tactics and technique get honed, you get closer and closer to the chicken.