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PUBG: Battlegrounds is a battle royale game developed and published by PUBG Corporation (currently known as PUBG Studios), a subsidiary of Krafton (formerly known as Bluehole). The game was initially released for Microsoft Windows and later ported to Android, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Stadia.
In PUBG: Battlegrounds, 100 contestants are dropped on a remote inhabited island and tasked with finding equipment to survive and fight other contestant to the death until there is one survivor left on the island. It has different modes like solo, duo, or with a small team of up to only four people, the game ending when the last person or team left alive wins the match.
While landing, the players are able to choose equipment (weapon, armor or health-pack) and vehicles (car, motorbike or boat) all around the island whether in a house, building or even outside. The weapons have customization options like muzzle attachments, lower or upper rails, magazines and stocks to increase their effectiveness. A plane will deliver air drops with special armors and weapons in any random location, but you have to be careful so that another players doesn't get to it first.
Every few minutes, the safe area (known as the Playzone) of the map begins to shrink based on a random center, and any player will take damage until they are eliminated unless they get to the safe zone in time. In game, the players can see the boundary as a shimmering blue wall that contracts over time, and it can be seen on the map. There are red zones spawned across the location that spawn bombs across the zone, it can happen when someone is camping or appeared randomly.
It also has other matches since the update, Zombie, where five or ten contestants may used their armors and weapons to defend themselves from the horde of zombies (who cannot use armor or weapons, just melee attacks), War Event, where many teams go to defend the point with randomized weapons and the only match where you can respawn.
There's also a training mode where you can learn how the game works with weapons, armors and vehicles along with other players across the world.
- The game threw off its early access tag on December 21, 2017 with the release of version 1.0, but there are still a litany of rather critical bugs/glitches unfixed. This most critical of these are bugs/glitches as a direct result of map geometry and objects being handled client-side. Specifically, if the assets fail to load for a player, they simply do not exist for the player. Slightly less critical are the general unreliability of both the killcam and replay functions.
- Client-side Geometry issues
- Is someone shooting from inside a rock or similar piece of hard cover? It's highly likely that rock did not load for the shooter and they're, unknowingly or otherwise, standing in the middle of geometry that they can't see because it didn't load for them. Conversely, you can't return fire because the rock exists for you, so your shots get stopped dead. The only other people who CAN fight back are those who also had that rock fail to load for them.
- Were you hiding deep inside a building and got killed from an impossible angle? Take for example: You're in a windowless room with only one door that's not even facing the side that the gunfire is coming from. Well newsflash for you: The building did not load for the shooter, so not only were you completely visible to them, the walls and other pieces of hard structure also did not exist for them.
- Were you hiding deep inside a building and got run over by a vehicle that seemingly drove right through the exterior and interior walls? Yep, another case of building not loading for the person who turned you into roadkill. Interestingly enough, that vehicle was carrying a passenger that had properly loaded geometry on their own client, so it was just as unbelievable to them as it would've been to the victim. They also were not affected in anyway when the vehicle they were riding in just phased through walls.
- Killcam and Replay issues
- The killcam and replay systems are notoriously buggy and unreliable, making it hard to determine if questionable kills were the result of cheating.
- So you saved killcam footage and want to play it back in-game. Well what's going to happen is that 9/10 times, each viewing of the footage will yield wildly different results from one another, and that's not all, those results may be completely divorced from what actually happened.
- On a similar note, you want to check out a replay of one of your matches, and in particular one of your kills in order to make a highlight. Let's say that you killed an enemy at about medium-long range. What will happen 9 times out of 10 when you try to watch your replay? You'll see yourself shooting at your own feet and somehow killing the enemy that's far away from you. This particular bit of behavior makes it nigh-impossible to determine whether or not someone it cheating.
- Client-side Geometry issues
- The developers care very little about the game, if at all. As the game is already popular, there is no reason for them to fix the bugs until a later date.
- The PUBG Battle Pass is not only more expensive than the one in Fortnite, it expires faster, gives you less content, and a lot of the skins you get are temporary.
- Obvious use of stock assets with little modification.
- Large system requirements with few features.
- Poor graphics and low resolution textures, despite running on Unreal Engine 4.
- Horrible physics, especially the driving or gun recoil that every generic shooter suffers from.
- While PUBG gets free promotion from streamers playing their game, they are spoiling them by banning anyone who kills the streamer's avatar in the game; even honking car horns near streamers will get you banned for "harassment".
- The Chinese server (which is the majority of the player base) suffers from major lag spikes and has too many hackers.
- Horrible optimization; sometimes the game runs very slowly even if you have a high end platform. Considering the graphics, as well as the fact that other games with similar requirements but better graphics perform better, this is inexcusable.
- The game is filled with hackers and cheaters, because only a few of them are punished for their actions.
- The weapon balancing is terrible.
- As a case of never bring a knife to a gun-fight, melee weapons quickly become underwhelming beyond the start of the game, even though they deal a lot of damage. Each weapon has only one forward attack animation, making it easy for any opponent to move out of range. Additionally, this means even a player with a simple pistol can easily kill you, as you practically have to walk right into their line of fire to get a hit in. Lag issues make this even worse, as the only time you're going to have to conceivably use one is at the start of the game in a high density area, where the servers are most likely to lag. Good luck trying to kill that guy with your crowbar when he's teleporting around and it's impossible to even catch him! The only weapon that avoids this is the frying pan, and that's mainly because of its passive benefit as a shield than its use as a proper weapon.
- The Crossbow. While it is incredibly powerful, it can naturally only fit one bolt at the time and has a very slow reloading animation. Might double as a high risk / high reward weapon, as you can easily kill a player with a well-placed shot, but will leave yourself completely open if you miss. In a game where all other ranged weapons are firearms, that usually means you're dead. Though on a positive side the crossbow is completely silent so even if you miss the other player might not even notice you.
- Pistols are jack-of-all-trades weapons that do not excel at anything in particular and are among the most common weapon spawns. Since submachine guns and assault rifles are superior in close combat and rifles for long-distance fighting, a pistol is usually only a last resort back-up weapon. And it's not just their damage, either; their iron sights are so bad that most players have to hipfire just so they can even see who they're trying to kill, and their sight attachment will only take red dots, which most players find far more useful on any other gun. General player advice is to immediately drop the pistol as soon as you find a "real" gun in order to conserve more carrying space for ammo and healing items. The Glock-18 is the only one that gets any respect, and that's for being the only pistol that can fire full-auto, not because of its damage or anything of that sort.
- A January 2018 update completely Nerfed shotguns; while before the playerbase's opinion of them was fairly positive and balanced, after the update they were viewed as complete jokes that couldn't even one-shot someone from point-blank range if they had any kind of armor or helmet on, even the pathetic level 1s. Before the update, their higher damage output made them viable to choose over SMGs for a close-range weapon, now it means almost anyone will go for the SMG instead if given the option.
- The Mini-14 has almost never been viewed positively despite being in the game for almost half its existence. At first, it was seen as a pretty okay gun, being a bridge between rifles and snipers with lower damage but faster firing speed and lower bullet drop; the problem was, the M16, despite being an "ordinary" assault rifle, outclassed it in almost every statistic, so players had no reason to actually pick it up over the M16. After the M16's reign of terror was ended by a Nerf, the Mini was rather bafflingly given one as well, which turned it into a complete joke. It's commonly never picked up, as it's considered the "worst of both worlds" between snipers and assault rifles, combining the inability to fire full-auto, which makes it useless at close range, and rarity of attachments, which leads to a lot more time looking for them, of snipers with the significantly lower damage output at range of rifles, which makes it impossible to duel other snipers despite nominally being one.
- Loot boxes: Cosmetic only such as costumes (so the player can start match wearing something other than underwear), weapon skins, and alternate paintjobs for...everything except the map itself. While the items in the Steam version can be traded through Steam market, the console and mobile version have no such convenience.
- You can't even open these loot boxes unless you spend real money on Keys, which means that while you get Loot Boxes for free, you still have to spend money on them.(While Team Fortress 2 does this too, it is not as bad because it is strictly cosmetic-only, and keys have another use as trade currency.)
- Many gamers have experienced in-game pop-up ads promoting third-party services while playing the game.
- To save face on several issues and keep the small player base they had, the developers created a campaign known as "#FixPUBG", which promised to fix the game and bring it back to a playable state. However, it also turned on them when they generated an adverse reaction, and was subsequently cut.
- The developers decided to release a PlayStation 4 version before the Xbox One version even ended, which was just as poor as the Xbox One version.
- The Lite version, although developed for older and low-end systems, lacks DirectX 10 support despite many older systems using DirectX 10 graphics cards.
- On March 31, the developers announced that PUBG Lite's servers will shut down on April 29. It will no longer be possible to play this version after this date
Xbox One version
NOTE: Based only about the launch of this release.
- Extremely bad rendering. The map rendering is even worse than the early 3D games that made it look like Google Maps 3D Rendering and it takes about three to four seconds to render the terrain around you.
- Poor texture quality. Sometimes the textures can look like the place of a Nintendo 64 game. And to add insult to injury, the game runs on Unreal Engine 4!
- Abysmal framerate. The game is often below 10 FPS, most of the time the game is not optimized for the original Xbox One models, and even on Xbox One X the game frame rate usually reaches the frame rate lock at 30 FPS.
- Tons of bugs and glitches. For example, the interiors of buildings do not load properly for a few seconds after entering, which allows them to sink into the ground under the building floor.
- Entry is slightly delayed, like Minecraft: Bedrock Edition on Xbox One.
- Horrible physics. The most remarkable are the physics of firearms.
- Bluehole and Microsoft have decided to release the game on Xbox One before it officially leaves Early Access.
- Good main concept.
- Decent gameplay that can make the game addicting and enjoyable.
- At least the mobile and lite versions are free for download as mentioned above. Since January 2022, every release of the game became free-to-play.
- Unlike Fortnite, you can use the clothes of the dead enemies and customize your weapons.
Critic reviews and initial player reviews for the game in Early Access were generally positive, but after release, the game quickly declined in reception due to the reasons above. It got mediocre to negative reviews from gamers due to it still being broken and unfinished, even since the game came out of Early Access, despite having an average score of 86 on Metacritic at release. Later, at one time, the game heavily popularized the Battle Royale genre, to the point that it is now becoming oversaturated thanks to it. It been widely listed on many Worst Games of 2017 lists because of all these problems.
The game has also had a major decline in popularity recently (mainly in the west). Players have noted that the game continues to have issues that should've been fixed at launch and Fortnite: Battle Royale has gained more attention. According to reports, the amount of people playing the game has dropped around 50% since January 2018.
- According to the creator Brendan Greene, PUBG: Battlegrounds was inspired by the Japanese 1999 novel and 2000 film of Battle Royale, which it featured the references to Battle Royale like similar clothes and weapons.
- After PUBG Mobile was banned in China in 2019 (due to Chinese anti-gambling laws which also covered loot boxes and in-game microtransactions), and India in 2020 (due to security concerns on Chinese apps following armed conflicts with China in May 2020), Tencent and Krafton has created two reskinned versions of the game to get around the ban: Game for Peace, a reskinned version of PUBG Mobile with Chinese patriotic theme made by Tencent for Chinese market, and Battlegrounds Mobile India made by Krafton for the Indian market. It was one of the most banned apps in India alongside TikTok and WeChat among all the 220 apps banned due to security concerns on Chinese apps following armed conflicts with China in 2020.
- The game used to be one of the most popular battle royale games in countries like India (alongside Call of Duty Mobile, Fortnite and Free Fire) before it was banned in India in 2020 due to security and addiction concerns.
- Formerly known as PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Known as PUBG Mobile for Android and iOS versions.