PUBG: Everything you need to know!

September 15 2022

PUBG: Everything you need to know!
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PUBG is one of the most popular games on the planet right now. Talk to any gamer out there, and they’ve at least heard of the game to some extent. Ever since its release, PUBG has garnered a huge fanbase, with streamers, pros, and casuals alike getting in on the action. And despite losing steam to some of its competitors, PUBG still remains pretty big to this day.

Whether you’ve been living under a rock and are just finding out about the game or need to extend your knowledge, below is everything you need to know about PUBG.

And if you already love PUBG and are passionate about esports, have a look at our G-Loot tracker before we begin!

What is PUBG?

PUBG is a hyper-realistic battle royale shooter. If you’re not sure what a BR game is, we can break it down for you. It’s a game where players are dropped onto an open map or arena without any initial equipment, and they must fight each other using weapons and resources they scavenge along the way until only one of them is left standing.

While BRs existed well before PUBG hit the scene, it was the title that catapulted the genre into the stratosphere. By combining realistic graphics and mechanics with the intensity of survival games, it made the entire premise of the genre incredibly appealing to gamers.

Its success was so high, in fact, that it achieved nearly 3 million concurrent players on PC at its peak. Although it’s well past its prime today, PUBG still stands as one of the most important video games and esports. Thanks to over 75 million copies sold as of today on PC alone, it’s raking in plenty of profits for its current main publisher, KRAFTON.

When did PUBG come out?

PUBG initially launched on PC in March 2017 as a Steam Early Access title, then got its full release 9 months later on December 20 of the same year. Development had initially begun in 2016 with plans to release the game within a single year.

The project kicked off with a team of 35 developers in a South Korean studio called Bluehole. By June 2017, though, that team had doubled in size. As the game’s popularity grew in anticipation of its release, a new studio was formed to fully focus on the project, fittingly named PUBG Corporation.

Is PUBG free?

Short anwer: yes. As of January 12, 2022, PUBG is a free-to-play game on all available platforms. Prior to this change, the game used to be purchasable at approximately $29.99, with some microtransactions to bolster its revenue.

With its declining player base due to the saturation of the battle royale space, the developers and publishers chose to correct course by making PUBG free-to-play. Some may argue that this move was also a result of the higher revenue achieved by PUBG Mobile, which was already on a freemium business model. 

After making the change, the now renamed PUBG Studios and Krafton announced that players who had already bought the game would be receiving several perks to help compensate for their purchase becoming free. As a thank you for supporting the game, the studio gave all current owners of the game a special commemorative pack of in-game goodies exclusive to them. On top of that, all prior owners of the game were automatically upgraded to the Battlegrounds Plus version of PUBG.

This tier is an optional purchase of $12.99 that free players can choose to pick up to enhance their PUBG experience. Apart from enabling you to create custom matches, this upgrade gives you access to the following content:

  • Captain’s Camo Hat

  • Captain’s Camo Mask

  • Captain’s Camo Gloves

  • Bonus 1,300 G-COIN

  • Survival Mastery XP +100% boost

  • Career – Medal tab

  • Ranked Mode

As a direct result of this move to free-to-play, PUBG has seen a spike of 80,000 additional daily players.

PUBG season 6 navi chicken dinners

Who made PUBG?

PUBG is the brainchild of game designer Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene. His initial concept for the game was inspired by the Japanese bloodfest movie Battle Royale which was released in 2000. Greene first actualized this concept via an ARMA 2 mod called DayZ: Battle Royale.

What had initially drawn him towards creating the off-shoot of DayZ was its realistic military gameplay. He also admired how open-ended the overall experience was. In combination with his fascination with the Japanese film, he began experimenting with developing a battle royale prototype while learning how to program at the same time.

According to Greene, most FPS and shooting games were too repetitive due to their multiplayer maps being so closed-ended and samey. What his BR concept did was eliminate the idea that you’re always playing within the same confines, spawning at exactly the same spots, and using the same tactics over and over.

As a means to gather players to fight each other, he took inspiration from The Hunger Games books and movies. He used the idea of stockpiles of weapons as “honey pots” to lure multiple players together in one spot to duke it out over the loot.

From the very start, Greene wanted the game to take a live service approach so that it could be supported for years to come.

What does PUBG stand for?

The acronym PUBG stands for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The first part of the title refers to the creator, Brendan Greene’s, online gamer tag, which he used when playing games like Delta Force: Black Hawk Down and America’s Army.

The wider public, though, calls the game PUBG for brevity. Instead of spelling out each letter, most people pronounce it pub-g, and it’s by this name that the game is known across the wider spectrum of gamers.

Who owns PUBG?

PUBG is currently owned by PUBG Studios, with KRAFTON Inc as its parent organization. The game was first designed and developed under the umbrella of Bluehole, a studio in South Korea that had experience with making online games. Because PUBG gained a lot of traction throughout its development, its creator, Brendan Greene, along with Bluehole executive Chang-Han Kim formed the PUBG Corporation to focus entirely on building the game and further cementing its broad appeal.

Rights to the PUBG name were passed to Lightspeed & Quantum Studio for the development of the smartphone version, PUBG Mobile. The developer is a subsidiary of Tencent Games, one of the biggest publishers in China, and is currently one of the highest-grossing mobile games in the region.

Where can I play PUBG?

PUBG was originally only playable on PCs in 2017, and for nearly a year, it was exclusive to the platform. Microsoft and Xbox later supported the development of a console version that was then launched in 2018 on Xbox One, along with the Microsoft Store for PC games. The Playstation 4 version of the game saw a release later in the year in December.

Early in 2018, PUBG Mobile was released under the Tencent umbrella and became available on both Android and iOS devices. Though the original game and its smartphone counterpart are considered separate titles, they both share the same battle royale DNA and realistic gameplay.

PUBG is also available on current generation consoles, such as Xbox Series X/S and Playstation 5. Initially available as a backwards compatible title on both consoles, as of summer 2022, PUBG has received several enhancements to both gameplay and visuals on both Sony and Microsoft’s latest hardware.

Does PUBG have crossplay?

Yes and no. To a certain degree, PUBG allows players from certain devices and ecosystems to battle it out against each other. There are some restrictions and limitations, though.

The most obvious is with PUBG Mobile. As this is an exclusive version for smartphones, neither the Android nor the iOS version has crossplay with its console and PC counterpart. However, Android and iOS users can play against each other without any restrictions. With the original title, though, it’s a bit of a different story.

Console players on the Playstation and Xbox console families can link up and compete against each other via crossplay without limitations. PC PUBG players, though, can’t join the party as the computer version of the game is its own thing.

The main argument for keeping the PC version out of the crossplay environment is down to game controls and input devices. Because the game prides itself on having hyper-realistic weapon physics, players on PC have a distinct advantage since they use a keyboard and mouse to play.

Console gamers who use gamepads, though, are forced to make use of an overcompensating aim assist which makes their version of PUBG an entirely different experience. It’s for this main reason that the PC and console versions of the game can’t play with each other via crossplay.

Does PUBG have cross-progression?

Despite having a pretty generous crossplay system going, PUBG doesn’t afford the same flexibility when it comes to account progression. None of the versions of the game allow for the ability to carry over progress from one device family to another.

This means that if you started playing on Xbox and want to switch to playing on Playstation or PC, then you’re out of luck as you’ll need to start from scratch on your new device. If you’re moving from a previous-gen console to a new one, though, you’re in better luck. The progress you’ve made in your PS4 or Xbox One console will carry over to the enhanced version on their equivalent next-gen device.

The core reason behind this is a lack of a true account system inside of PUBG. Your progress is directly tied to the device you’re playing on, and therefore you can’t transfer it to another. Some have also speculated that it has something to do with moving microtransactions from one ecosystem to another. Sony has been notorious for imposing restrictions on many games, including the ever-popular Fortnite. However, over the years, the Japanese giant has relaxed these limitations, so it may just be down to the way PUBG is designed from the ground up.

How many people play PUBG?

A lot. In 2022, at its peak, PUBG had over 600,000 concurrent players battling it out in its virtual arenas on PC. It’s not entirely known how many are playing on consoles, but it’s estimated to be nearly equivalent to the Steam version. This number, though, pales in comparison to the game’s heyday when it had reached an all-time peak of over 3,000,000 players. That isn’t to say that today the game is dead. Log in at any time of the day, and you’ll easily find a match within seconds.

PUBG Mobile, by contrast, has an even bigger player base. By the end of 2021, the game’s mobile counterpart had over 30 million players, with a peak of 2.4 million concurrent players in the summer of the same year. This is largely attributed to the mobile version’s wild success in China and other Asian countries, where the install base for smartphone gamers is far larger than in Western countries.

Today, PUBG Mobile is one of the biggest mobile-based esports in China, with millions of people tuning into live streams of events and tournaments.

PUBG Taego Fields

Which PUBG version is best?

There is no real objective metric by which we can definitely judge which version of PUBG is the best to play. It all comes down to your own personal preference and what device you have available. Of course, it also mostly depends on if you want to play on mobile or a proper gaming machine.

For PUBG Mobile, the iOS platform is considered by most smartphone gamers to be the way to go. This all comes down to a few reasons. For one, Apple phones tend to have much better battery life, which is a crucial feature for gaming on the go. The most recent iPhones are especially capable of optimizing their power consumption thanks to Apple’s custom chips. Even more importantly, iOS versions of games are always built with one operating system in mind. Developers don’t have to account for different phones, screen sizes, specs, and other fragmentation elements the Android space is known for.

The console and PC versions, on the other hand, it’s a bit of a toss-up. The lion’s share of competitive PUBG players will tell you that PC is the way to go, and they have a solid argument; PC allows you to play on a keyboard and mouse. This is widely considered the most optimal way to play realistic shooters like PUBG because of the higher accuracy this input system affords. The PC version also allows you to fine-tune your game’s settings so that you can get the most customized experience.

With consoles, you’re limited to using a gamepad which isn’t the best when it comes to accuracy. Most would argue that the built-in aim assist also dampens the experience further, turning the game into something more akin to an arcade shooter. It’s a gross exaggeration as the game still maintains a ton of its realistic gameplay, but the point still stands that you’re not getting the full brunt of the intended experience Greene had in mind for the game from the get-go.

Where is PUBG banned?

As popular and widespread as it is, PUBG couldn’t escape the ire of certain governments which have seen fit to ban it from being distributed and played in their respective countries.

The most surprising on the list is none other than China, the home country of Tencent Games, which publishes PUBG Mobile. The smartphone version still remains largely unbanned and enjoys a consistent streak of popularity. However, the PC and console versions were deemed too bloody and violent by the country’s authorities. Tencent was forced to replace PUBG on PC with a completely separate version of the game called Game For Peace. This version replaces red blood with green blood, and when you die, your character waves goodbye and flies off.

India has also banned PUBG and PUBG Mobile. In fact, the game had been unbanned for a while only to recently be smacked with the ban stick once more, earlier in 2022. The main reason cited was that the game was too violent, which was considered a threat to national peace.

Pakistan is also on the list of countries that have said “no” to PUBG in the past. The country’s telecommunications authority made the decision after receiving complaints that the game was too addictive and caused health issues related to children’s physical and psychological well-being. A petition, however, reinstated the game, and it has remained available in the country since then.

A similar situation occurred in Nepal when complaints were filed that the game had adverse effects on children. However, a petition to the country’s high court overturned this decision.

Finally, Afghanistan went to great lengths to ultimately ban PUBG from being enjoyed by its local gamers. Its communications regulatory body consulted several entities, including psychologists, cybersecurity experts, and school headmasters, before ultimately banning the game from the country.

How is PUBG played?

As a pioneering spearhead of the battle royale revolution, PUBG is the quintessential representative of its genre. The core concept is deceptively simple. You and a large number of other players jump out of a cargo plane and onto an island with no equipment to your name. Upon landing, it’s game on as anyone, and everyone is your enemy. You must all scout around your surroundings for weapons, armor, and other equipment to improve your chances of survival.

Along the way, you’ll find various points of interest that can range from small villages and house complexes to abandoned military bases and facilities. Each of these locales contains more loot and equipment for you to fight over. You’ll also find various vehicles for both land and sea that you can use to traverse the game’s maps faster. Finally, there are a number of different supply drops and other methods the game uses to bring you and your enemies face-to-face to duke it out.

As time goes by, a blue circle known as The Blue shrinks, causing the battlefield to become smaller and smaller, bringing you and the other combatants closer together. Finding yourself outside the bounds defined by The Blue will deal heavy damage and can lead to your death if you can’t outpace it.

The winner is the last person standing.

Though the core mode of play is a free-for-all, PUBG can also be played in teams. You can squad up with up to three other players to battle against other teams of the same size. This option makes the game marginally easier to get into for newer players as it removes a large burden of being completely on your own.

Does PUBG have bots?

In 2020, the developers introduced bots into PUBG with the purpose of reducing the skill gap for new players. The rationale was that fresh newcomers were ultimately being matched with players well above their skill level due to a lower influx of their peers. By mixing bots into the low-tier matchmaking environment, the company hoped new players would have an easier time learning the game.

There’s no exact science or way of being placed in bot lobbies, unlike other games like Fortnite. On PC, some people claim there are a couple of methods you can use to force the game to place you in lobbies with bots after you’ve cleared the “handholding tier” threshold.

One method suggests you can trigger this by changing your game’s region. You’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Launch PUBG on PC.

  2. Go into Matchmaking Settings.

  3. Find the server you’re on.

  4. Click the drop-down menu and switch to a new region.

  5. Start a match, and you should be fighting bots.

Another way to trigger both lobbies is by switching your perspective through the following steps:

  1. Launch PUBG on your PC.

  2. Click the gear icon on top of the Start button.

  3. At the top, switch from TPP to FPP or vice versa.

  4. Select OK when you’re done.

  5. Start a game, and you should be in a bot lobby.

Finally, switching to another game mode is said to allow you to match up against bots even if you’re well above the skill ceiling for that.

What weapons does PUBG have?

PUBG’s creator, Brendan Greene, was heavily inspired by realistic military shooters such as America’s Army. Based on this, he wanted to make a game that carried the same level of realism. So, naturally, PUBG contains a huge list of real-life guns and weapons from a large spectrum of categories:

Assault Rifles

  • SCAR-L

  • M16A4

  • Groza

  • AKM

  • AUG A3

  • M416

  • QBZ95

  • Beryl M762

  • Mk47 Mutant

  • G36C

  • K2

  • ACE32

Designated Marksman Rifles (DMRs)

  • SKS

  • Mk14 EBR

  • Mini 14

  • SLR

  • QBU

  • VSS Vintorez

  • Mk12

Rifles

  • Winchester Model 1894

Sniper Rifles

  • AWM

  • M24

  • Karabiner 98 Kurz

  • Winchester Model 1894

  • Mosin Nagant

  • Lynx AMR

Submachine Guns (SMGs)

  • Micro UZI

  • UMP45

  • Tommy Gun

  • Vector

  • PP-19 Bizon

  • MP5K

  • P90

Light Machine Guns (LMGs)

  • DP-28

  • M249

  • MG3

Shotguns

  • DBS

  • S12K

  • S1897

  • S686

  • Sawed-off

Bows

  • Crossbow

Pistols

  • P1911

  • P92

  • 9mm

  • R1895

  • P18C

  • R45

  • Flare Gun

  • Skorpion

  • Deagle (Desert Eagle)

Throwables/Grenades

  • Smoke Grenade

  • Frag Grenade

  • Stun Grenade

  • Molotov Cocktail

  • Sticky Bomb

  • C4

  • Decoy Grenade

  • Blue Zone Grenade

Melee Weapons

  • Crowbar

  • Machete

  • Pan

  • Sickle

Miscellaneous Weapons & Tools

  • Ballistic shield

  • Crossbow

  • Flare Gun

  • M79

  • Mortar

If you want to know about more about weapons we will recommend checking out also our ultimate PUBG weapon basic guide!

Can weapons be customized and upgraded in PUBG?

A big part of what makes PUBG’s approach to weapons so appealing is the fact that you can upgrade and modify them to suit your personal playstyle. This is achieved through items you collect wherever loot is available, called Attachments.

These modifications exist in many different types, and each one has a select number of weapons it can be attached to:

Muzzle

Muzzles attach to the front of your weapon and affect your accuracy, noise, bullet spread, and muzzle flash.

Lower Rail

Lower rail attachments enable you to add grips and sights that affect aspects such as recoil and accuracy.

Upper Rail

The upper rail section of your weapon is where you attach primarily sights which affects your accuracy and how much zoom you are able to achieve when aiming down sights.

Continuation:

Magazines

Magazines do exactly what you expect. They can increase the number of bullets you can fire before needing to reload. Some magazines can also make it faster to reload.

Stocks

Stocks are a bit of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to attachments. Each can have an entirely different effect from another, ranging from faster reload speed to lower recoil strength.

How many maps does PUBG have?

PUBG has a total of 9 maps currently. However, they’re not all available in all modes at the same time. In competitive and normal modes, there are 5 maps that are available during a given season of the game. These are rotated with each season, allowing for more variety while balancing out some consistency.

Each map has its own size and gameplay concept that completely alters the way you approach the game. The smallest map is 1km x 1km, while the largest ones are 8km x 8km. Apart from their size, maps are also distinguished by their landscape, architecture, weather conditions, and vehicle availability.

Some maps also have their own bespoke mechanics that affect the way loot is acquired and distributed as well as how players traverse and navigate the map.

Here are the nine maps of PUBG in order of release:

  1. Erangel (8x8)

  2. Miramar (8x8)

  3. Vikendi (6x6)

  4. Sanhok (4x4)

  5. Karakin (2x2)

  6. Paramo (3x3)

  7. Haven (1x1)

  8. Taego (8x8)

  9. Kiki (8x8)

Erangel map plane

What are PUBG’s system requirements on PC?

Although PUBG has a fairly realistic look, it can be run on a wide range of gaming machines, even ones utilizing graphics cards that are two generations behind. As with most PC games, PUBG has a set of minimum requirements as well as recommended ones.

The former is the lowest power that can handle the game at its absolute lowest settings. The recommended requirements, on the other hand, are what the developers’ state are the lowest you can use to get the best possible PUBG experience.

If you want to dive deeper into this topic, check out our guide for competitive PUBG settings!

PUBG minimum system requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4430 / AMD FX-6300

  • Memory: 8 GB RAM

  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2GB / AMD Radeon R7 370 2GB

  • DirectX: Version 11

  • Storage: 40 GB available space

PUBG recommended system requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-6600K / AMD Ryzen 5 1600

  • Memory: 16 GB RAM

  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB / AMD Radeon RX 580 4GB

  • DirectX: Version 11

  • Storage: 50 GB available space

Can PUBG mobile be played on PC?

Officially, no. PUBG Mobile can’t be used on a PC. It’s designed specifically to run on Android and iOS devices, with controls specifically built for touchscreens and controllers. However, there’s a workaround.

You can use an Android emulator like Bluestacks to run PUBG Mobile on your PC and play the game that way. This will enable you to play PUBG Mobile with a keyboard and mouse. As with most emulation, though, you’ll need to do a fair bit of tweaking to get the game to work without many issues. Even still, the game running on Bluestacks won’t be a perfect experience.

For one, players have reported that PUBG Mobile running on an emulator in many cases only runs on a single core which effectively means the game will have severe graphics lag. Furthermore, you need to be sure you’re on the latest version of Bluestacks to avoid issues such as your mouse not moving past a certain point on the game’s screen. Finally, there’s a problem with Battle Royale Mode that may require you to turn it off and on several times before you can get the game to work properly.

Does PUBG have DLC?

PUBG doesn’t have DLC in the traditional sense. What most games would consider DLC would be things like extra characters, maps, weapons, and other gameplay elements, as well as cosmetics. With PUBG, it’s a different story.

Despite going free-to-play, PUBG’s core gameplay elements, including maps and weapons, are all available at no extra cost. You’re not gimped in any way, even if you’re not spending any money on the game. However, the same doesn’t apply to cosmetics.

When you purchase weapon and character skins and accessories, these become effectively unlocked on your account, and you can use them whenever you like. You don’t need to download anything extra on your device to make them work, either.

The exact same philosophy applies to Battlegrounds Plus, PUBG’s one-time purchase that unlocks a bunch of added goodies and bonuses that you keep forever. After buying Plus, these extras become unlocked on your account for use at your leisure.

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Yannis Vatis author

Yannis Vatis
Yannis Vatis

Yannis is a veteran gamer with over 30 years of experience playing a wide spectrum of video games. When not writing about games, he's playing them, and if he's not playing them then he's definitely thinking about them.