The battle royale genre reshaped the game industry when it first burst onto the scene in the late 2010s, with Fortnite eventually establishing itself as the head of the table. Despite Fortnite’s success, it can never claim to be the first; that title belongs to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds–PUBG for short.
The game continues to succeed on console and PC, but a shift to mobile devices has been a huge boon for the survival shooter as PUBG Mobile offers the full PUBG experience on both iOS and Android. If you’re thinking about checking it out–whether you’re a battle royale expert or you’ve never dropped onto an island before–here are 10 tips to get you closer to a chicken dinner of your own in PUBG Mobile.
Practice the controls…or use a Bluetooth controller
“Practice the controls” may sound obvious, but as you’re playing on a mobile device, PUBG Mobile relies on touchscreen controls throughout its experience. Those controls can be challenging, especially to players who have been holding a controller for the bulk of their lives.
Spend the first few matches of your PUBG Mobile career familiarizing yourself with the control scheme, noting that there is a Fire button on either side of the screen and other nuances. If you play a few rounds and you just can’t stand the touchscreen, find a Bluetooth-compatible controller and connect it to your phone. It should be smooth sailing from then on.
Auto settings to start
If you’re going to tough it out on the touchscreen, one thing you can do is turn on Auto-Run and Auto-Pickup settings. This way you don’t have to worry about pressing and holding a second button to spring or to tap the screen furiously whenever you want to pick something up, the game will do it for you until your stamina is depleted or your inventory is full.
We especially like the Auto-Pickup function for later in a match, as it will also auto-optimize your loadout whenever you find a better gun. This is especially helpful after taking another player out, as Auto-Pickup will sift through everything they dropped and only give you what you absolutely need.
Know your inventory limits
While we do encourage Auto-Pickup for your first few matches, we must also exercise caution: your inventory is very limited, especially in the early going. More items can be held as players find backpacks scattered around, but in the beginning there’s not a lot of space.
Until you find a large backpack to store multiple guns and healing items, only focus on picking up what you can actually carry, and more importantly, know your inventory limit. You don’t want to be standing over an item wondering why you can’t pick it up when an enemy comes in, or else you’ll be headed to the exit.
The mini-map is your friend
Battle royale players are always checking the in-game maps for updates on safe zones, nearby points of interest, etc, but PUBG Mobile takes its minimap one step further. It’ll tell you what location you’re in without needing to pause the action, sure, but it will also give you two valuable pieces of information you need to pay attention to.
The first is the location of the Safe Zone, also known as Where You Need To Be When Time Stops. If you’re not in the Safe Zone, you’re in big trouble. Second, when an opponent approaches you, the mini-map will show a tiny arrow pointing in the direction the sound of their footsteps came from. Use this information to prevent an opponent from getting the jump on you, instead sending them back to the start menu.
Land near the center of the map
his tip only applies for as long as you feel uncomfortable with dropping into fringe areas on the edges of the map, but it’s one to keep in the back of your mind even after that: land close to the center of the map.
We’re not saying to land directly in the center–dead center tends to hold busy landmarks that end up hosting early firefights–but find a place near the middle of the map and land there consistently. Being close to the center means you have a good chance of being in or near the Safe Zone when it appears, so you won’t have to worry about hoofing it across a big map in order to continue playing. This lets you continue to stock up, take things slow, and eventually charge into victory.
Always have health
There are two essentials in PUBG Mobile: guns and health items. Guns shouldn’t be much of a problem, but health items are a bit more scarce. If you find any health items at all, make sure you hold onto them until you need them, prioritizing them over things like grenades in your early inventory.
The name of the game in a battle royale is survival, and having a good stock of health items in the early going will keep you alive for the later stages should you find a few enemies along the way. Health packs, energy drinks, painkillers, whatever you see you keep.
Check for nearby vehicles
Every map is lined with vehicles, especially in places with lots of buildings like towns. Should you find yourself a large distance away from the Safe Zone, and you’re afraid the Auto-Run won’t cut it, then find yourself a car!
Driving isn’t difficult in PUBG Mobile–the controls are basically the same as walking or running–so getting used to being behind the wheel won’t take very long. Most cars will be able to get you to the Safe Zone, but maybe find a gas can or two just in case before you head out.
Have a headset handy
PUBG Mobile is a very audio-heavy game. There are a lot of audio cues or sound effects that add to the entire experience, to the point where not being able to hear them could actively hurt your chances at a chicken dinner. As such, using headphones or a headset is essential.
If you have a wired headset we would recommend going that route, but any low-latency Bluetooth headsets or earbuds will get the job done too. So long as there’s not a big delay between the phone and your headset, you should be able to pick up and play using the sounds to guide you.
If you’re a veteran of other shooter games–or other battle royales–the ability to lie down and go prone isn’t something you might be used to. PUBG Mobile offers it however, and working it into your skill set will make a huge difference as you continue to learn the game.
Going prone makes you the smallest target possible, so opponents won’t be able to shoot you as easily as if you were standing. Keep going prone in mind any time you’re going to engage an opponent, and you may find yourself coming out on top more often. Speaking of engaging enemies…
Sometimes fight, sometimes flight
Running toward a foe guns blazing every time you see one will only send you back to the main menu more than you’d like to see it. Planning and strategy are essential to the PUBG Mobile experience, from first landing all the way to the chicken dinner.
If you see an opponent who hasn’t seen you, gauge where they’re coming from and how loaded out they might be. If you’re holding a powerful assault rifle and you see they’re holding a pistol, then I would take the risk and fire away. However, if they’re holding a shotgun and you’ve got nothing, maybe just crouch or go prone and wait for that person to venture away from you.
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