It’s quiet. Too quiet. PUBG: Battlegrounds is so quiet it feels like it will drive me mad. It’s my first match, and the only sound emanating through my headset is the slap of my character’s bare feet as I run across a patchy grass field. As a somewhat seasoned battle royale player, spending hours each week in both Warzone and Apex Legends (with a brief foray into Fortnite, thanks to that Ariana Grande concert), PUBG is a whole other beast. 

PUBG went free-to-play earlier this year, and while creative director Dave Curd claims it wasn’t in response to the success of Warzone or Apex Legends, it’s impossible to not consider the other battle royales in this conversation. PUBG may have kickstarted the battle royale trend back in 2017, but since its launch, it has also become one of the most inaccessible, thanks to its price tag and more unforgiving gameplay style. And even though it’s now free-to-play, its grounded gameplay and slow pace still make this a tough BR nut to crack.

Getting started 

(Image credit: PUBG Corp)

You can’t get into PUBG matches without going through a tutorial, and I get stuck within the first few minutes. During the section where I’m required to shoot targets while aiming down sight, I nail several shots in a row but the counter frustratingly remains at zero. Turns out the ADS feature I’m used to in battle royales (holding down the left trigger to bring the gun up to your face), isn’t ADS in PUBG, and you’ve gotta tap the trigger to go in and out of it. Laughing to myself at how long it took to realize this, I finish the rest of the tutorial with ease and jump into AI training sessions where I’m placed alone in a battle royale match filled with bots.

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