PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds is pretty simple on the surface, but it's a classic example of a game much deeper than it looks.
Our Battlegrounds guide will tackle as much of that depth as possible, starting here on this page with some general and more advanced Battlegrounds tips, along with a full list of our other Battlegrounds guides that get into more detail on specific parts of the game.
One last note before we dive in though - remember that we have standalone pages not only for the Battlegrounds map, and spawn locations and the best places to start, but also one for how to get the most out of Battlegrounds' new first-person mode. And if you've yet to buy the game, our sister site Jelly Deals can help with the cheapest price for Battlegrounds.
Battlegrounds guide to surviving until the end game
There are so many little tips and tricks worth knowing for Battlegrounds that we've decided to compile one big ol' list of them right here, splitting them up into the relevant categories so you can choose to skip ahead, or just browse at your leisure. Before diving in though, it's worth talking a little about how to approach Battlegrounds matches in general, especially if you're a newcomer or just looking to learn the game a little better.
Battlegrounds, or PUBG, is not your typical shooter. The aim is the survive after all, not to get the most kills - in fact you can win without getting a single one - so your usual shooter strategy needs to adapt.
The prevailing meta, so to speak, is stealth. There's little benefit to open combat in Battlegrounds, especially in the early game, outside of practise or topping up on ammo or healing supplies from fallen enemies when you're caught short. In fact, many of the highest-ranking players who are aiming to compete at upcoming tournaments simply rely on 'boring' stealth strategies, like hiding offshore on boats, to see them through to the final gunfight at the end of a round.
The general flow of a game then is roughly as follows:
- You'll spawn in the plane, and need to choose somewhere to land. We've put together a dedicated guide on the Battlegrounds map and best start locations and vehicle spawns, but the short version here is that you want to avoid high-traffic areas like major towns and cities, and find a safe little spot to loot some weapons and equipment on your own.
- Then, when you're all set (or run out of things to loot before the electrical field starts getting close) it's a case of going where the game tells you. You'll need to find safe points to rest, loot, and defend yourself along the way, while the player count gradually drops, until you ideally reach the last 10 or 15 players.
- At that point, most people's strategies go out the window, but hopefully that's where the final part of this page comes in most handy, where we go through not only the useful stuff for the early and mid game, but some advanced tips for winning that final fight to the death.
Battlegrounds tips for mastering PUBG
Battlegrounds can get a little overwhelming, especially for beginners, so here's a rundown of the basics that you need to know - and some useful stuff that it really helps to get to grips with early - before we start diving into the more advanced strategies.
Mastering the essentials: setting up and basic controls
1. Press X to put away your weapon, meaning you can sprint six per cent faster.
2. Boosting vehicles uses up far more fuel, and makes them much harder to turn and handle without skidding.
3. To refuel, the vehicle needs to be compeltely static, but you can still refuel from within the car by right-clicking the cannister in your inventory.
4. Use map markers at all times, and call out specific directions (numbers as well as North/South/East/West) when in a team.
5. You can stay in the game's voice chat, but set your own chat to party-only - occasionally you'll overhear enemy teams who forgot to set theirs to private.
6. Remember to toggle your rate of fire with B.
7. There are not two, but three types of aiming. Hip fire, a more accurate hip-fire (holding right mouse-button), and aiming-down-sights ('ADS', by tapping right mouse-button).
Mastering the essentials: strategies and priorities
8. Big towns under the flight path are dangerous places to start, but normally have better loot. We recommend finding small clusters of buildings right at the edge of parachuting range, or using one of the other more detailed, situational strategies to get even better loot, which you'll find in our Battlegrounds map and the best starting locations guide.
9. The key things you want to find as soon as possible are the good-in-most-situations auto-rifles (ARs), a backpack, a bulletproof vest, healing items, and a helmet - the higher level for these items, the better.
10. All doors in the game start closed. If a door is open, someone's been there. If you leave a door open, you're telling the world you've been there too.
11. There is fall damage, which occurs from jumping around two stories, with more damage the higher the fall.
12. If you take fire from range and don't know where it's from, don't go prone - you just make yourself a sitting duck right in the enemy's line of sight. Instead, zig-zag and sprint until you get to cover and break line of sight. Getting over the brow of a hill is great for this, as is the classic "cheese it!" strategy in a vehicle (just drive away really fast).
13. Always clear buildings (unless you're very rushed) before looting. It's very easy to bait people into feeling secure by leaving loot on the ground, then shoot them in the back.
14. When fighting multiple enemies, ignore any that you down. They can't get up unless rescued, so prioritise the ones who can still attack you.
15. Vehicles are great at covering large distances at speed, but draw huge amounts of attention with their noise. Use them wisely.
16. Vehicles will roll down hills, and explode when they hit things at speed. Park sideways on sloped terrain to stop them rolling away, and if you crash get away from the vehicle ASAP.
(Bonus tip - don't do what we did here:)
The tasty bois ride again pic.twitter.com/MDdJG0MkXK— Batthew Reynolds (@Crazyreyn) July 31, 2017
More advanced controls and hotkeys you'll need to memorise:
17. Hold 'Alt' to look around without moving - great if you're camping, and also while falling from the plane.
18. You can dive underwater by holding 'C' while swimming, and rise to the surface by holding 'Space'.
19. Toggle seats in a vehicle with 'Ctrl+1/2/3/4/5/6', with 'Ctrl+1' taking you to the driving seat.
20. Auto-sprint by pressing '='
21. Lean left with 'Q', or right with 'E', while aiming - use these to look and shoot around walls without exposing as much of yourself.
22. Hold 'Shift' to boost vehicles.
23. Use a vehicle's handbrake for a more aggressive turn or break with 'Space'.
24. Control motorbikes in the air by holding down 'Space' + 'Left Ctrl'
25. Toggle first and third person by pressing 'V'.
26. Hold your breath while aiming with 'Shift' (only in ADS).
27. Watch your bullet drop while aiming by holding 'Left Mouse-Button' to shoot instead of tapping it.
28. Change weapon zeroing (when the weapon/sight permits, for use over different long ranges) with 'Page Up' and 'Page Down'.
29. Cycle weapons with 'G' as well as 'Mouse Wheel'.
30. Healing items are mapped to '7', '8', '9', and '0' by default - you don't need to open your inventory screen to use them.
31. You can roll grenades with an under-arm throw with by holding 'Left Mouse-Button' and then 'Right Mouse-Button' to throw.
32. You can disable the HUD entirely if on-screen markers get in your way, by pressting 'Ctrl+U'.
Strategies for moving around the Battleground
33. Crouch-jump to get through windows and jump slightly higher - 'Space+C' at the same time. Push 'W' when in front of a higher-than-usual ledge to get up onto it. You can practise this on the tires by one of the shipping containers on the spawn island, rather than just shooting your mates.
34. Climb onto a roof from a balcony using Crouch-jump, by first opening the door, crouch-jumping onto it, and again from the top of the door to the roof. Great for sniping! Here's an example.
35.You can also make more difficult jumps between roofs by crouch-jumping onto railings or raised areas and running along them, too.
36. You can jump considerably further than usual by running away from a grenade and jumping as it explodes - you'll increase the chances of this working by jumping from something high, as you're in the air (and therefore capable of being propelled) for longer. Credit goes to reddit user Marcayy for discovering this one and recording the ridiculous GIF in that reddit thread.
How to get the most out of your Medkits
37. There are only two ways to heal yourself back to 100 per cent - the very rare Medkit, which instantly heals you to 100 per cent after 10 seconds, and 'boost' items like Energy Drinks and Painkillers, which will heal you over time.
38. Both bandages and First Aid Kits get your back to 75 per cent health, but First Aid Kits work instantly after the seven seconds of application, whilst bandages require multiple applications and heal over time, taking up to about a minute. Use bandages early on, when in a safe location, and save First Aid kits for a helping hand during late-game firefights.
39. A great tip from player xTyler73's excellent reddit guide - there is an optimal way to use bandages that lets you get more health out of them than you would from just spamming. Healing from bandages happens over time, with your healthbar ticking up from the red to fill up the white. On the third tick of the health going up, start using the next bandage, for the most efficient use of time and resources.
40. Speaking of which, when a healing item you're using is down to 0.5 seconds left on the timer, you can start moving without cancelling it.
Battlegrounds grenade tips and inventory tricks
41. Different items take up different amounts of space in your inventory - First Aid Kits are bigger than bandages, for example. But this also applies to different types of grenades, with Frags smaller than Smoke and Stun grenades for example.
42. You can carry more by equiping the larger items, as equipped items and ammo that's loaded into your gun don't take up inventory space. If you want to free up a Frag-sized space for example, equip your Smoke or Stun grenade - but beware, if your inventory is full, you then won't be able to swap it out for the Frag without using or dropping something!
43. Contrary to popular belief, you can in fact put a pin back in a Frag grenade in Battlegrounds. To do so, open your inventory and drag the grenade from the grenade slot in the bottom right, to your storage column on the left.
Battlegrounds combat tips: how and when to hide or engage
44. Sneaking your way into the final few players is absolutely a good strategy - but it won't help you master the subtleties of combat. If you want to learn the feel of weapons and fighting, then spend a few games spawning in busy spots, as it'll pay off in the long run.
45. If you do want to stealth your way to the win, hiding offshore in a boat, ideally behind a cliff where no one is likely to go looking, is a fantastic way to avoid being spotted. With some spare fuel, you can normally speed your way to any safe zone on the map.
46. Jumping whilst melee attacking makes headshots easier, and yes, headshot punches and swings with melee weapons do considerably more damage.
47. If someone starts attacking you with their bare hands, always fight it out. If you can land a headshot or two you can win the fight even if they get a headstart on working you over!
48. Generally, unless you're looking for practise, just avoid combat. The rule of thumb is to only engage if you're near certain you can win the fight, or if you're unable to flee.
49. Speaking of fleeing, it is easier than you might think. Zig-zag if you're on foot, and think in terms of breaking line of sight. People will only bother chasing you down under specific circumstances. This is especially true if you're in a vehicle - there's no point in hopping out to fight if you've already been knocked down to low health, just floor it!
50. Having bad gear is really not the end of the world, so don't get greedy - what matters is how you adapt to what you have: if all you have is a Shotgun or SMG, then try to camp inside buildings and confined areas. If you just have a crossbow and a decent scope, avoid buildings like the plague and find a high spot for sniping. All it takes is one kill for you to gain a significant amount of loot!
51. If you're hiding in one of the little wooden huts and spot an incoming enemy, bursting out of the hut and firing at them is often better than waiting in there. If they're smart, they'll either know someone's in there or try to clear it out with a grenade or shot through the wooden door first. The element of surprise normally works better.
Battlegrounds combat tips: when you know you're in for a fight
52. Take time to master the art of leaning, or 'peeking', around corners with Q and E during combat, and note that leaning to the right (if you're using the camera over the right shoulder) exposes less of your body than the opposite direction.
53. If you know a fight is coming, or need to sprint across a dangerous open area, use a 'boost' item like Painkillers or Energy Drinks, as the healing over time and extra speed can be crucial.
54. Long grass only renders at less than 150 metres away, but players render from far greater distance - which means if you're relying on long grass as cover, a sniper can spot you easily at long range.
55. Using the Alt button to look around whilst still in cover is perfect for ambushes, but beware your character model does still move a tiny bit when you release it, which can make you stand out when pretending to be a bush.
56. Loot, especially healing equipment like First Aid kits, makes for perfect bait. Leave some on the floor in the middle of a room, and enemies who enter will assume the building is safe, making them easy to quickly pick off.
57. Figure out which way the door swings inwards if you're camping inside a building. Hide to the side of the door that it opens, so players need to come in, turn around, and shut the door to actually spot you, giving you the edge to kill them before they do.
58. The opposite goes for those entering buildings to clear them - always check 360 degrees around you right after entering, and don't assume a bit of loot means the whole thing's safe!
59. Grenades are perfect for clearing small huts (if you can get one through the little windows) and buildings where you suspect someone is camping.
60. Avoid using Smoke grenades though - they give away your position and the smoke renders differently for two players, so what might be obscuring your vision could be completely clear for the enemy, and vice versa.
61. ADS (aiming down sights) is generally more favourable than hip fire in almost every situation. Only rely on Shotguns and SMGs with hip-fire, as the spread is much smaller.
Advanced PUBG tips for how to win Battlegrounds in the late-game and final 10:
62. When you get to the smaller safe zones, normally around the last 10 or 15, you want to try and quickly eliminate anyone you see first - if they survive, it's only a small area, so you're likely to bump into them again later and there's no guarantee they won't get the drop on you instead.
63. There are two main strategies for how you arrive to the final zone. If you're sure you can get there as one of the first, then do so as soon as possible and set up in a position where you know at least one flank is secure - be that a little rock, or an interior wall with no windows.
64. If you're getting there late, it can be better to wait it out at range before making your move. Keep one eye on the blue circle, and play around the edges of the area. Someone may be watching your direction as you approach, but if the safe zone's small, a dozen or so people are left, and you're the furthest one away, then they'll probably have other enemies to prioritise.
65. Your knowledge of the terrain is crucial here. Be sure to learn the map as best you can - our Battlegrounds map guide can help with that - and consciously choose where to go for a reason, rather than on impulse.
66. If you get to a safe location early, and have some decent long-range weapons, try camping any buildings that are just outside the safe zone (by which we mean camping somewhere safe and looking at the buildings, not camping in them!) Keep a close eye on any doors and windows, and as the blue circle starts to close in, players will be forced out of hiding and into the open for you to pick off.
67. Trees aren't great cover. A forest is good visual cover if you need to move long-ish distances, but it's easy to forget that hiding behind a narrow tree still leaves you exposed on three sides - and your vision's heavily impared by the trunk in front of you anyway. Use them as a last resort!
68. When you get to the final three, if you're undiscovered, stay that way. Don't engage unless the kill is absolutely guaranteed, because the other two could easily wound and/or kill each other without you needing to risk death yourself. They'll also give away their positions in the process, which means you of course know where they are for the final face off.