PUBG's snow map, Vikendi, is live now on PC, and is coming soon to the live servers of PlayStation and Xbox console versions.
It's an interesting one, sitting in the mid-size territory between the smaller Sanhok and larger Erangel and Miramar maps, and it brings some new mechanics and strategic elements like footprints with it, too.
Here, we'll run through some early suggestions for the best snow map start locations as well as some snow map strategies that we've picked up from our time with it in testing - with some more Vikendi tips and tricks added now we've tried it out on live servers.
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PUBG snow map Vikendi explained - map size, footprints and details
Vikendi, PUBG's new "snow map", mixes up the formula of regular maps like Erangel and Miramar, with it slotting into a new, medium size between those larger maps and the more recent, pocket-size Sanhok. Here's a look at the map itself before we dive into specifics.
Snow Map Vikendi size, footprints, new parachuting and other new details
Vikendi is a 6x6 map, plonking it firmly between the 4x4 kilometre map of Sanhok and the 8x8 kilometre Erangel and Miramar ones as we noted above. In effect, it's designed to play like a hybrid of the two sizes, too: a little faster than the two large ones but a little more 'tactical' than Sanhok, and in practise that's largely the case.
The other main Vikendi-specific feature to note is the addition of footprints, which seem pretty insignificant but can, in some cases, make a real difference to your approach. They're essentially the open doors of the wilderness, if you want to sound poetic - or in other words they're an indicator that someone has been there recently.
They last for ten minutes as one keen player, TheDirewolf, shows in this video, which if anything actually makes them slightly less impactful: with Vikendi matches lasting around twenty minutes, a ten minute timer on footprints means the person who was once in that spot could be long gone by now.
There are changes to vehicles on Vikendi, too: regular vehicles, including four-wheel-drives like the Jeep, will struggle in snow, particularly when going up-hill, and will slide around a little when trying to steer - which is fun! That's mitigated by the introduction of a new vehicle, the Snowmobile, which is a rather gorgeous two-seater that handles much better on snow, but much worse on regular terrain like roads and regular ground.
The final big addition is a change to parachuting, which applies to all maps with the arrival of Vikendi on live servers. Instead of only having control of your direction when 'chuting - and an ability to 'swing' your way to a little extra distance - parachuting is changing to allow you to descend quicky, by holding Shift, or to glide, allowing you to maintain height and move slowly over longer distances, by holding Control.
This means that almost the entire Vikendi map is available from the off on almost any flyover route, but you'll of course be landing much later than your opponents if you choose to glide over a long distance. Regular parachuting has also had a slight reduction in distance, it seems, and so faced with a tradeoff between quicker access to loot on the ground versus safer looting with a later landing, most players are still sticking to close-to-the-fly-zone drops in central areas. Or at least they are for now.
PUBG snow map strategies and the best start locations on Vikendi so far
It's still very early days for the snow map Vikendi, and the way the map's loot is spread out is an indication of that. There's some very unusual spawn distribution - a huge percentage of standard spawn weapons right now are SMGs and Shotguns, for instance, along with lots of the same DMR attachments despite their near non-existence - making it a little too early to properly lay out the best starting locations as we have done in our guides to Erangel, Miramar,Sanhok and our dedicated PUBG loot locations page.
There are also questions over some accidental weighting of the circle, as it seems to be spawning in the central south-west area a little over-regularly at the moment.
Rather than breaking them down into loot quality and quantity tiers then, for now we'll run through a quick list of some of the map's key locations and give a general idea of what you can expect, and update this page with that loot-spawning info with much greater depth as the map moves from Test Server to live games in the near future.
PUBG snow map start locations - the main areas
- Hot drops - The busiest spots to land on Vikendi are, like on the other maps, the main named locations in the centre of the map, thanks to their ability to be reached from just about any flight path. Think eye-catching spots like Dino Park, Castle, Villa, Coal Mine, and Mount Kreznic. There's generally a high concentration of loot at all of these, but we'll have to wait and see on how that equates to quality. We've had the most success finding level 3 gear - including helmets - at Dino Park, particularly in the dodgems arena!
- Big but quiet - Similarly eye-catching areas but further from the centre of the map, you'll have a quieter time at areas around the edge of the map like Cantra, Milnar, Cosmodrome, Winery, Dobro Mesto, Krichas, Peshkova and Movatra. Loot concentration still seems to be very high here, so a long drop to one of these may be a good option, especially with those aforementioned changes parachuting mechanics.
- Smaller and quieter - Abbey seems to be a hidden gem, with a large amount of loot in a fairly small area, that's often overlooked. Otherwise smaller settlements around the edges of the map, like Vihar, Trevno, Pilnec and so on are what we're talking about here. Still plenty of loot for one, but less suitable for larger squads, and you may well face a bit of a trek to somewhere relevant. Situational options, then!
As we mentioned above, we'll be looking at these in more detail in the coming days and weeks, and will circle back to update with some more detail as the slightly strange loot situation settles down.
Snow map Vikendi release date on Xbox One and PS4
Aside from those changes, there's the obvious question of when the snow map's heading to consoles and a full launch on PC.
PUBG snow map release date for PC, Xbox One and PS4:
- Vikendi release date PC - Available now
- Vikendi release date Xbox One - January 2019 (available now on Test Server)
- Vikendi release date PS4 - January 2019 (available now on Test Server)
No exact dates on that January release for consoles, then. We'll update this page when we have them!