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H1Z1's PC version begins transformation into Z1 Battle Royale

I'm gassed.

H1Z1 for PC has had a bit of a rough time. Despite H1Z1's recent success on PlayStation, the PC version has been dogged by complaints from the community about irregular updates and clunky mechanics, while the original Just Survive mode is to shut entirely in October. It's a problem Daybreak has been trying to tackle, as the developer appointed a new PC lead (Jace Hall). As part of a new joint venture with NantWorks called NantG Mobile, the dev team has also been reformed, and there are some major changes coming to the PC version.

The H1Z1 PC version is shortly to be renamed Z1 Battle Royale, and the new patch is the "first major step" in this transformation process. Apparently the team is making efforts to listen to the community "to prioritise features and changes that return the game to its roots as the world's most competitive BR Game".

Previous PC updates, such as auto royale, drove some players up the wall.

According to the patch notes for release 1.0, one of the biggest changes includes reduced matchmaking times. Solo players will be matched based on account level, and instead of a potential wait of eight minutes, time spent in the lobby is now capped at 135 seconds - with only two players required for a match to start. Importantly, all matches will count as ranked, meaning players will still be able to progress even with small numbers of players.

Spawn selection - which some players previously complained created vacuums of unused space on the map - is also being removed from solos, duos and fives. If you really liked spawn selection, however, you can enable the feature in hosted games.

To help lighten the gloomy feel of the game, it seems there are also some changes to the climate. The default time of day is now 2pm, while the weather will be sunny 90 per cent of the time. If only we could adjust the British weather so easily.

Could this be H1Z1's crowning glory?

There's also a ludicrous number of tweaks to guns such as the AR-15, AK-47, M-9, Shotgun and Magnum (to name but a few). NantG Mobile has been fine-tuning the gunplay and improving aspects such as bullet drop, bullet speed and recoil. Make sure to look at the patch notes for the full break down.

It remains to be seen whether the Z1 revamp will help H1Z1 on PC. So far, the community reaction to the update has been positive, although many players still want to see further visual improvements and not everyone is happy about the removal of spawn selection. To keep up with developments as they happen, take a look at the Z1 roadmap, which details upcoming additions to the game.

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About the Author
Emma Kent avatar

Emma Kent


A former Eurogamer intern and reporter, Emma loves delving into communities and modding scenes in search of the weird and wonderful. Oh, and be prepared for puns. Lots of horrible puns.

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