Following the launch of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) on the Sony Playstation 4 (PS4) and some aggressive Steam sales over the holiday, there's been an influx of noobs to PUBG.
For cowardly incompetents such as myself, this has provided some much-needed easy target practice - thanks, guys. However, while online games such as PUBG can be soul-destroyingly hard for new players, there are some tactics and strategies that can radically enhance survival rates and, hence, chances of winning getting regular top-10 finishes.
If you want to beat people who are, frankly, more competent than you, then you'll have to play smarter and spend a lot of time hiding in toilets
This is by no means intended to be an infallible how-to guide - only you can learn how to shoot a bit straighter, rather than running round in circles discharging your clip into the ceiling - but, in time, it ought to increase your chances of getting a win if, like me, you're just not very good.
- If you thought you heard the footsteps of another player, then you probably did!
This is the absolute number one rule and it's normally your belated cue to make less noise yourself by crouching or pressing ctrl (or whatever's the Playstation/Xbox controller equivalent) to tippy-toe round - the slower you move, the less noise you make and the harder it is for other players to work out your location.
- Eight deaths out of ten you will be heard before you are seen
So, MAKE LESS NOISE. PUBG is a stealth, survival shooter: only run around like a maniac if you've accidentally dropped into Pecado, you have the blue zone nipping your backside, or you have to in order to finish off a miscreant before they can heal up, or something like that. As a rule of thumb, the slower you move, the less noise you make.
Crevice is not a dirty word - in fact, crevicing is probably the single most important skill to master in PUBG
- Don't jump around
This isn't Fortnite. Besides, jumping makes you an easier target whose movement becomes quite predictable when in mid-air.
- Perfect the ‘open door shuffle'
One doesn't simply open a door and run into a room in PUBG - not if one wants to live: one opens the door, shuffles sideways and, then, only if one isn't greeted with a hail of welcoming bullets, does one sashay through the door.
- Move in mysterious ways
Even though it's surprising how rarely you'll get fired upon running over open country, it's still a wise precaution to bob from side to side in order to make it much harder for a miscreant with a Kar98 to line-up an unsporting headshot.
- Only take a vehicle when you have to
There are no Teslas in PUBG, only noisy UAZs, nasty Dacias and highly exposed motor bikes and go-karts. As such, the sound of a combustion engine attracts attention, and that's the last thing you want if you can help it.
Opening fire on another player doesn't just tell them where you are, it tells everyone in the vicinity
- Don't crash through windows
Yes, it's fun to make a swift exit by crashing through a window, A-Team style, but the sound carries a long way and points in your direction.
- In the same vein, don't open fire on anyone unless or until you absolutely have to
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You want to be Rambo and rip through the pack of players to be crowned champion. But, let's face it: it's not going to happen.
Opening fire on another player doesn't just tell them where you are, it tells everyone in the vicinity, who'll all be looking down their scopes in your direction. If you have to open fire, do it because you have to and/or make it count.
- Leave the school/Pecado/Bootcamp etc to the big boys
By all means drop-in to such busy spots if you fancy a bit of practice, but bear in mind that nine times out of ten you'll die within a minute.
You're not Shroud, Dr Disrespekt or some wanky Twitch streamer: just like real life, if you want to beat people who are, frankly, considerably more competent than you, then you'll have to play smarter, sneakier and be prepared to spend a lot of time hiding in toilets.
Unfortunately, it's rarely possible to bog-sit your way to the Top-10
- Don't be afraid of other people's noise
If they're not firing at you or turning your head into a brand new style of Swiss cheese, it needn't concern you. Except, that is, as an indication of where to avoid. Noise can also provide the cover you need to make like a shepherd and get the flock out of wherever you are - not just covering up footsteps for you as you run away, but diverting attention too.
- Go crevicing
Crevice is not a dirty word - in fact, crevicing is probably the single most important skill to master in PUBG. Lots of players whine about the wide open spaces of Miramar, for example, but the undulating hills and sand dunes make great places to hide while most of the other players are putting themselves in mortal danger by hopping from building to building and town to town.
An absolutely terrific crevice, just outside Yasnaya Polyana, Erangel
- Take the road less travelled
Unfortunately, it's rarely possible to bog-sit your way all the way to the Top-10. At some point, you're going to have to move.
As such, remember the line of the plane and plot a course to avoid wherever it is you suspect everyone else went - taking note of good crevicing territory as the game progresses to your inevitable heroic failure.
A not uncommon early-game strategy is to parachute down a road, landing close to any vehicle you see, then driving as far away from the line of the plane as possible.
- If you've got a scope, use it!
First, to check out wherever it is you're running to - if doors are open and there are dead bodies everywhere, it might be an indication that it's not entirely safe. Proceed with caution.
Second - and this is the fun bit - when you've got a bit of cover and a wide, open rolling vista and you want to let rip. Check first around buildings and anywhere someone may use for cover. Look for evidence such as badly parked vehicles or open doors.
When it comes to opening fire, just bear in mind that the target in the centre of the scope is exactly 100 metres away and that each marking under that represents a further 100 metres.
Next page: Rules of engagement
Warming was most pronounced in Siberia region
The tank will be subjected to high stresses and loads via dozens of hydraulic cylinders during testing
'Sunlit wet sidewalk' provides evidence of methane rainfall on the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan
Methane rainfall indicates the start of the summer season in Titan's northern hemisphere
Scientists believe there could be other hydrides or superhydrides with super conducting properties