Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds vaulting & new ballistics hits test servers overnight [updated]

Update: The developers have extended the test for another day and added support for squad play.

The long-promised climbing & vaulting system coming to Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds will debut on the test servers in a few short hours, developers PUBG Corp. announced today. For us in the UK it’ll be at 2am on Tuesday, or it’s tonight in America. The test period will be brief, giving only 24 hours to check it out – and only in solo mode. We’ll also get to play with Plunkbat’s updated ballistics, which will change a fair bit about how different guns work at different ranges. I am excited for a day of Plunkbat where I understand how neither movement nor shooting work.

The test servers will open at 2am UK time on Tuesday the 16th (which is actually tonight in America – 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern), PUBG Corp. said in today’s announcement, then close at 2am on Wednesday. Why so short? Because the stability problems that delayed the previous planned test are still not entirely fixed.

“Although the current test build is not completely stable as of now, we still would like to open the test servers this week even for a short period of time and allow players to test the long-awaited feature – vaulting & climbing,” the devs say. “We were planning to run test servers for about three days but this week’s test will be shorter because of the build’s current state.”

A shame it’s so short but hey, I’ll still peek. Unlike most other test server patches so far on Plunkbat’s journey, this one won’t be pushed live afterwards. Instead, the version 1.0 build is something that’ll remain separate, reappearing expanded and improved over time, until the game’s ready to leave early access. I believe that’s the plan for the new desert map too.

Anyway, this patch first. Climbing & vaulting will will let players hop over small obstacles and climb over big ones, as well as do fancy stunts like leap out of windows. Take a run-up and you’ll go faster, try to climb high enough and you’ll automatically put your gun away. I’m excited for this because it should make for scrappier, less predictable close-range fights, with people leaping over walls to flank and escaping out of windows. The ‘crouch-jumping’ trick in Plunkbat (hit jump and crouch at the same time and you’ll be able to jump a touch higher) is already a bit like vaulting, but this will be accessible to everyone and not feel a bit exploit-y.

Climbing should be interesting too, seeing players end up in more surprising places.

Here’s that old video again:

The ballistics overhaul should also shake up action. Plunkbat already simulates certain aspects of a bullet in flight, with bullet speed and gravity meaning you need to aim ahead of and possibly above distant players, and now it’ll simulate drag too. This means bullets will start to slow in flight, falling faster as they get farther, so shooters will need to compensate more with long-range shots. Oh, and guns are being tweaked a little to better reflect their real-world counterparts – some getting better, some worse.

The net result of all this, the devs say, is that most guns will be fairly accurate at ranges up to about 300 metres, then beyond that you might have a much trickier time if your gun’s not up to it. I find long-range murder quite boring in Plunkbat (both causing and receiving it) so I’m keen to see how much of a difference this makes.

Locational damage is being overhauled too. Necks will now fall into the head hit area, taking almost as much damage as a headshot (25% less) but being protected by helmets. Different guns will have different damage modifiers for different hit locations too, rather than all sharing the same values. One other change that won’t be in this initial test build is reworking limb damage so they take less damage the farther they are from the chest – so shooting feet won’t be as deadly.

Oh, and before you even fire a shot, changes are coming to sights. Weapon zeroing (adjusting your sights to compensate for distance) is becoming “more realistic”. The red dot, holo, and 2X sights are getting adjustable intensity, changed my scrolling the mouse wheel. And 8x and 15x scopes will let you change the zoom level by scrolling – hopefully no more needing to carry a spare 4x?

Whew. The full dev blog post and patch notes explain more changes — and all in more detail — so go read if you’re curious. See you on the test server in a few hours?


  1. Mahaku says:

    Excellent, count me in!

  2. Synesthesia says:

    This all sounds great, but how is having high powered, zoomable optics realistic?

    • potatoesy says:

      Are you trying to say that 15x variable zoom doesn’t exist in real life?

      • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

        Variable zoom scopes aren’t even that expensive, unless you want a fancy one. Fortunately, they’re free if you pick them up off another player’s still-warm corpse!

  3. vahnn says:

    I’ll bite.

    • Sp00nLess says:

      In to the carrot which is vaulting. That Bluehole has been dangling from a stick in front of us for months now. No thank you.

      • vahnn says:

        I played a few rounds last night. It wasn’t as game-changing as everyone made it out to be. Definitely pretty cool, though. You just have to keep an eye out for people waiting to ambush in elevated places now.

        I need more time to experiment with the new ballistics. Hard to tell any differences, as all but one of my couple dozen kills were well under 300 meters. But all the gunplay felt good to me.

        Oh! And the variable brightness on the optics was petty rad. You can lower the brightness of a red dot sight on the fly to make the dot appear smaller, or make it brighter and more i tense for better visibility in brighter conditions.

  4. Cloak says:

    Mouse scroll 2x-15x, gets called “realistic”. LMAO

    Try Arma 3 ACE3 mod then come back and talk to me about realism.

    This game will always be a arcade like experience as long as it has that health bar and due to several other factors. Then again nothing is more “real” than reality itself.

    Other than all that, animations look like the best I’ve ever seen. I’d say better than Uncharted and Assassins Creed, rolling over the car can use some work though. Can’t wait till this game is out of EA so I can make my decision whether I’ll buy it. Heck, if optimization becomes a factor I might even buy it before then.

    • fish99 says:

      Yeah something looks off about the vault over car animation. If the hands were planted it’d look more convincing, but as is it looks like something only a supreme gymnast could pull off with a run-up.

      What’s wrong with a simple hood slide?

  5. TheBlart says:

    I would prefer they focused more on dealing with the insane amount of Chinese hackers that have overrun the servers recentlyfarming. You can’t even play a round any more without running into scripted guns, speed hackers, and aim bots. Our group has given up and stopped playing for the time being.

    • bmxbandit says:

      To be honest, I have only experienced a couple of hacks in my 200+ hours of playing.
      Actually, my team and I have recently been playing exclusively on the Asia server (China/HK) as our server in Japan has seen a precipitous drop-off in player numbers. That and the extreme nationalism from players in this region is rather annoying. Interestingly the Asia server is the quietest, least offensive server of all that I’ve tried. Absolutely zero smack talk in the lobby. No blaring of tinny, distorted Eurobeat/J-pop/K-pop and whatnot, and more importantly no cheating as far as I’ve seen.
      I have around a 1500 score in both the JP/KOR server and the China one, so maybe I’m just not being matched up with “top level” hackers, but I’ve not seen any speedhacks or been wiped out with a 1km pistol headshot. I have had a couple of wallhack-y experiences, though.
      Perhaps the hacking is primarily an issue with the US and Eu servers? I’m assuming Chinese hackers don’t care so much about hacking their home turf as they do getting to the top of the Western servers. Come on over to the China servers!

      • Massenstein says:

        We play in EU servers and none of us have ever noticed something that recognisably looks like cheating. Can’t say how the voice chat sounds like as I always keep that off, except for rare times when the rest of the team is killed and I go into roleplaying mode, turning into angrily mumbling shotgun avenger.

      • TheBlart says:

        We play in the US servers and were ranked quite high. We tried the Asian servers and it was fine until recently as well (although not as bad as the US servers). We were thinking it might be grouping us into the higher tier where the hackers dwell, but it has been crazy. Last weekend we were hacked 6 out of 8 rounds. One map we were being aimbotted from 2 guys that pulled up to the field in a car and proceeded to kill every person in Polyana through the walls, so my teammate and I went into a bathroom without windows and he hit record. Sure enough we both took headshots through the wall. Another map I spotted a guy less than 100m from me. I took a shot at him and he dropped prone, he belly crawled through the grass with a speed bot and popped up behind me within 10 seconds. I only mention these as examples because so many people cry hack when they die from a good shot.

        • bmxbandit says:

          Oof yeah I can definitely see how that would put you off the game. Seems like the new test server patch is hard to get any effective hacks going, so Bluehole are getting it together.
          My team generally gets wiped out by obviously better players, so I don’t really have much room to complain. I can’t really cry “hacker” after failing to connect at all when unloading an s12k at point-blank range. It just makes me salty and sulky in equal measure.

  6. cairbre says:

    I turned voice chat back on recently. It was an error. I quickly turned it back off. I mostly play on EU servers and the odd yanky spanky one