Some Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds players are skipping the map they dislike by deleting it

Though Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds now has two maps, it does not have an option to choose which you play. While the devs do plan to add one, for now players have used sneaky tricks to get the map they want. Some disconnect from servers if the randomly-selected map isn’t what they want. And, it turns out, some make it simpler by outright removing one map’s files. The game does still run, but any time it tries to join a game on the undesired map it’ll return right to the menu. One player even made a tool to remove maps easily. It’s awkward that there still isn’t a map-select option.

Let’s be clear: the desert map can do one. While it was an exciting novelty at first and the terrain and buildings can make for interesting firefights, it’s far too empty with too many bad looting spots (though the next update will add more buildings and improve loot in some areas, so we’ll see) and too few cars and poor pacing across most of a round. So maybe you want to skip Miramar. Or maybe you’ve played Erangel forever already and want the newness. Whichever.

I’d known of people quitting after joining the lobby and seeing it was a map they didn’t want, which is pretty clear from watching the numbers climb down the warm-up then drop by around 20% before everyone gets on the plane. That sucks. It makes for emptier, slower rounds for everyone still playing.

This new trick, which apparently people have been doing since December, is even simpler. Delete or rename the files for the map you don’t want and, as I tested, Plunkbat will still run but if you get matchmade onto the map you deleted, it’ll kick you right back to the main menu because it can’t load the files. It takes about three seconds from clicking play to being back at the main menu. Easy. Even easier if you use this tool to do the renaming.

I suspect that this method still causes the problem of matches starting slim. After being kicked back to the main menu, Plunkbat registered me as being in the match and asked if I wanted to reconnect, so it was still holding a spot for me.

I point this out not to recommend this but because, well, it’s happening. The game is missing a feature, and players are taking drastic steps to replicate the effects of that feature – even to the detriment of other players.

I do hope developers PUBG Corp add the map select option soon-ish. I don’t know if I’d use it myself–as much as I grumble about Miramar, some of the lads are fans and the variety is welcome–but it would stop the phenomenon of players quitting. I couldn’t tell you when I last saw a match start with a full or near-full playercount.

15 Comments

  1. Sakkura says:

    Should have stayed early access a bit longer, I guess. This situation is dumb, but kinda what you can expect in EA.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    Isn’t this the GAAS model operating as intended, though? Father knows best and all that. Choice and control are re-appropriated from the players to the service provider, allowing for decisions that prevent fragmentation, which in turn maximises player retention and revenue per user.

    It comes with benefits for the player (the game stays alive for longer, devs have an incentive to provide ongoing bug/balance/content updates) but also drawbacks (less control over the maps, modes and mods you can play).

    Is deleting the desert map to avoid playing it an example of Gamer Entitlement?

    • Chromatism says:

      Perhaps. But then again I would say that this swings much too far towards the developer side. I would have thought that a compromise such as a ‘preferred map option’ would be the best of both worlds. Ideally it would prioritise you for a certain queue, but still plop you into the other map(s) from time to time to fill out the numbers.

      I’m sure some players would still opt for work arounds as the article mentions, but I can imagine a lot more being content with the system AND bolster that all important player retention.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Thank you for your post. However, having the words you wish in your written comment are considered “poster entitlement”, and thus will be adjusted by the “thought police”. Please sit still while the white vans arrive to correct this…

      (Sarcasm of cause, but WOW, I don’t want to be your customer or you to be my customer as the logical dissonance will be difficult to actually service!)

      • BooleanBob says:

        .. come again?

      • ironman Tetsuo says:

        As a company with a game that relies on having a large active player base to keep the lobbies full and the time between matches down, adding an ability for players to choose the map is detrimental to your product.

        Every map divides the player base which in turn creates longer waiting times and fewer full matches. This slowly turns away those split player bases and over time the game dies earlier than it should have. This is common thinking in the games industry.

        As a player, I’d still like to pick the map, although a far better solution would be to make sure all your maps in rotation were just too damn good to skip…

  3. HeavyStorm says:

    > awkward that there still isn’t a map-select option

    It’s shameful that one of the most profitable games around doesn’t seem to be able to scale its productivity in order to address many players concern.

    Development is tricky, you can’t keep adding people and expect productivity to rise accordingly, but this kind of thing – making a small change in server and UI – seems very easy to break down to another developer.

    Last I played the UI wasn’t persisting my choices between matches. Which is ridiculous.

    • Bostec says:

      It saves the server choice now but still doesn’t save the choice I want to play it: First person. I have to click it every time I want to join a match. Its little simple things like that, surely easily patched in? That pisses me off.

  4. Godwhacker says:

    I’m a bit conflicted on Miramar- I like the variety it brings, but the pace is all off and there’s precious little opportunity for stealth. More than half the players are dead by the end of the first circle, and the lack of cover / concealment in the open areas that make up 90% of the map turns the end-game a bit too twitchy for me. A pacifist win is doable on Erangel, but near impossible on Miramar.

  5. Plunkbat Oranges says:

    We shall Plunkbat on the beaches, we shall Plunkbat on them the landing grounds, we shall Plunkbat in the fields and in the streets, we shall Plunkbat in the hills and never surrender.

  6. Imperialist says:

    Before they added the desert map, a few of my slightly overly competitive friends would always leave rain and fog games, and now contemplate doing so for the desert map.
    This kinda irritates me as someone who isnt an Esports Bro with the twitch garb and greenscreen room. I think truly good players can adapt to changing or unorthodox conditions, and the vast majority of players who think they are good, tend to only opt into matches that are the only condition they perform well enough for their egos. Should we get to choose a map? Maybe. But there should be penalties for leaving a match no matter what.
    *sigh* all this technological advancement and its wasted on all the new-school gamers, and some old-school gamers alike. Why have broad, expansive, immersive worlds if all we want is corridors and arenas? This is literally why we cant have nice things.

    • Seyda Neen says:

      It’s a real shame rain and fog where removed, isn’t it?

      • ye-ole-PK says:

        rain and fog were removed? I haven’t played in a while due life being what it is, but those were the best map conditions! I vote for custom server settings to make a hosted server with only bad weather options and pistols.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      This is the thing so many people miss about plunkbat. They think it should turn into a standard arena shooter where you pick your loadout because the RNG is just unbearable and makes things “unfair”. But the game is about more than running and shooting, it’s about adapting to situations and making the best of them. However people love bitching about literally anything they can in pubg so it’s expected.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Al__S says:

    Fitness games Zwift (where the controller is your bike on a turbo trainer- designed to make using a turbo trainer more fun) has three maps- that they run on a calendar schedule. Apparently though people hack that too to force the map they prefer (presumably missing out on the social elements of the game).

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