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Playerunknown's Battlegrounds adding flare guns and ranking system

It’s Plunk a go-go today with many titbits of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds news. To summarise:

1) A new event gives the opportunity to earn a fantastic giant hat, the sort of enticing hat that tourists on a stag or hen weekend would instantly buy.

2) The flare gun seen in the Metal Rain event, which can call in a special huge airdrop or an armoured vehicle, is headed to regular modes too.

3) A ranking system is coming.

4) Proper individual map selection is coming back.

5) God, that hat is beautiful ladbait.

So! Shiniest first: the flare gun. For now, it’s only found in the latest event mode. The flare gun, found as a spawn around the world, can call in a double-size airdrop crate if fired inside the safe circle or an armoured Uaz if outside. The big drop packs enough gear for two players, while the armoured Uaz is a chuffing armoured car keeping players safe as they power through danger zones. The flares are quite loud and visible as they hang in the sky, creating spontaneous objectives to scrap over. I’ve really enjoyed flare drops in Metal Rain, though here the guns will be far more rare than they were in that event mode.

The devs say their flare gun event plan is “to give it a proper test in a real environment to see if it fits within the normal PUBG atmosphere and make sure everything works properly.” They do also note that they’re working on “something special” to replace the armoured Uaz later this year. My fingers are crossed for a supercharged muscle car with sheet metal over the windows.

The flare gun beta event mode begins overnight, at 3am on Friday the 21st in the UK (which is 7pm today for Pacific time zone folks). It’ll run until 3am on October 1st (or in Pacific, 7pm on September 30th) because they want plenty of time to test it. It’s limited to four-player squads on Erangel.

Moving on: THAT HAT. An item of traditional Korean ‘Hanbok’ festival style, it’s one of many items of formal wear available over the next four weeks simply for placing well in matches. This is thanks to a new event marking Korea’s Chuseok and the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated in China and several Southeast Asian countries.

The event challenges players to reach the final 15 in at least five matches (any squad size, any map). Do so and you’ll win that week’s two or three festival cosmetics, which are largely South Korean or Chinese formal garments. Look for the crate icon in the top-right corner of the main menu to track your progress.

The first week of the Festival event started overnight, so hop on if you want that hat. God, I want that hat. In a game about hungover stag & hen weekend parties smashing through holiday destinations, I cannot think of anything more appropriately culturally insensitive than blithely wearing the biggest hat you can find with shorts and sunnies.

As for ranking, that’s due to come in the next big update. It’ll assign players one of eight ranks–bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond, elite, master, and grandmaster–and bump them up and down as they win and lose matches. That update is also due to bring back proper map selection, letting players choose exactly which maps they want to play rather than facing the choice of ‘everything, Sanhok only, or a random pick of Erangel or Miramar’. Good-o.

Also in that update: a wheel menu to easily select consumables and throwables; a ‘trade up’ system letting players swap ten cosmetic doodads of the same rarity level plus some Plunkbucks for one doodad of the next rarity; options to zoom closer in the minimap; and more bug fixes.

Update #22 is due to launch in “early October” but, if you really to see all that, is now live on the test servers. See the Update #22 patch notes for more on everything.

That’s all the news that’s fit to Plunk. Until I get that hat, at least. Then we will have A LOT to talk about.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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