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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds boosting performance, adding motorbike tricks

Flipping out

Performance improvements, a fancy new silenced sniper rifle, and a motorbike able to pull sick stunts will hit PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds [official site] on Thursday in the second of the big monthly updates on its journey through early access. The update will also fix a problem making scopes imprecise, and brings balance tweaks including making the final two fightcircles slower. It sounds like a decent amount of progress towards the full launch of PUBG, or Pub-gee, or Pubat, or Plunkbat, or whatever it is we're calling the game.

Boss man Brendan 'PlayerUnknown' Green describes the new VSS as "a suppressed sniper rifle with permanent 4X scope & chambered for 9mm ammo". It can come in airdrops or, if you're very lucky, be found as a rare pickup out in the world. It makes a cute noise.

Surely the real treasure to find is the new motorbike. One with a sidecar arrived last month, and it has proved a little keen to flip. With the new bike, the developers are leaning into that. They've added air control which means players can pull wild stunts:

On the weapon balance front, expect the Vector to do "slightly" less damage and be a touch more inaccurate, the AKM to do a touch more damage, and the Winchester, S686, and S12K shotguns to do a little less. On the bright side, the Vector does pick up the option to attach a tactical stock, and the SKS gets a stock upgrade option in the sniper cheek pad. Recoil for the AKM, SCAR, M16, and M416 have been tweaked too.

Another handy change/fix is to scopes, updating how they're rendered so the crosshairs reflect reality. As this video demonstrates, the scope view currently lags a split-second behind where the barrel is actually aiming:

As for those late-game zones, the patch notes say: "Reduced the moving speed of the two final play zones for better engagement during the endgame". Less rushing blindly into death to escape the zapwall, I assume.

The update is due to hit the test server on Wednesday then will launch in full at 9am on Thursday, May 25th. Check out the full patch notes over here.

Plunkbat is trying to follow a schedule of smaller patches every week then bigger ones every month. New maps are a big feature on the roadmap.

The leaderboards are due a wipe on May 31st, by the way. They'll start over on June 1st, though the devs do plan to make stats available to players who wish to relive former glories.

I've still not leapt into the battlegrounds yet myself (we're trying to form an RPS squad) but I do idly watch a fair bit on my second screen while working. If you don't get what all the fuss is about, check out this bit from Michael Johnson, who started from that perspective then got really into it.

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PUBG: Battlegrounds

PS4, Xbox One, PC

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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.