‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ first-person tips and strategies

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One of the cornerstones of any good PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds strategy is its third-person camera. While it has always been possible to play the game in first person, most players stick with the game’s default third-person view given the choice, and with good reason. The third-person camera shows your character’s back, plus what’s directly behind and around you, offering a ton of extra situational awareness. You can use the camera to peek around corners, check inside buildings, and watch your own back. Last week, Battlegrounds started testing first-person-only servers, which significantly changes the game. If you’re interested in checking it out, you’ll need to shift your strategies. Use these Battlegrounds first-person tips to stay alive and work your way to a different kind of chicken dinner.

And if you’re new to PUBG, here’s a guide to get you started and another one to help you up your game.

You can’t see, but neither can anyone else

By keeping your perspective firmly set in the eyes of your character, first-person PUBG narrows what you can see to a natural field of view. If you want to look around, you have to physically turn: You can still swing your head back and forth when you hold the ALT key to look to your sides, but not behind you.

You can see a lot less of the battlefield when you’re playing in first-person mode — but that’s true of everyone. That leaves more openings for tricks that players might have abandoned in third-person in the standard game. You can sneak up on people a lot easier, for one thing, (and vice versa). Checking corners is tougher, as is spotting people in tall grass. Use all these elements to your advantage. Remember, if you don’t have line of sight on your target, they probably don’t have it on you, which means you can hide more effectively.

Adjust your field of view

Along with the update that brings first-person servers to PUBG (and adds a bunch of new cosmetic loot) comes a field-of-view setting in the game’s options. FOV settings let you change how much of the game you can see on your screen at a given time, and in first-person view — lacking the peripheral vision you have in real life — expanding it can be essential. The higher you set your field of view, the wider the area on the screen (but the farther away things in front of you will seem, taking on a slight fish-eye lens effect). It’s a trade-off, but we think it’s worth making distant enemies look a little smaller if doing so gives you a chance to protect your sides.

Ambushes are easier, corners are tougher

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Occasionally when playing PUBG, you’ll find inexperienced players trying to hide out in rooms and guard doors, knowing they’re about to be attacked. That’s a rough strategy in third-person because players can stand out of sight while swinging the camera to the sides to see what their character can’t — including people lying in wait around corners. In first-person mode, though, checking around a corner requires physically entering a room and turning to look, putting you in the line of fire. Hug walls to limit the ability of other players to get angles that will allow them to see you, whether from windows above or corners ahead.

Luring players into an ambush is much easier if you can get the drop on someone, but it’s also tougher to avoid. When you know someone’s around a corner but you don’t know where, you’re at a significant disadvantage for the exact same reason.

Fire where you expect people to be, even if you don’t see them

When considering our last point about ambushes, there’s an easy way to deal with these situations — fire more bullets. If you’re concerned someone might be waiting around a corner or in a room you’re about to enter, go in firing, even before you’re sure they’re there. Opening fire into a corner before you can see if it’s occupied saves you precious milliseconds in a quickdraw with another player. If they aren’t in the right spot, you’ll waste a couple of rounds and possibly give away your location, but if they are, you will likely get the drop on your opponent. Landing the first couple of shots in a firefight can be essential to winning it, and if you manage to surprise your would be ambusher, you might turn the situation to your advantage.

Since your sense of sight is limited in first-person, your sense of hearing becomes even more important. Get some good headphones, crank up the volume, and listen for footsteps. The quicker you can pinpoint a player who hasn’t seen you by the sound of their movements, the more often you’ll be able to avoid ambushes and catching fire from the flanks you can’t see.

Drive carefully

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First-person driving is pretty very different from what third-person PUBG players will be used to. As you might expect, it’s a lot more like driving a real car. It can also be a lot more disorienting. Navigating the game’s uneven terrain is difficult when you can’t really see well, even when using the map. The various cars in the game are prone to flipping, crashing, and accidentally murdering you. At the very least, crawling out of an overturned car can completely turn you around, which is death when you’re already in a battle.

What’s more, riding in a car takes away a lot of your awareness. Anyone who’s watched high-level PUBG players on Twitch will tell you, cars won’t save you from gunfire. You’ll have a harder time picking out players taking shots at you when you’re driving, thanks to the interior of the car blocking your view.

Of course, vehicles are still essential in Battlegrounds, especially if you have a lot of ground to cover to make it into restricted play areas. At the very least, you’ll want to be careful when you get into cars. Spend some time getting used to driving from a new perspective. Don’t drive too fast so you can avoid crashing, and learn to read your surroundings while you’re on the move.

Hide in the bushes

Playing from a first-person perspective, it’s tough to find cover that affords you protection while allowing you to look for other threats. Without the benefit of a third-person camera, you can’t survey your surroundings withou also making sure you can’t be shot. But one of the few places you can potentially see enemies who can’t see you is when you duck into one of PUBG’s many bushes.

Bushes in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds won’t provide you actual cover — they can’t stop bullets — but they can obscure you when you hide in them, while allowing you mostly clear sight lines. So try using bushes as opportunities to get an eye on another player without being completely exposed. Just know that you’re still vulnerable to incoming fire, so make good choices about who to shoot at, and when.

Check the windows

Tactical positioning in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds shifts significantly with a restricted field of view. Everyone needs to have good sight lines to find other players. As we mentioned before, you can’t sit use the game’s camera to look through a window on the other side of a room. That means you want to be highly aware of windows in particular. Your enemies cannot look out (or take shots at you) without standing near a window. When approaching a building, you’ll want to spend extra time checking windows for potential shooters, especially if you can do so at range, especially if you have a decent scope. It might be the difference between wandering into an ambush and getting a clean headshot before anyone has a chance to react.

Pop and shoot to remain unpredictable

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When engaging an enemy, always be mindful of the fact that both you and your opponent need to leave cover to gather information or take a shot. To limit that exposure as much as possible, use your leaning and movement controls to pop out as little as you can, squeeze off a few shots at the enemy, and get back behind cover as quickly as possible. In first-person, fire your gun in quick bursts, rather than letting loose and draining a magazine, as you’ll almost always need to take cover before the fight is over. Slip out, fire some bullets, and get to safety, over and over again. It’ll help you avoid taking fire as much as possible, particularly if you lose track of an opponent while you’re avoiding bullets. Other players may use the same tactics, so do what you can to make yourself hard to hit. Try switching between standing, crouched, and prone stances between shots, which will force them to readjust their aim.

Remember to aim

This one might seem dumb — you have to trust us that playing in first-person mode can be disorienting. In third-person, holding or clicking the Right Mouse Button zeroes in your aiming, going from hip fire to the tighter over-the-shoulder view, and finally down to aiming-down-sights.

While you might assume, by virtue of being in first-person, you should have better aim than you would have had in third-person, but you definitely do not. PUBG isn’t like traditional first-person shooters, where you either fire from the hip or aim down the sights: That “over-the-shoulder” option is still in the way, even though your viewpoint has changed. Put another way — When you shoot without touching the aim buttons, you’re spraying bullets in a much wider area than if you hold RMB, even though the two modes look almost identical. It’s an unintuitive extra step, but you can adjust.