When it comes to Battle Royale games, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (or PUBG for those already inducted into its action) is a name you need to know.
Over the past year the game has had a stratospheric rise, going from a Steam Early Access title to a full Xbox release, with a massive following on streaming services like Twitch and Mixer.
Available on PC, Xbox One, Android and iOS it'll throw you into a 100 player death match in a constantly shrinking map where you or your team must fight to be the last alive. If you win you get to see the coveted "winner winner chicken dinner" appear on your screen. And you'll undoubtedly screenshot it because it doesn't appear often.
Bluepoint has been slower in updates recently due to its efforts to curb cheating in the game. However, it looks like the team is ready to get on with its 2018 roadmap and here you'll find information on the latest additions to both the Xbox One and PC versions of the game as well as what's planned for the future.
What's the latest PUBG update for PC?
PC update 14 is here
Patch 14 for PUBG on PC has launched and it's making some big changes to throwable weapons, ostensibly in the name of improving them. Now frag grenades deal more damage and have a bigger range, while stun grenades now have improved blinding effects.
The definition of 'improved', of course, being dependent on which side of the stun grenade you find yourself on.
Molotovs will now cause more immediate damage as well as burn damage over time and players who catch fire will also be subject to burn damage over time. If you are hit by a stun grenade or catch fire you at least have the comfort of knowing there's new animations which will cause you to throw your arms protectively against your face or try to pat out the flames.
A new in-house anti-cheat solution is currently being used on test servers. While it can be turned off on the test servers, the developers say that won't be an option when it goes live.
Outside of this the team has made a range of improvements to UI and performance and they've also made some bug fixes. You can read the patch notes in full on the official site.
What's the latest PUBG update for Xbox One?
Xbox update 12 has now landed
Bluepoint is focusing on improving performance and stability on Xbox One at the moment so that's exactly what you can expect from this update. Alongside standard bug fixes, vehicle performance has been improved (you will now, for example, receive more damage when you're hit by a car) alongside a fix for crashing voice chat.
Can I play PUBG on mobile?
Worldwide iOS and Android launch
You sure can! PUBG is now available on iOS and Android completely free. This is, the developers say, a "perfect" recreation of the PC version of the game in terms of maps and features.
There are, however, naturally some mobile optimizations. You can expect auto pick-up, aim assist and touchscreen controls. Though there is voice chat.
To play PUBG on your mobile you need to be using at least iOS 9, which means being on an iPhone 5S or newer (though an iPhone 6 is recommended for the best performance. Android owners must be using 5.1.1 Lollipop or later and more than 500 Android devices support the game.
You'll need 2GB of RAM to play the game while the download size is around 900 MB.
What's coming to PUBG on PC?
Updates for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have slowed somewhat in recent months as a result of the development team’s focus on reducing instances of cheating in the game (the update for which has been held back). However, there are big plans for the game throughout 2018 which have been laid out in a March blog post.
Starting in March, Bluehole is planning to push out a major update every two months for PC, with each either changing systems or adding new content.
A brand new 4x4 map has launched on the game’s experimental test server. This new map is much smaller than any we’ve seen in PUBG before and it will have a higher player density and shorter match times. Bluepoint is promising that this will result in much faster and intense gameplay.
There’s also a slightly larger 8x8 map in the works though details on this are thinner on the ground.
Bluepoint has announced that Fortnite-style Event Modes will be coming to PUBG very soon. These limited-time special matches will be made available via an update.
Bluepoint recently expanded on these new modes, saying that it is experimenting with a new War Mode. War Mode is quite different to a battle royale, giving players a submachine gun from the beginning and respawning team members when they die until one team reaches a 80 points. This is more like traditional online shooter titles and will perhaps be more familiar and less frustrating to those who aren't used to the slower paced and weapong-scrambling nature of PUBG battle royale matches.
War Mode is only available for custom servers which can only be accessed by PUBG Partners on Windows PCs but there are plans to bring it to the public in the future.
There will of course be continued stability improvements as well as ongoing efforts to curb cheating.
2018 will see Bluepoint building the foundations for an eSports league and a lot of work will be done on improving spectator experience.
Though the list of changes in the works are not exhaustive, they’re a good idea of the ambitious things to come.
What's coming to PUBG on Xbox One?
The future for PUBG on Xbox One seems to be more focused on improving the quality of player experience because, as Bluepoint itself admits, the game’s performance on console is just not up to the standard it should be.
Console players can expect to see a patch released every two to three weeks which will focus on optimizing performance, UI, inventory UX, adding more personalized controller options and improving matchmaking.
Players can also expect to see those emotes that the PC version now has at some point down the line. But the biggest thing? The Miramar map will be coming to Xbox in early spring.
Xbox will also soon see Fortnite-style Event Mode. These limited-time special matches will be made available to all platforms via an update.
Bluepoint has said it's keeping things simple with the first event which will be an eight-on-eight match with increased chance of picking up a rifle. It wasn't kidding when it said simple. This is, however, necessary to test the basics of the mode and more matches will be explored over time.