Fans of PUBGCorp’s wildly popular battle royale title, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, will be facing a brand new wave of opponents in massive free-for-all matches – but these will be a little bit unique. Starting with the upcoming Update 7.1, computer-controlled bots will be officially introduced in all console versions of the game, including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
In an official blog post, PUBGcorp Lead Project Manager, John H. Choi, explained the rationale behind the company’s decision. The bots are being implemented to address the rapidly widening skill gap between new and veteran players.
Choi was extremely complimentary towards Battlegrounds’ current player base, stating that “we’ve seen the general skill level of our players grow significantly over the last three years.” However, he acknowledged that this improvement had had negative consequences, as well. Newer, less practiced players have found themselves repeatedly being eliminated early in matches, often without dealing any damage, let alone coming close to winning.
These bots will be programmed to be a reasonable enemy – challenging but not impossible – for players who are still getting the hang of surviving the battle royale. They will frequently appear in matches with newer players, but, as they gain experience and skill, fewer and fewer bots will look. Additionally, bots will remain absent in ranked, competitive PUBG play.
Choi explained that the bots focus on three key elements: Movement, Shooting, and Looting.
What do these topics encompass? “Movement” means that the bots will be able to successfully navigate the game’s maps without constantly stumbling or falling over cliffs to their “death.” “Shooting” grants the programmed opponents a level of firearm accuracy based on the capabilities of an average human player — that is to say, the bots will not be pulling off amazing trick shots from impossible distances. Choi makes a promise: “Players will be able to dodge the bots” bullets if they use the same evasive maneuvers as they would in any other firefight.” Finally, the “Looting” element allows bots to target gathering essential items favored by players, rather than merely taking everything from their fallen foes.
Finally, Choi confirms that the release of bots will not be a “one and done” update but an ongoing process. The performance of the bots will be monitored, and they will be edited and improved based on player response.
Previously, bots were implemented in the mobile version of PUBG in October 2019. Bots have also been received positively in other battle royale titles, including fellow genre-defining game Fortnite.
What do you think about the inclusion of bots in PUBG on consoles? Let us know!