‘Chaos’ is perhaps the best word to describe the beginning of any match in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. In our play-style and PUBG towns guide we will explore different options for dropping in to the chaos. The starting island provides sights and sounds that are almost offensive to the senses… From the initial flurry of gunshots and explosions to the human conga line shuffling past, it’s not just your frames-per-second that take a beating here.
The countdown reaches zero and there’s a respite as the game begins. Then the roar of the plane’s engine brings you back – but into a new chaos, the chaos of panic! Bodies are already flying out of the plane, and you’ve barely had a chance to check the map… Has everyone already dropped at Military Base?
When you visit the island of Erangel, you need to what those names on the map mean – and what your options are in each of them. This series will examine the towns of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, what makes them different from one another, and how to best exploit any given town to suit your play-style. Let’s dive in!
Inviting Chaos… The Heart of PUBG!
At the risk of over-simplifying things, there are three ways to start any round of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. It all comes back to the idea of chaos: how much do you want in your game?
If you’re playing a high-chaos game, you’re likely aiming to drop somewhere like School or Prison, which relies less on careful tactics and more on rushing to get a weapon before the other guy.
A low-chaos game is the opposite of this. You plan on exiling yourself to a remote corner of the world where PvP is unlikely and uncommon for at least the first few circles. The hope is that maybe a lone shack will have seven First-Aid Kits and all your problems will be over. It could happen, right?
A medium-chaos game allows for a bit more flexibility focusing on middle of the road gear. Are you going to get it modded with suppressors and a 4x scope? Probably not, but you can still win a fight if you have to. How much chaos you want to invite determines which towns are most suitable for you, and how you’ll want to play once you land. But all towns have some conceptual similarities that we’ll need to discuss before getting into the details!
PUBG Towns Overview
While each of the PUBG towns plays differently, there are some general rules to be aware of regardless of where you choose to land.
Roads generally provide clear dividing lines between areas. They are wide open spaces with little cover, and will deter many people from crossing for fear of being attacked. As a result, the different sections of each town will be (relatively) secure to start. If you see one person landing in the east half of a village, you can take the west half with the safety of a road between you.
Building spacing can dramatically affect how you play in different PUBG towns. Some places, like Pochinki, are densely packed with buildings and leave little line of sight between them. This can make it difficult to pinpoint where shots are coming from, and rewards close-range weapons like SMGs or shotguns. This means that towns like Pochinki are often a bloodbath early in the game!
By contrast, a town such as Rozhok has a lot of open space between structures, which makes moving in the open very dangerous. Someone traveling in Rozhok is ideally taken down with longer-range weapons like assault rifles and sniper rifles.
This town’s actual location on the island can also determine a lot about how you play there. Returning to our example at Pochinki, this spot is quite central and there’s a good chance you’re either already in the first circle or you won’t have to travel far to reach it. If you survive the early slaughter in Pochinki, you can easily be left twiddling your thumbs! You’ve murdered your way through town and taken everyone’s loot: now you’re fully geared, don’t need any more items, and there’s still four minutes on the timer. What do you do? You can either proclaim yourself the Ruler of Pochinki and camp those four minutes away – or you can move out and hunt for more kills!
On the other hand, if you land somewhere like Primorsk in the south-west corner of the map, you’d have to play this very differently. You have choices to make: you’re (almost certainly) not in the circle, you’ve a town to search, and you need a vehicle. What comes first? Are you banking on getting all the First-Aid you need to survive in the zone for a while? Or hunting for a vehicle so you can escape at a moment’s notice? If you’re staying, for how long? When have you done the ‘right’ amount of looting?
PUBG Towns Guide #1: How to Dominate Zharki
In our first edition of PUBG Towns Guide we’re going to explore Zharki. The oft-forgotten child of Erangel, located off in the corner where no game ever seems to end. People are usually put off by the location and the difficulty of reaching it on many flight paths, but these are exactly what makes it perfect for low-chaos play throughs! If you can land in Zharki when the others opted for Georgopol or Severny, you can have the loot of an entire town to yourself – plus a decent chance of finding a vehicle on the road or the beach.
If you’ve managed to eject at Zharki and you’re confident you’re alone, you need to start by checking the southern roads for vehicles. You’re almost certainly going to be needing one; it’s no good finding a Kar98 and Level 3 armour if you’re going to die to the zone because the circle is in Mylta!
With a vehicle located, you can take a breath, rest easy, and start looting. This is the best thing about low chaos matches – you’re in complete control of the game’s pace! The panicked hunt for weapons is a non-factor, plus you needn’t fear someone rounding the corner with a shotgun and undoing all your hard work. You have a vehicle, you know where the circle is, you know what loot you’re after, and you get to choose exactly how long until you start heading for the safe zone.
However, it doesn’t always work out this way! If you’ve got company when landing in Zharki, it helps to understand how the area is split up. Roads provide the most common way of dividing a town, but other factors contribute as well. The town is divided into two levels. There is a small cluster of buildings and a warehouse on a hill to the south and east, then a descent into the lower northern part of town.
This elevated southern section of Zharki provides some safety from the rest of town. It also is well-suited for escaping if you don’t want to fight in the north. The roads also provide a good chance of vehicle spawns, and there are small buildings to the south if you need gear.
If the south section of town is occupied, head for the western-most buildings instead. These buildings are in an elevated position, perfect for keeping an watchful eye while you’re looting. You can use this knowledge to plan your own route into town and decide which buildings to avoid.
The eastern section is the most dangerous, and also likely to be occupied due to the allure of the warehouse. Moving through here means you’re exposed to enemies in the western and southern sections of town. Additionally, it also has the largest space between buildings leaving you vulnerable while looting.
Regardless of where you land, thanks to the spacing of Zharki’s buildings, this isn’t going to be a Pochinki-style bloodbath. Instead, this town rewards tactics and slow, measured play. You have time to use grenades, play mind games, and fake your own positioning. Or you can just run right up to them with a shotgun and hope for the best.
There are a lot of towns to discuss in Erangel, and they all play differently from one another. Reaching out to an experienced coach is the quickest way to find drop locations that fit your play-style. Stay tuned for more PUBG Towns Guides…but for now, check out Zharki – it’s lovely this time of year!