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PUBG players rail against new matchmaking, region-locking changes

New patch brings desync and high ping, sends players to far-off servers

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds PUBG Corporation
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Many PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds players on PC are rebelling against the game’s latest update, which has altered matchmaking and introduced unintended consequences upsetting their experience.

At issue is PC update 22, which rolled off of test servers and into the full game earlier this week. In addition to introducing a new ranking system, it also locks players to the region where they sign in. If they’re playing with a player from another region, the game itself will determine the best region to play on and send them there.

It’s probably best if a player explains what kind of problem that has caused. Here’s one from the PUBG subreddit:

We all hoped that players, unless specifically invited, would be restricted to their own region. Instead they made a global matchmaking pool that mashes everyone together with ping ranging from 20 to 600. This sucks for the people being pulled into foreign regions and for those who have to play against desyncers that kill them behind cover.

Not all regions are complaining though. Russian PUBG’ers say they now enjoy low queue times and matchmaking on local servers. Players in Oceania also say their situation has improved — while noting they’ve been complaining to PUBG Corp. about it for the past six months.

Getting matchmade into another region isn’t some fallback when there’s no closer match available. Some report they get sent to a faraway land without even being queued up for a minute. In addition to desynchronization becoming more of a problem, it’s also merged in a lot of players from China’s region — a region whose players are roundly blamed for hacking and cheating their way to the top of western leaderboards. Players have called for China to be segregated away from other PUBG regions before, and the reaction to the new matchmaking has renewed that demand.

“The situation is even worse in Korea because they are geographically so close to China,” notes another redditor. “I am seeing Korean streamers die to 100% obvious cheaters almost every god damn match, and a huge portion of Korean Steam PUBG players have moved to Kakao server to avoid Chinese cheaters and Chinese-speaking teamates in Squads because there is so fuckin many of them.”

The official Twitter channel for PUBG player support said yesterday morning that a bug in PC Update 22 had affected global matchmaking, and it was soon patched. “We are working on improving the accuracy of the estimated matching time,” the support account said. “For now, please use ‘quick join’ for the fastest matchmaking time.”

But whatever problem that has solved, it doesn’t appear to be the one bothering the most PUBG players, who continue to light up the PUBG subreddit. One redditor notes they were matchmade into Ukraine’s servers because a teammate happened to be from there. Another: “Is there a reason NA players in EST are matching to 200+ ping servers and consistently chinese players?”

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