PUBG originally shipped with just one map, Erangel. Designed as a lush island filled with various pieces of terrain and elevation levels, it’s a good starter zone for players to get their bearings.
Now you’ll have to deal with the harsh deserts of Miramar, which is being cycled into play randomly as of this week. Here are some tips to help you acclimate.
The more remote the location, the better
Despite the dire nature of the desert biome, Miramar has a large amount of cities that provide densely packed buildings. It stands to reason that, while these locations have a lot of goodies, they’re also going to be filled to the brim with other players looking to gun you down. Instead of blindly floating into these areas, it’s important to recognize that you have options.
The first thing you’re going to want to do before dropping into Miramar is take a look at the map. Zoom in and enhance it. OK, enhance again. See those white dots? Those are going to be your ideal drop spots.
Just like in Erangel, most players are going to be gravitating toward the cities, but there’s actually a goldmine of locations to loot from. They’re just more spread out, much like the tiny shacks in the original map but even more visible from above. You might gain access to a plain looking farmhouse only to find that it’s actually broken up into five or more different rooms, all with goodies to grab.
Remember to always close doors behind you so other players aren’t aware that you’re inside or that you’ve been to a particular location.
Oh hey, you can vault now
Along with the Miramar update comes a brand new mechanic: vaulting. Although you can easily take this one for granted as it’s standard in most shooters, it’s a great way to surprise players and take advantage of the map.
To vault over something, simply press the jump button and move toward it. Your character will pull up and onto a windowsill or onto a roof. This is incredibly useful for climbing to higher ground.
Players can get on top of buildings easily by parachuting onto them in any given city. It’s also possible to leap up awnings (like the ones over apartment buildings) and climb a structure indirectly. This is imperative for sneak attacks, as your opponents will expect you to enter buildings traditionally by coming through the front door or up a flight of stairs.
Buildings are a more important resource than before
Because of how dangerous the open air is in Miramar, staying inside of buildings within the PUBG safe zone is a good way to stay alive longer.
In Miramar, buildings are generally more intricate, which is good for myriad reasons. The most obvious bonus is that you’ll find more loot when coming across them, but because of the labyrinthine nature of large structures and the vaulting system, it’s easier to escape death traps. Higher points allow for more precise sniping perches, but they also open up your options when you need to bail. Escaping out of a window, even if you fall quite a ways and take damage, can save your life.
You can also use the multiple hotel room-esque doors to your advantage. If a building has a lot of rooms, you can close all but one as a way to bait an opponent into a trap. They may throw and waste a grenade trying to see if someone is in there or run in guns blazing. That’s your chance to spring your trap from behind and take them out while they’re vulnerable.
Give this strategy a try in the San Martin high-rise apartment buildings located in the center of the map.
You can forge up hills
Even if a hill looks insurmountably large PUBG has a very forgiving physics system.
Sometimes hills will seem too vertical to climb, but you can run up them in almost all cases. That might not be the best option depending on what level of cover that area provides, but if you need to get somewhere quickly, jogging up to a high point and surveying the zone for helpful tools (like vehicles) can be a great idea.
Remember that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has a prone button (Z on PC or B on Xbox). Using it is key to staying alive once you reach the summit, as it’s much easier to spot players in the bright desert sun.
Duck in and out of the rare cover that’s available
Although there are several cities with plenty of places to hide (Miramar is a desert after all), you need to be aware that enemies can see you whenever you’re running from location to location.
It might seem like something out of a cartoon, but keeping your presence hidden by running behind something as low-key as a haystack might save your life. As survival is paramount, the less people that know you’re around, the better. Even if something doesn’t provide direct cover, if you’re in a bad situation and lacking firepower, the enemy can’t kill you if they aren’t aware of you.
Use this principle when retreating, too. If someone is trying to hit you from a very long range with a rifle like an M16A4 early in the game, odds are they don’t have a lot of ammo. While running away, try to put obstacles between you and the shooter.
The northwest corner is an unmarked gem
The innocuous Ruins aren’t often in the way of PUBG’s initial flight paths or safe zones, but if you can make your way up there you can pick up a ton of gear without contention.
Although gear dumps are mostly reserved for indoor areas, there are exceptions. Not only is the ruin location near an array of buildings like a church and a number of residential plots, but it’s also a hotbed for weapons and armor, with loot strewn about.
Keep in mind that not only is this tough to get to at the start, but it’s almost never near the first safe zone circle (where you eventually need to be) because of how close it is to the perimeter of Miramar. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem because there is usually first-aid in the ruins that will allow you to heal through the blue wall’s damage, or a vehicle in a nearby area that you can use to get to a safe zone.
Speaking of vehicles, get used to identifying useless ones immediately — the two most common duds are tractors and the generic rusted sedan.
Height is king, but watch your back
Height was important on Erangel, but Miramar offers even more opportunities to take higher ground in the more barren parts of the map. With the right weaponry, you can rule above your opponents, but you want to make sure your tail is covered.
When entering any elevated area, take note of your surroundings. Wherever an enemy can feasibly get a line of sight, you need to exit it or at the very least, be aware of it. You can easily swing your camera around and watch your six with a third-person view, but it’s tough to really tell what’s going on if you aren’t looking at a hill above you.
Learn to use the blue wall to get an extra safety cushion, but remember that opponents can easily survive it for minutes at a time with the right first-aid items. Finding a large mountain that juts out and has no other higher points around it is an ideal location to camp. The only way anyone is getting a clear shot on you is if they come up from behind, which you can constantly scan with your camera.