Roughly five minutes into the match, a blue wall will appear in the form of a giant energy field. A safe area also appears on your map as a big white circle. This is your cue to head toward (and ultimately inside of) the projected safe area before the blue circle actually reaches you. If at any point the blue circle ensnares you, you’ll constantly take a small amount of damage over time. At full health, you can survive for several minutes inside of the blue zone, but don’t linger because health is a finite resource. Sometimes you can go an entire round without finding a healing item, so save your health for an enemy confrontation, not the blue wall. Since you can’t outrun the blue wall, a vehicle can be handy as a last resort if you spent too much time lingering in an unsafe zone. (We’ll talk more about vehicles in a moment, but keep in mind that, while they are fast, they’re also loud). Be careful of overshooting the circle and going farther into it than you need to. Sticking to the outer ring and surveying the battlefield can be beneficial. Others will be looking for you near the center. A tiny UI option in the lower right hand corner of the screen always shows how far you are from the encroaching blue wall and the white safe area. In another attempt to mix things up and shuffle players around, red circles highlight random danger zones. hese areas will be bombed following a countdown, so it’s more imperative that you escape the area entirely as bombs can result in instant death. You can also hide inside of buildings for shelter. Also, you’re more likely to encounter other players unable to flee the area hiding inside. If you aren’t armed, avoid conflict. GET A WEAPON AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE Even if you’re defending yourself with a frying pan, anything is better than fisticuffs. When a round starts, immediately head toward a building to locate some weapons, but don’t be upset if you don’t find any guns. You can identify hotspots before you even leave the plane. Check your map and look for yellow icons. Those are buildings, which house weapons more consistently than anywhere outdoors (though surrounding landmarks like park benches could store gear, too). If you see a weapon, take it even if you don’t want to use it or it has no ammo — you don’t want to leave it for another opponent to find. ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN FISTICUFFS One popular zone to search or drop into at the start is the center of the southern island, Sosnovka military base. Weapons are more plentiful here, but some of the most skilled players know this and will take your head off if you try to employ this strategy in your first few games. When you’re learning to play, drop into the map near the end of the plane ride when the aircraft gets near the edge of the map. Most players will have already parachuted out by then. You can check how many players are still on the plane by swapping viewpoints (with the V key) and drop faster to the ground by holding W to dive. Don’t let the plane auto-eject you, as you’ll be placed with any number of AFKers in a giant brawl. Then again, you can earn easy kills — and thus, extra BP — this way. UNRAVELING YOUR INVENTORY Gear comes in many forms, but all of it is rated from levels one to three. Higher numbers are better. At the root of your inventory is the backpack, which dictates how many items you can hold in the form of the capacity statistic (level one grants +150, level two is +200 and level 3 is +250). Shoes take up 20 capacity, pants take up 40 and so on. If you want to hold more items, you need more capacity. Otherwise, you need to make choices on what to drop in the wild. YOU NEED TO MAKE CHOICES ON WHAT TO DROP IN THE WILD Armor comes in two categories: headgear (which guards against headshots) and body gear (which guards against general fire). Level three helmets can protect against shots to the face, which can allow you to win direct shootouts, especially in the final minutes when the blue wall has created a tiny arena. Medical supplies are linked by default to the 7, 8, and 9 keys. Healing is arguably the least user friendly portion of the game because several tiers are only usable at certain points. While every item (including the weak bandages) can heal your character up to 75 percent health, only painkillers, energy drinks or med-kits (the latter of which is a full heal) will heal you past that threshold. Think of health as a resource. Many other pieces of gear are cosmetic in nature and don’t actually give you any combat advantage. That distinction includes hats, shoes, masks, pants, gloves, jackets and glasses. There are very few exceptions like combat pants that grant extra storage space, so check the description first. Still, the vast majority of clothes don’t give you any sort of advantage. OTHER PLAYERS: SEEK AND FIND OR HIDE AND PRAY Playerunknown's Battlegrounds rewards patience, so don’t treat it like a run and gun affair at first. There are lots of ways to approach Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, but making a ruckus is probably the easiest way to get killed. It’s important to neither be seen or heard, which is much easier to do if you’re sneaking around, hiding behind or in buildings and not doing anything to draw attention. Make sure that you close every door behind you, even if you’re seemingly alone in a building. An open door paints a giant target on your back, as an enemy can easily ready their best gear to take you out when you’re scavenging for the basics. It’s perfectly fine to hide. You only need to make your way out of blue zones when the time is right. AN OPEN DOOR PAINTS A GIANT TARGET ON YOUR BACK The more you play Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, the better you’ll get at tracking other players. If you enter a building and there’s no gear, someone has probably cleared it out. At this point, the blue ring of death is likely either starting to form or is already making its move, so you can probably guess where that person was headed after their loot-fest: the shortest distance between that location and the outer white ring. With enough practice, you can even estimate how far away they are and potentially pick them off. Lowering the foliage setting in the options menu can also make it easier to locate other players, as well as wearing headphones for directional audio. We can't stress enough the advantage you get when playing Playerunknown's Battlegrounds with good audio equipment — or at the very least with the sound on. VEHICLES: WHEN TO USE THEM, WHEN TO AVOID THEM AND HOW TO FIND THEM Driving out of the blue wall of death While most shooters venerate vehicles or stock them up with extra advantages, Playerunknown's Battlegrounds actively steers you away from them. They’re loud, and it’s easy to get shot while driving them. You generally want to avoid vehicles unless you need to quickly escape the blue wall of death and can’t make it on foot. So when you need to (sparingly) use a vehicle, where do you find them? They’re typically located near major roads. If you’re stuck deep in a blue zone and need to escape immediately, make your way to the nearest road on the map and pray you find a ride. Junctions are the most populated places. If your vehicle isn’t working, you might not be in the driver’s seat. Press the control key and 1 at the same time to change seats. ARE AIRDROPS EVEN WORTH GETTING? Airdrops aren't as obvious as the blue and red zones. They don’t have obvious colorations on the map, but they can provide valuable gear at random. Listen for an aircraft, which drops a crate on a parachute. In these crates you'll find backpacks, armor, healing items (adrenaline syringes and medical kits), scopes and weapons. Playerunknown's Battlegrounds isn’t a typical shooter, so airdrops aren’t always directly beneficial to the player. Instead, approach them with caution. If you don’t have multiple weapons, pieces of armor and healing items, you don’t approach them at all. Just like open doors, they’re signs that a player is nearby, so it’s better to set up shop from afar, watch them and then try to take people out. Unless you’re one of the only players left and the blue wall is still far out (which is unlikely), running to grab an airdrop is risky. You’d be better off just ignoring them unless you really need the gear and have no other options or nearby buildings to search. Also note that airdrop content isn’t static, but you can find weapons, health kits, scopes or armor in them (including the camouflage enabling ghillie suit).