Early last month, popular survival shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) made its way to Android and iOS devices exclusively in China. But, it wasn’t long before people figured out how to install PUBG on their devices worldwide and started playing the game. The game has even hit the App Store and Play Store outside China, starting with Canada. Unlike PUBG on PC or Xbox, PUBG mobile feels a bit easier, even for beginners, and there’s a very big reason behind that.
According to a recent post from The Verge, PUBG mobile has beginner bots which have been included to hep new players get accustomed to the game. The bots, like most beginner bots in FPS games, aren’t really a challenge for new players. They should be able to get a decent number of kills and a few chicken dinners (or victories) in their first couple of tries. This is quite unlike the PUBG experience on PC and Xbox where new players don’t stand a chance against experienced players and end up camping the circle every game.
As Sam Byford from The Verge explains:
“One major difference from the other versions is the presence of bots, apparently designed to help new players get to grips with the game. As you level up, the ratio of real players to bots increases, and it’s easy to tell the difference — the bots are pretty dumb and don’t put up much of a fight. This might be disappointing to hear for anyone who plays for the first time and is amazed by their own latent skill level, but it’s a clever way to ensure people have a good experience when they first play PUBG.”
A number of Reddit threads regarding the matter further reveal that when a new player starts off, a majority of their opponents in the first few games are bots. As they keep playing and leveling up, the number of bots decreases which makes the game more challenging.
Whether that will have an affect on long-term active user numbers is yet to be determined. But there’s a good chance that casual players will plateau out after the first few victories, when they realize the game is getting tougher. The key for PUBG would be to fine-tune the algorithm that controls the bots for beginner games.