PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS 2023 Roadmap
Today, we are pleased to announce the long-awaited PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS 2023 Roadmap. Before we unveil the roadmap, we would like to thank each and every one of you for the 6th Anniversary of PUBG. While it is truly mind-blowing that 6 years have already passed, we believe that everything we’ve accomplished over the years is all thanks to the generous support and feedback from our players. Seeing all of you enjoy PUBG has always been the biggest driving force for us to keep moving forward. We promise to never forget the determination and dedication we have shared with you over the past 6 years, and will continue to show them until the days we celebrate PUBG’s 10th and 20th anniversaries.
Through this roadmap, we want to share with you our development plans for 2023, looking towards the future of PUBG. Of course, we have to state that everything we’re sharing today along with any mentioned timelines are all subject to change, but we have prepared this roadmap to introduce you to the exciting features that are underway for the coming year, hoping that you will join us in anticipating the future of PUBG. During this 6th year of PUBG, we hope you’ll continue your journey with us as new legacies are made, and old ones continue.
The roadmap outlines the intentions and plans of the PUBG team for in-game, out-game, and anti-cheat features, which we will present in a sequential order. So without further ado, let’s dive into the details of the 2023 PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS Roadmap!
As we reflect on the past 6 years, we recognize that much has changed, including players, trends, and playstyles. Given these changes, we believe it is time for PUBG to review our journey and reexamine the features that were developed in our early days. Our plan for this year is to conduct a comprehensive review of all elements in order to lay the foundation for long-term service of PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, while ensuring that the core gameplay remains intact.
To start off, the four modes that players most often encounter while playing PUBG are Tutorial, Normal Match, Ranked, and other modes with different in-game rules. These four modes also require a revamp to align with the changes that have occurred over the past 6 years. We intend to establish a seamless connection between these four modes, so that players can transition smoothly from Tutorial and Normal Match to Ranked and other modes. This will allow players to easily switch between Normal Match, Ranked, and other modes based on their personal preferences.
Our focus for this year will be specifically on Normal Match. To ensure that PUBG stands the test of time, we believe that Normal Matches must offer a healthy and immersive experience. If we enable players to fully experience the core gameplay of PUBG in Normal Matches, they will be more likely to engage in continuous gameplay and seek out a wider variety of experiences.
What we aspire to achieve through Normal Match is to reduce stress and increase enjoyment overall. While playing PUBG, there may have been dissatisfaction with having to experience stress even in Normal Matches, where the competitive elements are relatively low. In 2023, we aim to alleviate those stress factors and increase enjoyment by providing a variety of content. Changes planned to improve Normal Match include improving item/Blue Zone/vehicle spawn rates, revamping tactical gear, and adding a new revive system.
Let us give you more details on these changes. If the item spawn rate in the game is low, players will spend a lot of time farming, which leads to bigger letdowns upon death. We plan to address this issue by boosting item spawn rates and adjusting the overall balance of the Blue Zone, which will help to reduce the tedious early phase and ultimately shorten the total playtime to increase the pace. Of course, we will implement these changes in a manner that does not compromise PUBG’s identity.
We are also planning to introduce a new revive system that is distinct from Comeback BR to alleviate the frustration and burden of dying after a long farming time. Whereas Comeback BR has a chance of success for dead players, the new system relies on surviving players since it is up to the surviving players to revive dead teammates. This can be useful for new players who find it difficult to engage in battles in Comeback BR. Also, the new revive system requires luck as well, so players will be able to enjoy Normal Match a little more lightly. This new system will initially be applied to 8km maps without Comeback BR.
Last but not least, there is also something planned for our tactical gear. While tactical gear has enabled various strategic plays since the release, there has been a tendency to prioritize weapons over tactical gear due to the risk of taking up the primary weapon slot. This year, we have prepared a tactical gear overhaul based on community feedback.
Overall, our intent is to minimize the stress in Normal Match by improving various elements without compromising the core gameplay.
Likewise, there will be winds of change blowing in Ranked, one of the core modes of PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS. As Ranked is the most sensitive mode when it comes to changes, we haven’t been able to try many things so far. However, in order to sustain the live service and break free from the stagnant gameplay, we decided that we need to find new fun through suitable changes in Ranked. Therefore, we are determined to try various changes this year.
Here are the changes that will come to Ranked in 2023. First, we will apply all existing 8km maps to Ranked, and we plan to add new maps to Ranked immediately after stabilization. Of course, we will not include all maps at once, but use the map rotation system used in Normal Match and gradually adjust the probability, starting with a low probability.
Second, you will also be able to find the items and features that were only available in Normal Match, such as the Blue Zone Grenade, Folded Shield, and Emergency Pickup, in Ranked. We plan to selectively introduce equipment and weapons that are commonly used in Normal Match without significantly damaging the balance to help you feel the changes in Ranked. However, sensitive content that can be perceived differently in Ranked, such as the new revive system or Self-AED, will not be added.
Third, the rewards for Ranked will be enhanced. This will make players feel the attraction of playing Ranked itself and want to take on new challenges every season. We will also continue to improve Ranked through constant analysis and observation.
Following improvements in Ranked, there are also expected to be changes in Esports. Until now, official PUBG Esports matches have been conducted using a separate in-game Ruleset called S.U.P.E.R. However, since the introduction of Ranked, players have been able to experience Esports-like gameplay in game, which has created a gap between the existing Esports and Ranked rulesets. Therefore, we are going to reduce this gap by aligning the rulesets of Esports and Ranked.
Our ultimate goal is to provide players who demonstrate excellent skills in Ranked with a wide stage to showcase their ambition to compete with top-level players, and to offer Esports fans the same game experience as the professional players they support.
All updates applied to Ranked from now on will also be applied to official PUBG Esports matches, and the in-game Esports mode will be adjusted to the same settings as the Ranked mode. Specific application dates and changes are to be announced through PUBGEsports.com.
Let us now discuss the changes to the map rotation service. Currently, the map rotation system is only applied to Normal Match, but starting in 2023, it will also be applied to Ranked.
Firstly, for Normal Match, five maps will be available in a shorter rotation cycle than the previous one-month cycle after the April update. There were concerns that the one-month cycle was too long for players whose preferred maps were not included in the rotation, and waiting too long for a particular map led to decreased interest in PUBG. Therefore, the rotation cycle will be changed to a shorter one, to allow players to play their favorite maps more frequently.
Erangel and Sanhok will remain fixed, while the larger-sized maps such as Miramar, Taego, Deston, Vikendi, and the smaller-sized maps such as Karakin and Paramo will be included in the eight-map rotation. While we would like to satisfy everyone’s needs by including all the maps, we will only operate five maps to prevent any negative effects on the matchmaking environment.
The aim is to provide a more flexible service in terms of map rotation cycle and map pool changes, as well as to create a suitable map rotation service for PUBG.
For Ranked, four maps will rotate every two months, over one season. Rather than applying all the maps at once, the plan is to gradually adjust the probability of the maps. The fixed maps for 2023 will be Erangel, Miramar, and Taego, so that players can directly experience the maps played in Esports. We are also considering adding Deston to the Ranked map pool.
Playing the same maps repeatedly decreases interest in the game. As there are various maps available, players’ preferences are also diverse, so we hope to satisfy as many players as possible by changing the rotation cycle. We hope players can enjoy a diverse experience in PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, and we plan to apply these changes to the map rotation service in the upcoming April update.
Next on the agenda are changes to gunplay that were applied in the latest update. The overall goal of the gunplay update is to provide a variety of options by mitigating certain weapon imbalances and enhancing non-meta weapons. If a particular weapon in the game outperforms other weapons, it may be enjoyable for those who use it, but other players may not have as much fun. We hope that players will enjoy diverse gunplay with various options through strategic farming.
The primary objective of the 2023 gunplay update is to achieve a balance between 5.56mm and 7.62mm weapons. One result of our efforts to do so is the recent change to the weapon tiers. For instance, we have converted the AUG, which was previously exclusive to Care Packages, into a world spawn weapon to increase its accessibility as a widely used 5.56 AR weapon. We have also brought in FAMAS, a potent 5.56mm weapon, to exclusive locations such as Care Packages, to bolster the significance of 5.56mm weapons. You’ve all been pretty vocal about non-meta weapons such as M16A4 and Mk47 Mutant, so we increased their Single and Burst Rounds Per Minute (RPM).
Additionally, we are conducting R&D for underbarrel attachments and resistance to add new mechanisms and plan to add weapons that can induce interesting gameplay. This will allow players to make strategic choices with weapons they have not used often and eventually lead to a variety of choices that match each player’s playstyle.
When it comes to PUBG content, maps are a crucial part of the equation. Our previous maps, Taego and Deston, received a lot of positive feedback from various regions all over the world. Through our experience, we’ve learned that the map’s concept and atmosphere play a huge role in creating a fun and unique environment as well as influence how long the players will be able to enjoy the game.
This year, we’re thrilled to announce the development of a brand new map, codenamed “Neon”. The creation of this map was inspired by one of the most unique places on earth that combines both modern and traditional elements. While this map presents one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced, we’re confident that it will be worth it in the end. The map will feature multiple areas, ranging from a modern city full of gleaming skyscrapers to a more traditional rural area that creates a truly unique atmosphere that hasn’t been yet seen in PUBG.
Exploring the map will be an exciting adventure in itself, with multiple transportation options, including ground, air, and water. We are also working on a new gameplay system for Neon, that might become a new way of obtaining items which could change the dynamics of how the game is played.
And finally there are quite a few gameplay additions planned for this map like: new unique weapons, cars, dynamic weather, and other cool visuals, so prepare yourselves for an unforgettable PUBG experience at the end of this year.
Sub Update – Maps
Along with the new map, we’re also planning to increase the scale of updates for our existing maps. This year, we’re aiming to give our oldest maps, Erangel and Miramar, a fresh look with larger-scale improvements and the addition of new spots, while still maintaining the core concept.
We are adding new and improving old areas as well as making overall improvements to the map by adding more details and making the map feel more immersive. The Southern Island will undergo the biggest changes and will differ significantly when compared to the rest of the desert.
These updates are currently planned to be released somewhere in the second half of the year.
As for Erangel, we are approaching making changes to it with a bit of caution since it has a very symbolic meaning to PUBG and we would like you to have the best experience possible on this classic map.
Playing PUBG for the first time sometimes might be an overwhelming experience, especially for those who are not familiar with the genre. That’s why we are committed to providing newcomers with a comprehensive and interactive onboarding experience.
Our goal is to create a tutorial that not only familiarizes new players with the core mechanics of the game, but also provides them with a safe and engaging environment to test out various weapons, gameplay scenarios, and tactics. On the other hand we want the tutorial to be time-efficient and straight to the point, so that new players can enter the battle and start exploring PUBG in the most fluid way.
Thus, our aim for this year is to make the tutorial experience engaging, informative, and enjoyable by trying many different things.
One of the major initiatives we have underway is the expansion of our mode service, which will provide players with more diverse and attractive experiences.
In 2023, we plan to introduce future updates that will bring a wealth of new modes into the game: from reimagined versions of our main mode like Intense Battle Royale to entirely new gameplay experiences that will combine the most fun elements from other FPS games, and might even pave the way to completely new genres. We are committed to delivering a diverse and exciting gaming experience to all of our players.
In addition, we are currently trying to prepare for the future of PUBG, that will make the game prosper for years on end.
We are currently testing out various options and attempting to port one of our maps to a new engine version. Please bear in mind that this is not yet decided whether this transition will be possible, however we will do our best to give it a try. While details are still being ironed out, we will make sure to give you updates in the future.
We have also been researching world modding, which has been a highly requested feature from our community. Ideally, with world modding, players will have the ability to create and share their own unique game modes and environments. Again, this currently is just a plan, but if everything works out this may become a new unique way to enjoy PUBG.
Additionally, we are exploring opportunities to incorporate building destruction, which might bring a whole new level of strategy to the game. Players will have the ability to alter their surroundings which might add a fresh dynamic to the classic PUBG gameplay formula.
Although some of these challenges may not become reality, we believe that they are worth pursuing and will inevitably lead to a new era for PUBG. We hope that you’ll join us on this exciting journey towards an even more thrilling battle royale experience.
We’d now like to talk about the out-game elements of PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS, such as the Lobby, Store, Pass, and more. First and foremost, we want to discuss the three primary objectives of the out-game:
Firstly, we aim to make it easier for players to quickly find and join the matches they wish to play.
Secondly, we strive to provide unique and engaging social features, reports, progression, and other content that make the out-game experience just as fun as the in-game experience, encouraging players to return regularly.
Lastly, we focus on creating new challenges for players through various systems such as Progressive weapon skins, Passes, the Workshop, and more. We want players to feel a sense of satisfaction and achievement when they acquire the items they desire.
For our out-game roadmap for 2023, we reflected on the past 2 years. With the transition to a free-to-play service in 2022, we placed great importance on the care of new, returning, and existing players. We focused on developing Tutorial mode, improving UX/UI, and providing regular updates, such as new progressive weapon skins, the Workshop, and collaborative skins. We have received positive feedback from the community regarding these efforts.
Nevertheless, we acknowledge that there is still room for growth in developing out-game content that offers unique and engaging experiences for players. While we had updates on the end-of-match screen, Mastery Medals, Weapon Mastery system, and other features, we understand that these updates may not have fully satisfied players’ expectations.
So, what can players expect from the out-game experience in 2023?
Firstly, we are focused on developing a service that can support multiple game modes simultaneously.
Secondly, we are committed to expanding the out-game experience by creating new, engaging content such as enhanced social features, so players can enjoy the game even when they are not on the battlegrounds.
Lastly, we will continuously improve our existing systems to provide new challenges and interests for all players.
With these goals in mind, we are excited to introduce some of the projects we will be working on throughout the year.
The Arcade revamp plan mentioned in last year’s roadmap, is now set to be a mid-year goal for 2023.
Last year, we had several updates happening simultaneously, which made it challenging to fully execute the Arcade revamp. We’ve recognized the lack of diverse content in the Arcade, as it currently only services Team Deathmatch mode at the moment. While we did provide experimental elements and unique experiences through LABS modes, we understand that it was disappointing to only have access to them for a limited time.
As a result, we aim to incorporate various LABS modes into the Arcade as long-term or permanent content, providing an environment where players can choose the mode they want to play. Additionally, we plan to establish a reward system for mode play. Our current plan is to allow players to earn points through mode play and exchange them for items.
We plan to add the long-awaited Clan system around mid-year. The Clan system has been a highly desired feature not only by the community but also internally, and we are actively developing it at the moment. The initial Clan system will bring in existing Clans from external sources to our out-game, offering a greater sense of belonging and achievement for Clan members.
The core elements of the initial Clan system are Clan tags and Clan plates. Your Clan tag and plate will be displayed in various areas, such as in-game, PUBG ID, and other significant areas. While the first release may not include many features, we plan to actively improve it based on player feedback. We’re also planning various Social-related updates, including the Reputation system, team member suggestion feature, Team Finder, and more.
Next, the Survivor Pass will undergo changes twice this year. In order to allow more players to enjoy the pass with ease, we are considering changes to the reward acquisition structure and reducing the overall difficulty. We believe that by changing the structure of the Pass, we can enhance its appeal, and by making it less challenging, we hope to help more players in reach the maximum level by the end of the Pass period.
Progressive Weapon Skins and Collaborations
We also have plans to upgrade Progressive weapon skins in the latter half of this year. We are considering adding new level-based effects to the skins, improving existing skins, adding variety to the color of certain parts of the weapons, or even re-polishing and re-releasing Progressive skins that were launched a long time ago. Additionally, we plan to unveil more appealing Progressive weapon skins throughout the year.
Regarding collaborations for 2023, we are exploring all possibilities, including partnership with a globally recognized vehicle brand similar to our previous collaboration with McLaren. We are also considering collaborations with a nostalgic brand, and more!
That concludes our 2023 out-game roadmap update. While minor details may change, our goals and priorities remain firm. We promise to achieve our long-term goals without losing sight of them, and we will do our best to ensure that you have a fun year thanks to out-game.
Let’s shift our focus to the issue of illegal software, which players have been consistently providing valuable feedback on year after year. The PUBG team has been making great efforts to enhance the anti-cheat system since its launch. However, we are aware of the fact that players’ expectations and standards are higher. Before going into the details for anti-cheat plans in 2023, let’s first take a look back at last year.
2022 was a year in which we took on many challenges and made great efforts. As you all know, at the beginning of 2022, PUBG became free-to-play. As a result, the entry barriers to the game were greatly lowered, and there were concerns that the probability of encountering cheaters would increase. With the encouragement and concerns of our players, we put in even more effort. After the free-to-play service transition, we made even more rigorous and powerful monitoring and countermeasures to eradicate the use of illegal software, along with various attempts and challenges in terms of system.
Zakynthos & Other Solutions
We would like to elaborate on the attempts and challenges mentioned above. We have been making continuous efforts to improve our proprietary anti-cheat solution, Zakynthos, and to develop and enhance the system. In June and August of 2022, we tested the ACE anti-cheat solution to complement our existing system and explore ways to synergize, and we internally conducted research and development on various new solutions. As announced in mid-2022, we have been able to detect more unauthorized programs by continuously improving Zakynthos.
Besides our technological approach, we are also improving our report system in a more sophisticated manner. We are reducing the rate of false bans by utilizing the Report Trust Value system and machine learning technology. We have also strengthened our measures to crack down on abuses such as account renting and transfer, resulting in significant improvements in sanctions against those who interfere with other players’ games.
Furthermore, we have also made efforts to sanction hardware used to run illegal software. We are aware of the community’s doubts about whether hardware bans are actually being implemented, and we would like to take this opportunity to briefly share our hardware ban approach. Currently, depending on the situation, we selectively utilize measures that restrict account usage (ban) and shut down the game with a “detection of unauthorized hardware” message. Therefore, it may be difficult for players to clearly understand whether hardware bans are actually being implemented against cheaters.
With the implementation hardware bans, the ratio of cheaters suppressed from re-entry has increased by 304% compared to 2021, which is nearly three times as much. This indicates that we have effectively suppressed the entry of cheaters, even after the game became free-to-play. Despite this, we acknowledge that many players still experience inconvenience caused by illegal software and expect a better gaming environment.
So, what changes can players expect from PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS’ Anti-Cheat in 2023? We promise three keywords: strengthening countermeasures, suppressing re-entry, and enhancing communication with players.
To enhance our countermeasures, we are putting a lot of effort into advancing machine learning technology.
Machine learning technology refers to when the system will understand algorithms and patterns and learn how to respond. This year, we aim to utilize machine learning technology in a wider range of areas such as illegal software usage detection, abuse detection, and integration with our proprietary anti-cheat solution, Zakynthos. While it may be risky to explain the detailed plans and methods, our goal is to develop a core technology model and implement it right away in the first half of this year.
Counteracting Cheaters and Strengthening Communication
Preventing the re-entry of cheaters and devices is just as important as identifying and penalizing them early on. Therefore, the PUBG team has set it as a major goal for this year.
Through these continuous efforts, we aim to significantly ameliorate the concerns, dissatisfactions, and distrust that players may have in 2023. Meanwhile, we will continue to communicate with all players, partners, and gamers who have affection and interest in our game without any reservation. This action is also currently underway and players will be able to experience it from the first half of this year.
In addition to the three promises above, we will keep on making efforts to discover and execute systems and policies that can serve as hurdles for the re-entry of cheaters. This year, we will focus on preemptively counteracting by detecting overall abnormal behavior in advance, rather than just sanctioning specific behavior. We will step up our efforts to offer PUBG experiences that allow players to enjoy the game with a sense of security.
And that’s a wrap for the PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS 2023 Roadmap! Please note that while various content mentioned in our roadmap are in the works, there are also some contents that are still in very early stages to be mentioned. Additionally, everything we shared is subject to change, whether it’s as little as a different name for a system to completely scrapping some features that turn out to be different than we’ve envisioned.
Please look forward to our content coming in the remainder of 2023 and plenty more to be released thereafter! For now, join in on the 6th Anniversary festivities. Grab some fabulous rewards, and as always keep an eye on our official channels for information on when these amazing features will be ready for you to jump into!
Once again, we would like to express our utmost gratitude for your love and support over the past 6 years.
Happy 6th Anniversary!