Dragunov and AUG Follow-up

The developers of PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS have announced that the new Markman Dragunov rifle will return to the game in the upcoming update 25.2, but without the probabilistic damage system. In addition, PUBG Studios will adjust the characteristics of the AUG in the upcoming patch.

Starting from August 8th, we carried out a week-long survey focusing on the Dragunov and AUG. We meticulously analyzed the feedback received in 14 different languages, examining trends from various regional communities and in-game play metrics. This helped us reflect on the experiences we want to provide through future updates. Instead of simply documenting these insights in the Patch Notes, we decided it would be more meaningful to share our thought process and intentions in a dedicated announcement.

Our conclusions we wish to share today are based on the survey results from 18,637 participants, and a comprehensive look at gun usage patterns and win rates. In Update 25.2, you'll be able to meet the Dragunov without the probabilistic damage system. We are also planning to adjust the AUG's performance. We realize this will not meet every player's expectations, but through these incremental adjustments, we are committed to steadily advance towards a more balanced gunplay environment. We will certainly continue to listen to and apply your feedback, especially when it comes to upcoming in-game systems and gunplay.

Of the 18,637 responses we received, 22.1% came from users who had tried the Dragunov on the Test Server. However, we believe that all of PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS players' opinions are equally important, so we carefully reviewed the responses from both testers and non-testers.

First, we found that the introduction of the Dragunov was necessary in terms of expanding the options for the 7.62mm DMRs. Across all respondents, about 70% mentioned that the gun itself should be introduced, while the probabilistic damage system should not exist in the game, whether it's Normal Match or Ranked. 

We found that the 20% of respondents who had experienced Dragunov's damage on our Test Server held a much more robust opinion, stating that anything beyond players' control through experience and effort detracts from the enjoyment. We concur and have entirely removed the mentioned system.

Apart from that, the majority deemed the Dragunov's damage, rate of fire, muzzle velocity, and recoil "appropriate." However, without the probabilistic damage system, we believed the Dragunov might become a challenging and ineffective firearm to use. Thus, we redesigned the Dragunov to deliver greater headshot damage compared to other DMRs, highlighting its unique distinction. Also, by eliminating the luck factor, we maintain the high-risk, high-reward concept of the weapon. Additionally, we're aiming to implement distance-based damage attenuation ensuring that enemies can't be taken down with a single shot at close to medium ranges or beyond to preserve the unique advantage of the SR. We welcome further feedback, so try it out and share your thoughts.

AUG and Gunplay Balance

We recognized that gunplay balance, including the AUG, can be a matter of opinion based on individual experience, so we analyzed the results separately for respondents using 7.62mm and 5.56mm firearms. We also considered key metrics such as kill rate and win rate, as respondents' perceptions of each firearm may differ depending on the way they work in the game. 

First, we found that over 75% of respondents strongly agreed that PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS offers a diverse weapon selection.Both the use rate and performance of the 7.62mm and 5.56mm guns were viewed as "well balanced" by the majority, with some favoring the 7.62mm as more potent.

Percentage (7.62mm user)
Percentage (5.56mm user)
Between the Beryl M762 and the AUG, which firearm do you consider to be more powerful?
Neither is more powerful than the other.
Beryl M762 is stronger.
AUG is stronger.

We also closely examined respondents' perceptions of individual firearms. When asked about the advantage or disadvantage of the Beryl M762 versus the AUG, 65% of those who preferred the 7.62mm firearms answered the Beryl M762 was more powerful. Among those who preferred the 5.56mm firearms, 50% agreed that the AUG performed as well or better, meaning that regardless of weapon type, users of each firearm thought it performed well or at least not at a disadvantage. However, we did discover that respondents who preferred 5.56mm firearms were less likely to perceive the AUG as exceptionally strong. Respondents mentioned several factors for the AUG's current dominance in the gunplay meta, including the existence of the Mk12 as a strong DMR option, increased utilization of throwables due to the difference in ammo weight, and more.

The information obtained during the survey differs from the key metrics our development team has been tracking internally. The AUG is currently dominating Beryl M762 in terms of both usage and win rate. This trend has been gradually rising over time since the initial rebalance in March, due to a variety of factors, and has been accelerating rapidly as of late. Factors such as the presence of the Mk12, differences in ammo weight, and others mentioned above are certainly worth examining - however, based on the AUG's win rate, it's evident that it is outperforming all other AR firearms, making an adjustment to its performance a necessary measure.

Balancing gunplay has to be more focused on enjoyment, diversity, and fairness and should not be skewed by individual gun preferences at any point in time, so we're taking the survey results into consideration, but focusing on the macro metrics across the entire game. We have recognized the community's feedback over the last several months regarding AUG's overperformance and have decided to reduce the AUG's rate of fire and recoil. The rate of fire will be reduced from 750 to 720 RPM. Consequently, the AUG's DPS now falls between that of the Beryl M762 and the M416. We've also increased the horizontal and vertical recoil a bit, as a lower rate of fire means less perceived recoil. This is not a significant nerf, as the recoil difficulty is going to be somewhat similar. As for the Beryl M762, we decided not to make any performance adjustments, as the win rate metrics are considered to be stable.

We've taken note of all the other exciting ideas you've sent us, and we'll make sure to closely examine them. Due to the nature of gunplay, not all of these updates can be implemented quickly, but we'll do our best to make sure we're working in the direction guided by our community. Also, after examining your valuable feedback, we have decided to enhance the usability for non-mainstream weapons in the second half of the year. 

We're experimenting with various methods such as surveys and live broadcasts to communicate with our players in a more transparent and proactive way. We aim to break free from the traditional update approach and create a synergy with our community to foster a healthier gaming environment.

Your valuable feedback has been a great help in shaping the direction of the Dragunov and AUG updates. It has also provided us a good opportunity to reflect on the direction of gunplay development and the ways we communicate with our community.

This is not a one-time effort - we will continue to prepare diverse updates and opportunities for communication, so stay tuned.