Throughout PUBG’s development, we’ve tried to find new ways to introduce test content to our players. Most of the time, that’s been through utilizing our Test Server for new updates and features. However, occasionally we’ve found a need to test things outside of the normal test environment and that’s where PUBG Labs comes in.
Labs will explore various experimental settings, features, and modes within the live client in a special new section of the outgame menu. From time to time, we’ll drop test content in the Labs menu for anyone to try out. Players will be able to continue to play the game as usual regardless of Labs participation.
Labs isn’t replacing the Test Server, which will still be utilized on a regular basis for normal content updates. Think of it as more of a place where we can experiment with new settings and features outside of the typical development cycle, some of which may be far down the road still, while giving you a way to chime in on what we’re doing before the design is finalized. There will be some growing pains for sure as we figure out the strengths and limits of such a system, but through this system we hope to bring the community and the development team closer together.
That said, let’s dive into one of our upcoming PUBG Labs project, and it’s a big one: Skill Based Ratings!
OK, got it. Labs is meant for testing stuff. Where does this skill-based rating system come into play?
Great question! While the Survival Title System is more passive in that it measures time invested rather than individual skill, this Lab focuses on factors that allow players to rank up AND down. It’s a way for those who want to put a little bit more on the line in order to prove themselves the option to do so.
We also acknowledge that the skill-based option isn’t the best for all players at all times. Sometimes you want to goof around with friends or just not have to feel the pressure of performing and sweating out a victory. That’s why this system is ‘opt-in”. You will not be tracked or earn a rating unless you navigate to the Labs tab and click the opt-in button. Please note that if you do choose to opt-in to the test, your games will be tracked for the duration of the Skill Based Ratings experiment.
What happens when I opt in?
Once you opt in, your games will be tracked and you will be assigned an initial rating after five placement matches. For this Skill Based Rating experiment, we’re gathering data from all queues and all perspectives, but this won’t necessarily be the case for all future Labs.
After your five placement matches, you will be placed into one of six tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, or Master. Within each of those tiers are five divisions that you will also progress through, both up and down. If you’ve played ranked matches in other games, you should be familiar with the type of rating system we’re testing here. Each tier has a range of Rating Points (RP) associated with it, which gives you a more exact number to reflect your skills.
How do I rank up?
After playing your matches, we analyze a few things:
Based on your personal placement in the match you will either gain or lose RP. If you’re in a squad we will only analyze your personal position, and not the final position of your squad. We understand that it may seem harsh to not receive credit for your team’s final position, however since you don’t need to wait for your squad to finish the match, you are able to receive your own RP update immediately which was a common point of community feedback for previous systems in the game.
Your total amount of kills on enemy players during the match.
We analyze every player in your match. We compare your rating to your enemy’s rating, and adjust calculations accordingly.
Visiting the Labs section after a match will display your change in RP based on the last match played. Here, you’ll see +/- RP, and have a chance to give us some feedback about whether or not the change “feels right”. A system like this is one of those cases that hard numbers just won’t be able to fully capture, so we want to know how the change feels in relation to the match you’ve just played. This feedback opportunity will be available after each match, so we encourage you to visit the Labs and vote after each match.
What happens at the end of the lab?
When this experiment is over, there will be a one week grace period where you’ll see your final ratings along with a request to answer a few questions about your experience which we’ll use to guide the design of future iterations of this rating system. Please note that your final rating in this lab will not carry over to any full-rating system we may eventually launch, but feel free to flex on your friends, the internet, and social media anyway.
What’s the bigger picture here?
There are many different ways to enjoy the game, and we know that a skill based rating system is something that much of the community has been asking about for a while now. We’re happy to be working towards that goal alongside you all as we make progress towards determining what such a rating system would look like for PUBG.
While you’ll be able to try both Labs and our Skill Based Rating experiment in an upcoming Test Server, we haven’t locked down a final live server date for the Skill Based Rating experiment. We’ll keep you updated on when you can officially expect this to land on Labs, but until then, we’re eager to bring you even more experimental content and help us shape the future of PUBG!
– PUBG Labs Team