On Recent Sound Design Changes

First things first: We should have explained the change in the patch notes. We messed up here, and we hope you’ll accept our apology.

Hi everyone,

Some of you have noticed that we made some changes to the way sound works in PUBG’s most recent patch. First things first: We should have explained the change in the patch notes. We messed up here, and we hope you’ll accept our apology.

Many of you have called us out about not being thorough enough about documenting changes in the patch notes, and rightfully so. It’s something we’re going to try our best to fix going forward, and you guys should absolutely continue to hold us accountable when we miss something. We can and will do better.

With that said, we’d like to explain what’s changed with the game’s sound systems. We’ll also share how we plan to further improve the systems moving forward.

 

First, the primary audio changes have to do with the sounds other players’ gunshots make. The difference is due to some newly implemented functions of the HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function) plugin.

Previously, this plug-in only affected sounds related to movement, explosions, and empty cartridges—not opponents’ gunshots. You could generally tell whether shots were being fired from your left or right sides, but things were more problematic when trying to differentiate between sounds directly in front of or behind your character. There was also no way to tell whether shots were coming from above or below. Our new implementation of the HRTF plugin fixes both of these issues.

Below are a few before/after clips to help you understand the difference. Listen with headphones and check out the visualizer for the left/right audio channels at the top of the screen to see how things have changed. Please be aware in advance that PUBG test characters refuse to wear clothing—that’s just how they roll.

 

Opponent gunfire sounds from the same height:
BeforeAfter

 

Opponent gunfire sounds from below:
BeforeAfter

 

Opponent gunfire sounds from above:
BeforeAfter

 

We think these changes are a big improvement that should help you detect the location of enemies much more effectively than before. But we’ve also heard some early feedback that some sounds feel a little “weird” or even “garbled.”

We’re keeping tabs on feedback like this, and we’ll keep making updates to the sound system going forward. In addition, we intend to add some options that’ll let you customize your sound settings on a more granular level.

Again, we apologize for not sharing details about this change earlier. Going forward, we plan on doing dev letters like this before we make any major changes to game systems.

Thanks for reading,
The PUBG Team

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