Ever since we launched the 1.0 version of PUBG earlier this year, we’ve been focused on building our team so we can invest in the game’s ongoing development. We’ve been building new content (like Sanhok), quality-of-life improvements (like map selection and weapon balance), and a whole series of aggressive anti-cheat measures. We want PUBG to be the best game possible so players like you keep loving—and playing—it.
Although we’ve made some meaningful improvements to PUBG, we’ve fallen short in other ways. Players have rightfully called us out for failing to address complaints about performance, and recently we haven’t done the best job of communicating about the changes we’re making to the game. Today we want to change that by talking in-depth about the things we’re prioritizing. We’ll also tease some of upcoming content we plan to add to the game.
This Dev Letter is the first of many more to come. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
OUR TOP PRIORITIES
We look at feedback from players around the world when determining our priorities. We’ve heard your voices, and as a result we believe that the biggest issues which deserve our attention are performance, server-side optimization, and cheating.
Performance and Server-Side Optimization— Over the past few patches, we’ve seen a big increase in complaints about performance problems, including unpredictable FPS drops, visual stuttering, and overall sluggish performance. Some of the root problems are occurring client-side, and others are server-side.
First things first. We’ve identified a few simple fixes we can make to improve overall game performance:
We’ve discovered that when vehicles move over many different types of ground materials quickly, too many effects are produced, causing players’ GPUS to overload.
Another cause of GPU overloading (and FPS drops) has to do with the way lighting effects are processed.
We’re already working on fixes for both of the issues above.
We’re also changing the way we ship optimizations. We’re planning to push updates to live servers whenever fixes are ready, instead of simply waiting for major patches. We’ll announce each of these improvements in subsequent patch notes.
Looking more toward the future, we’ve identified quite a number of ways we can optimize different aspects of the game to improve performance holistically.
Upcoming Client-Side Optimization Work
- We’ll optimize the way the game handles the movement of opponents who you can’t see.
- The vaulting process and animations will also be improved—we believe this will address certain screen stuttering issues affecting low-powered PCs.
- We’ll improve the character model rendering process to prevent some small frame drop issues.
- We’ll optimize character movement and animation while skydiving to improve framerate when multiple characters are skydiving at the same time.
- We’ll optimize parachute animations to cut down on frame drops near the start of the match
We expect the final three changes above will make the early stages of each match feel much smoother. War Mode will also benefit immensely from these changes.
- We’ll optimize the way the game handles unseen (far away) vehicle movement and the movement of player models inside faraway vehicles.
- Currently stopped vehicles demand an unnecessary amount from your CPU. We’ll fix it.
- We’ll optimize the core structures of Miramar and Sanhok to improve map loading speed.
- We’ll optimize physical texture loading while level streaming, which should address screen stuttering issues.
- There’s a crashing issue caused by some level-streaming processes that we’ll address.
Other optimization work
- We’ll address the frame drop issue caused by high-magnification scopes
- Certain other far-away objects will be rendered in a less taxing way
- We’ll optimize the replay system to improve framerate for players who have the replay/death cam activated
Upcoming Server-Side Optimization Work
- We’ll optimize network code and reduce network latency. As a result, basic player inputs will be revealed to other players much more quickly.
- We’re going to increase the speed at which the server transfers data about objects (items, doors, fences), to address the fact that sometimes item spawn in late after players parachute in.
- We’re going to eliminate some inefficient network code. Currently, some objects send updates to the server unnecessarily
- Currently the server rapidly updates certain frames (on vehicles and character models) in an inefficient way. When we address this, we believe it will also resolve some abnormal physics affecting vehicles.
Obviously these are a lot of changes. Even once we implement every single one of the optimization opportunities listed above, we will keep looking for more chances to improve the game.
Cheating— Cheating is the area where we’ve made the most progress in recent months. We’ve introduced a variety of encryption based solutions to make it harder for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities. We’ve also banned hundreds of thousands of cheaters’ accounts and refined the process by which we identify cheaters—most cheaters are now banned within hours of using an exploit. We’ve also begun taking serious legal action against the people responsible for creating hacks and cheats.
All of this will continue, but there’s more we can do. We believe we’re winning the battle against cheating, but we won’t stop fighting until we’ve eliminated it. Look for more updates on this in future dev letters.
OTHER UPCOMING WORK
Of course, PUBG Corp. is made up of many different teams, and they’re each focused on improving the game in different ways. The people who work on maps, gameplay balance, or cosmetics aren’t going to stop making things simply because we’ve declared that our top priorities lie elsewhere.
The biggest content drop coming in the near future is Sanhok. We’re aiming to bring it to live servers before the end of June, and development on the map won’t stop there. We’re planning new exclusive vehicles and an exclusive weapon for Sanhok, each of which will drop sometime in the month after the map officially launches. Among these is a big fan request: a drivable three-wheeled vehicle we’re currently calling the Tukshai.
In many ways, Sanhok’s test servers have become a place for us to experiment with all sorts of changes and features, including dynamic weather, a variety of circle systems, and weapon spawn behavior. We’ll continue to test out changes during the upcoming test cycle.
We’re also excited to show off the work that our worldbuilding team has been doing to make Sanhok our most beautiful map yet.
For instance, one person on the team has spent countless hours touching up the island’s various rocks and cliffaces, adding moss to those near water:
Another member of the team has been carefully creating decorative items to make towns feel more like places which once hosted life. A massive pile of original art assets like this…
…will appear in game in places like the abandoned market below:
The team is focused on making literally every inch of Sanhok perfect for players, whether it’s the texture on a rock wall or little unique trimmings around each of the islands houses. Every detail matters, and the team is eager to get feedback from you guys during the latest test.
We’ll have a lot more to share about the other goodies coming to Sanhok in the coming weeks. And you can expect more letters like this from us going forward. There’s so much work we have to do to truly deliver on PUBG’s potential. We’ve teased just a few of the upcoming changes for this year in our Roadmap earlier this year, but the things contained there are really just the beginning.
We’ll talk again soon!
Thank you for playing,
The PUBG Dev Team