“While PUBG veterans continue to hone their skills and improve, we’re seeing more often that many newer players are being eliminated early with no kills – and oftentimes with no damage dealt,” explained lead project manager Joon H. Choi in a blog post published on PUBG.com.
“In an effort to provide more ways for players to hone their skills and be able to fully enjoy what PUBG has to offer, we’ve decided to introduce bots with Update 7.1.”
Choi went on to detail the three main priorities the PUBG team considered when building the console bots, including carefully laying out navigation meshes across the entire map “in a way that prevents bots from throwing themselves off of a cliff”, a “carefully balanced” shooting system that allows players to avoid fire using authentic evasive action, and ensuring bots concentrate on seeking out, looting, and arming themselves with the most appropriate gear during each phase of the game.
“While there were many other factors that went into programming PUBG’s bots, these were the three we felt carried the most potential impact on a match,” wrote Choi. “We hope that introducing bots will help players get more shooting practice and kills, a higher average survival time, and maybe even that first exciting chicken dinner. Basically, the full battle royale experience.”
Choi also qualified that this is just the first iteration of bots in PUBG on console. Bots will be monitored for improvement over the coming months.
Experienced players with high matchmaking ratings will be less likely to encounter bots in their games. Competitive, ranked PUBG will not feature bots.
Serving to lower the barrier of entry to the cutthroat genre, bots are already in a feature in PUBG on mobile and were added to battle royale rival Fortnite in an update in October 2019.
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Luke is Games Editor at IGN’s Sydney office. You can find him on Twitter sporadically @MrLukeReilly.