H1Z1 leaves Early Access on PC in an armored vehicle rocking a unicorn mask

The launch of H1Z1 today may have gone unnoticed by some of those who used to play the game before PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds came along, but it's now out of early access development with a few new additions to the tried and tested formula. There's a new Auto Royale game mode that looks similar to what Grand Theft Auto Online offers and makes racing around in vehicles with a few buddies a whole lot of fun.

H1Z1 already sports rather arcade-like vehicle mechanics and Daybreak has managed to take this and create an entire game mode around it. Featuring up to 30 teams of four (for a total of 120 players), the aim of the game is to be the last vehicle standing. The massive map contains power-ups, weapons, ammo, fuel, and health to more efficiently take down enemy teams. There are also two new sets of wheels to ride around on — the sedan and an armored recon vehicle.

It's clear this new mode is an attempt to draw players back to the game, which lost a substantial portion of the player base to competitor launches, namely PUBG and Fortnite. The new game mode is currently in beta, following a number of patches to further refine the mechanics and balance gameplay. Speaking of which, the move out of early access also brings with it a number of improvements to the game.

Players who are dropping into play can now choose which area to spawn in and the game will show a heat map as to where others are electing to start from. The airdrop system has been reworked, and a new minimap can be enabled to aid navigating across the landscape. And if you want to do a little competitive play, the first competitive season is underway with a new scoring algorithm that will reward everyone for consistent play and "aggression."

That's but a taste of what's going on at Daybreak Games, so if you haven't checked H1Z1 in a while it may be worth downloading the game to see what has changed.

See at GMG (Steam)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.