PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), this year's global phenomenon in PC gaming, has made its console arrival with an exclusive Xbox One release. Promising to deliver the title's intense "Battle Royale" shooter gameplay to the Xbox Game Preview program, the release aims to capture all that makes PUBG unique with a controller.
But not every feature from the PC game made the transition to Xbox One. The essence of the game may remain true to the original PC version, but the disparity in features is clear. Here are which PC features are absent for the console release.
Remaining true to the PC vision
I initially jumped into the Xbox One version of PUBG expecting significant cuts, but in reality, the two versions aren't too dissimilar on a raw content basis. Despite previous reports that the game would be shipping a build months-old to PC users, the Xbox One incorporates the bulk of features offered through post-launch updates on the game's primary platform.
PUBG on Xbox One includes various additions made in recent months, including new weapons, environmental types and changes the map of Erangel itself. Many bug fixes and balancing tweaks from PC testing also appear to have transitioned to console too, indicating the Game Preview isn't as far behind as initially thought.
As of its December 12 launch, the Xbox One also sports features yet to release to Steam Early Access users - most notably vaulting, which is still restricted to PC "test servers." Vaulting will release to the public on as a part of a 1.0 release on December 20 for PC, though console users aren't necessarily behind in the experience available.
Cutting corners to console
Directly comparing the Xbox One version with the current public PC release, one of the biggest disparities is a lack of first-person perspective (FPP) servers. As the name suggests, playing on an FPP server forces the players to participate from the first-person point of view, which can ultimately make a significant shift in the flow of gameplay. With a reduction in the visibility offered by a detached third-person camera, this requires gameplay to be approached from an entirely new angle. Although the first-person view is implemented, these dedicated servers are nowhere to be seen.
Some weather effects also appear to be missing, likely in pursuit of improved stability. Fog and rain add variation to PC gameplay, altering visibility and noise levels, though punishing low-end hardware with significant framerate drops. With the Xbox One version failing to consistently hit 30 FPS, these effects are sensibly being withheld in the meantime.
Console players will understandably miss out on Steam Marketplace integration too – a growing ecosystem on the game's PC version, that allows players to buy and sell cosmetic in-game items with real-world money. The game's developer, Bluehole, and Steam platform creator, Valve, take a cut of these transactions, which has likely established a strong post-launch revenue stream. However, due to the nature of consoles, don't expect a similar marketplace to hit Xbox One anytime soon.
Xbox One owners unfortunately lose out on the flexibility that comes with the PC version, securing the game's settings to those locked-down by Microsoft. While not an uncommon sight on consoles, this prevents players from tuning options to their preferences across both graphics and controls.
Most PUBG players are familiar with the lack of optimization on PC and to achieve a higher frame rate, turn down graphical quality. And with the launch version of PUBG on Xbox One failing to maintain a consistent 30 FPS across all Xbox One variants, this feature is sorely missed.
Unlike PC, where players can rebind controls on a per-key basis, Xbox One users are also stuck with the default controller layout. Curation extends to the input of PUBG, having enlisted the help of Microsoft's "advanced technical group" and Gears of War developer "The Coalition" to refine aiming and tuning of controller systems. Despite these efforts, the response to its layout has been mixed.
The Xbox Accessories app, which allows users to remap controller inputs on a system-level, does help in many ways. Though due to its limitations, this doesn't offer the tools to change the setup completely, including clumsy multi-perspective aiming bounded to left trigger.
No form of test server is offered on Xbox One as of launch – PUBG's second game client used to test updates prior to their public release. Free to all players on Steam, this provides Bluehole with data and feedback on changes made to the game, before a wide-scale public deployment.
Without a test server, this also means Xbox One users lose out on current in-progress PC content. Among this is the game's upcoming desert-themed map, "Miramar," and the option to view killcams upon death. These features have been promised for the console later down the line, though are inaccessible at launch.
Comparing the two versions on a surface level, the Xbox One version of PUBG isn't much different from its PC counterpart. You may be losing out on some existing features, but the core gameplay experience has safely translated over to a controller. Make sure to drop your thoughts on the Xbox One version in the comments section below.
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