Why PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is so damn addictive
Is PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) more rewarding or infuriating? Either way, this popular game is about more than winning.
I am terrible at PUBG. Absolutely appalling, both on PC and Xbox. I don't get "chicken dinners," I have the aim of a potato, and more than any other game in 2017, this thing causes me to rage, swear and throw my controller.
So why on earth would I, like millions of others, keep on playing it when frankly, in most games I'd have given up by now and moved on? What is it about PUBG that sucks you back in?
There are a couple of things that I can think of.
PUBG competition, chicken and bragging rights
Gamers are pretty competitive people. We don't like to lose. We must beat every game and everyone who plays it. It's a Batman and Joker kind of relationship.
Because of its very nature, PUBG has become one of the most competitive games released in recent times. Dropping in with 99 other players, either alone or squadding up with your buddies, emerging victorious is an achievement.
It also leads to serious stat-cravings. Folks are grinding leaderboards and chasing numbers. PUBG gives you three ratings: Overall, win and kill. You just have to get inside the top 50 in your region, right? RIGHT?
It's not something I care about (which is a good thing, since I suck), but it's very easy to see how one could get swept up in the endless competition. If you stop playing to, you know, go to sleep, you'll probably wake up and have lost a bunch of places on the leaderboard.
So you jump back in, ever chasing a seemingly never-ending goal. But the millions and millions of people playing PUBG can't all be obsessed with leaderboards and winning, right?
PUBG can be HILARIOUS
I'd wager what keeps a lot of people playing is the sheer hilarity that can ensue during a round of PUBG. The map is so huge, and there are so many players and things to explore, that something funny is almost bound to happen every time you play.
And that's why I keep going back. Because for all the rage over being sniped from an unknown spot something else will happen that's a true "WTF" moment that'll have me laughing my head off. It's not just me, either. If you watch almost any of the big PUBG streamers, they'll come across similar moments.
How can you be mad when you manage to run yourself over with a bike? Or come across one or more players who have clearly gone to the toilet or something and are just sitting ducks? And frankly, you haven't played PUBG if you haven't been barrel rolling through the air in a Dacia.
Yes, there's a huge competitive scene that has developed around PUBG. But those players are probably still in the minority. For the rest of us, it's one of the most fun games you can play if you don't take it so seriously.
Sometimes, not winning is still fun.
Why do you play PUBG?
It's the most played brand new title of 2017. There are still more people playing things like League of Legends or Call of Duty, but on Steam, where PUBG is available exclusively on PC, it's untouchable right now. And millions have jumped into the Xbox One game preview as well.
So lots of folks are playing. And lots are coming back. So why do you play? Are you the leaderboard grinder? Or the kill hunter or the player that will team up with some friends and have some laughs? Let us know in the comments below.
And if you've yet to sample it, what are you waiting for? The game is available properly on PC now, while the Xbox One version is still in its early game preview phase. Hit the links below to grab a copy.
- See at GMG (PC) (opens in new tab)
- See at Microsoft (Xbox One) (opens in new tab)
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine
It's just a fun Tom Clancy's game for me without the tactical dedication Splinter Cell required! 😂