PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ fog is more frustrating than fun | PCGamesN

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ fog is more frustrating than fun

PUBG fog

At its core PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a game about surviving no matter the cost. Death comes fast, is usually bloody, and often arrives without warning. Despite having a map rotation of, err, one, PUBG matches benefit from a strong variation of close, mid, and long-range engagements. PUBG’s island - dubbed Erangel - has been designed to accommodate all styles of play, even under varying weather conditions. But the one exception to this commitment to flexibility is fog, which not only affects a match’s tone, but also how the game is fundamentally played.

Read our Battlegrounds guide for pointers on winning your own chicken dinner.

As you might well expect, fog greatly reduces visibility. This, of course, makes it rather difficult to spot opponents that are more than a few meters away. At medium range all you have are shadowy silhouettes to go on, making moving targets tough to track. Sniper rifles like the Kar98 or SKS are rendered less useful since the visual effect strips away any distance advantage they offer, making assault rifles and sub machineguns the superior choice. 

PUBG fog scope

Being forced to adopt specific styles of play in this context is mildly frustrating, especially given how unforgiving PUBG is generally. But the problem is exacerbated by the fact that PUBG’s loot is randomly generated. Because of this, some players will find themselves stuck with a practically useless sniper rifle from the off, putting them at even more of a disadvantage than they might otherwise have been. Erangel is mostly made up of forests, rolling hills, and open fields - none of which work brilliantly under a carpet of fog. Gameplay devolves into a situation where whoever becomes visible in the fog first, dies. In any location outside of the cities or military complexes the debilitating pea souper simply leads to too many luck-based encounters. 

PUBG fog valley

As the boundaries close in, things become truly insufferable. PUBG’s final moments are meant to be a game of skill and wits; outsmarting a foe or taking advantage of a brief opportunity is what it takes to claim that tasty chicken dinner. But when the fog rolls in everything comes down to one tactic: snaking. This shifty tactic sees players crawl through the grass or bushes while prone in order to get a jump on their opponents. Having the climactic moments of a match come down to several people crawling around in the grass is hardly thrilling, even if you pretend that you are playing some long-lost multiplayer build of Metal Gear Solid 3 (a 2004 game that had much better draw distance than this grey hell). 

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Standing or even crouching is asking to be killed during the final set of circles, since players create that dark silhouette against the fog. While snaking might play a part in the finale of many matches, it becomes your only viable tactic in the fog, which should never be the case. 

PUBG fog falling

Look, fog doesn’t turn up that often, I know. And I have no issue with PUBG Corporation catering to close quarters players. But I wish they had done it in a manner that doesn’t punish those of us who really enjoy long-range engagements. Don’t get me wrong: I am not calling for the removal of the fog effect. But wouldn’t it be great if it rolled in periodically, rather than covered the map for an entire round? That would certainly provide a better sense of balance. Nothing is worse than spending twenty minutes running around, seeing no one, and then getting shot by a snake in the grass.

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Sandwich avatarSmidgey87 avatar[SOUR] Johnny avatar
Sandwich Avatar
5 Months ago

It would be interesting if the entire match were to happen under an accelerated day/night cycle, with fog being an early-morning thing. Imagine if the equivalent of 24 hours were shrunk down to something like 45-60 minutes, and the drop happened at a random point during that cycle.

A "4am" drop would result in fog (before and after sunrise) during the early-game encounters, which would dissipate mid-morning. Well-equipped teams would be roving about at high noon, and the finale would take place around dusk.

A "6pm" drop would result in a beautiful freefall and parachute glide at sunset and initial ill-equipped encounters at dusk. All through the night those roving bands of well-armed office drones would be a threat, culminating in a pre-dawn finale in a miniscule circle...

Smidgey87 Avatar
5 Months ago

If fog maps punish you and make you adapt your skill set to something you don’t like, what stops you leaving the server and finding another game? Reads like a slightly petty ‘I don’t like this/I don’t understand how it changes how I should play so it shouldn’t exist’ rather than an actual article.

[SOUR] Johnny Avatar
5 Months ago

I disagree. The environments are a modifier. Making you change the way you play the game is the whole point. I think the term in, "adapt or die".

Rain makes it virtually impossible to hear nearby players, dusk makes general visibility lower with everything being given a warm glow, and fog forces you to fight at close range. My only problem with it is the extra advantage it gives cheaters, but there's not much you can do about that beyond ban them.

"Having the climactic moments of a match come down to several people crawling around in the grass is hardly thrilling"

^^ This is how almost every single PUBG match ends. After the player count dips below 20 everyone hits the deck and tries their best to look like foliage. That's tactics, man!