New maps, ballistics, emotes, and custom game modes are coming to PUBG in 2018

Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene revealed a roadmap for PUBG today, giving us a look at the future of the popular battle royale shooter in 2018. Among other things, the plan includes two new maps, more character customization and emotes, new vehicles and weapons, and an improved ballistics system—plus an experimental test server so players can get an early look at changes added to the game as well as an opportunity to deliver feedback on these changes to the developers.

According to Greene, the changes will arrive in "a major content delivery" every two months (beginning this month), as well as in smaller, intermittent updates between the big ones. Here's a look at what the roadmap contains:

A new 4x4 km map: it's only a quarter of the size of the current PUBG maps, which should result in shorter rounds and a more frenetic experience. This new map is expected to be available on the test server next month. Another map, of the standard 8x8 km size, is also planned for later this year.

Custom game modes will be expanded. Greene doesn't specify what types of modes beyond that they're "new and interesting," though he adds: "We’re also planning to distribute access to a wider audience of players so that there are more custom games available to join at any given time."

New (unspecified) vehicles are planned for the first half of 2018, and new weapons and attachments are expected to arrive this year as well—a screenshot of a Type 81 assault rifle is included in the roadmap. A limb and vehicle ballistic penetration system will make its way to the test server, possibly putting an end to the Wonder Woman-style bullet blocking we've seen. An overhaul of the parachuting system is also in the works, along with improvements to the melee combat.

An emote system is planned, accessible via a radial wheel, to allow players to point, wave, nod, clap, and taunt. Animations for both third- and first-person modes will see some changes, which include animations for getting into and out of cars (currently, players just blip in and out of them) and switching seats. There are also more (unspecified) character customization options planned, plus new parachute and weapon skins. Achievements, an in-game friends list, and in-game squad voice chat are also on the roadmap.

Naturally, Greene says work will continue on the optimization and stability of PUBG's game client and servers, as well as the never-ending battle to detect and ban cheaters. We can also look forward to a PUBG Developer API, which "will support developers in the community by providing player and match data around gameplay performance." The API will also "allow esports groups and other third parties to create custom games within PUBG."

Speaking of esports, PUBG Corp is looking to upgrade the 3D replay system and "improve the live spectator tool, but also integrate a replay system for spectators to use during live matches" which will hopefully make PUBG tournaments a bit more enjoyable to watch

Absent from the roadmap is modding support, something Greene has talked about wanting for PUBG in the past. "It's going to be a fully moddable platform," he told me during an interview in February in 2017, though as PUBG grew in popularity he later stated that "... it might take us a bit of time to actually implement it, because we really have to figure out the best way to do it so the game still stays secure."

While those are the major points on the 2018 roadmap, Greene says it's not a full list and there are "other things we plan to introduce" that they're not ready to announce yet.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.