PUBG's map is an atlas of danger and opportunity. Choosing where to land is a life or death decision. You can try to float to Battlegrounds' best loot spots and compete for gear, or take a more strategic approach, using the trajectory of the plane to predict quieter areas that will allow you to gear up in relative peace.
You should go into every drop with the knowledge that the density and quality of loot is variable. Luck will always factor into your run, but we’ve prioritized locations that should always guarantee a full squad’s worth of equipment.
If you're looking for a quiet, low-risk start to the match, you could even use the below list of hotspots as places to avoid.
1. Georgopol – North, South, Containers and Hospital
Georgopol is a massive northwestern city bisected by a river. North Georgopol offers a wealth of large apartments to explore—try to prioritize those with roof access so you can clear the buildings top to bottom, the safest approach. South Georgopol offers decent loot and medium risk. The hospital further to the south is particularly susceptible to randomized loot, but the nearby car spawn makes it attractive, aim for the hospital roof-tops to check the most visible and likely weapon locations.
The containers at the southeast side offer multiple warehouses which are easy to run through and quickly ransack, but you'll need to be prepared for a close quarters fight. The flexibility of Georgopol makes it one of the best landing areas, with guaranteed vehicle spawns, densely packed loot and the ability to adapt your drop based on the number of nearby enemies.
2. Military Island
Perhaps the most lucrative site on the map in terms of weapon loot and high tier armor, the military island is the ultimate risk versus reward drop location. Try heading for the metal sign that overlooks the whole base—it has common weapon spawns along the top as well as the stairs and can be used to dominate the area.
Alternatively drop straight onto the three apartment buildings in the central part of the base, the roof-tops often allow you to quickly find an assault rifle and scan the area. Just make sure you don’t linger too long as experienced players will be able to take you out easily in such an exposed position.
Be warned, the base is very vulnerable to distant circles putting you in a bad spot.
3. Rozhok, School and Apartments
A central location stuffed with hotspots. The school is a self-contained deathmatch area and a popular landing site for those who are confident in their abilities. Nearby Rozhok is a far safer proposition, with a guaranteed car spawn in the garage at the south side. The apartments to the east are slow to loot, but are worth the time it takes to clean them out.
All three of these locations put you near the center of the map, meaning they're excellent options for rushing to the safe zone and hunting down care packages. A water tower just to the south of Rozhok offers excellent sight lines over the area and should be a priority for any snipers.
Risk: Medium-High (the school is deadly)
4. Underground Bunkers
A set of winding and intertwined underground bunkers buried beneath a hill, the military tunnels are quick and easy to loot, but very popular. Usually overflowing with assault rifles and armor, the bunkers are incredibly hazardous thanks to the wealth of choke points and narrow tunnels, most of which have no cover. Consider setting up an ambush at the end of a tunnel if you hear footsteps.
Beware of people trying to get on the frontpage of Reddit by driving cars through the bunker entrances.
This port on the eastern edge of the South Island has a huge container yard that can be tricky to navigate but is perfect for fully equipping a squad. The likelihood of boat spawns and three guaranteed cars mean that you can quickly nip across to the mainland. However, Novo tends to attract experienced and confident players for those very reasons. Blind spots abound within the shipping containers, so try to land directly atop them and get a shotgun or UMP into your hands at the very least.
Accessibility: Poor (unless you snag a boat)
6. Crater of Doom
Another mini-deathmatch sheltered from the rest of the map by a valley. With five warehouses, two houses and one large military building, chances are you can equip a full squad here, but expect to have to fend off some serious competition.
The house overlooking the rest of the buildings can be used to control the area, but limited loot makes it a risky priority. Landing on the roof of the southernmost building is the safest option. Beware of snipers firing down into the valley, especially in the late game.
7. The Villa
Positioned in the southwest corner of grid GK on the map, these eight buildings probably won't equip your squad with absolutely everything it needs, but at most you'll probably have to fend off one other group as you hit the ground. There's a guaranteed vehicle just to the southeast, but better yet, jog 200 meters west to a terrific defensive position, where an elevated group of buildings with good rooftops provide a 360-degree overlook.
Hit the Villa, pray you'll find scopes or spot an airdrop, then head west to pick off anyone who approaches. I've had rounds where my squad racked up 20 kills with this approach.
Vehicle spawns and how to find them
Remembering vehicle spawns can be vital to your early game strategy. Quickly finding a car and dashing to areas far from the plane's route can see you with whole towns to loot in relative peace. Even better—you will be able to partially predict the direction from which your foes will emerge, allowing you to take up a strong defensive position.
Another useful tool is PUBG Plane Path (opens in new tab), created by James Lantz, which shows you probable parachute paths for players depending on the direction of the plane, the likely location of vehicles, and the lowest health you can have in the blue before using a first aid kit.