PUBG has taken the video game world by storm, and it’s finally come to console with Xbox One Early Preview. I’d like to say that the console version lacks the problems that were apparent in the PC version when it released (and still are to an extent), but it doesn’t. What the Xbox version of PUBG does do is translate all the mechanics and feel of the PC original entirely, though some technical issues keep the experience from being ideal.
Being that the Xbox version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is just a preview, I didn’t expect that all the features from PC would make it in. In its current state PUBG on Xbox lacks the First Person Perspective (FPP) modes that have become so popular on PC. Instead, you can only access Solo, Duo, and Squad in their regular format and there is also no ranked play. The core gameplay is there though, and it feels just as good as on PC for the most part.
PUBG Xbox Preview: Did I Stutter?
The visuals on the Xbox One X are on par with a mid/high-range PC, at least when the textures are loaded. One of the significant issues with the current build is that textures take their sweet time to stream in at times. This can leave everything a vaguely defined mess for seconds at a time before they finally load in. I’ve also run into textures selectively loading. So my gun might look great, but for the first 10-15 seconds I put a scope on it, the scope is just a blurred mess.
The texture loading issues wouldn’t be such an issue if they weren’t cosmetic. A good part of the time you’re playing in PUBG is spent roaming through Erangel. If you’re running through the plains and forests trying to make it to the next safe zone, then being able to tell what things are at a distance is essential. I’ve died more than once playing PUBG on Xbox One because I couldn’t tell if the blob in the distance was a bush or another player taking aim at me.
Complimenting the texture issue is the massive problem with microstutter and framerate that the Xbox One version of PUBG has. This is most pronounced when other players are around, but it can crop up anytime. Sometimes the game runs at a pretty fair 30 fps, and other times it slows down to approximately 10 fps or so. I’m not sure what to correlation is either because sometimes it happens when you’re alone, and other times it occurs when you’re in the middle of nowhere with no players around.
The microstutter and server lag is probably the most annoying issue PUBG for Xbox One has right now. This is a game that has no auto-aim, so when you’re in a gunfight you really need your target to actually move predictably to hit. It sucks the fun out of the frantic race for survival if you line up for a headshot and when you pull the trigger your foe stutters and warps 20 feet from where they were.
PUBG Xbox Preview: A PC Port Where the Controls Aren’t Bad
The controls aren’t too bad, but they could be more intuitive. They’re a modification of the typical controller scheme you find in almost every Xbox One first-person shooter. I suppose Bluehole had to compromise between usability and accuracy, so you’ll find a few functions a bit strange. You have to hold down the reload button instead of tapping it, and you have to tap the aim down sights button instead of holding it, which goes against most FPS players’ instincts. It’s a lot easier to precisely control vehicles and the camera with a joystick, but there is some accuracy lost when it comes to shooting. However, PUBG did translate surprisingly well from keyboard and mouse to a controller, and once you get the hang of it, the control scheme is about the best you could expect.
Bluehole did manage to get PUBG items and cosmetics and loot boxes added in, but I wish they would have spent the time they worked on that actually tuning the game before it hit Xbox Game Preview. Given that the PC version still has some major issues with lag and performance, it seems odd that they chose now to release PUBG on Xbox One. I hate to call PUBG on Xbox One premature, but there are some major technical aspects of the game that need to be fixed before the full version debuts.
However, if you want to play PUBG, and you own a console, there’s only one way to do it, and that’s on Xbox through Game Preview. There’s a lot of things that need polishing in the console version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but it does replicate the PC experience, and its issues aren’t so frustrating as to make it unplayable.