Release date: December 12, 2017
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Tips from the Masters

Advanced guide covering the rules of the circle shrinking, grips comparison, shotgun bugs, bullet velocity speed, grenades throwing trajectory and Hunter gameplay tactics

These days, everyone who’s not playing Fortnite is playing PUBG. It’s Coca-Cola and Pepsi all over again, and the game is permeating every online community. It’s a bit disappointing then, that the average PUBG player still doesn’t know the sneaky, elusive secrets that the game is hiding in plain sight. And you need to know these secrets if you want to win the game, so we’re here to outline them for you, plain and simple.

The Circle (AKA The Playzone)

There are two parts to the circle, the white (next safe zone) and the blue (the die pointlessly zone). You already know that the blue circle periodically shrinks into the white, and then we get another white circle. Simple. But what you probably don’t know are the set rules about how the circle shrinks and reappears.

CircleTime before shrinkDiameterDPSTime Blue>White
1300 seconds4550 m0.4%300 seconds (5 minutes)
2200 seconds2970 m0.6%140 seconds (2 minutes 20 seconds)
3150 seconds1480 m0.8%90 seconds (1 minute 30 seconds)
4120 seconds740 m1%60 seconds
5120 seconds360 m3%40 seconds
690 seconds175 m5%30 seconds
790 seconds90 m7%30 seconds
860 seconds40 m9%30 seconds

So those are the numbers, but what do they mean?

Basically, you can relax during the first 2 circles, which means from the very first circle announcement, you have a good 8 minutes before the zone becomes a death warrant.

The third circle is when you start to notice the damage, and possibly when you’ll be spending 1 first aid kit if you’re driving in from afar.

The fifth circle is the scariest jump, however. The first four circles come with a damage increase of less than 50%, and then boom, the fifth circle comes with a 200% increase. It is at this exact point that you should immediately stop exiting the playzone at all cost.

Current Grip Meta

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Tips from the Masters-1
Courtesy of Reddit

Quite a few YouTubers have covered grips extensively, and there is some general consensus. The half grip seems to be the best all-around weapon grip for all ranges. The angled grip is a horizontal mess and the lightweight grip is just generally terrible, in that it actually increases vertical recoil.

But there’s more to it. The lightweight grip also comes with an increase to ADS speed, meaning you’ll be able to zoom in a lot faster. Also, you’ll notice that any one particular bullet stream under the lightweight is straighter than is the case with any of the other grips. This means that if you’re using this grip, all you have to do is pull down hard and the rest of the aim will be deadly accurate.

The angled grip is a weaker version of the lightweight. Less vertical insanity and you still get the increased ADS speed.


  • Half-Grip = Assault Pro
  • Vertical Grip = Quick taps
  • Angled/Lightweight Grip = ADS + Pull Down (UMP Optimal)
  • Thumb Grip = A bit of everything and a fan favorite

The Shotgun Enigma

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Tips from the Masters-2
Courtesy of Otzdarva

YouTuber Otzdarva has a pretty in-depth guide about shotguns which we suggest you check out. He essentially proves that shotguns are extremely bugged and unwieldy, but undeniably powerful in the right hands.

There are two things to remember about shotguns:

  1. The pellet spread is always the same. You control the pellet center, but never the spread. This means that the aim indicator only tells you where the center of the spread would fall.
  2. Everything about shotguns is crooked to the right, by a significant distance. In other words:
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Tips from the Masters-3
Courtesy of Otzdarva

This shot will miss, every single time. This is because of a difference in camera placement between ADS and the crosshair. For best performance, try to always be in ADS when using shotguns.

Bullet Velocity

YouTuber WackyJacky101 covered bullet velocity in a very in-depth video, which we absolutely recommend you check out, but here’s his summary:

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Tips from the Masters-4
Courtesy of WackyJacky101

This chart gives you all the numbers you might be curious about, but the main takeaways we need to drill home are:

  • The AKM shoots slower bullets, always. This is why most people recommend you use it as a close range spray weapon, rather than the main assault rifle
  • The M16A4 is the best long range assault rifle if you suck at leading
  • The Kar98K has worse bullet velocity than an M16.
  • The SKS is absolutely atrocious.

And of course, it goes without saying, but the VSS is practically a water gun.

Buildings and grenades

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Tips from the Masters-5

You probably already know this if you’ve seen a pro stream, but to get a grenade through a window, you essentially have to aim higher, if the window is above you and lower if the building is straight ahead.

The reason for this is very simple – the grenade velocity indicator lies. All that red parabola does is confuse you. At most, it demonstrates your horizontal trajectory. The vertical path, however, is pretty much always off. The further away you aim, the more you need to compensate by aiming higher. That means there is an optimal distance of a few meters at which the indicator will actually line up with your throw, but we think it’s best that you try to learn grenade throwing more intuitively, as you would in Counter-Strike. Hit up a Sanhok match and throw apples at windows. It’s a worthwhile practice.

Bonus: The Hunting Meta

There is no wrong way to play PUBG, but if you’re among those who find it extremely hard to get even your first chicken dinner, you might want to consider the ‘’Hunter’’ meta. This is another gameplay tactic that has been extensively detailed by our favorite PUBG Youtuber Otzdarva, but one that many players have actually been practicing since the start of the game.

In short, you want to land as fast as possible, at a location with sparse resources, that is adjacent to either a large compound with medium resources or a small compound with high resources.

Take for instance Erangel, the first PUBG map. You could drop in the village south of the school, or on the houses just east of Rozhok, then move in on adjacent locations.

Here are Otzdarva’s suggestions for Erangel:

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Tips from the Masters-6

The process is:

  • Land on blue
  • Find a gun, armor and a helmet asap, preferably in under 30 seconds
  • Sprint to the orange zone, i.e. the closest high loot zone
  • Get in a nice position and wait for your enemies to head out

You’ll want to watch your enemies landing before you do, and keep an eye on the circle to know which direction they’ll be leaving. This approach is easily your safest bet if you’re not confident enough to rush high loot locations from the get-go.

We hope this secrets guide finds you well. Let us know in the comments below if you found it helpful, or if there are any questions you might have regarding PUBG. We’re always looking to expand our knowledge base.

Viktor Zafirovski