You don’t have to call me “the greatest,” but you can if you want and also you have to.

I finally won a solo match in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds last night, so I am now qualified to give advice on how to win. After playing a few dozen games and never finishing first, I assumed that even if I did luck my way into the top spot, I’d never have any useful tips to pass on to anybody.

And I probably still don’t, but that’s not going to stop me. Here are my tips for winning in PUBG:

Don’t get precious about your weapons

You can go a little crazy if you are constantly looking for the “right” firearms. Don’t do that to yourself. You think the UMP is garbage because of a post on Reddit? OK. Maybe it’s not great, but it can still murder folks just fine. And I’m not just saying that because I won my match with an UMP.

A big thing about this game is that a lot of it comes down to luck. You pick a spot on the map, and maybe it’ll have some great loot. Or maybe not. Either way, you have to play the hand you’re dealt. And if you have it in your mind at all times that you only have this Uzi until you find something better, then — when you do get into a fight — you might not have the confidence to act decisively. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good enough.

Use all of your movement and looking options

Keeping a low profile and having situational awareness are keys to survival. To maximize both, you need to move and look around in an intelligent way.

For moving:

  • On top of “shift” to sprint and “C” to crouch, you have a few more options.
  • “X” will put your gun away and enable you to run faster.
  • “CTRL” causes your character to walk, crouch, or crawl at a tip-toe pace. This reduces the amount of sound that you make.
  • “Q” and “E” enable you to lean around corners. This is most effective in first-person mode.
  • Click the right mouse button quickly to aim down your gun’s sights.

For looking:

  • Even if you don’t move the mouse, your gun aims somewhere different if you are hip-firing, shoulder-firing, or aiming down the sites. This is crucial for aiming around objects.
  • Hold “shift” while aiming to hold your breath and zoom in slightly.
  • “Alt” enables you to move the camera freely around yourself. You can run and look behind you while using this, but also use it while you’re sitting still to get a 360-degree view without causing your character to move around a lot.

For an example of how this works, here’s me using every ability to survive a roof-top encounter. I eventually get the kill by leaning around the corner and aiming down sights through a narrow slit.

Never fire unless you’re sure you can get the kill

Speaking of keeping a low profile, don’t pull the trigger unless you know you’re going to take someone out. This should be obvious, but it actually took me a long time to put this into practice. The sounds and flashes of your gun will give you away, and that’s almost never worth it unless you can get the kill quickly and get back to cover. More than anything else, I think that realizing this helped me finally get that win.

Use your grenades

It takes some time to switch from a primary weapon to a grenade, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore those devices. In the video at the top of the post, I throw something of a random grenade into the middle of a shrinking safe area with around five other people left. I don’t hit anyone with it, but the explosion seems to draw attention and fire. You probably won’t ever kill anyone with a grenade, either, but they could reveal people’s positions as they react. Smoke grenades also work well for providing cover. This includes tight in-door spaces where you can use it like a ninja smoke bomb.

Stay aggressive

Finally, you won’t win by sitting back on your heels. Hiding in the bathroom and waiting for someone to come to you might work some of the time. But you will have a much better chance of survival if you strike when you have the opportunity. And while you are better off knowing where your enemy is, you can’t always wait for that before moving. If you can’t see them, they probably can’t see you, and yo should take a chance to be aggressive. And that means behaving unpredictably and moving boldly instead of just trying to tip-toe out of scary situations.

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