PUBG’s next rebalance is all about footsteps

Sound is important in any shooter, so PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is getting a fix

A PUBG character holding an old sniper rifle and kneeling on one knee

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is getting a rebalance, but this time it isn’t guns – it’s sounds. Specifically, it’s how footsteps register on certain materials or even barefoot and how that affects what an enemy hears.

In a developer post from the team at the PUBG Corp, the makers are having to take time to consider how sound is really impacting players in the battle royale. When listing the specific issues with footsteps three areas are highlighted. First the poor quality of footsteps on soil, sand, and grass, second the unnatural sound changes over distances, and the acoustic differences between players wearing shoes and when they’re barefoot.

That last point is important because when players are barefoot it makes a lot less noise than when they are wearing shoes in certain situations. This makes it hard for players to hear where enemies are and although “this certainly makes sense realistically, it’s not ideal for the sake of PUBG gameplay”.

Although the dev team tried fixing these issues last year, it wasn’t quite enough and they’ve gone back in to give the audio another go.

Some of the fixes players might notice include that previously when players got further away the audio quality dropped. This is no longer the case as now it will be the same sounds whether you’re close by or far away and only the volume will change.

Another big difference is going to be that barefooted players aren’t going to be so hard to hear. When an enemy is further away they are going to hear the same sound whether you’re wearing shoes or not. When they’re up close there will be a difference in audio but the volume between barefoot vs booted will be equal.

These changes will be arriving in Update 8.1 to PUBG, but there are more changes to come to sound in the future that the PUBG Corp will detail in another dev letter when they arrive.