Hands on with PUBG’s Xbox One build

The Xbox One build of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was available for play-testing earlier this week at gamescom. A small, almost hidden section at the Microsoft gamescom booth gave battle arena fans the chance to tryout the game for the first time—and most of them left with a lot more questions than answers after spending time adjusting to the weird control scheme.

The Xbox One version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was announced as part of Xbox’s E3 press conference in June as a timed console exclusive. PS4 fans have yet to hear about a possible PS4 port of the game and may have to wait longer than anticipated after Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene said that the team were only focused on the PC and Xbox One ports of the game at a gamescom keynote speech on Aug. 23.

Die-hard fans of the series will be able to see drastic differences in the game’s performance over the PC build instantly. The game still runs as perfectly as the PC version, however, and can easily hit highs of 60fps.

Players of the PC game will notice how the game goes at a slower pace on the Xbox One. You can’t just click and drag items in menus or change things on the fly. To select items, players have to manually select them in the menu, unlike on the PC version where you can grab and click on everything. Half the time we spent playing the game was sitting in a corner, trying to sort out everything, praying not to be shot by someone casually passing by.

If the game gets cross-platform servers in the future, something which Bluehole Studios says it’s keen to do, Xbox users may feel they have a distinct disadvantage in the game against PC users. Xbox users might find it tricky to match the speed of a mouse-wheel during hectic fights and will never be able to be as quick and accurate on a sniper rifle when compared to a PC user.

Here are some of the basic controls in the game. Some of the more advanced controls like auto-run and leaning currently don’t have a button attached to the command.

Left Thumbstick: Move

Right Thumbstick: Look around

A Button: Jump

B Button: Crouch

Hold B Button: Prone

Y Button: Reload

X Button: Open/Close doors, pick up items

LB Button: Sprint

Left Trigger: Aim

Right Trigger: Fire

D Pad Left and Right: Change weapons

D Pad Down: Change fire rate.

Y as a reload is an odd choice—most shooters choose X instead. Using Y took a bit getting used to and we found that most of the time, we were dying when trying to reload in hectic fights because of it.

There is currently no way to change button mapping either, forcing players to get used to the controls as they are—something that will hopefully change in the future. But right now, it looks like the team have no plans to bring that to the game at this time.

The Xbox One version is by no means perfect, but it could have been a lot worse. Moving from keyboard and mouse to a controller is awkward—there’s simply no way around it. Still, the core gameplay elements are there, and Xbox owners still have a lot to look forward to.