PUBG Patch Notes 28.1 – What You Need to Know and the Change Krafton Should Have Made!

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Tim Beisiegel
| February 14, 2024
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I’ve been playing PUBG: Battlegrounds by Krafton since year one. Back when Erangel was the only map. Back when you could put an 8x scope on any gun. So, I have seen all the updates, hotfixes, and game additions. 

Each time, PUBG presents us with patch notes to discuss what’s coming, what’s changing, and why. Sometimes, a gun in the game is so overpowered (op) that it has to be nerfed (power reduction) to stabilize gameplay. But these notes are typically full of tweaks and changes made so that you, as a player of their game, will be ready when the patch launches on your console or PC. There is a mobile version of the game, but that’s a whole different animal, and we won’t be talking about that today. 

So, let’s dive into the recently released patch notes 28.1 that go live on February 15th and talk about what’s coming and what’s changing regarding guns, vehicles, and gameplay. 

Guns 

Of biggest note is that they are adjusting the JS9 submachine gun (SMG) because it is a bit too OP. According to the developer notes in the patch notes, this little SMG available only on Rondo, was winning the battles against Automatic Rifles (AR) in head-to-head battles 56% of the time. To use a saying from a buddy of mine that I game with often, “It’s a mean piece of hardware.” But, it was too mean. 

Players were seeking that gun over using .762 and .556 weapons such as the Beryl or AUG. Full squads were getting that gun because it had a heavy spawn rate, low recoil, and could spew bullets faster than the Dallas Cowboys could leave the NFL playoffs. 

The JS9 will have increased vertical and horizontal recoil and decreased damage. It is getting nerfed a little bit, and that’s good news. But they aren’t invalidating the gun; they are simply dialing it back to level the gameplay. 

There were adjustments to shotguns as well. Increasing the range of the buckshot and slightly increasing the amount of time between shotgun pumps. Again, balancing the field. Players will find that especially helpful against the pump action shotgun and the DBS

Vehicles 

So, let’s talk first about the one that’s going away before we talk about the one that’s coming. 

PUBG is taking away the sidecar motorcycle due to its low use. Players weren’t choosing to use it often, and the developers took notice. From personal experience, I can tell you it was one of my least favorite vehicles. Sure, it had speed and was better than walking, but it also was very hard to turn and was easy to be shot out of the vehicle by a teammate, only to hear them say, “I didn’t know I could do that” … true story. 

PUBG has been adding vehicles or tweaking vehicles’ performance on almost every new season update or random patch notes for the last couple of years. This patch update is no different. For the Rondo map exclusively, PUBG is introducing a new fully electric bus called the Pico Bus, which can seat you and up to five others. Oddly enough, unless you’re in an arcade-style game, you’re limited to a party of four. So there’s that … 

Newly Introduced Pico Bus

However, I am curious how often a fully electric bus that requires recharging at randomly planted recharge stations will be used. The teams I play with use the Miramar bus sparingly because it doesn’t have the desired speeds. Will this electric bus on Rondo be any different? Only time will tell. 

No other vehicles were noted as being changed. 

Gameplay 

The biggest changes of note in patch 28.1 are the additions of assisted climbing and vaulting. You will now be able to assist your teammates and be assisted by your teammates to reach those hard-to-reach places. One teammate can help vault the other to the top of the desired location; once there, the first player can reach down and offer their hand to help pull you up. 

New Vaulting, Lifting Feature

This mechanic will be very interesting, and I can see it coming in very handy for climbing to those heights you may not have been able to reach and getting to those fantastic sniper perches you’ve always wanted to visit. 

The only other real thing for gameplay to take note of is the change of available weapons and items at the Rondo markets. First aid packs and energy drinks have been added, which will be great for those rounds when all you seem to find are battle coins but not the boosters you need. Also updated are the weapons available in the market with available weapons dealers. The 9mm Vector has been removed, and the QBZ, AKM, M249, UMP45, Micro Uzi, and S12K have all been added. 

The bonus of the weapons change is that it allows greater versatility for the player who has the coins but not the guns they want. They can change that with a simple transaction at the Rondo weapons market unless they are looking for a Vector. That will have to be found out in the wild. 

That change that wasn’t made. 

Yet another patch note has come, and the change I hope to have been addressed has not been. One of the biggest issues that face the game is the poor map rotations. 

At any given time, four to five maps are available for play in the rotation for that play week. Certain maps are given higher percentages of being used than others. Now, the concept is fine, but the reality is that the percentage plan just doesn’t work. There may be five maps available, but you can get stuck in a loop where you play the same map repeatedly. There have been times when my squad has all left the game and rebooted it, even after restarting lobbies and trying to fix that issue. 

Krafton needs to fix its map rotation issue. How? Perhaps a map voting system. Give all players in the lobby the choice of three maps. You may get maps multiple times in a row still, but at least it’s the will of the players, not the luck of the draw. Call of Duty World War II has had that system and other games for some time now. You can vote for the map you like, and if it’s a map you don’t enjoy that wins the lobby vote, you can always just leave the lobby. Map voting would add at least two minutes of time before the plane flies in, but I think it would be a viable answer to an issue and one that many players would back. 

Or, simply give all the maps the same percentage and see if that will remove the possibility of one map being dominant in the chances of being picked for play. If that were the case, then resetting the lobbies would be a more effective and realistic way to combat the issue of map repetition. 

The good, the bad, and the ugly 

Truth be told, there isn’t much to get excited about with these patch notes. There are minimal changes to gameplay, some decent changes to guns, and the removal of a bike that no one uses. I’m not sure about the addition of the electric van. No one will recharge that vehicle, just like they don’t refuel the gas cars. Just find a new one, dump the old one, and keep playing. 

Maybe the bigger changes and the change I most want will appear in the rumored PUBG 2, reportedly to be announced in March ahead of the Krafton IPO Meeting. Maybe that will include the map change and the rumored story mode. Personally, I think I would enjoy the option of a story mode. PUBG has hinted at that with cinematics involving Miramar and Sankhook maps, but nothing ever really came of it. 

If you want to discuss this more with me, just join our inner circle – HERE. We saved you a seat on the couch, so come and talk nerdy with us! 

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