PUBG Season Nine is now live for all platforms and finally brings the game to Android via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate’s cloud streaming service. The biggest part of the update is the new map, Paramo, which features both an active volcano and a new “dynamic map” feature that is new to the title.
There have been improvements to Ranked Mode, the newest iteration of the Survivor Pass is shorter (but more accessible), and the game is now next-gen ready for day one play on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5. There’s a slew of other quality of life enhancements and mode improvements, so be sure to check out our breakdown below.
Set in the highlands of South America, Paramo is a 3×3 kilometer map featuring small villages and an active volcano that affects the environment. Touting a new “dynamic map” system, the developers state that players will need to adjust their strategy between every match, based on what the layout of the map looks like.
There are some specific rules to Paramo that set it apart even more, and as such it has been labeled a specific Seasonal Match. It is planned to only be available for Season Nine, and will not be a part of the current matchmaking pool. Bots are disabled, matches will not count for your Career > Stats, and the Battlestat feature will be disabled.
Some more gameplay-specific changes that set Paramo apart is that there are no Red Zones and the Blue Zone moves slower but deals more damage. Squads can only be played in Third Person Perspective (TPP). First-Person Perspective (FPP) is only supported in NA and EU regions. The only available vehicles are motorcycles, which you can find throughout the villages. The lava flow will destroy tires on your motorcycle, break down the vehicle, and deal physical damage, so stay clear.
Stepping directly into lava deals 10 damage per second, so it will be worth your while to strategize a different plan of attack depending on which layout of the map you land on. Paying attention to the environment is very important when it comes to Paramo, as there are no invisible walls at the end of the map, and if you travel too far out of bounds, you will die.
There are also some exclusive highland-themed items available only on the Paramo map, including a ghillie suit, full-body camo, and a backpack. Use a Critical Response Kit to revive a downed teammate in one second, and discover a “Secret Room Key” to unlock access to… something? It’s a mystery!
RANKED SOLO MODE
The introduction of Ranked Solo means that players no longer need to rely on others and can be recognized as the true lone wolf they are. Rules are the same as the other Ranked modes, but some minor changes have been made across the board. The points algorithm has been adjusted, and you earn 50% per kill and assist. MG3 has been added to Care Packages and sports vehicle spawn locations will now always spawn a vehicle.
One of the most noticeable changes is the pacing of Sanhok matches. The developers noticed that compared to other maps, the number of players who died in the Blue Zone during Phase 2 was very high. As such, the size and waiting time of Phase 2 on Ranked Sanhok matches has been extended, and the dynamic scaling mechanic based on the number of players alive has been removed. Note, this only applies to Ranked Sanhok matches.
SURVIVOR PASS: HIGHLANDS AND DLC
This season’s Survivor Pass is, predictably, based on the highlands of Paramo. But what makes this one a bit different than usual is that it’s only available for two months. To ensure everybody gets a fair shot at completion, it has also been reduced to only 50 levels of rewards. It is available for 990 G-Coin, with 1000 G-Coin collected as rewards, making it pretty worth your time to grab.
There’s also going to be at least four skin/item batches in the item shop, with Baseball themed items and Streamer (Thomas) available now. On November 4th we will get access to Doggy themed and “TBR – Batch 7” items. The Doggy theme has dog hoodies, so I am sold.
As always, there will be some new DLC packs available to purchase. There’s a couple of bonus pack options for the Survivor Pass that grant you additional cosmetic items and advancement levels. The first will be available from now until November 11, advances players up 20 levels of the Pass, and costs $24.99. The second will be available from now until December 9, advances players 5 levels of the Pass, and costs $14.99.
For $9.99, you can pick up the PUBG Gear Up Pack, which comes with 1,100 G-Coin, 5 levels, and the Shiba Crew Backpack – Level 1 item. Console-specific DLC is also available, with PlayStation users having access to the PlayStation Plus Drop Pack II. Free for PS Plus subscribers, players will get the Blue-sleeved Windbreaker, the Fire Axe 12010135, and [BATTLESTAT] Rip Tide – Beryl M762.
Xbox players are granted a bit more content. The October Horror Pack includes 20,000 BP, [BATTLESTAT] Rip Tide – SKS, and the very disturbing Bloody Nurse Skin Set. The Flower Child Pack includes the Flower Child Skin Set, Victory Dance 12, and 5 levels. Both packs are exclusive to Xbox platforms and are $19.99 (free for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.)
CUSTOM KEY BINDING
Perhaps the biggest quality of life feature added to PUBG is the ability to rebind keys how you see fit. First tested by the community during the August 2020 Open Dev program, the team has worked and reworked the feature since then based on feedback from players. Not all keys are customizable, but there is now an option in the System Menu to adjust your control scheme how you see fit.
With all of this content available, it seems like Season Nine of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS is sure to be an interesting one. While we’re not sure if it’s been shortened as a build-up to the notable Season Ten, we’re certainly excited to melt into some lava. You can check out the entire changelog over at PUBG.com, and drop into a match on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, iOS, Android, and Google Stadia today.