PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds devs typically use the Test Server to introduce new content to players and iron out any flaws or bugs with recent features. But PUBG Labs looks to push those experiments to the live servers for instant feedback.
Players will be able to drop into Labs, introduced in yesterday’s Update 5.2 notes, to test new content, features, and modes by selecting it in the live client’s menu. Labs will allow fans to have some agency on experimental features that may be farther down the line from development.
“Think of it as more of a place where we can experiment with new settings and features outside of the typical development cycle, some of which may be far down the road still, while giving you a way to chime in on what we’re doing before the design is finalized,” PUBG devs said.
One of the first experiments hitting Labs will be Skill Based Ratings, where hardcore players will be able to prove their worth and battle it out while climbing a ranked ladder. Casual players will be able to opt-out of this mode if they prefer to just have some fun with their friends.
Skill Based Ratings will follow a similar structure to Apex Legends’ ranked mode, where players earn or lose Ranked Points (RP) based on where they place in a match and how many kills they get. Players will complete five placement matches to determine which of the six tiers they’ll be placed in, from Bronze all the way to Master. And each mode, Solo, Duo, and Squad, will have a separate Skill Based Rating.
This new ranked system will make a large part of the PUBG player base happy since it’ll bring competitive and serious play to a game that’s failed to feature that in the past.
PUBG Labs and Skill Based Ratings are bound to have some hiccups along the way. But since they both will be heavily tested on the live servers, players are encouraged to offer feedback that developers can take into consideration to fix any glaring inconsistencies.
The introduction of Labs won’t affect or replace the Test Server, which is used for normal content updates and early patches. Labs will likely go live when Update 5.2 does.