If you’ve noticed gunshots sounding differently in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds recently, you’re not alone and you’re not going crazy.
PUBG Corp. recently made a pretty substantial change to how audio works in the game—and the developer completely neglected to tell players about it.
“Some of you have noticed that we made some changes to the way sound works in PUBG’s most recent patch,” PUBG Corp. said in a blog post today. “First things first: We should have explained the change in the patch notes. We messed up here, and we hope you’ll accept our apology.”
PUBG recently received updates at the end of April and in the middle of May, but neither of those update’s patch notes said anything about the changes to audio.
“Many of you have called us out about not being thorough enough about documenting changes in the patch notes, and rightfully so,” said PUBG Corp. “It’s something we’re going to try our best to fix going forward, and you guys should absolutely continue to hold us accountable when we miss something. We can and will do better.”
The change made has to do with the Head Related Transfer Function (HTRF) plugin, which previously only affected sounds related to movement, explosions, and empty cartridges. This meant that you could generally tell where gunshots were being fired from on your left and right, but it was more difficult trying to differentiate between them from the front or back of your character.
PUBG Corp. provided short YouTube clips to demonstrate how the sounds have changed.
Opponent gunfire sounds from the same height:
Opponent gunfire sounds from below:
Opponent gunfire sounds from above
The developer said that it thinks the changes are a “big improvement,” but it has also heard early feedback that some of the sounds feel “weird” or “garbled.” PUBG Corp. said that it intendsto add some options to customize sound settings on a more granular level.
“Again, we apologize for not sharing details about this change earlier,” PUBG Corp. said. “Going forward, we plan on doing dev letters like this before we make any major changes to game systems.”