PUBG Update 5.2: Spike Traps, PUBG Labs, Vikendi Update, and more

Courtesy of PUBG Corp.
Courtesy of PUBG Corp. /

Update 5.2 introduces a variety of new features to the battlegrounds, each of which has the PUBG community excited as this update hits test servers today, before ultimately making its way to live servers.

PUBG‘s update delivers new and exciting items to the player base, including the previously teased Spike Trap item, something that I’m extremely excited to see used in-game. Though I’m most excited about what I believe to be the most important aspect of Update 5.2, PUBG Labs.

PUBG Labs is going to help gather important feedback on hopeful items and adjustments being made to the game. This will not replace the current test servers, which aren’t used for more than a week before a new patch goes live. Rarely have we seen the test servers used to experiment with new ideas and changes to the game, however now the option will be easily accessible for all players.

In Update 5.2, PUBG Labs will test the all-new ‘Skill-Based Rating’ system, something that we’ve heard has been in the works for some time now. As I mentioned, PUBG Labs is simply how this system is being tested and is not the new “ranked” mode many initially believed it was. Regardless, I’m thankful that PUBG is beginning to test a new system to measure player skill. More information regarding PUBG Labs and the company’s intentions with it can be found here, in a dev letter discussing the new feature.

Hopefully, the team plans to implement a “ranked mode” based on the feedback they receive during this test, supported with settings that match S.U.P.E.R. (Standard and Universal PUBG Esports Ruleset) currently used in their esport leagues. PUBG Labs has the potential to benefit every player’s experience if utilized correctly, which is why I believe this is the most important thing coming in Update 5.2.

This update allows players to get their hands on that vehicle spike strip teased in the recent Season 5 trailer. Anticipated but not included in the initial Season 5 release, the new “Spike Trap” will allow players to place a vehicle immobilizing spike strip on the ground, similar to those used by police in car chases. This is something new and exciting for players to test out, and I’m excited that they haven’t limited this item to one map like they’ve done in the past with specific weapons.

The Spike Trap is placed on the ground where it cannot be moved once placed, the item will also disappear once it’s punctured the tires of one vehicle. The item won’t harm the overall health of the vehicle, which is good to know, but I wish they were retrievable and able to be used multiple times.

In my opinion, a much-needed update has been made to the snowy tundra of Vikendi. This map is loved by some, despised by others, and I’ve always found myself directly in the middle of those opinions. I think Vikendi is one of the most unique and refreshing maps PUBG has rolled out, at the same time, I believe there are many aspects of the map that make it an automatic re-queue if you’re not in the mood. However, in Update 5.2, PUBG appears to have addressed many of the issues that players have with the map. Having already toned down the brightness of the map to help better spot enemy players in the previous update, the team has now tackled a couple of the other inconveniences players face while playing the map.

First and foremost, the map has received new roads to assist in the movement of players while hopefully decreasing the number of spin-outs across the frozen hills. This alone wouldn’t have made anyone happy because a reoccurring gripe amongst the player base was that there aren’t enough vehicle spawns throughout the map. Thankfully, the team has also increased the number of vehicles spawns including an adjustment to their location to help players locate some transportation. Leaving early for the zone is nice and all, but I can’t count the number of times teammates and I were simply unable to locate a single vehicle to make our way into the zone.

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Synonymous with the sniper duels that will breakout between neighboring compounds, Adjustments have also been made to a handful of cities that may not have been visited as frequent due to their complex layout or lack of loot. This provides players with more options when selecting a location to land as a team. Other adjustments include a tweak to safe and blue zones, including more randomness of safe zone circles, faster early phase blue zones, and increased size of early safe zones.

As for gameplay, a new feature will allow players to add waypoints on the map for teammates to see. So instead of one specific point on the map, you’re now able to place up to four connecting points on the map for easier direction of your team. This is something I can’t wait to use because if you’re typically the one calling the shots in your team, you’ve had to spam the waypoint when explaining a route you want the team to take.

Update 5.2 is loaded with many more adjustments and new features, so be sure to read the patch notes for yourself here.