PUBG Devs Comment on Decision to Add Bots to Game

PUBG Season 7.1 update added bots to the game - outside of test servers and to the chagrin of fans.
PUBG Season 7.1 update added bots to the game - outside of test servers and to the chagrin of fans. / Photo courtesy of PUBG Corporation

In an effort to maintain transparency, the PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS developers took to both Reddit as well as the PUBG official Discord to interact with console fans who are rightfully concerned regarding the addition of bots to the game in the Season 7.1 update. In an effort to balance out the criteria for starting a match, especially in unpopular modes during off-hours, the developers looked to introduce bots to significantly speed up the time waiting to drop into a match.

This move was done alongside the promise - rare for developers such as PUBG Corporation to ever do so - to introduce a ranked/competitive mode alongside the inclusion of bots to balance out the playing field. Ranked mode will launch simultaneously - barring any hiccups - on PC and console later this season. 

While the devs have mentioned that the inclusion of bots within the game is strictly in order to boost the user experience in wait times, and helping to level up new players (in a way that many have considered hand-holding), many seasoned players have called it distracting, degrading to the overall game experience.

Bots Implementation

Joon H. Choi, lead project manager for the PUBG Console Team, has laid out in a developer’s newsletter from April 24 how bots will affect the flow and outcome of a match, how they will move around the map, and what impact they will have on looting. Conspicuously missing however was a detailed explanation of why they decided to include them from the beginning - and now it seems damage control is in full effect via Discord, Reddit, as well as social media.

The recent effort by the devs to communicate directly with concerned fans is admirable, although it might have been prudent to take the possibility of community blowback into account earlier during the announcement of Season 7

For now, players will have to wait and see exactly how bots impact the normal flow of matches and affect crossplay between Console/PC/Stadia, until Ranked/Competitive modes become available later this season. Expect more news regarding this in the weeks to come.