There’s a new map coming to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and if you’re among the lucky ones chosen to try it out, you can test it now. “Savage” is currently live on the test servers, with its tropical location and condensed play area, but if you don’t have access to it yet, the good news is that you can still sign up to take the thing for a test drive before it goes into wide release. PUBG Corp. promises that there will be more codes going out in the coming weeks, and so if you want a shot at playing the thing, you should be keeping an eye on these two websites: this one, for the sign-ups, and this one, for info on the testing windows. When the developer is ready to give out new codes you’ll have to go and enter your email for a chance. And, as always, the thing will be going into wide release at some point, so there’s no need to fret.
One of the biggest differentiators between PUBG and chief competitor Fortnite Battle Royale, besides the obvious visual differences, is map size: PUBG’s maps are much bigger, and that means a slower, more deliberate pace that doesn’t force you into conflict nearly so often as in its wacky counterpart. And while that remains a key reason why some people like PUBG instead of Fortnite, it’s clear that PUBG could use a slightly more aggressive mode, especially given the demands of its new mobile platform. That’s the idea with Savage: like Fortnite, it’s designed to get you fighting quicker, to discourage campers and to lower the overall match length. Savage also comes with a jungle theme, which is a reasonably far departure from the bombed-out Eastern European and Northern Mexican maps currently in the game.
We’ll see how it all plays out as testing continues: one concern I have is the diffusion of gameplay if there are two distinct types of maps in the rotation instead of just the one. People hated Miramar when the developer added that, and while that map launched with a ton of problems it at least kept similar pacing to the original Erangel map. Savage is something very different, which complicates things. PUBG Corp. has expressed hesitation about a map select option in the past, mostly because the game has already effectively doubled its matchmaking load with first and third-person options, and adding in a map select could just continue to multiply the technical challenge from that perspective. No map select, however, means that people don’t really know what they’re getting into.