135 days later, PUBG has not received the new Arcade modes that were promised. Will they ever be delivered?
It has been 135 days since two “Coming Soon” tabs were added to the PUBG Arcade. In the time since there has been no word on what these new modes will be and when we can expect them. The community is starting to ask questions. Will they ever add new Arcade Modes? And should they?
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of Arcade, potential concepts for new Arcade modes and when players can expect to finally see these new modes.
New Arcade modes could breathe fresh life into a game that is struggling with player retention. Battle Royale games are not for everyone; especially one so focused on tactical realism. New players can find themselves spending 10-20 uneventful minutes in a single game, just to get one-shot in the back of the head unexpectedly. PUBG can be harsh and punishing for the uninitiated.
For the above reasons, Arcade was born. The goal of Arcade is to provide players with an opportunity to relax and take the game less seriously in some more casual modes.
More Arcade modes could lure casuals and non-BR players into the PUBG world. Some people may find that they like the PUBG gameplay, just not the Battle Royale formula. Additionally, these modes could offer practice for new players — the reason bots were introduced in the first place. A less serious environment with no consequences for death would be a welcome alternative to the widely unpopular AI bots.
New Arcade Mode Concepts
As far as the modes themselves, a bunch of interesting ideas have been tossed around in the community. On the big team mode side, a 50 vs. 50 mode could be just what the casual fan base needs. 50 vs. 50 would maintain the massive warzone feel of traditional PUBG without the strict intensity. This game type was a hot addition to Fortnite.
PUBG players have discussed the return of the Fantasy Battle Royale mode held over the week of April Fools. This mode was a fun twist on the traditional BR mode. Players could choose from four classes such as Wizard, Barbarian and Paladin. Each class came with unique equipment and/or spells.
A Racing mode could fit perfectly into PUBG. The game is loaded with tons of different vehicles. Throw players into a vehicle and have them race to a finish line or participate in a sort of demolition derby. A mode like this would be a great change-of-pace and surly draw in new and old players alike.
Finally, classic game types such as Capture the Flag and Domination would be a welcome addition. These types of game modes have stood the test of time and been featured in shooters for ages. Adding them to the PUBG Arcade would be a safe choice.
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Opposers of new Arcade modes argue that the PUBG developers should focus on improving the existing mode. Right now, 8 vs. 8 Team Deathmatch is the only available Arcade mode. As it stands, 8 vs. 8 has some blatant issues.
For one, there is no create-a-class system such as the one available in PUBG Lite. An Arcade mode should allow players to test out new setups and loadouts in a practice-like environment. A create-a-class system would add infinite replayability to the Arcade playlist. Allowing players to choose whatever guns and attachments they’d like could massively improve the popularity of Arcade. This addition would give hardcore players a reason to visit Arcade.
Another argument is that instead of working on new modes, the developers should work on improving the overall system. For example, allow players to participate in Arcade while in queue for the standard and Ranked modes. Ranked queues can take as long as 20 minutes to pop during off-peak times. Overwatch gives players the option of participating in skirmishes, free-for-alls and training while in the queue. Repurposing Arcade to work in a similar fashion would be a massive QoL improvement.
Finally, a very legitimate concern some players have is that more modes would further split the playerbase. The result would be even longer queues and more bots. Right now, we have Ranked Squads, Solos, Duos and Squads for both third-person perspective and first-person, Arcade, plus the occasional option of queuing by map. Also, Ranked Solos and Duos are constantly being requested. So many different queue options split the playerbase between modes and make it increasingly difficult to completely fill the lobby. This is a big reason why AI bots have become so prevalent. Adding additional Arcade modes would be counterintuitive and further exacerbate this problem.
Developers Comment on the Missing Modes
So what will the PUBG development team end up doing? In a Reddit post discussing the lack of Arcade updates, an official PUBG Game Designer commented,
“As much as I'd like to drop a mysterious teaser comment on things like this, it really wouldn't be a cool thing to do to our guys who put their time into making promo materials since it would lower the surprise impact factor of such announcements. It's also kind of rough on our teams who work directly on big showy features for someone else who isn't on that team to publicly put pressure on them to release something that hasn't been announced yet.
All I can really say here is that these placeholders aren't for show, we are actively discussing, trying out, and building new stuff that could show up here. When that would be and what it would look like is something you'll just have to wait and see.”
Unfortunately, this doesn’t really give us anything. The post can be summed up by “wait and see”. The developer basically says that they are actively testing out ideas for new modes and plan to add them eventually, but there is nothing concrete enough to share publicly.
PUBG Season 8 is set to drop on July 22. According to reputable PUBG leakers, Season 8 will exceed expectations and is “way more than [anyone] would expect.”
Could these details include new Arcade modes? Based on how long it's been since we last received an update, it’s certainly possible. For now, we will have to take the Developer’s word on it and just “wait and see”.
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Images via PUBG Corporation