What's Coming In PUBG: Season 8 (Update 8.1)
PUBG Season 8 is set to release on July 22. In anticipation of the new season, PUBG Corp unveiled the Update 8.1 patch notes. Update 8.1 focuses on the Sanhok Remaster, a complete overhaul of the 2-year-old map. Additionally, the launch of Season 8 will bring a new Survivor Pass, Ranked Mode balance adjustments, performance/optimization fixes and more.
Let’s get into the details.
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According to the developers, the goal of the rework is to make Sanhok “feel more like a forgotten, overgrown paradise while addressing some of the most glaring balance issues we’ve seen over the last couple of years.”
In satisfying this goal, the developers made major adjustments to pretty much the entire map. 13 POIs in total were altered. Some locations were completely replaced by new POIs and others received minor changes. We’ll go over the key landmark changes below:
Bootcamp is the iconic hot drop of Sanhok. In Season 8, the location will feel familiar, but also wildly different. Bootcamp will now possess longer sightlines to promote long-range engagements. The cover players are familiar with remains, it’s just been rearranged. Additionally, underground areas have been added to Bootcamp for players in search of close-quarters action. The changes aim to offer a much wider variety of ways to approach each confrontation.
The old Quarry was one of the more unique locations in all of PUBG. However, it has always been a bit imbalanced. In Season 8, there will be larger stone block formations. These will provide additional cover and the opportunity for plenty of high ground vs. low ground engagements. Another notable addition to Quarry is bridges. It was frustrating to always need to walk around or through the massive Quarry. Now, players can cross bridges to transverse the POI.
Airfield (Previously Mongnai)
The Mongnai location has been replaced by Airfield. Mongnai was pretty desolate, so the developers added some incentives to encourage more players to land here. As the name would suggest, Airfield will be home to the Motor Glider. This will be the only location on the map Motor Glider’s can spawn. If you’re an aspiring pilot, Airfield is for you.
Getaway (Previously Docks)
Like Mongnai, Docks has been replaced with a new POI. Docks were too out of the way for the poor loot it offered. In Season 8, Docks has been transformed into a resort town paradise titled Getaway. Getaway features poolside bars, a dance club and a boardwalk.
The problem with Ruins is that the area surrounding it is barren. Anyone leaving or walking around is at a severe disadvantage. Season 8 will fix this by turning Ruins into a true labyrinth. Filled with massive towers and ancient buildings, the new and improved Ruins are a thing of beauty.
The Mountain location on Sanhok was a cool idea on the surface, but the gameplay implications were unforgiving. Players up above when the blue zone approached were often left with no way down. This led to certain death. Vice versa, players caught below rotating into the Mountain were almost always left for dead. Season 8 adds new pathways around the Mountain. This will give players below and above a chance to escape.
Cave has been adjusted more for aesthetics than gameplay. Its iconic vertical pool drop remains unchanged. However, there is now a subterranean temple inside the Cave.
One of the issues with Sanhok was its lack of options for crossing the River. Originally, swimming through the water was often the only way across. Plus, there was almost no cover to protect traveling players. In Season 8, the River will be fitted with more bridges and cover on the bridges and around the River’s banks.
Pai Nan / Khao / Sahmee / Kampong
These four towns have all received minor changes. The changes range from added verticality, new things to explore and other adjustments to keep battle interesting.
The Bhan name remains, but the unique location as players know it has been removed. In its place, a normal set of houses has been added. The developers defend this move by suggesting that Bhan’s distinctive features will be focused elsewhere on the map. The traditional houses will keep the area simple and allow players to loot and defend more easily.
A major new feature of Season 8 will be Loot Trucks. Loot Trucks add to the risk vs reward aspect of PUBG, similar to the way Care Packages do. Starting in Season 8, Loot Trucks will spawn in the many garages around the map. The heavily armoured trucks will drive around the roads of the map. Players brave enough to challenge these machines will be awarded high-tier loot, including exclusive weapons. Up to four Loot Trucks spawn at the beginning of the match and a new truck will spawn after one is destroyed. A max of eight Loot Trucks can appear in a single match.
Survivor Pass: Payback
The Survivor Pass is PUBG’s version of a battle pass. Season 8 brings with it some changes to the Survivor Pass.
The Community, Progression and Beginner Mission tabs have been removed. All missions will be available at the Season launch, instead of releasing them monthly as PUBG has done in the past. Completing the four types of Sanhok missions will reward four unique weapon skins.
A new group of missions called Challenge Missions has arrived. There will be 16 total Challenge Missions based on survival. These will reward exclusive face covers/camos. Additionally, Survivor Pass XP has been reworked in a player-friendly manner.
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Gas Can Improvements
The Gas Can has received major adjustments to make it more useful. The buffs are as follows:
- Fuel now blends much better into the environment making it more difficult to spot.
- Fuel now splatters in puddles so once it's lit, the flaming area is similar to that of a Molotov
- You can now equip Gas Cans in the melee weapon slot.
- Spilt fuel can be set on fire with gunshots, Molotovs, and grenade explosions.
- Fire deals the same damage as a Molotov but burns longer (~20 seconds).
- Spilt fuel evaporates in about 3.5 minutes.
- You can also throw the Gas Cans the same way as melee weapons (aim, then press attack), which causes it to release some fuel upon landing, making it easier to ignite and explode.
- Gas Cans cannot be picked up or reused after being thrown, but can still explode.
- Changes to Gas Can explosions:
- Deals less initial damage. Max 40 dmg, which scales down with distance from the explosion.
- Now sets the nearby area on fire like a Molotov, dealing damage over time
Season 8 means a new Ranked season. Vikendi has been added to the map pool and all player ranks and leaderboards will be reset. The developers have made a plethora of adjustments to how rank is calculated based on player feedback from Season 7.
There have also been changes to the Ranked Mode ruleset. Take note of the following:
- Item Spawns
- M249 and DBS are now world spawns in small numbers.
- Mosin-Nagant is now spawned on Erangel and Vikendi.
- A small number of Crossbows now spawn in the world.
- Vehicles can now spawn in the Esports hard spawn locations.
- However, in Ranked Mode, there is not a 100% chance they spawn in those locations.
- Motor Gliders now spawn in Ranked.
- Motor Glider is only spawned on Erangel and Miramar.
- Motor Glider will have a small amount of fuel-ready in the tank upon spawning.
- Vehicles can now spawn in the Esports hard spawn locations.
- Flare Gun
- You can no-longer call in the BRDM-2 with a Flare Gun.
Performance and Sound
Next, we have what PUBG players desire the most. Not new maps, not weapons or skins, but optimization. It’s a well-known fact that PUBG struggles with performance and optimization. Well, Season 8 claims to bring along some much-needed fixes to performance. The patch notes list multiple improvements to optimization, resulting in improved CPU performance. It remains to be seen if these changes will work, but it's a step in the right direction. Hopefully, we have a much cleaner and tighter game in Season 8.
To top it off, footstep audio has been completely redesigned. While somewhat general, the notes claim that players can expect enhanced quality and detail of sound in Season 8.
Finally, what everyone’s been waiting for — new cosmetics. Season 8 will provide a dose of brand new skins and items.
Starting August 5, the following cosmetic items will be available for purchase:
- Starfairy Weapon Set
- Starfairy – Vector
- Starfairy – SCAR-L
- Starfairy – AWM
- Corgi Helmet Set
- Corgi Crew – Helmet (Level 1)
- Corgi Crew – Helmet (Level 2)
- Corgi Crew – Helmet (Level 3)
- Corgi Backpack Set
- Corgi Crew Backpack (Level 1)
- Corgi Crew Backpack (Level 2)
- Corgi Crew Backpack (Level 3)
Images via PUBG Corporation