A recent update to the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ test servers has added vaulting and climbing. The game’s island is now part morbid death trap and part playground for extras in an 80s buddy cop movie.
I say that because vaulting in PUBG is almost exclusively about anxiously climbing over things the way you might if, like me, you have limited upper body strength. It’s less of a vault and more of a shimmy. It can’t feel good for the game’s character models given their world is constructed almost exclusively of sharp, pixelated edges.
Still, players are having a blast. People who have a tendency to camp inside houses in PUBG are especially vulnerable to the vault. What’s the point of huddling up opposite the main door when someone can vault through the window and pop you from behind? It’s harrowing for the victim but extremely satisfying for the person literally getting the jump on them.
Vaulting was announced earlier in this year, but its debut on the test server was delayed at the beginning of the month “due to some unexpected issues.” Climbing was introduced along with vaulting—the developers explained the difference as, “We internally use the term vaulting to describe the action that involves crossing over an obstacle while climbing refers to a motion that will cause the character to remain on top of it.”
The new character animations take what was mostly a flat battle arena and add a whole new layer of verticality. People can heave themselves over objects that aren’t too far off the ground (like a window ledge) but also climb higher if the surrounding environment fits together the right way. For instance, players have found a way to climb up to the second floor of one of the buildings in Sosnovka Military Base area.
Vaulting and jumping don’t just make spaces that once felt safe dangerous. One dude in a warehouse just went hog on people and by dipping in and out from around boxes.
No PUBG match would be complete without something strange happening, and adding vaulting physics, even as limited as these, has led some people to encounter some really weird glitches. At least for now, these new maneuvers comes with some risk attached to them.
It really is a brave new world in the land of PUBG, on the test servers at least. It’s unclear when these changes will make it to the game proper, although fans are already clamoring for them to be made permanent.