The original – and still the best – battle royale game is back with another season, and PUBG is into double figures. Season 10 is here, and we spent a lot of time in – and then quickly back out – of matchmaking to see what exactly is included in this new season.
However, before that: let it be known that Season 10 will forever be known as the season that I, bang-average-at-best PUBG player, Richard Dobson, got his first chicken dinner. Thank you to those that carried me!
Anyways, onto the details themselves and the big, banner announcement is a brand new map! Haven is a season exclusive map though, so you best jump on soon if you want to give it a try.
Definitely on the smaller side of PUBG maps, Haven is set within and around a disused steelworks factory. A maximum of 32 players can descend on the new map in either Duos or 1-Man Duos matches. But despite these close quarters, it is a densely packed map. A residential area to the south and mounds of coal in the middle can provide snipers with some great vantage points, but for those who prefer to play it safe there are plenty of good spots to hunker down in to the north.
Those 32 players will not be alone though in Haven…
A new AI faction known as the Pillar will be patrolling Haven from the air and on the roads. A scout helicopter will view the action from above; if it catches you it will inform the patrolling vehicle of your location. This is a bulletproof 4×4 with a gun-mounted on the top. If you see this, run. It cannot be defeated, so there is no shame in getting the hell out of there.
Other Pillar Guards will be present in Haven, and these will be guarding some sweet, sweet loot that, if you can get the better of its protectors, will sway the tide of the royale in your favour.
Haven – in comparison to other PUBG maps – is tiny. This means games finish quicker, and play a lot different to wider, more open maps. Truth be told, I am not fully sold on this format quite yet.
Of course, with any new season comes a new Survivor Pass, this time called Breakthrough. It comes with all the usual fare: skins for weapons, G-Coins and BP, survivor coupons and plenty of new clothing. This time around you can customise yourself to look like the lore characters and how they would appear in Haven, or you can disguise yourself as a member of Pillar should you reach the upper echelons of the Survivor Pass. Reach Level 14 of the Premium Pass though, and there are a shiny pair of tracksuit bottoms. They are widely inappropriate when trying to not draw attention to yourself but do make you look like you are in a 90’s hip-hop video. Naturally, I had to equip them.
Reach Level 25 however, and you can unlock a pair of Crocs. Who knew it would be a pair of Crocs that caused me to think that PUBG has jumped the shark?
Costume Presets have also finally been introduced, but with a massive caveat. Players have access to one preset – your default look. Four other slots are available but can only be unlocked for short periods of time up to 30 days using coupons. Coupons are awarded as you progress through the Survivor Pass or purchased using G-Coins. There doesn’t appear to be a way to open preset slots up permanently.
These are the banner additions to Season 10, but there are the usual tweaks and improvements also included. No new guns have been added this time, but you can find a host of Christmas-themed and New Year “Year of the Cow”-themed items in the store. Sanhok has received a bit of a colour palette rebalance, and Mastery Medals have been improved to be more meaningful. And for those that prefer the Team Deathmatch side of PUBG, you can now create your own spawn kits to launch into a game with after death. Default ones are still available however if you are spoilt for choice, or just indecisive.
All this, plus the fact you can now emote in the main menu whilst waiting for friends to join! My new Victory Dance 36 really psyches me and my squad up now before a match.
All jokes aside, PUBG Season 10 on Xbox feels good, but not great. Haven is a nice addition, but I will always prefer the larger maps over it. And being exclusive only to this season means I am less invested in it anyways, therefore less likely to play. It is, however, the first time I have properly jumped into a match on my Xbox Series X, and I am pleased that this console can handle the game a lot better than my previous Xbox One could. The other new additions such as Medal Mastery and updates to Team Deathmatch are fine, but are ultimately things I will never likely utilise. However, the ability to only rent preset slots is a big no from me; it screams ‘money making ploy’. For those that have been requesting it for a while, this is not the way they had envisaged it arriving.
PUBG is still an incredible game to play with friends, but aside from some new tracksuit bottoms, there isn’t anything added in Season 10 that I would deem necessary.
Huge thanks to the PUBG Corporation for giving us access to the Survivor Pass: Breakthrough and a G-Coins Pack. If you wish to pick them up for yourself then the Xbox Store will sort you out.