Learning the Terrain of Erangel
Erangel can be difficult; even before you throw in the wacky vehicle physics and difficult terrain. How many times have highlights been posted of cars doing somersaults through the air or motorcycles tossing their occupants like a bucking bronco?
While not nearly as entertaining, a lot of these disasters can be avoided by having an awareness of the terrain you’re going to be crossing, and how to move accordingly.
Traveling the In-Between Areas
Today we’re taking a look at the in-between areas of Erangel. Those half-way points between the edges and the center that you’ll often find yourself moving through in order to reach the next circle; and possibly at great speed if the blue zone is already closing in on you.
We begin with a look at the south-west side of the island. You’ll be moving through this area if you’ve landed on the western beaches, Gatka, Primorsk, or Georgopol. The area has a very clean divide of rough (red on map) and smooth (blue on map) areas that both lead you in and out of the center of the island.
Traveling in the Blue
If you have a vehicle it’s going to be far safer moving through the blue zone, as this is home to flatter ground with fewer obstructions. The terrain is made mostly of fields with a few buildings scattered throughout, allowing you a rest stop when needed. This is ideal for vehicle travel but leaves you wide open to attack if you’re moving on foot due to a lack of cover.
Traversing the Red
The red zone, on the other hand, has marshlands, steep elevation, and very uneven terrain. Moving through here with a vehicle is possible, but is a great deal slower and more dangerous. The marshlands to the west will slow most vehicles to the point that getting out and running is almost faster. If you do find yourself having to move through the marshlands, it will be quicker to drive around it rather than go straight through.
What this area does host is a great deal of cover for those moving on foot, which is helpful with the high vantage point of the Quarry being so close by. If you can keep yourself among the trees you can remove visibility for any would-be snipers and move to safer ground.
The north-west area of the island is more straightforward than the south-west. This area generally sees less play in early game. You’re unlikely to move through here unless you’ve landed in Zharki or Severny; two of the less popular drop sites on the map.
Still, there’s every chance you’ll end up here late game and that is actually what the area is perfect for. The area consists mostly of dense forest with a gradual elevation that peaks around the Plane Crash area.
The area is actually fairly easy to move through both in vehicles and on foot. There are a couple of hills around the west side where you’ll need to slow down as you reach the top in your car or bike, but it’s never a surprise.
Most of the area has a slow ascent with enough space between trees to navigate without issue. On foot you can use the trees for cover, moving from one to the next and using that handy freelook to check for enemies.
South-east Erangel is mayhem, just look at the colors! As with the south-west, red indicates rough terrain, with blue being smooth. Not only is most of the area rough, but moving through it you’re almost guaranteed to be swapping smoother ground at a moment’s notice, forcing you to take a slower journey to ensure safety.
The area around the Woodcutter Camp is by far the least vehicle-friendly, with very steep elevation, an abundance of trees, and rocky terrain. This is particularly irritating as the roads around Mylta Power have excellent vehicle spawns.
You’re almost certain to have to take the longer routes around rather than through. Either risking your neck going through Mylta town or heading north towards Lipovka and Prison. Neither are particularly safe options and yet they’re better than trying to get a Dacia through the Woodcutter Camp
The Western Red Areas
The rough red areas to the west are more forgiving, but still not ideal. Labeled on the map as the Pochinki Hills they are just that, hills. If you’re approaching in a vehicle you have limited visibility because to the elevation. With the noise your vehicle is making, anyone who is moving through the area on foot can easily get the jump on you. If you can, stick to the roads or ditch your vehicle if you’re trying to get traverse the area.
The smooth blue areas have the same issues as the south-west, with limited cover and wide open sightlines. The northern blue areas around Mansion and Yasnaya Polyana are particularly bad for different reasons.
The Mansion area has very few trees, buildings, or inclines, making going on foot a suicide mission; having a vehicle is a necessity. While the Yasnaya area does have a huge number of hay bales that can be used for cover, the area is very difficult to move through in a vehicle. With the addition of the high-rise buildings of Yasnaya so close, it makes going on foot a bad idea. There’s a decent chance someone can see you moving and pin your squad down.
Compared to the south-east, Stalber is incredibly easy to understand, despite its rocky terrain. Naturally, the area has an elevation reaching its peak at Stalber; but it’s by no means an easy journey.
The closer you get to Stalber the more likely it is to come across sheer ascents that require tremendous vehicle speed or some mountaineering skills. Moving through here in a vehicle is possible, but requires caution.
With a Vehicle
It’s possible to get from one side of Stalber to the other without heading too far up the mountain, and staying around the Yasnaya Compound’s level of elevation. However, you’re still announcing your location to anyone within earshot, and they know you’re going to have to slow down for certain sections. If you have to get through here in a vehicle, do it quickly, staying as low as you can.
On foot, those sheer ascents can provide excellent cover and effectively shield you from 180 degrees of danger. The rocky terrain and uneven ground make it excellent for longer engagements. The unevenness allows you to flank or stalk your opponent over time, rather than being forced into an immediate fight.
There’s a huge amount of downtime in PUBG; sitting in the plane, diving down to your drop, mindlessly moving through buildings for loot. These are all opportunities for you to plan your next move.
It isn’t enough to just know where you want to go next, how you’re getting there is also key. Familiarity with the local terrain will allow you to choose the route that is going to work best for you.