In a bold move to put myself out of work, today we’re going to discuss how to approach reviewing your demos if you want to improve. It’s important to note that the focus here is you or your team’s own mindset. A common trap players fall into when they review their demos is to look at the enemy’s movements and adapt to counter that. This only works if you can be sure the enemy is going to make that move most games, something generally limited to playing the same team you’re reviewing (as you’d expect in tournament or league play).
Understanding The Circle
In a game with as many simultaneous elements as PUBG it’s far too easy to discard a death as something outside of your control, but there is something to be learned from every death if you’re looking for it. For example, you drop and loot only to find the circle is on the opposite side of the map to you and you have no vehicle in sight. In your lengthy jog through the dessert or jungle you find yourself picked apart by a DMR or your head instantly removed courtesy of a bolt-action rifle. Many players would chalk this up to ‘bad RNG’ and move on to the next game, but there is much to dissect here.
The circle was on the opposite side of the map to you, that is totally out of your control, but if you’re landing on the edge of the map this is a risk you need to be aware of and you need to prioritize a vehicle for this exact situation. If you find yourself repeatedly without a vehicle when you do these edge drops then you need to adapt and start going more central until you’re familiar enough with the vehicle spawns to be able to risk the map edges.
Vehicles and Angles
So you’ve landed and there’s no vehicle in sight, bad luck again? No, it’s your job to scout for a vehicle as you’re dropping, and direct your flight path over the most consistent vehicle spawns such as major roads. It’s far better to land further away from your intended drop with a vehicle and drive to it than to drop where you want and spend who knows how long hunting for a vehicle.
If you have no vehicle and you’re nowhere near the circle, you have no choice but to run, so how do you prevent yourself from getting sniped? The answer is if you’re in this situation you’ve already made several mistakes to get here, prevention is better than treatment, but sometimes treatment is necessary. Avoiding getting shot in the face comes down to angle isolation, as you’re moving on foot you have to work with the terrain around you, and ideally path yourself towards the most beneficial terrain that doesn’t leave you open to getting shot in the face because there is either physical or visual cover every few steps. It’s unlikely this person was stalking you across the map, and far more likely you’ve run through an open space and left yourself vulnerable to gunfire.
Location and Positioning
Another common pitfall is looking at demos through the rose-tinted glasses of both hindsight and seeing the enemy’s location. Saying “I should have moved north because that’s where the enemy was” is terrible feedback because that’s not something you knew in the game. Instead, you should ask why didn’t you know someone was to your north and what steps could you have taken to gain that information.
This leads you to break down the position you were holding and analyze its usefulness. Did the position allow you to see to the north, or at least push north for that information safely? If not, then was there another position nearby that you could have held which would have allowed you to do so? If there were no viable positions around your location, then why did you move here? This then leads you to break down your rotations and why you chose this path because the game didn’t force you to go there, your own decisions brought you to this point.
If you’re playing in a consistent duo or squad it can be hugely beneficial to record your communication alongside a game and do a group review (or saddle your poor in-game leader with the job). Hearing what a player has communicated to you and seeing what was on their screen can help find any holes or flaws in how information is being shared between you thanks to a second pair of eyes (and ears). What’s important here though is not pointing fingers and saying that a teammate is doing something wrong, because that just breaks up teams. Instead, the focus should be on improving, not being right or wrong but getting better while building on the foundations that are already there.
While finding areas for improvement is the goal of a demo review, it’s just as important to recognize what’s already being done well and to maintain that level of skill. This could be as straightforward as finding the time to practice spray patterns, but it can be more complex such as recognizing key rotation choke points on maps and how to avoid or exploit them. While it’s important not to rest on your laurels and say “I’m already good at this, no need to practice” framing it instead as a strong area that you also need to work to maintain will create a more positive association and feel like less of a chore.
Even in a demo that could be dismissed as a game with bad luck or bad RNG, there are steps to minimize a disadvantageous situation you find yourself in through your own action. It’s not the game’s fault, the game doesn’t care, you make your own luck and it’s up to you to make it good or bad.
Want more tips and tricks? Read more PUBG articles here.
Imagery credits: www.flickr.com/photos/whelsko/