Surviving Sanhok

Sanhok is the newest map for Playerunknown: Battlegrounds. One of its unique aspects is its smaller size of 4 by 4 map tiles. Sanhok has been out for a while now and many players are having difficulty adapting to the changes it brings to the meta. Sanhok has a great number of differences compared to the 8 by 8 map tiles of both Erangel and Miramar.

The size difference and low amount of land mass create a much faster playing experience.  

The most striking differences between Sanhok and Erangel and Miramar are the size, Zone timing, Terrain and its loot distribution across the map. We’ll take a look at each of these factors and how your playstyle can be adjusted to take advantage of these new factors.



Here we can see that the largest island in Sanhok is actually about the size of the military base of Erangel. With how relatively small the map is traveling across the map is much easier to pull off during the timeframe of the match. Considering the mountainous terrain and plentiful trees around the island a vehicle can do more harm than good if you aren’t careful.

Despite some differences to the plane mechanics in Sanhok, barring a few extremes, almost any part of the map is accessible from any flight path. So, if you have a specific area that you feel works best for your playstyle, chances are you’re going to be able to land drop there every game. This also helps when you are learning the map. You can keep landing in the same position for each game and start building your mental map. And learn the ins and outs of the surrounding buildings, terrain, and the best rotations to make throughout the game.

Learning building and compound layouts like this makes you much faster at looting in your early game and can save minutes over the course of a game. You never know which door that level 3 vest is hiding behind, so the more buildings you can loot, the better.


Blue Zone Timings

The length of a match on Sanhok is substantially shorter than either of the 8×8 maps. Cutting a 30-minute match down to around 20 minutes-plus. To accommodate this, the period between blue zone changes is also much shorter, with the final circles being under 30 seconds each, giving barely enough time to pop a heal and move to your next engagement.

Considering 2 out of 3 of the available maps have one set of blue zone timings, and the other has much quicker timings., It’s very easy to underestimate just how little time you have to loot before needing to move, making playing the edges more hazardous. If you haven’t already developed the habit of periodically checking how much time you have left before the next circle., Sanhok is a way to sink or swim in terms of developing it.

To offset this change, the speed at which the zones close has been reduced, meaning that in most circumstances you’ll be able to outrun or at least keep pace with the enclosing blue circle. While this does allow more flexibility in taking engagements, allowing you to run and gun your way into safety, it also helps to develop proper planning and terrain management. For example, if you know that to move to the next circle you’re having to go either over or around a large hill, you may choose to set off earlier and go around rather than risk leaving it later and get caught by your reduced running speed up the hill. Speaking of hills…




The terrain of Sanhok is relatively similar regardless of where you go. You’ve either got trees, a hill, or trees with a hill. What this means is that you’re far less likely to be able to catch people out in the open as you could in the 8×8 maps, because there is almost always cover a few steps away. Befitting the jungle setting, this allows far more stalking than the other maps, as you too can use that cover to bob and weave out of view of your prey and other enemies. This helps to develop trigger discipline and more forethought and planning as you have only seconds to scout and secure the best path to your enemy.

With the lack of open terrain and the plentiful cover, you’re far more likely to find yourself in peek battles. While practicing your peeking is something to develop, it’s not the most consistent way to win engagements due to factors outside of your control such as server performance or ping. Instead, the terrain of Sanhok terrain is excellent for using your utility and rotations to create advantageous situations rather than a series of peeking battles.  Too many people feel the need to stand their ground and fight as soon as they’re in an engagement, even if they’re in a disastrous situation. Between the hills, large rocks, trees, and leaves, there’s no excuse for not finding a way to disengage from a fight and return when you’re in a stronger position.



Loot Distribution

Sanhok is all about equality and sets you up with end-game gear pretty much regardless of where you drop. The loot distribution around Sanhok is very generous compared to the other maps and the need to drop in named locations for guaranteed high-quality gear is not a necessity, in fact, it’s downright foolish.

In the previous maps, the balance of landing in popular, named locations on the map was that you were given a very good chance of getting high-quality gear, but would also have to compete with other players in order to get it. On Sanhok you can get that same gear in a smattering of huts far away from any other player, for almost zero risks. The rewards for landing in popular or named locations are no longer balanced, and if you’re out to consistently get to the late game they’re not the way to go on Sanhok.

It’s true that landing in named locations will still get you a higher chance of getting the gear you want than the huts, but unless you’re deep in the first circle, the chances of you having the time to actually loot a whole town are reduced. You’re just as likely to find most of what you need within the first 5-10 buildings you check whether you’re in a town or out in the jungle, so why take the risk?

Sanhok is built around a faster, more aggressive playing style, and it’s easy to get left behind if you play it the same way you did on the previous maps. Sanhok can be a playground for developing engagement and rotation methods and tactics you can transfer to the other maps, but it will take some adaptation to excel here.

Want more tips and tricks? Check out my other articles.