PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has an idler problem. That much is certain. How bad the problem actually is seems to be in the eye of the beholder
Idlers are players who drop into games, only to sit around doing nothing in hopes of slowly accumulating Battle Points, PUBG‘s in-game currency. Ever since the game added rare cosmetic loot that can fetch a pretty penny on Steam’s community marketplace, their numbers have been on the rise. These days, it isn’t uncommon to see four or five of them in any given match, though I’ve heard stories of that number ballooning all the way up to 12.
Now, PUBG is a 100-player game, so you might never encounter an AFK patty cake circle even if there is one in your match, but it’s still annoying to realise five to 10 per cent of the players you’re up against aren’t even playing. It kills tension and diminishes your accomplishments.
The good news is, PUBG developer Bluehole has acknowledged that idlers are an issue, and it’s planning to do something about them. But the particulars of how it will accomplish this are, like so many combatants parachuting into an island slaughterfest, still up in the air.
“We are aware of that happening,” producer Chang-Han Kim told PC Gamer, “and we have the team working to analyse what’s actually going on there. But from what we are aware of right now, we know that the portion of players that are AFK-ing just to earn BP isn’t that high.”
He added that the team will “definitely” address the issue, but they’re still not sure whether that will mean shifting the balance of BP earned to more heavily prioritise action over inaction, or whether the team will more directly try to prevent people from going AFK for long periods of time.
Regardless of what the dev team ends up deciding to do, it sounds like idlers won’t be getting the boot and/or frying pan for a little while yet.