Enjoying Battle Royales By Dodging Every Fight

Image: YouTube

Every battle royale game has them: the areas of a map that, regardless of the orientation of the dropship/flying bus/airplane, will always be hot. PUBG has the school; Apex Legends has the supply ship.

And for some people, that's the excitement of battle royale games - fighting from the off and collecting the best equipment from the corpses left over. Others, particularly those less confident in their aim, prefer another method: crouching, crawling and creeping along the quietest corners of the map, avoiding contact by all means necessary.

It's a style that was especially prevalent when PUBG was at the height of its popularity. Movement is slower in PUBG and being exposed is infinitely more dangerous. So for players that were less confident in their aim, or simply wanted a game that didn't end in the first few minutes, proning through a series of bushes, rocks, and swamps became a common way of making it to the final 10.

There are plenty of tactical advantages to this: you've got a greater lionshare of loot in areas of the map that are less occupied. You're also more likely to have a better spread of loot across the entirety of your team. And, most crucially, starting the game on the far exterior of the map makes it a lot easier to gauge whether enemy squads or teams are behind you, which helps positioning for the final stage of the game.

But these are just bonuses. For the people who prefer this purely passive approach to battle royale games, the real advantage is simply being able to avoid a fight for as long as humanly possible.

While I've always been more of the reckless type, even when I was playing games like Counter-Strike competitively, the scaredy cat approach has been the most dominant playstyle across the several hundred hours I've put into battle royales with my friends.

It's partially out of convenience. My partner, who plays shooters regularly with me now, didn't grow up using mouse and keyboard controls. And neither did a friend of ours, who we teamed up regularly with. But PUBG was basically impossible to play with a controller, at least when it was still in early access on PC.

So by nature, we adopted a more passive approach. Where are places we could find good loot? What's the shortest edge of the circle to where the ring is now - can we get there in time? Where can we hear the other squads, and how can we make sure we don't get caught in their crossfire?

Our entire playstyle developed around this. But as we became more accustomed to the pace of PUBG and my comrades started to find their footing more, we continued to favour the quiet approach. Getting one or two kills wasn't nearly as entertaining as crawling our way into the final 10. We even managed to win a few games, with one match in particular ending because the enemy team ran over the top of us as we were face-down in the middle of a swamp.

It was efficient, it was safe, and every now and again - we won! So, why change?

But we're not the only ones. I put a call out late last week, asking for others who'd shared similar experiences.

https://twitter.com/TheCracks1/status/1096272671703093249

Principally, battle royale games revolve around tension and anticipation. The circle is always closing in or about to close in, and players are always faced with the impending threat of other people. You don't know where others are, but you know they're out there. And when you're not confident or lack the equipment for a straight up fight, holding a two-storey building or a small hill is an infinitely better strategy.

It's a strategy that strips a lot of tension out of battle royales, for sure. But it's also one that helps make the genre surprisingly compatible for a wider audience. Sure, if you're a Twitch streamer it's undoubtedly more engaging to roam the map for fights, racking up seven or eight kills minimum a match. But for those preferring guaranteed loot and the stability of knowing nobody is behind your back, camping out and avoiding every fight possible until the very end can be just as much fun as a never-ending scrap to the final two.


Comments

    I'm a sneaker... although I can't really do that in Apex Legends, unless I'm the last survivor of my squad.. in which case, shouldn't I die trying to revive my squad?

    actually.. anyone out there want to try a 'sneaky squad' Apex Legend run?

    Yeah I prefer stealth mode in Fortnite. My son just jumps into the middle of the battle but I prefer sniping.

    Depends on my squad. If I have people I can't rely on, I'll ensure I can take a kill at minimal risk and prefer to get looted first.

    Funny story though, last night in Apex I was in a squad that won. We each had less than 100 damage each, and I was the only person to get a kill.

    One single kill got us the win.

    my first 2 days of apex legends I managed 6 kills... I was pretty proud of myself until I convinced my stepson to play Apex instead of fortnite..... he racked up 20 kills in his first few games.... I felt like rage quitting lol ????

      What the hell that's bonkers. Literally killing a third of the server o_O

        Surely that's 20 total kills.

          Yup, I completely misread that as 20 kills in the first game not "first few games".

    I'm definitely a stealthy player. My reaction times aren't great so I generally avoid fights when I can and stock up for the final circle.

    "Enjoying" is a strong word :P But generally avoiding fighting tends to see greater success, which is far less unenjoyable than being instagibbed especially when you're still trying to figure out how the game works.

    I finally played Apex last night and having come from a pure solo PUBG experience (as far as BR goes), I found I was being stealthy by default... which evaporated quickly with my team mates running around haphazardly and giving me away anyway. Now that I think about it though, I got a lot more kills that way since my sneakiness seemed to keep putting me in good flanking positions.

    I hate getting into an Apex Legends game where my teammates are just gung-ho "let's drop right at the start and land in the most densely populated place and die immediately". If not that, they will just keep moving all the time even if there's no reason to (we're inside the circle! let's wait to see where the next circle is before we go anywhere).

    I had a weird run of games on Saturday night where in a sequence of five games, my teammates either never connected, or disconnected within the first few minutes and I was left playing a solo game. In all these cases I never finished lower than third.

      This is almost all to do with a nasty Nvidia driver bug atm which is crashing Apex hard alot.

        I haven't had the game crash at all on PC, but it's crashed twice for me on PS4. Weird.

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