It’s not easy to be a battle royale developer, especially if you’re working for PUBG. After a successful turnaround last year, players have been hit with a string of old problems: regular DDoS attacks against PUBG servers, cheaters and performance issues.
Over the weekend, the developers issued a lengthy statement pledging to resolve crashes, frame rate stutters and generally sub-par performance that has plagued PUBG since January, while also outlining their strategy for dealing with an increase in DDoS attacks.
The biggest problem facing the game, despite all the aforementioned, is still cheats. PUBG hackers are pretty creative these days: I ran into one the other night who had the ability to drive motorbikes through walls, flattening my entire squad.
And despite a much more prominent reporting system these days, hackers are still on the loose. “Combating cheaters is one of our highest priorities and we’re utilising multiple internal teams and external resources to find new solutions for this problem,” PUBG Corp said, adding that they would provide more information next month in their roadmap announcement for 2020.
But cheaters aren’t the only teething issue. PUBG was beset with the highest level of DDoS attacks they’d ever seen in November last year, while the January update has resulted in increased crashes, stuttering and frame rate problems for players.
FPS issues are aggravating, but DDoS attacks make life worse for everyone. Hitting the server causes connection issues for all players, not to mention dropouts, increases in latency, and just a generally shitty experience all around.
The attacks peaked against this month, forcing PUBG Corp to investigate new solutions. According to the post, they’re deploying a combination of solutions from “external infrastructure providers,” although some of the experiments resulted in “constant packet loss issues” for regular players.
“We know that we could have been much more open in communicating these reasons with you, but did not want to contaminate tests and results by letting the attackers know we were doing this testing,” the developers said. “Regardless, our sincere apologies to players who experienced ongoing connectivity issues during this time.”
They claim DDoS attacks have dropped by “nearly 85 percent,” although they’re also happy to bring in the lawyers. “DDoS server attacks are a serious crime and we’ve been gathering all information we can to take legal action against the perpetrators.”
The full statement can be read below:
We know the last few months have had some ongoing issues impacting gameplay and wanted to take a moment to address everything. We know the below issues have been extremely frustrating to deal with and we’re sorry they’ve persisted for so long.
First of all, we want to give a brief statement on cheating. Combating cheaters is one of our highest priorities and we’re utilizing multiple internal teams and external resources to find new solutions for this problem. We’ll be sharing more information regarding these efforts in our upcoming Community Letter and 2020 Roadmap post in early March.
Now let’s talk about some of the issues, why they’ve remained such a problem, and what we’re doing about it.
Poor Performance (FPS), FPS Stuttering/Freezing & Crashing Issues
We’ve received lots of feedback regarding performance issues, including FPS drops, stuttering, and crashing and despite these efforts, we’ve found that performance issues and crashes have been increasing since the January update.
Our development team is conducting ongoing multi-faceted tests and analysis in an attempt to identify and resolve the issues causing this performance loss and causing game crashes. The difficult part is that some of these issues are impacting specific hardware, or happen in unique situations which are difficult to reproduce. To improve performance issues, which have to track down the specific cause, which often means needing to reproduce the specific steps leading to the issue. We want to thank all of you who have sent in your replay files and system data to help us as we try to identify the cause.
If you are experiencing performance drops, FPS stutter, or game crashes, please contact our support team at www.pubg.com/support and share whatever information you can regarding your PC hardware and any other information you believe is relevant.
This is a top priority for us right now and we thank those of you who are affected for your patience.
DDoS Attacks Against our Game Servers
As many online games are forced to deal with from time to time, our servers have been the target of intermittent DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks. When a game server is under attack by DDoS attacks, all players who are in the server almost certainly face connection issues such as network delays, a significant ping increase, and severe packet loss. Unfortunately, our servers have been increasingly targeted for these attacks. Last November, the intensity of the attacks increased to a level we hadn’t experienced before, which increased again in February.
Our dev team has been increasing our DDoS defense solutions, working with various server infrastructure providers and analyzing their effectiveness in order to protect our game servers and provide a more stable service. At the same time, we’re working on our own defense system specifically designed to protect PUBG’s game servers.
While testing various DDoS defense solutions from external infrastructure providers, server locations were often located far away from standard locations, which resulted in increased ping and other network issues for some players. Additionally, many players have suffered constant packet loss issues due to the experimental DDoS defense solutions deployed by these providers. We know that we could have been much more open in communicating these reasons with you, but did not want to contaminate tests and results by letting the attackers know we were doing this testing. Regardless, our sincere apologies to players who experienced ongoing connectivity issues during this time.
The good news is, our recently developed internal solution has reduced the impact of DDoS attacks by nearly 85%. This is and will remain an ongoing issue, but our dev team will also continue to work on and implement additional measures to mitigate the impact of DDoS attacks when they occur.
DDoS server attacks are a serious crime and we’ve been gathering all information we can to take legal action against the perpetrators.
Arcade – Team Deathmatch Matchmaking Issues [Mostly Resolved]
Team Deathmatch is PUBG’s first “Arcade” game mode and we’ve been thrilled to see such a great response so far. Unfortunately, we found some issues with TDM matchmaking that caused players to have extended matchmaking times or sometimes not be matched at all. Additionally, another issue was identified that sometimes caused teams to have more than 8 players, with less than 8 on the other team.
The team in charge of this mode analyzed the cause of these issues after they were reported and worked to deploy a hotfix to the issue affecting team size, which is now resolved. The issues related to matchmaking times currently remain and while we’ve improved the situation with some back-end improvements, we’re actively working on a permanent solution.
While we continue work on this, if you experience any of the above problems, please let us know through our community channels or PUBG.com/support.
Disabled Custom Match Presets
We’ve received reports that custom match presets are not functioning properly since the last patch. This issue was an unfortunate side effect of improvements being made to back-end custom match code. We’ve taken action to resolve existing saved presets, but it will take time to fix this issue entirely. The good news is that saving and loading new presets now works correctly. Our apologies for those affected by this issue.
Unrelated to custom matches, we’ve resolved other recent issues such as player stats not being applied properly, inability to create FACEIT matches, and players falling through the ground at a specific location on Karakin.
We understand there are many other high-priority issues impacting gameplay. One of our primary goals this year is to be more transparent with what we’re working on, so we wanted to get this letter out to you to address some of the more notable issues we’ve faced recently.
Rest assured, we’ll continue to work on the unresolved issues and will do our best to be more open with details on these subjects moving forward.