The pandemic has seen a sudden interest among those stuck at home to use their spare time to learn a new skill. And that skill could even be PUBG, as we learnt recently. The Complete Guide To Player Unknown’s BattleGrounds from online learning platform Udemy comprising 30 short lectures by professional gamer and Esports coach Nicholas “NicoThePico” Korsgård.
We decided to try the course and here is what we think.
Firstly, note that the entire course revolves around the PC variant of PUBG, and not PUBG Mobile, the popular mobile game that was recently banned in India. PUBG PC is not banned and can still be bought in India and played online with friends or strangers.
However, that said, many of the strategies we learned in the sessions can be implemented in PUBG Mobile as well. Some generic mantras will also likely benefit you in pretty much any Battle Royale title you play, regardless of the platform. So a lot of tricks we learned in the lectures can be implemented in games like Call of Duty Mobile, or Garena Free Fire.
How does the course work?
‘The Complete Guide to PUBG’ course is categorised into various sub-sections. These help both our host Nico and the audience to focus on particular areas at a time.
About 10-15 minutes into the videos, we realised that this was not a ‘How to play PUBG’ tutorial for the rookies. In fact, what we had enrolled for was more of an advanced class for those with at least some prior experience of the game. So you are expected to know things like the various maps and weapons of PUBG. You will also be better off knowing what terms like ‘pushing’, ‘rotating’ and ‘contesting’ mean in the context of the Battle Royale genre.
How do you teach PUBG?
The ‘Gameplay Analysis’ implementation here is quite simple and easy to grasp. Nico has already played a bunch of matches, solo, duo and squad, and has the recordings of these games. These recordings are then further divided into multiple sections. Nico then coaches us, the audience, while playing back these recordings. As the in-game player progresses through the match, the host is able to give us his insight on what his motivations are through the various sections and what his plans over the next few minutes will be.
This proved to be very effective as we get a real-time demo of how the strategies Nico explains are actually implemented in each game. In some games, Nico is also joined by other notable players in Duo/Squad matches and you will also see him switch to the in-game audio instances at times to give us a real-time depiction of how elements like in-game communication can be more effective.
As we mentioned before, the course is divided into sections. While we have one entire section dedicated to swift, strategic and efficient player movements in the game, others focus more on the early, mid and later stages of the game. The ‘Parkour Heaven’ section, for instance, deals with various jumping and vaulting movements you can employ across various structures found throughout the map on PUBG. Here we learned some neat eye-opening tricks to use to get on top of certain structures we previously thought to be inaccessible. This includes getting on top of some buildings that have no ramp, or staircase to get you there.
Moving forward, there is the early game section, which again has a bunch of other videos categorised by each of the three major PUBG maps (Erangel, Sanhok and Miramar). Nico lets you in on many things to keep in mind through the early stages. These include what areas to parachute to, what to do until you get there and what houses to pick when you land. We also get insights on what kind of loot actually helps you get started, and what kind of transport you should use.
In the lectures focusing on Duo and Squad games, we also see how your team can be split in parts while landing, to effectively have control over a larger area without having your teammates be killed. Other elements, like reading the circle and the kill-feed and using that information to figure out how many people could be around you, almost made us feel like we were cheating, but we weren’t. This is essentially information presented to everyone, but Nico teaches us the language to read it.
As we move to further sections like the mid-game and the late game, Nico touches upon other strategies like what routes to pick, what mentality to keep in mind, how to move undetected and how to push into opponents with a better chance of getting the kill. We even learnt how to use the dreaded Blue Zone to our advantage, which is pretty handy.
So, was it worth the time and money?
We must say that from the perspective of someone who has played quite a bit of PUBG before, and likes the idea of getting better at the game, the course was indeed insightful. However, this course, which costs Rs 360, is not for everyone. There is gaming and there is Esports, and this course focuses on the latter.
If you’re someone who just jumps into Battle Royale after a tiring day at work to unwind, this course is not for you. The techniques mentioned here will require effort and a continuous state of awareness so they can be implemented. You will also require a team of equally motivated players to make use of the squad formations and techniques you will learn with Nico.
Not to mention, you will not instantly become a better player by watching the course, but it will help focus your efforts in the right direction.