PUBG Season 9 is now live on PC and coming soon to consoles and Stadia, bringing a new season of paid and free content, as well as a record sixth map to the battle royale live-service game.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds already held the record for the most maps in a battle royale game when it hit three, but it's now all the way up to double that figure with the addition of Paramo, a 3x3 volcanic island that looks a bit like the original map Erengel when it's not flowing with magma. The 3x3 size of Paramo puts it between Karakin and Sanhok on the size chart, making it the second-smallest to the equally raucous and rockish Karakin.
Making the map unique is a new dynamic system that rearranges named locations and other landmarks like board game pieces with every drop-in. So your favorite drop won't always be where you expect to find it, changing the strategy round after round. Like Karakin, it allows for 64 players, a smaller pool still fitting of the game's tighter (and now much warmer) geography. The circle also shrinks more slowly than other maps, but even on early circles does more damage per second, so you'll not want to stick around. Lava pits do damage fast, so you'll want to dodge those too. And if you need to get out in a flash, only motorcycles will be found around the map for motorized escapes.
Players drop into Paramo via helicopters which then carry high-quality loot around the map much like the armored trucks on Sanhok. You can also find large loot caches inside some houses which will dish out several loot items at once like a big violence-inducing pinata.
A new season also means a Ranked reset, and this time players can jump into Ranked Solo queues if they prefer the lone wolf approach. The new Season Pass, Highlands, will be shorter than previous seasons, said the PUBG Corp. but the change in the games economy to award G-Coin within some challenges now means players will have more in-game currency to spend than they used to. Like with most other games offering paid season passes of cosmetic rewards, the intent is to get players to save up to the next season pass - or maybe spend it on some cosmetics on the way.
The full patch notes provide a deeper dive into the season of change ahead for PUBG. The update is live now on PC and comes to Xbox, PS4, and Stadia on October 29.