The most recent PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds patch made a significant change to the way sound works.
The PUBG patch, released a little over a week ago, does not appear to be massive at first glance. The patch notes documented a few minor fixes and the arrival of new cosmetic items.
However, sometime after the patch’s release, players started reported what they described as audio issues. Most just assumed it’s a bug – PUBG has many – but others insisted the developer had messed with the game’s positional audio, requiring players to re-learn how to locate opponents based on their shots – a crucial element of gameplay in PUBG.
Now, PUBG Corp. has admitted that the system for positional audio has indeed seen some tweaks the studio failed to mention.
So what changed? Well, according to this developer update, the new system is a result of some newly-implemented functions for the game’s HRTF (Head Related Transfer Function) plugin.
Previously, the plugin allowed players to hear positional sounds like movement, gun shots, explosions etc., but it wasn’t very accurate.
Before these new functions were added, it was easy to tell if shots are being fired from your right or left, but much harder to determine if the shooter is above or below you, and the same goes in situations where they’re behind or in front of you.
PUBG’s new system should fix these problems, and the developer demonstrated this with the help of before/after videos, two of which you can see below. Unfortunately, some of the sounds come out muffled or garbled, which is the main thing players have been complaining about.
Gunfire sounds from below (before):
Gunfire sounds from above (after):
To that end, PUBG Corp. promised to look into this feedback and make changes as needed.
“We should have explained the change in the patch notes. We messed up here, and we hope you’ll accept our apology,” the developer wrote.
“Many of you have called us out about not being thorough enough about documenting changes in the patch notes, and rightfully so. It’s something we’re going to try our best to fix going forward.”