Recently, I've been on a gaming spree. It's mostly because I've been very busy at work and writing code during my free time now feels like taking that very same work home. So I turned to gaming. Full disconnect, just game. I wanted to try something different, something not part of my usual gaming run. I tried H1Z1.
Not a fan of battle royale
First of all, I grew up playing Half Life, Quake, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor and the games of that generation. That means the fast-paced, twitch-style, fight-die-respawn-repeat kind of games. Battle royale, however, is a different beast. It's a test of patience. You get one chance and one chance only, or wait 15 minutes for another round. This was the biggest hurdle for me, especially when I'm fresh off a session of Planetside 2.
Stay away from the fight
The first time I played H1Z1, I parachuted into the urban areas, headed towards the sound of gunfire, and started shooting at anything that moved. That's the typical routine for any shooter, but not for a battle royale. I was mowed down easily, ranking beyond the 40s on every single round. Then I realized the game is about survival. And survival can mean many things - including not being in a fight. So what I did from that point was to actually stay away from the fight and only shooting when shot at. With that, I easily finished in the 20s or higher.
Stay in a vehicle at all times
In H1Z1, there are vehicles. I think PUBG has vehicles too, and Fortnite has shopping carts. Anyways, stay inside one at all times. It's a quick and easy way to get around and a quick way to escape compared to being on foot. You're also not an open target as vehicles provide some form of protection. So even if you're spotted, they can't do anything about it. But then you can't shoot from inside a vehicle. Either you run away, or run them over.
Camo is key
When you first start out in the game, you get stock skins. Then you earn free skins as you go. Whatever skins you get, try to wear natural-colored stock equipment like green shirts, cream-colored pants and the like. Good camo is better than no camo, and is definitely better than that neon magenta skin you've probably always wanted. Camo was sort of effective in my experience. While in the trees, another player passed by without seeing me even when my out-of-place vehicle was close by.
The rate of the game
The kills start fast up to around 40 players. This is when players with itchy trigger fingers go against each other. Then it crawls to the 20s. This is when more wary players kill each other off. From there, veteran players would be the last few left. And of course, the safety zone gets smaller and smaller. This gives you an overview of the game's progression and the kinds of players you'll encounter as the round progresses.
Battle royale is definitely not for me, but I gave it a shot. It's a different way of thinking altogether and it's hard to pick up especially if you're used to a fast-paced style of gameplay. But being mindful of the gameplay, how things work and how to take advantage of the game's features, you can be a regular in no time. And of course, lots and lots of patience. You can't win every game, but enjoying every one of them is definitely a must.
PS: Battle royale games should focus on survival tactics (i.e. stalking, camos, waiting, sniping, traps). If you've watched the anime Btoom!, or watched The Hunger Games, you probably know what I'm talking about. That said, most of the games lack in this aspect. PUBG and H1Z1 come close, while Fortnite... totally misses it.