PUBG 101: Basic Controls and Parachuting

In this next segment, we will be discussing techniques to help you drop into the battlefield more effectively, as well as tips to help you traverse, dodge, or strafe to your next destination.


Once you’ve chosen a proper place to begin your PUBG journey, the next challenge is getting there. When you jump from the plane, you’ll enter a free-fall period before your parachute is engaged. As you free fall, the direction in which you move your camera around with your mouse will also orient your character, and your WASD keys will control which direction your character will move in the air. During this free fall you can engage your parachute at any time by pressing F, alternatively if you choose not to engage your chute, it will open automatically once you’re within a few hundred meters of the ground.

While falling you can engage free-look by holding ALT (by default) to and allow you to move your camera around without changing the orientation of your character. Free look will allow you to see what's going on behind, and around you, allowing you to judge how many players also jumped out around the same time you did, and what directions they’re heading.

In the bottom left corner of your screen you’ll notice the Altimeter, this vertical bar tells you how high up you are. The white portion of the bar tells you how long is left on your free fall before your chute automatically opens, and the black portion of the part represents land mass elevation. You will notice the black portion of the bar enlarging more if you drop over an area like Stalber which is located on top of a large mountain. You’ll also notice your chute will open significantly higher up to account for the elevated area.

If the plane is taking you directly over your intended landing zone, the best method to getting to your destination quickly, is to point your camera straight down and hold W immediately after you disembark. This will allow you to pick up speed fast and if you hit the top speed of 234 kph, you will be able to benefit from a low chute opening. This means you’ll fall extra distance before your chute opens, allowing you a shorter ride to the ground, touching down sooner than your opponents.

If you’ve decided to land at a spot far from the plane’s route, you have the option of pulling your chute right after you jump and gliding for the long haul. Be warned though, you will be moving extremely slowly through the air, and it will take you quite some time to get to your landing. Keep this in mind when you choose your destination, if you’re unlucky enough to land outside of the first circle, your not going to be left with much time to loot.

If you need to gain a bit of distance, but don’t want to sacrifice speed, you can wait until your chute opens automatically, and then tap ‘W’ so that your character is “rocking” back and forth. This keeps your speed up as you’re traveling to farther distances, and will help keep you competitive when racing for loot.

Going for speed.

Going for distance.

  • While free-falling moving your mouse will change the orientation of your character.
  • While falling you can engage free look by holding Alt.
  • Holding W will allow you to increase moving speed.
  • Looking straight down and holding W is the fastest way to the ground.
  • The altimeter in the bottom left of your screen displays elevation, speed, and free fall time before your parachute is automatically engaged.
  • You can rock your parachute back and forth by tapping W, giving you more speed and distance before you touch down.
  • When going for distance, keep in mind the longer it takes to get somewhere, the less time you’ll have to loot.

Character Movement

While you’re on the ground, it's important to know what conditions make your character move quicker than normal, and what you can do to be quieter if you’re trying to sneak around your enemy. Your primary mode of travel is running, just by pressing WASD you’ll start running or strafing in the direction of your choosing. Holding Shift (by default) will allow you to sprint.

Sprinting is faster than running, however while you’re sprinting you cannot fire your weapon. In fact it will take a second for you to raise your weapon back up to be fired. Because of this it isn’t recommended to sprint through cluttered urban environments unless you are confident that nobody else is around.

If you find yourself in the open however and have to cover a lot of distance fast, putting away your weapon and running with your hands out will increase your movement speed by about 5%. You can swap to your hands by pressing X (by default). Keeping your boost-bar topped off by consuming boosters like energy drinks or painkillers can also increase your movement speed by around 5%, but we’ll talk more about this, and the boost bar, in a future guide.

Both running and sprinting are efficient ways to travel, but they are not quiet. If you suspect enemies are nearby, you should limit how much you sprint or run. Holding ctrl (by default) will make you walk. You can do this whether you are standing, or crouching. Walking will help you stay quiet as you approach an enemy’s location. Enemies will have a more difficult time hearing you when you’re close, giving you the upper hand when attempting to sneak up on them.

Pressing C (by default) once will make your character crouch. Crouching gives you bonuses to your accuracy while you’re aiming or hip firing. While in a crouched position you can still sprint, although it will be roughly 25% slower than a standing sprint. Crouching is essential when trying to move while in cover, or when you’re trying to keep a low profile behind terrain.

Pressing Z (by default) will make your character go prone. Lying in prone will provide you with the best stability for firing, although your movement is severely restricted. It’s helpful when you’re trying to hide in the grass or use the terrain for cover; which could be extremely beneficial in the late game when the circle is ending in an open field with minimal cover. You cannot lean left or right when you’re prone, and moving will force you to have to leave your scope’s view if you’re aiming.

Pressing Space (by default) will allow your character to jump. When jumping over objects, it is extremely important to make sure you have momentum. If you’re trying to jump over a rail, on top of a box, or up a rocky cliff, you need to at least run prior to jumping. Sometimes, without momentum, you might get deflected off the object you’re currently trying to climb, and if you’re trying to get up a cliff, could mean you might take some fall damage.

There are some obstacles that you can’t quite jump over normally. In some instances, you will need to hit Space, and C at the same time in order to crouch jump. Visually, there is no representation of your character crouch jumping (in the current build of the game). However, you’ll be able to jump out large windows, and over large obstacles if executed correctly. However with the advent of PUBG's future implementations of a parkour styled climbing system, crouch jumping in this method will be phased out.

  • Running is your default mode of travel.
  • Sprinting is faster but makes more noise.
  • Holding CTRL will allow you to walk, reducing your noise.
  • Crouching and going prone will give you better recoil control.
  • Crouching can be used to keep yourself concealed behind lower pieces of cover.
  • While crouched you can still sprint, maintaining a low profile without sacrificing too much speed.
  • Prone will allow you to conceal yourself in areas with very little cover.

Parachuting and player movement are quite simple in theory, but mastering them takes time and practice. If you’re able to correctly apply all of these mechanics, you’ll have no problem dropping in and engaging the enemy.