PUBG 101: Healing System

In PUBG, health is everything. The only way you can win is by staying alive, and that means you’ll have to keep your health up. Today we’ll be covering the healing system, medical supplies, and the booster bar to help you stay alive on the battlefield.

In the bottom middle of your screen you’ll see a long white bar, this is your health bar. Every time you take damage whether it's from falling or being shot you’ll notice this bar flash and change colors between white and pink. As long as you are above 75% health, the bar will remain white. However if you go under 75% the bar will turn a pink color signifying that you’re injured and need to use some meds to heal.

There are six healing items in PUBG and they all have different effects and benefits. Some will heal you instantly after using them, while others will provide a heal over time. It should be noted that any healing items you pick up will always be found at the top most section of your inventory making them easy to find and use in an intense situation.

The most common healing item you’ll find almost everywhere you look are bandages. Bandages can be found in stacks of five and are the lowest tier healing item in the game. They take four seconds to use and once applied they will regenerate 10 health over the following 7 seconds. Bandages are a great way to heal minor wounds and get yourself to 75% health without wasting a larger healing item like a First aid kit or Medkit.

First aid kits and Medkits are much better suited at handling bigger jobs. First aid kits are the primary healing item in PUBG and as such they can be commonly found around the map. They take six seconds to use and will heal you to 75% regardless of how low your health was before you used one. Medkits operate the same way, however they take eight seconds to use and are the only item in the game that can instantly heal you to 100% health, because of this Medkits are extremely rare and in many games you most likely won't even come across them. 

This is where boosters come into play, once you’re capped at 75% health from using bandages or first aid kits you’ll need to utilize boosters to get the final quarter of your health back.

  • Bandages take 4 seconds to use, and heal 10% health over 7 seconds.
  • First aid kits take 6 seconds to use, and will heal you to 75% health.
  • Med kits take 8 seconds to use, and will heal you to 100% health.

Directly above your health bar is a thinner multi-sectioned bar. This is your booster bar. Taking boosters such as painkillers or energy drinks will fill in the booster bar which will then slowly degrade over time. Each section of the boost bar will apply a different healing buff, and the highest sections of the boost bar apply a movement speed buff as well.

There are three types of boosters in PUBG, Energy drinks, Painkillers, and Adrenaline shots. Both Energy drinks and Painkillers can be found commonly throughout the island while Adrenaline shots are significantly more rare as they can only be found in airdrop crates.

Energy drinks take four seconds to use and will fill 40% of your booster bar, while Painkillers take seven and a half seconds to use and will fill 60% of your booster bar. The most efficient way to fill your booster bar is to use one Painkiller and one Energy drink, this will take eleven and a half seconds and will fill your booster bar to full. Alternatively using an Adrenaline syringe will also fill your booster bar to full and will only take ten seconds to do so. So now that you have a full booster bar you might be wondering, what exactly is it doing?

Starting from the left, the first section of the booster bar will restore 1% health every 8 seconds and lasts exactly one minute, in total this will heal you around 7% health by the time it runs out. This is the weakest heal that can be gained from the boost bar.

The second section of the booster bar lasts twice as long at two minutes and will heal you 2% health every 8 seconds. From full to empty this bar will restore 30% of your total health.

The third section of the booster bar is slightly smaller than the second, and because of this it only lasts one minute and thirty seconds. Although it doesn’t last as long, it heals 3% health every 8 seconds amounting to 33% total health restored by the time it runs out. The third section will also increase your movement speed by 2.5% and while it might not sound like a lot, this can often be the difference between life and death when caught outside the circle.

The fourth and final section of the boost bar is the smallest, shortest, and the strongest. It only lasts 30 seconds but it heals 4% health every 8 seconds, totaling around 16% by the time it’s depleted. It will also grant you a 6% movement speed buff while it's running.

A full booster bar will last exactly five minutes from start to finish, and will heal 85% of your health if you were relying on it alone. Over time however it gradually offers lesser and lesser heals so you should try to make use of its power early on. When coming into the later stages of the game if you happen to have an excess of boosters you should use them regardless of if you’re at full health. This will keep your speed buff up while giving you an extra edge against other opponents that might not have an active heal assisting them.

  • Energy drinks take 4 seconds to use, and will fill 40% of your booster bar.
  • Painkillers take 7.5 seconds to use, and will fill 60% of your booster bar.
  • Adrenaline shots take 10 seconds to use, and will fill 100% of your booster bar.

  • The booster bar is broken down into four sections, each section more powerful than the previous.
  • The first section heals 1% every 8 seconds.
  • The second section heals 2% every 8 seconds.
  • The third section heals 3% every 8 seconds, and increases movement speed by 2.5%
  • The fourth section heals 4% every 8 seconds, and increases movement speed by 6.5%
  • The booster bar takes exactly five minutes to go from full to empty.

It should go without saying but, as a general rule of thumb you should try to keep your health full at all times. Being at 75% health is often deceptive, and ultimately, the difference between being able to survive an entire extra shot to the body, or not. Because of this it’s generally a good idea to try to keep your boosters running at all times when entering any conflict zones or areas that you feel you’ll be engaged in. 

Sometimes sacrificing ammo for boosters or first aid kits is a viable strategy to ensure your survival. If you’re struggling to find larger backpacks or vests, don’t be afraid to drop a bit of ammo for some Painkillers or Energy drinks. Having access to boosters specifically, allows you to play more aggressively and pressure opponents in high conflict areas or ending circles.

Playing aggressively is always a gamble but with full health and boosters rolling you’ll have a great chance at taking out other players, and then be able to utilize their medical supplies to repeat the process. Alternatively, finding yourself low on medical supplies will force you to play more passively and disengage from fights to ensure your survival. Unfortunately in the ending circles escape is not an option so you should try to keep tabs on how many meds you have before reaching the endgame.

You should never need to carry more than ten or twenty bandages. This should fluctuate based on the amount of other medical supplies you have access to. Once you have a few boosters and multiple first aid kits, chances are you won’t  find a need for all twenty bandages, so feel free to drop five or ten.

First aid kits can take up quite a bit of capacity to carry and generally you shouldn’t need more than four or five on you at any given time. As you progress into the mid-to-late-game almost all players are carrying their own small stash of first aid kits. Winning firefights and looting bodies is going to become your primary method of resupplying your medical stockpile as the circle approaches its final destination.

As far as boosters go, you can never really have enough. Although the booster bar takes five minutes to deplete from full to empty, it’s strongest benefit comes from the fourth tier which only lasts 30 seconds.In the final circles of a match you’ll want to keep your booster bar as full as possible to ensure that you have the strongest buffs you can get to help you win the closing fights.

In the final circles the playzone will be dramatically smaller than the rest of the game. This will force you, and the remaining players around you, into close proximity of one another. Often you won’t have much time to react to an engagement, and as such you’ll need to be able to use your  healing items quickly.

You can manually use healing items by opening your inventory and right clicking them, but this will put you at a disadvantage as you can no longer see, aim, or fire, as you’re doing this. The fastest alternative is to use keybinds. By default 7, 8, 9, and 0 are the keybinds used to activate your various healing items, however you should change them to fit what works best for you.

If you keep your health topped off and a steady supply of both first aid kits, and boosters at your fingertips, you should have no problem strolling into the final engagements of a match and coming out victorious.

  • Try to maintain 100% health as much as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to use your boosters even if you’re already at full health.
  • Sacrificing ammo for medical supplies is a viable strategy when moving into the late game.
  • You shouldn’t need more than 10-20 bandages at any given time.
  • Four to five first aid kits should be enough to see you through an entire game.
  • Utilize your keybinds to be able to heal quickly without sacrificing awareness.

By Harrison Silverstein and Vincent Cameron