One hundred players enter, one exits. That’s the basic premise of Steam‘s current best-selling game, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS.

Don’t let the terrible name fool you, the game is insanely popular. In fact, it sold more than a million copies in just 16 days. That is a fucking colossal effort for a game that’s not even complete.

Yeah, you read that right, it isn’t even finished yet. It’s still in Early Access – a Steam program that allows players get amongst the action while a game is developed, empowering them to provide feedback and suggestions to its creators.   

That battle royale-style game also gets your mates involved, letting you team up in pairs or groups of three or four. Rather than forcing you to turn on each other at the last minute, you win or lose as a team, which is a helluva lot of fun. 

Each match starts in a plane flying over the 8×8 km island where you will most likely die in a hail of gunfire. You decide when to jump out and parachute down to the ground, at which point you’ll be searching houses and buildings for weapons and supplies to help you survive. 

The Current Best-Selling Game On Steam Hasn’t Even Been Bloody Finished Yet

After every player hits the ground, a circle will appear at a random location on the map. You have 5 minutes to get inside that circle before the map starts shrinking. If you’re outside the area, a wall of radiation will slowly dole out damage until you die or make it inside the circle.

The circle will shrink every few minutes, forcing players closer and closer to each other until a winner emerges. This works well for two reasons – it keeps each match to a reasonable length (around 30 mins, max) and discourages bunkering down in one place.

The changing circle also ensures that no two games are the same. Sometimes, the circle will close in on an open field with no cover, forcing all remaining players into the open to die or win. Other times, it might be in a town dense with houses, resulting in hectic urban firefights. 

It’s this unpredictability and tense gameplay that makes Battlegrounds so damn fun. 

The Current Best-Selling Game On Steam Hasn’t Even Been Bloody Finished Yet

The game’s lead developer, Brendan Greene (or PlayerUnknown), has been working on battle royale game modes for about 4 years, starting with mods for the Arma and H1Z1 series. The trial and error he encountered as a result has allowed him to create the perfect balance of strategy and action this time around.

Because the game is constantly updated, it isn’t perfect. There are still some bugs and optimisation issues that need addressing. That being said, it’s already come a long way in its short life, with the small team at Korean game studio, Bluehole, working hard to release updates every week.

If you want my opinion – and you do – you should absolutely back this game. I have not been able to stop playing and that’s coming from someone who still has 3 Divine Beasts to tackle in the latest Zelda. It’s that. Damn. Good. 

Currently, you can only get Battlegrounds on PC, but Bluehole are allegedly working on a console version that will appear on both Xbox and PlayStation. You can grab it on Steam right here for $US29.99.

To give you an idea of how it all works, you can suss a game myself and a few pals played below. We didn’t win, but I did heroically save one of my mates from the blue wall of death after an intense battle. 

Photo: Bluehole.