The latest PUBG update includes modifications to the directional sound of gunshots from other players, but the developers forgot to tell anyone. This caused quite a stir as player’s were perplexed at it all sounding a bit odd.
The controversy stems from the fact the patch notes mention nothing about the changes. PUBG has apologized and vowed to be more methodical in future by ensuring patch notes are more complete and exhaustive.
The tweaks, as PUBG Corp explains on their Steam page, are intended to help locate the origin of gunshots by making it much clearer to detect where enemies are located, be it vertically or horizontally (up, down, ahead, behind) in relation to the players position. In theory, this could be a pivotal change and should cut down on awkward deaths as players flounder around unsure of where they are being shot from.
The developers have introduced new functions to the HRTF plugin, or Head Related Transfer Function. Don’t worry, nothing registered for me when I first read HRTF. Luckily, the developers were kind enough to go into a little more detail, thankfully using layman’s terms.
‘Previously, this plug-in only affected sounds related to movement, explosions, and empty cartridges—not opponents’ gunshots. You could generally tell whether shots were being fired from your left or right sides, but things were more problematic when trying to differentiate between sounds directly in front of or behind your character. There was also no way to tell whether shots were coming from above or below. Our new implementation of the HRTF plugin fixes both of these issues.’
Reports from players suggest the sound is ‘garbled’ for some, while others are displeased with the production quality. PUBG Corp is staying abreast of feedback and plan to make changes as they get a firmer grasp of how they can improve on the changes. They also hope to implement customization options for in-game audio that will let us play around to suit our preferences.
PUBG have provided a few before and after clips to get a better understanding of the tweaks. Pop on your headphones and check out the examples for gunshots fired from the same height below.