10/11 Update: With Update 26.1 now on live servers, the developers have announced Tactical Gear will not be returning to PUBG. In a post on X (Twitter) they write: “We’ve used the Test Server to analyze potential gameplay changes resulting from modifications to Tactical Gear’s acquisition method and performance, and in conclusion, based on your invaluable feedback and our internal data analysis, we’ve decided to go back to carefully considering the future integration of this feature.”
Original article follows.
PUBG’s dev team is determined to make Tactical Gear work. They removed it for about a month, but it’s returning with next week’s Update 26.1. So, what’s different? Let’s dive in.
Tactical Gear is now a world-spawn item to pick up. This is how it worked when the mechanic was first introduced. And the devs are going back to it. But instead of taking a primary slot, it will stick with its own dedicated slot. This change might not seem like much, but it’s a pretty big one. With the items now spawning into the map again, you can carry more than one. That means you could pick up a Tactical Pack and an Armor Repair Kit and juggle between them as needed. This also means you can get another one after you die and your teammates manage to get you back in via Comeback BR or Recall.
Only one Tactical Gear can be equipped at a time. You can also place them inside Tactical Packs or in vehicle trunks.
Drone and Spotter Scope get tweaked again. These two pieces of Tactical Gear were the main reason why the developers took Tactical Gear out a month ago. They both return with more changes to try and balance them.
The Drone’s max distance gets knocked down to 150 meters from 200. They’re also louder, and a new smoke effect appears when destroyed. You also can no longer deploy them while in a prone position.
The Spotter Scope can no longer mark enemies through smoke. And the marker duration is now five seconds (was seven seconds).
We’ll see if these changes are enough to rein in these two pieces of Tactical Gear. I’m still in the remove them both completely camp. PUBG is a more tactical Battle Royale game. It’s all about positioning and working together as a team to move around. The Drone, in particular, is just too strong. Even at 150 meters, you can quickly toss it up and locate other teams, especially in the end-game where the final circles are small enough that the 150-meter limit doesn’t hurt it.
Now that Tactical Gear is a world-spawn item, the developers could tweak the drop rate of the Drone in an attempt to balance it further.
The developers have spent months tweaking parts of Tactical Gear in response to community feedback. At some point, they need to accept that the Drone isn’t a good fit and move on.
The changes coming in Update 26.1 hit the Test Server today. Live servers will be updated on October 11 for PC and October 19 for console. Besides the Tactical Gear changes, this new update brings a refreshed Erangel with a handful of points of interest (POIs) getting a facelift.