PUBG shotgun weapon balance

It’s a day shotgun fans knew was coming. PUBG’s Update 28.1 goes live tonight, and most of the weapon balancing focuses on shotguns. Spread and pellet size were reduced across the board, along with tweaks to the rate of fire for the S1897 (pump shotgun) and the DBS. Let’s take a look at the changes.


  • Buckshot spread has increased by approximately 13%.
  • Time required for pump action: 0.5s → 0.61s
  • Bullet size has been slightly reduced. (Thus, reducing the likelihood of accurately striking the target.)


  • Buckshot spread has increased by approximately 14%.
  • Bullet size has been slightly reduced.


  • Buckshot spread has increased by approximately 40%.
  • Time required for pump action: 0.45s → 0.63s
  • Rate of fire decreased from 480 RPM → 375 RPM.
  • Bullet size has been slightly reduced.


  • Pellet spread tightness: 30% → 13%

And here are the comments about the changes straight from the devs:

Although designed to excel in close-quarters combat, we’ve decided to rebalance buckshot spread, bullet size, and Choke performance to moderate their impact in medium to long-range encounters. This adjustment aims to restrict their effective range, but maintain their positions as a formidable option within 10 meters. Additionally, for the S1897 and DBS, we’ve fine-tuned the pump action timing and rate of fire, scaling down their effectiveness in scenarios involving multiple opponents. The DBS, in particular, has demonstrated a considerable win rate of 59.7% against ARs and 59.5% against SMGs. These changes are intended to align it more closely with other fellow Shotguns.

I wonder if the devs are putting too much stock into that win rate percentage. The win rate percentage they mention will always skew towards shotguns since they are so situational. You’re only using them in up-close fights. And even then, close to a 60% win rate doesn’t seem all that high. 

We’ll see how these weapon balance changes shake out once everyone is playing. Shogtuns will still have their place for up close fights, especially in buildings. But the rate of fire change to the DBS will hurt when rushed by a team of four. 

The JS9 (recently introduced with the release of Rondo) is also receiving tweaks to make it weaker. Base damage was reduced from 34 to 32, and both vertical and horizontal recoil saw increases of 18% and 15%, respectively. 

The rest of the update includes several small additions, including a new vehicle on Rondo and new vaulting features (vehicle vaulting, co-op climb). 

We also get some changes to the map rotation. Thankfully, the 40% weight on Rondo is going away. Each large map will now have at least a 20% probability. That should tone down all those nights playing Rondo constantly. 

PUBG updates generally land once per month, so look for the next one in the first half of March. We recently saw a new map launch, so I wouldn’t expect anything too crazy content-wise for the next few months. 

Shooters are my jam, but I like to dip into story games from time to time as well. You can reach me at [email protected]

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