Yup, it’s happening. Bots are going to be joining your Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds matches—but only if you need some extra target practice. PUBG Corp say that bot opponents have been a “controversial topic” for the battle royale but that they think the widening skill gap between veteran players and the new chaff demands an easier entry to their murder islands. They’re relegated to the test servers for now but will likely be joining proper matches soon.
“We’re seeing more often that many newer players are being eliminated early with no kills – and oftentimes with no damage dealt,” PUBCorp say. To help acclimate those new players better—and presumably turn them into loyal veterans before they drop the game in frustration—lower skill players will have matches partially populated with bots. They’re designed to appear less as you become a more competent chicken dinner winner, they say.
Importantly, PUBCorp say that you won’t have bots placed on your team. You’ll still be playing with the same variable quality randos as always. You’ll just have an extra smattering of easier-to-kill enemies as a batting tee in normal matches. They also won’t show up in Ranked Mode matches.
They give a slightly closer look at what bot opponents can and can’t do in their blog post. PUBCorp believe they’ve properly balanced bot players so that their accuracy diminishes at further distances. They’ve also attempted to ensure that bots will be carrying loot and weapons that are appropriate for your to loot. That part is based on their analysis of actual player behavior and “what types of items players usually carry into each phase of a match.”
You can read the rest of the notes on Plunkbat’s update 7.2 in their blog post. They’ve got a breakdown on new Ranked Mode matches, gun tweaks, and the other usual update changes.