The next map for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Sanhok, will be mid-sized, but will also force developer PUBG Corporation to remove individual map selection from the game.
Sanhok is scheduled to launch on June 22 for the PC, with the Xbox One version following in the “Late summer”. It will measure 4km by 4km, so will be a quarter of the size of the two existing maps, Erangel and Miramar, which measure 8km by 8km. PUBG Corp cited the amount of time it takes to make big maps as the reason behind Sanhok’s restricted size.
It has also emerged that PUBG Corp will have to alter the way in which map selection works in the game when Sanhok arrives. In a Steam Community post, the company said: “When we first announced map selection, we said “we’ll still have to keep a close eye on it, since it could become problematic as new maps continue to be added.” It’s now become clear to us that these concerns were justified, and we’ve decided that we can’t support individual map selection for more than two maps. This is because map selection creates an essentially exponential increase in the number of total separate queues when combined with other queue options like party size and perspective. That means the matchmaking pool gets split into many small sections, making it nearly impossible to put together a match in at least some of those queues.”
The company went on to describe what that will mean in practice: “So, at least for now, we’re going to launch Sanhok as its own queue, with Miramar and Erangel bundled together in a separate queue. That means that in the new UI, you’ll be able to queue up for Sanhok by itself, or Erangel + Miramar together. Choosing both queues means you’ll randomly be dropped into one of the three maps currently in the game.”
The Steam posts also pointed out that matchmaking will also be different for Sanhok, in comparison with the two previous maps: “The second topic is a little surprise about the way Sanhok’s matchmaking will work. We want Sanhok to feel like a truly chaotic, different gaming experience. For that reason, there will be no MMR-based matchmaking when you play on Sanhok. Although career stats will still be recorded, your performance on Sanhok won’t affect your MMR at all. When you drop into a game, you’ll be battling it out against both the world’s best players and… well… let’s just say players with ‘lots of potential for growth’.”
PUBG Corp has been commendably transparent about the process of creating Sanhok, getting players involved at every opportunity. If that interests you, have a look at this Steam Community post marking the moment the map, previously codenamed Savage, was named.