PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds map guide: find the best landing zones in Erangel

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' Erangel map is almost as famous the game itself. Well, it is the game really, as it's the only map in play... until PUBG's new desert map Miramar arrives.

It's full of different areas and terrains that can affect the loot you find, mobility and even the ability to escape the blue circle. To that end, knowing what's going on and where the best or worst places are is a useful skill if you want to survive for more than 5 minutes.

A quick tip is that more buildings mean more gear, which means lots of people trying to get it. If you're new to the game, aiming for a few remote houses is a good idea as you'll likely find enough gear with little interference. 

With that in mind, let's take a look at the main map and some of its key locations. In terms of risk, 'high' mean a good chance running into more skilled players, usually because of good loot (and thus getting shot to pieces) while 'low' risk means you'll likely have the place to yourself.

1. Georgopol (medium-high risk)

Erangel’s largest town, but somewhat lacking in modern facilities. The accommodation consists primarily of derelict apartments, for example. There's a good chance of loot here, as well as running into other people looking for it so it's a slightly risky area to hit first. However, there's a high chance of finding a vehicle if you survive so worth considering when you're more experienced. 

2. School, Rozhok (high risk)

The school is a central location with a high chance of great gear, which is to say it’s fairly popular. Expect an immediate fight if you drop here at the start of a match - the school in particular is an absolute death trap. The buildings can be slow to loot but there's alway a car in the nearby garage. It's middle map placement also means the safe zone is rarely far away.  

3. Quarry (medium risk)

This southwesterly location has a decent chance of spawning rare loot, and lots of isolated buildings. A great spot if the safe zone falls this way but the open space and chance of conflict can be risky.

4. Sosnova Military Base (high risk)

Perhaps the riskiest drop point on the entire map. It's full of rare weapons and armour, which means it's crawling with high level players. It's also isolated on the southern side of the island, making it tricky to get away from. Assuming you make it out alive at all.

5. Stalber (low risk)

A great big mountain with very little loot at the top so a safe starter. Come here for a quiet drop, but don't expect to find much and expect to journey far to make it into the next safe zone.

6. The Bunkers (high risk)

There's always loads of very exotic gear here, but it's also a series of concrete tunnels full of chokepoints and corners. Oh, and people looking for all those guns. If you can get in, get lucky and get out, good luck to you. 

7. Novorepnoye (high risk)

This container yard/dock is another high risk area thanks to its cargo container area full of open areas and blind spots. Plenty of buildings also means loot, making it dangerously attractive to experienced players, but there the high chance of finding good gear, as well as cars and boats, making it worth the risk for some. 

8. The Crater, southwest of Lipovka (high risk)

This area of the map is basically a big hole with five warehouses, two houses and one big military building. So there's plenty of gear and it's a great place to kit out a full squad. However, plenty of other people will have the same idea and the sunken terrain also makes it a popular place for snipers to camp out, shooting down at their victims from up on high. So, in short: dangerous.

9. The Villas (medium-high risk)

This is a tiny area comprising of 8 buildings. It's not a great place for loot but its main strength is strategic - there's an elevated area where the rooftops gives you a great view of the surrounding area. It's perfect for a squad to hole up and defend (assuming you've got some good ranged weapons).

10. West of Novorepnoye (low risk)

Just west of Novorepnoye you'll see a crossroads with a few buildings around it. It's small enough to be ignored by high level players but those houses mean a good chance of gear and the roads usually contain a few cars. The nearby bridge is not somewhere you want to be late game, as it's a often a bottleneck when the playing area constricts. But get in early and clear out and you could get a strong start.

11. North west of Lipovka (low risk)

North west of Lipkova above the crater you'll find several small clusters of houses. You won't find a huge amount of gear here, so it will be quiet, but hit enough buildings and you should scavenge enough to get you started. The roads also mean a good chance of a vehicle too.

This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared in Xbox: The Official Magazine. For more great Xbox coverage, you can subscribe here.