PUBG – Maps Ranked

by Ben Kirby
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When PUBG released a few years ago (2017) there was one single map, and that map was used in the Alpha tests, Beta tests and early access.  So when the game was properly released, people know Erangel pretty well.

Since then, though. I think it’s fair to say that PUBG corporation has been pretty hard at work to spice things up a little.

As of now (Jan 2021) there are 7 maps in PUBG, and you know what? I like each of them, all for different reasons.

So what do you do when you like all of your kids? You rank them and declare a favourite, right?!


7. Sanhok

Now, to be clear, being “last” isn’t really an indication that it’s no good.  It’s just my least favourite.  The 4th map that was built and released into the wild, Sanhok is arguably one of the best looking maps in PUBG.

Lush greenery and one of the smaller maps in the rotation (4x4km instead of 8x8km).  It’s a nice slice of Asia.

Because of the size, you’re more likely to engage in mid-short range combat, and always alert for enemies nearby.

I think thematically PUBG nailed it, Sanhok looks the part. Inspired by Thailand and the Philippines, you know they did their homework, but it works wonderfully.

Gliders, buggies, scooters. You have plenty of traversal options, but I much prefer to stay on foot here. It’s not big enough to warrant making all that noise to travel a relatively short distance.

In short, Sanhok looks great.  But it just doesn’t really do it for me.  Also, I’ve never had a dinner on it, so maybe that’s why it’s way down here……

6. Haven

The newest PUBG map, and by far the tightest, smallest combat space in the game.  I love it for the closed-corridors, high-rise buildings, and emergency parachutes.   But I don’t like how the game mode is restricted to Duos or Solo Duos.

Haven looks great, and the added elements of enemy AI to defend good loot (losing the usual airdrops), is cool.  But I would love to rock a 4-man squad here.

I don’t mind the 32 players.  But I don’t like being restricted by who I can play with in a match.

The pace here is a change for PUBG, and whilst I enjoy it.  The reason I like PUBG over it’s competition is because the general pace is more deliberate, more considered.

Nice variety of areas to drop, but just doesn’t retain what I love most about PUBG.

5. Paramo

The 3x3km volcano map!

Ever-changing, which is cool. The locations change, every match, and I love the additional randomness.  You’re not going to drop the exact same spot every time.

Paramo looks lovely, too.  But it’s currently out of rotation which is a little annoying.

Even though it’s so small, I always found that it felt less claustrophobic than Sanhok. I think the hills, the field of view, and the ever-looming volcano in the background made it feel bigger than it really was.

Granted, I didn’t get half as many matches on Paramo as I have the other maps, but I can’t do anything about that right now.

Lava damage can be a bitch, too…….watch where you’re walking!!

4. Vikendi

It was a toss-up between Vikendi and Karakin.  But, as much as I love Dinoland, trains and snow.  I feel like Vikendi isn’t quite as fun as Karakin.

Also, jumping onto a moving train never goes well. Even the monorail has ended my life, slowly waltzing through Dinoland.

Sure, maybe I’m an idiot on this map more than others.  In fact, I really like Vikendi, especially after the remaster that brought in such significant improvements.

6x6km so it has that going for it too.  Not quite as big as Erangel, but not so small that you’re always forced into combat whenever you just move forwards.

It just isn’t as fun for me as the top 3, and Karakin tops it by a small margin.

3. Karakin

Karakin is a desert-themed 2x2km map.  And despite my dislike for the 4x4km map Sanhok.  I always feel like you have the lines of sight, the hills and the openness to take advantage of.  Not fighting trees and foliage to get an idea of what’s going on.

Plus, timed explosives with coll mobile phone ringtones……

With some destructable walls, a nice variety of areas to drop and nice open-ares to make you nervous whenever you make a move for your next destination.  Karakin feels to me like a small Erangel.  It kind of covers all the best parts of that map, changes the backdrop and shrinks it into a bite-sized pile of chaos.

Whenever I hear the monophonic ringtones going off nearby, there’s just something more engaging and immersive about that. Knowing that someone could be literally trying to blow through a wall that you’re sat by, trying to heal.

I’d guess that most people would rank Karakin quite so high.  But of the smaller maps, Karakin just does it for me.  PUBG made a gem, here.

2. Miramar

That difficult second album.  Hoping not to hit that classic sophomore slump…..PUBG had a lot to do because people had been playing the original map for a long time.

How the hell do you give people something new, maintain the flow and style of the game, and apparently put you out in the open for about 85% of the time?

Easy, you put out Miramar.

All of my longest games have been here.  I’ve chased the circle and stayed on the edge for literally hours of my life.  Armed with my awesome Win94 or a sawn-off shotgun, I trundle the desert like a nomad waiting to be killed.

I always liked Miramr, and I’ve spent a lot of time on it, which probably skews my viewpoint a little.

The openness, the lines of sight, the urban sprawl of cities and towns.  Honestly, Miramar has everything for the circle chaser.

I nearly put this as number one, but honestly, how can you top that OG?

It’s a close second, and Miramar is a map that I think displays peak PUBG.  Forcing the slower pace because of it’s size.  Forcing you to run or drive massive open areas to find somewhere safe, or somewhere with better loot.

I always feel like I have to work harder to just survive in Miramar.  Other players be damned.  The circle, the desert and my poorly-selected drops will usually get the better of me here, and I bloody love it.

1. Erangel

The original, the undisputed king.

Erangel has everything.  Urban spaces with high-rise buildings.  Sprawling open areas. Foliage-covered spaces and hills to get that line of sight.

Where all the other maps have a few of these components (and arguably does certain elements better), Erangel has it all and it makes, for me, the most varied matches.

Sure, I’m 100% most comfortable and familiar with this map. I know where to go for a spicy drop, or where to go for a quieter start.  But, that’s kind of the beauty of it, it’s got everything in one place.

It isn’t the most visually impressive map, and we’ve all seen it “naked” with also those texture pop-in issues over the years.  But Erangel just feels like home.

I know if I drop on Sanhok more than a couple of times in a row, I groan a little.  But Erangel, I’m happy to play several times over.  Sure, I appreciate the variety of all maps, but if they all went away and we were still only playing Erangel, that would be fine.


Like I said, map variety is a great thing, and honestly PUBG has been churning stuff out for us now, for a while.  Sure, it’s buggy, there are issues, but when it shines, the maps shine as standout elements to me.

I can’t shoot to save my life some times, but I don’t mind, I’ll keep dropping and going for it again and again.

Map knowledge and understanding is a key to the battle royale genre.  So, regardless of your favourites, you need to get onto all of them as often as possible.

PUBG keep updating and re-mastering maps and smoothing off those rough edges and that’s commendable, too. Look how improved Vikendi is and the extra elements added to Erangel and Sanhok. You can’t accuse them of just staying still!

What’s your favourite PUBG map? Are you missing Paramo? Cause good news, it’s coming back for Season 11!

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