The northern hemisphere may finally be warming up, but Tencent wants its PUBG Mobile playerbase to continue to feel the chill. Artic Mode is here, bringing even more reason to fear the outdoors right now. It came with very little build-up, but it’s actually a blast. It’s far closer to your standard Battle Royale affair — almost to the point where it feels like a slow return to Survive Till Dawn.
One quick thing to note with Arctic Mode is that it’s a great way to clear a few of the Season 12 Week 7 challenges. It’s grouped with modes like RageGear. Most challenges won’t count with these modes, but the new list actually specifies Cold Front Survival as an option for the choice missions. If you’re up for a new take on Battle Royale this week, this is it.
What is PUBG Mobile Arctic Mode?
Also known as Cold Front Survival, with a focus on not freezing to death, Arctic Mode is a chilly extension to the standard Battle Royale survival formula. Beyond trying to keep within the shrinking safe zone, this new modifier means you’re having to prepare for occasional blizzards so that you don’t freeze to death before you’re picked off by another squad.
The new survival mechanic makes for a third threat in the already stressful last man standing game mode. Suddenly you’re not just watching for enemies and the shrinking safe zone, but a frostbite meter that will tear into your health in seconds if you’re not prepared for the snowy climes.
Arctic Mode Map
The whole event plays out on Vikendi. Where else would it be? The map is known for its snowy landscape and abundance of hills, making it by far the best and easiest location to quickly tweak into a winter killingland. Arctic Mode can only be played in TPP Squads, so like it or not, you’re playing with an over the shoulder perspective with three teammates. Sorry, FPP fans, now’s not your time.
How to stay warm
Light a fire
Arctic Mode might sound like it’s all about the snow, but you won’t even last long enough to see if you don’t respect the main mechanics of Battle Royale. Long before the blizzard comes to chill your bones, a sunny phase plays out for around five minutes. During this time, it’s anything goes. The circle is still decreasing and players are looting just like they usually would. Everyone needs to reposition closer to the collapsing ring, but they’ll need to do so while preparing for the cold night that’s right around the corner.
Surviving the night means grabbing twigs. Or sticks. Branches. Whatever you want to call them, they’re all over the floor. Each pile of sticks is used to fuel a fire just a little while longer, so you’ll want to keep a bunch of these on hand. You should get an onscreen prompt to light a fire when you’re indoors during the blizzard, but you can do this manually by opening up your inventory and tapping the Lighter item.
You’ll need to be within around six feet of the fire for your meter to stay topped up. Stay further, and it’ll tank quickly, causing your health to drop faster than when you’re in the circle. It’s a scary time, but stay close to a heat source and you’ll be just fine. A fire will keep your warm in most rooms of a building, but larger ones (like a living room) can be a little too big to benefit.
Enjoy a chicken dinner
Chickens roaming the field will look like other players trying to sneak up on you. It’s just another part of the stressful experience. Shoot these flightless birds and you’ll be able to loot meat from their lifeless bodies. Their noble sacrifice will keep you warm in the moments ahead.
With a fire lit and your hands warming up, you should see a prompt to roast any meat you’ve found along the way. You don’t have to eat a thing to last through the match, but take the time to chow down and you’ll retain body heat for far longer than a simple campfire allows, giving you time to head out during the blizzard without immediately freezing to death.
It’s an effect you can pile on temporarily with the Heat Pack consumable. These work in a similar way to bandages: Rather than heal over time, they give you a brief 30-second immunity to the cold breeze outside, giving you time to quickly reposition, grab some nearby meat, or juggle multiple if you’re forced to outrun the circle during a storm.
Warm Packs and the Heater are two consumable items that will help you fend off the chill in a pinch. When used, Warm Packs give your heat meter a 30-second buffer, making you immune to the effects of the cold outdoors until it wears off. The heater, on the other hand, acts just like a campfire, making it a more of a defensive option than the latter. Warm packs are great temporary solutions to the harsh effects of the blizzard. Pop one to quickly move to another safe spot, or to give you time to grab some delicious chicken to keep you going further.
Vikendi is known for its slippery ice and large hills. You won’t be surprised by black ice on the roads, but there’s a better way to get around the map than spinning the wheels a noisy truck – snowboarding. Arctic Mode brings back the beloved snowboard, giving us another way to traverse the clearly-not-Erangel topography of PUBG Mobile’s snowy retreat.
Practically silent, the snowboard is a great way to slide down to a nearby village quickly and quietly, making it a great way to get the drop on other players. It’s a little hard to control and sometimes even harder to disembark, but get the movements down and you’ll keep finding ways to put it to good use. It won’t work to get the whole team halfway across the map, but it’s a solid option to make a less dramatic entrance than most motor vehicles available.
- Focus on the current situation
- At the start, focus on gearing up, moving up (if needed), and taking out nearby targets. You’ll come across heaps of branches naturally during this phase, so just play it like any other Battle Royale match.
- Use Warm Packs to quickly reposition
- If you’re caught out during a storm and need to get back to your team, Warm Packs can fill in for meat in a jiffy. Just keep an eye on the timer.
- Map markers reveal players
- Campfires appear on the map no matter how far away. Given how short a campfire lasts with just a handful of sticks, you can use this information to keep tabs on enemy whereabouts.
- Pair warm packs with the snowboard
- With a tiny 30-second window of warmth, a single warm pack won’t keep you going for long. Use one by a cliff, however, and it should be more than enough to see you down a slope with the snowboard.
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