How to Tweak Gunshots and Other Sounds in Playerunknown's Battlegrounds

Listen up! You'll want to "hear" what this guide has to say if loud gunshots are messing up your game play.

After a recent patch, some players are complaining about the sound balance in PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDSThey're reporting that sound of footsteps has been lowered to the point that they cannot be heard unless the game volume is turned on high. 

This is a huge community concern -- not only because players are not able to hear approaching enemies as well as they should, but also because sounds like gunshots, screams, and overhead planes are extremely loud in comparison. Sudden gunfire can scare anyone who's focused on listening for much quieter sounds. Easily frightened players are especially annoyed. 

If you're facing this problem, here are some possible solutions to the sound issue that are worth trying.

How to Fix Gunshots and Balance Sound in PUBG

First, if directional sound is your issue, you should know that it's an important aspect of the game's design that's been very finely tuned. But knowing how it operates can help you determine whether or not you're really experiencing a sound balance issue.

Marek -- PUBG's content programmer and lead gunplay designer -- explained the complexities of sound in a blog post a month ago:

Gunshot Sound

Each gunshot sound you hear in game has propagation delay based on distance between source and the listener...

...If gunshot is fired from indoor or there is no direct or approximate line of sight (obstructed), the reverb effect and LPF are applied to the sound effect.

Bullet Crack/Whizz Effect 

Bullet crack effect (or bullet bow shockwave) is generated when a supersonic projectile passes in close proximity to the listener. The effect can be heard in a closest point on bullet trajectory line...

...Most of our weapons are supersonic. This means that you will hear the crack/whizz before you hear the actual gunshot.

...We blend between different sound samples based on distance (the maximum distance and attenuation characteristic is also affected by suppressor attachment). The close gunshot sounds louder and more clear than the distant one.

So if some gunshots sound very different from others, or you only occasionally hear loud cracks coming through your headset, this is all just a part of the game's design. Think of it as a little bit of extra immersion when a flying bullet scares the hell out of you. 

But if that doesn't seem to be the case, you can try these fixes. 

Stop Using a 5.1 or 7.1 Headset 

5.1 or 7.1 surround sound headphones may be doing more harm than good when it comes to PUBG.

Switch to Windows stereo sound and see if that makes a difference:

  • Right click on the speaker in your task bar
  • Select Playback Devices
  • Click on your device
  • Configure it
Enable Loudness Equalization

Checking this option on your computer should normalize your audio levels. 

  • Right click on the speaker again
  • Select Playback Devices
  • Click on your device
  • Go to Properties 
  • Click on the Enhancements tab
  • Check Enable Loudness Equalization
Turn Down Overall Sound Effects

If all else fails, you can always lower the sound of all game effects. This is a risky move that's likely not going to work very well -- so let's hope better effect customization gets implemented soon. 

For more info on how to tweak your audio settings to your liking, you can check out our full PUBG audio settings guide.

Finally, Hang Tight

In the same blog post mentioned above, Marek informed players that he would be hosting a Q&A soon to get continued feedback on the game's sounds. 

Although that post is now over a month old, there's no sign of the Q&A yet. But we're still holding out hope that PUBG's sound issues can be fixed once and for all.

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How's your game sound? Are you experiencing similar issues? What would you like to see changed? Let us know in the comments!

Published May. 9th 2017

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