A guide to PUBG: Battlegrounds’ massive new map, Rondo

By Aron Garst, Contributor

PUBG: Battlegrounds recently added a new map, Rondo—and with it, an entirely new batch of iconic locales to drop into and wage war over.

Rondo is the largest PUBG map yet, and comes with a number of new features including thicker vegetation, escalators, new vehicles and weapons, and much more. We played the map, spoke with players, and interviewed PUBG Studios Production Director Taehyun Kim to get the low-down on Rondo.

"Our devs try to make every new map visually different," said Kim. "Many of our current maps have Western themes—Deston, our ninth map, was inspired by Texas, and it was highly popular among many fans in the West. Conceptualizing the new map, we wanted to release a visually new one, which led us to develop a map with an East Asian feel."

Read on for a breakdown of the best places to drop, strategies for how to rotate, tips on utilizing new features, and figuring out the best way to reach and dominate the final circle.

Top locales

Rondo is a gigantic map. It boasts more than 20 named locations, each with unique weapon and vehicle spawn points, recommended strategies, and design elements that set them apart from other sections of the map. Nearly every named location is worth dropping into, but there are a few that offer something special.

Jadena City: The pièce de résistance of Rondo, Jadena City is a sprawling metropolis with paved streets and skyscrapers that offer perfect viewpoints for sniping. This location is and will continue to be a hot drop while Rondo is fresh for players. Avoid it if it is early on the plane's path. Be prepared for quick bouts of close quarters combat, but know that you can use new escalators to either ambush or quickly escape an enemy team.
Pubg Battlegrounds Rondo Map 4
NEOX Factory: A factory for automobiles, NEOX features an industrial interior alongside an expansive track that’s ideal for testing out the new vehicle introduced with Rondo, the Blanc. NEOX Factory sits near the exact center of Rondo, meaning it's perfect for rotating to almost every other location on the map. That also makes it a hot drop—but Rondo's circles are not modified to fit its larger landmass so it's important to understand where the best landing spots are for rotation. NEOX Factory is one of the top options due to its location and vehicle spawn points.

Rin Jiang: A riverside paradise, Rin Jiang is worth dropping in for the visuals and riverfront restaurants alone. It's also got direct access to one of Rondo's main bodies of water. Rin Jiang is useful for transporting yourself and your squad to a second location after looting.

Yu Lin: A dense forest area, Yu Lin is also located near the center of the map. This location showcases some of Rondo's thick vegetation, which makes long- and medium-range firefights difficult. Visibility for Rondo is already lower than other maps, and this location even more so—making it great for more stealth-oriented strategies.

Visibility will be low

Most fights in PUBG (and battle royales in general) happen at medium- and long-range. While this can still be true in some cases on Rondo, the visual design of many locations makes close-range fights more common.
Pubg Battlegrounds Rondo Map 2
"Rondo includes natural scenery and vegetation that no other maps have," said Kim. "We tried to present beautiful and familiar scenes with high cliffs, waterfalls, peach blossoms, pond-side willows, and bamboo forests."

Those beautiful scenes make visibility tough in locations like Yu Lin—meaning it's important to carry an SMG in your loadout at all times. That's part of the reason PUBG Studio introduced the new JS9 SMG with Rondo. It's great for the types of close quarters combat you’re likely to encounter here.

Escalator evasion

Excelling in any battle royale requires mastering new movement mechanics, even if their uses initially seem limited. One of Rondo's newest features is escalators, which you’ll find dotted around Jadena City.

"We've introduced a new urban mobility system: escalators," said Kim. "Players can use escalators placed throughout Jadena City to quickly navigate short distances between buildings as well as chasing or escaping from enemies in a more thrilling, dynamic manner."

While these escalators don't eliminate the advantage that mid-range high ground gives to players, they do minimize it to a certain extent. These flat moving surfaces make you harder to hit and can whisk you to a new location in a matter of seconds. Don't sleep on this option.  

Final circle strategies

Like many other PUBG maps, many of Rondo's final circles will focus on a wide open space between major named locations. There is a key difference though in how fights might play out on Rondo compared to older maps.
Pubg Battlegrounds Rondo Map 3
"The cliffs around open fields will provide a new type of gameplay, different from what you’ve experienced in previous maps," said Kim. “Cliff-centered gameplay used to be available only when there were tall buildings nearby, but Rondo allows players to have the same experience even in the open fields."

One key to successfully positioning yourself in these types of final circles is to either hug the edge of the circle or claim a cliff, if one is nearby. Clinging to the edge of the circle should keep you safe for a small amount of time, but could leave you exposed. Grabbing the cliff will lead to an earlier fight. Make your decision based on your playstyle. Due to Rondo's massive size, the final few circles may have more people than other maps, making positioning far more important.

You can pick up PUBG: Battlegrounds right here on the Epic Games Store.