While there have been loads of Rules of Survival guides that have popped up as the game has soared to the top of the iTunes charts, I've really yet to see any of them that offer any kind of actual useful tips that you couldn't just figure out yourself by playing the game for five minutes, or worse, just reading the iTunes description. As of this writing, I've got 264 hours of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds under my belt, and it doesn't seem like Rules of Survival [Free] keeps track of cumulative play time, but let's just say I've been eating my fair share of chicken dinners as practically everything learned by playing PUBG is completely applicable in Rules of Survival, which I suppose just goes to show what a good job NetEase did at cloning the Steam smash hit.

Find a control scheme you're comfortable with:

Before we even get started with any kind of high-level strategy, start with the basics and really go through the various options the game has for controls. Typically when you play clones of popular games like this, little thought goes into the controls beyond maybe allowing you to adjust camera sensitivity. In Rules of Survival, the menus are loaded with sliders for everything, as well as entire different control schemes. If you find the default one to be a little awkward, give the others a try. Even if you're a-OK with the defaults I still recommend digging into the "Advance" menu and turning on "double tap to turn around." Movement is always a little awkward in games with virtual controls where you can't just rapidly move your mouse, and being able to double tap the joystick and run the other way is fantastically useful as often the best way to win a match is not getting involved in a firefight at all.

The best places to drop:

The game begins with all the players loaded on to the airplane, which flies over the island that the battle royale takes place on. Before trying to actually play competitively, just practice jumping out of the plane and seeing how far your parachute can take you to get an idea of how far you can stray from the plane's path. If you pull your parachute early, you can fly farther away, but this comes with the disadvantage of slowing your overall descent. Players who waited until the last second to pull their parachutes will reach the ground (and any loot) first.

There's two distinct strategies you can take with where you drop, and they're both equally valid. You can either choose to jump out and hope to land in the center of the map, and get in fire fights early or you can look for a place as far away as possible and work your way back towards the action. The former can be good, as killing and looting players is a great way to quickly gear up, but I tend to prefer the more methodical approach of taking my time and moving slowly.

Bring up the map by tapping the mini map, look for a group of buildings you think you can make it to, tap to place a marker, then keep an eye on the HUD at the top of the screen to guide yourself to that point. With any luck, you'll be the only player that decided to drop there and you'll have full houses full of loot for yourself.

The most important thing to do when you've got your parachute out is look around to see where other players are dropping, then mentally bookmark those areas as where people could potentially be coming from to kill you. If you see someone heading to the exact same spot you are, you need to decide whether or not you want to divert course and go somewhere else or potentially get involved in a mad loot scramble to kill them first.

Looting priority and what to look for first:

Obviously when you first drop you want to scramble for any kind of weapon you can find, since you never know when you're going to run into someone else but the first things you should be looking for is a backpack and a helmet. Backpacks significantly increase your carrying capacity, which determines how much ammo and everything else you can haul around. You're going to be at a serious disadvantage if you need to start passing up med kits and other important items because you don't have a backpack. Helmets protect you from getting killed in one hit with a headshot, so make sure you've always got one.

From there, my ideal load-out is one weapon that's good at close distances like a shotgun or submachine gun and any sort of rifle that can have an optic equipped. Scopes are unbelievably powerful in Rules of Survival, as you'll potentially be able to shoot people from so far away that they can't even see you. The drawback is, a scoped rifle isn't great for close quarters combat inside of a house or something, which is where you'll be switching to your shotgun or SMG.

The shockingly complex psychology of the "door meta" and leaving loot behind:

When you enter a house to loot in Rules of Survival, you'll need to open doors. Initially, you won't think too much of this, but you quickly realize that you're leaving a very obvious path behind of where you've been and what you looted. The same thing can be said for items you do (and don't) pick up. Doing well in battle royale games is all about mastering the psychology of your opponents, as if they come across a house that has all of its doors closed and some assault rifle ammo sitting in the middle of the room it seems super reasonable to assume no one is in there. But, you could be sitting in the bathroom waiting to blow them away. People seem to really let their guard down when they think a house is unlooted. Exploit this to its fullest.

Patience is key:

For whatever reason, it seems like all new players to any battle royale game treat the game mode like it's any other fast-paced death match game when it is anything but that. In Rules of Survival you can often make it to the top 25 by doing nothing but hunkering down and waiting a couple minutes. I always do my best when I spend the first part of the game chilling out, slowly making my way into the first circle, and avoiding all conflict.

Collect gear and ammo, keep your health up, and let all the other dummies fight amongst themselves. They're often easy pickings when they're low on health, and get careless from being over-confident from getting a couple kills. Camping (sitting in one spot and waiting to shoot) wins games, so find a good spot and just relax. Let people come to you.

Sound is everything, use headphones:

While you likely play a lot of mobile games with the sound off, Rules of Survival is one you'll want to play with the sound on at minimum- Or, ideally, with headphones. You want to use every piece of information the game gives you to determine what to do next, and if you're not using sound you're missing a massive indicator of where people are.

Not many people seem to have figured this out in Rules of Survival, so it seems like the best thing to do is when you hear a car or footsteps, just hit the deck and wait. When they get close enough, an indicator will appear at the HUD on the top of the screen. These audio cues are just as good as running actual wall hacks, as you can sense exactly where someone is to already have your gun pointing their direction before they come into view.

Using sound, and patience as mentioned before, can lead to surviving FAR longer than you would otherwise just running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Additionally, the plane going overhead as well as the bombs being dropped in the red zone can mask the sound of your own movements. Use this to your advantage when you think people might be listening for you.

Don't fear the green:

The primary mechanic that drives these battle royale games is the system of circles that determine where players need to go next to not take damage. A primary circle will appear on the map inside of a larger circle. You need to make it to that smaller circle by the time the larger circle hits its border, otherwise you take damage.

Something to (strongly) consider is that in the early game this damage is not that substantial, but everyone treats these circles like you're going to get insta-gibbed if you step outside of them. That's not the case at all. You take damage, sure, but it's something you can easily heal through with items.

By disregarding the first circle you'll be in an area of the map where it's practically guaranteed you won't run into other players and can just wildly loot everything. When you watch PUBG played on the professional level, some players won't come into the circle until the end game. It's risky, but it's a strategy that works super well. Don't be scared to take a little damage as the rewards can be fantastic.

Circle positioning and catching people running in:

Because people are often so scared of taking damage from the circle, another great strategy is doing the inverse of what I mentioned above and rush to position yourself at the very edge of the primary circle, positioned with good cover looking out over a road or field which people will need to run through to get to safety. Particularly if people are coming in late, or just ahead of the damage-dealing forcefield they'll be running at full speed, making tons of noise, and just generally not paying attention to you hiding behind a tree waiting to kill them.

Crates are the perfect bait:

Every now and again a plane will fly over and drop a crate filled with some of the best loot in the game. Initially you'd think, "Oh, rad, I need that." Problem is, everyone is thinking that. Some of my highest kill games have been games where I've been able to get a good position in the high ground above where a crate dropped. People get loot fever, and just run directly to the crates that drop. If you managed to find a scope, picking these players off is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Better yet, when you finally need to run in to evade the next circle, give yourself a little time to then loot that crate and all the people you killed trying to get it.

Always make sure you have grenades:

For whatever reason, it seems like no one in Rules of Survival has figured out how good grenades are yet. They do a ton of damage and are both good for killing people who are in an easily defensible position inside of a house as well as when the final few people are alive and everyone is hiding. Just be careful with where you throw them, as if anyone is playing with sound on you'll be giving them a massive clue to where you probably are.

Use the third-person camera to your advantage:

While it might not be super apparent when you first start playing, you can exploit the third party camera to see around corners, over walls, and through windows without exposing your character to gunfire. Learning how far you can move before being seen and how to get full views out of windows without exposing yourself is absolutely key to staying hidden and getting the jump on other players.

Don't bother with duo and squad play unless you're playing with friends:

One of the most frustrating parts of Rules of Survival right now is how it seems like tons of people queue up to play duo and squad games, then just screw off and do their own thing. If you're going to play anything beyond solo with random players, it's best to just wait and see where they drop and follow them around. Few people seem to realize what map markers are, and even fewer people are using the in-game voice chat.

...However, you can totally use this to your advantage. Using the in-game friend system and forming your own groups and hopping into Discord can give you a unbelievable advantage. Very few duos and squads actually play using any kind of teamwork, so when you arrange a team and actively use voice chat it is straight up absurd how easy winning Rules of Survival becomes.

Keep at it:

While Rules of Survival is the best PUBG clone currently available on the App Store, with how white-hot PUBG is right now I'm sure there will be others. Much like how the skills you learn playing a MOBA are largely applicable to other MOBAs, the same is true for these battle royale games. Just try to be strategic and analytical. When you die, think of what you did to be in a situation where someone was able to kill you and try to use it as a learning experience to avoid that particular situation again.

If anyone has any other tips, drop them in the comments. Have questions? I'll answer them. As mentioned, I've got hundreds of hours under my belt of playing games like this one, and could easily spend all day writing about them.

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  • Milotorou

    Ive been playing a good bit in the past week :

    Another tip ill lay down : Find your playstyle. Theres A LOT of ways to do good in these type of games, youll definitely find more confort in one or another, some people like to be constantly roaming, some others like to camp a lot, some others do a bit of both...

    Whats important is being cautious in everything you do, I think thats the most important thing.

    With experience you get to have faster deductions for your plan of actions, sometimes its definitely better to run than fight, especially if an opponent spotted you first, the "surprise" element in this game is all the more important than in any other type of games.

    • DFD

      Question is which royale game has MFI support? Cuz that’s where I’ll probably end up. Controls are surprisingly disadvantageous on 12.9 iPad Pro. On the other hand, field of view and view distance are enormously advantaged.

  • iALiEN

    Thanks for the help.
    I personally like Survivor Royale a lot more but these tips are probably universal between both games since their so similar.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Yeah that's the awkward thing about this is I feel like this guide will be universally applicable to all the PUBG mobile knockoffs.

  • lezrock

    Awesome! Good read.

  • Danny Emil Megia

    I seem to walk slower than everyone else even with friends.. And im not even carrying anything please help

    • OrganizedChaos

      They may be using energy drinks. Rubber chickens are also rumored to make you run faster.

    • Abel Soto

      The same thing is happening to me. I guessing its because we either have bad wifi connection or we have older devices. But i do know how to move faster than our regular slow speed. When you go on auto pilot, for example you move the same speed as everyone else or sometimes when your running manually then look downwards with your eyeball so that your

    • Chris Hansen

      If your joystick isn't pointed perfectly upward, you run slightly skewed to one side.

  • Razvan Rogoz

    I’ve died a lot in this game due to the aiming or lack of it. It is a bit hard to line up a good shot even at a short distance without multitasking. You need to aim, you need to move, you need to fire. I think that the biggest advantage you can give yourself is to play with a controller or with a mouse and keyboard.

  • Ivica Loge

    Survivor royale is a much better game

    • Dimitri Barsonov

      If you like clunky jump physics and a giant, empty island.

  • Jon

    I'm surprised that people say Survivor Royale is far better given they are both made by NetEase. I'd hazard a guess that both use the same engine, so is it the controls &/or HUD that make it better? Anyone tried "Knives Out" (also NetEase)?

    • Dimitri Barsonov

      Knives Out is the worst of the three. SR has better vehicle physics, but much worse design of the island and the buildings on it. Everything looks clunky and unrealistic. A positive about SR is the lack of the visual sound markers, making guessing where opponents are located much more challenging. In my view ROS is by far the superior game.

  • Rohan1504

    I came across this game about 15 days ago... ...and it is SUPER ADDICTIVE... Can go on to play for four hours at a stretch on my iPad... Really a good game... Now speaking about tips, I feel if you choose to get dropped in the centre then you need to be quick and very attentive to details like sounds and nearby movements... It is very easy to get killed as there will be a lot of people getting dropped around you... Another way, as we read above is working your way out from distance... By the time, you come to the centre, you have a lot of weapons and med kits in your backpack... So you are ready to kill some people... But the negative being, there won't be many people left... So, best approach would be to collect ammo and reach to the circle before time, take cover lying on the grass and be ready to shoot people (who are managing their way to the circle to avoid getting knocked out by the gas)... This way you can increase your kills...
    I have found success in both the approaches... ..and also failures... Luck also of course plays its part...

    Misc. tips:
    Guns - I find rifles to be more helpful as the fire quick (make sure you have enough ammo as they run out quicker)
    Grenades - Very helpful to kill from little distance ...and even misleading someone and then attacking from behind...
    Med kits - Big med kit (orange) is life saver... Make sure you collect those...
    Remove the litter - Drop all that you don't need from the backpack... ...and focus more on collecting things that will be actually helpful!!

    ...and ever wondered how people have different costume than yours? ...there is a tab on top left of home screen, where you can purchase gifts (different tops/bottoms) with the points you've collected... I prefer being in colours that will camouflage with grass/ground...

    Happy killing & winning!! Cheers!!

  • Jayden

    Nice guide ...really helped me :3

  • Smartin Kochis

    A good tip is that when you see two people battling it out carefull approach the area. Preferably at a crawl. This makes a minimum of noise and the gun fire will cover your movement. Once one of them goes down just fire a few shots at the remaining one and he should go down pretty quickly because of the health they'd lost because of the firefight.

  • Dimitri Barsonov

    This article should be called "How to play ROS in the most boring way possible by camping and avoiding any conflict"

    • OrganizedChaos

      This article also features nearly all the strategies I use to get top ten, and win a good 10% of my games

  • Dimitri Barsonov

    Are you kidding me? The only two things that's better about that one are vehicle physics and the fact that there are no visual sound markers. All the 3D rendering, e.g. buildings, the general design of the island, are all really clunky and unrealistic. And jumping physics are completely retarded.

    • 7ape

      no in fact, since making this comment I've moved firmly in the rules of survival camp. The double size furniture was too much.

  • Krystian Mateo

    I’ve attempted duos on my own and because teamwork rarely happens I got 2nd 2-3 times. I assume squads is the same story. Gotta take advantage of that peeps.

  • Alief Nugroho

    Thanks a lot for writing this article. It's helping me so much.

  • Mel

    I have question. My husband has been playing this game for about a week. He keeps telling me that he could shoot someone and see the blood and then it turns out he is dead. Could some one point to why this is happening to him. Many times this has happened.

  • Victor Cobian

    Hello, can you write a post about a compatible controller for this game on iphone 6. I have a small screen and it make it difficult to play/ see enemies. I also have an iPad Air

  • Derek Manuel

    I've gotten first place 4 times just today. My secret is to land somewhere relatively remote (and change course if others are landing there) and stock up on supplies as quickly as possible. Then, I hide out and let everyone kill each other until there is about 30 or so left. Meds are key because you can hide out in the green zone and quickly heal yourself. Then, I find a place to camp, and let people continually kill each other without getting involved (even if I spot them). This is key because you can track the remaining peoples positions without giving yourself away. Once there's less then 10 people left, it's all about finding a solid hiding place, not moving, and waiting for them to come to you.

  • https://www.thenerdystudent.com/ Giacomo Lawrance

    I always struggle with controlling shooting. I am at the person, however I can never seem to hit them.

    Any tips? Thanks!

  • Abel Soto

    This article was great. I won the first 2 matches that i played soon after i finished reading this article. Even though im in platinum this article helped improve my game. Thank you

  • Scott Michalism

    Does anyone know if you can use normal phone headphones as a mix in this game? Or do I have to use my Xbox turtle beaches?

  • Killer

    There are so many weapon variants. I vaguely have an idea some seem better than others, but I just don’t know. The assault rifle with the strap seems best to me and the Barrett sniper rifle seems better than the others. Does any place have descriptions or stats of weapons? Is there any reason to use the two shot shotgun as opposed to the five round one?

  • Saveria Weimer

    What happens if you and a team meet are the last ones in the game. Do you then have to kill each other

    • abelsprincess

      Nope, the win screen pops up for every team member!

  • Santiago Polanco

    how can i unlock the run button

  • Rich Estrella Salvador

    can we delete a character? or even try to change name?