The Case Against Using a Kar98 in PUBG
Wed 11th Apr 2018 - 10:00pm
One of the surest ways of ensuring success in PUBG is being proficient at long-range combat. There are plenty of weapons in the game that can drop opponents from tens, even hundreds of meters away.
One of the most common is the Kar98 because it's found in regular floor loot. It's a sniper rifle and it has a strong impact. But for a lot of players, it's just not worth the time. Casual players especially should try and find a good AR or something like an SKS instead. Even a number of pro players you see streaming PUBG may leave the Kar98 behind.
It's useless without a scope and you don't want it in fast combat
The RNG nature of looting in PUBG means that you're not always guaranteed to find a scope early on. The Kar98 is useless without a scope. It's not a short-range engagement weapon in the slightest, and without some optics to line up your shot, you'll have a really hard time using it.
The main reason I hate using it though, and why I'd recommend newer and more casual players steer well clear, is the reload time between shots. Unless you have the time and the ability to line up that killer headshot the first time, the gun will reload. And then you have to line it up again. You can hold down the fire button to keep scoped in while you watch the bullet travel, but there's no avoiding that you have to reload before you can scope back in and do it again.
A good PUBG player won't stand still for very long. So you go back into your sights, line it up again, and shoot. And so on. But the players will have moved a fair distance in the time it takes to reload and scope back in again. It's a similar story with the AWM and M24, though you're less likely to come across one of those.
There's also the actual shot to consider. The Kar98, as a long-range weapon using 7.62mm ammo, will experience bullet drop. You can't just aim your crosshairs dead center on your target and expect a hit. If you ever played Call of Duty 4, you'll remember being told about sniping, the Coriolis Effect, wind and so on.
There's none of that to really worry about in PUBG, but the bullet behavior is something you will have to get a handle on. The only way to do that is practice, but again, for casual players and beginners, it's a lot to take in. If you can get the headshot with a Kar98, you're in great shape. But I think there's a better way.
Get a good AR instead (if you can)
The gun of choice for the top players right now is the M416 assault rifle. It's good at short, medium, and longer ranges, and the advantage over using the Kar98 is that it doesn't have to reload after every shot while experiencing less issues from bullet drop and using 5.56mm ammo. Each bullet may lack the impact you get from a sniper rifle, but you can stay scoped in, tracking your opponent every step of the way while peppering them with bullets. I like being able to track the movements of an opponent, especially in solos when you don't have the benefit of your squad's eyes.
In a break from popular PUBG lore, personally, I'm hunting for an M16A4 as my AR of choice. With a long-range scope and all its attachments, I find the M16A4 to be a pretty useful mid to long-range weapon. It's got lower recoil than the M416, which some, like myself, may find preferable to outright power. You can have all the power in the world but if you don't land the shots, it's useless. I'm not saying the Kar98 is a bad weapon. In the right hands at the right time, it's devastating. But if you're learning the game in particular, you'll be much better off strapping a long scope to an AR instead.
Also try the SKS
Something that I believe gets missed out on too often is the SKS. It's not quite an AR and it's not quite a sniper, but it's utterly deadly in the right situation. It has elements of both styles of weapon and is kind of a middle ground between the two. It takes the heavy 7.62mm ammo and with a good scope can be fairly devastating at range.
The bonus to going with an SKS over a Kar98 is that it isn't totally useless at shorter ranges either. There's no one-shot reload for starters, as it's a semi-automatic weapon and its recoil isn't too fierce either. The initial bullet speed on the SKS is also faster than the Kar98. With a suppressor and a 4x or 8x scope on one of these, you'll be picking off headshots right across the map. It feels like using an AR but with the added power of a sniper rifle, and I'm a big fan.
Find what works for you
PUBG isn't just another FPS game, so while you might run for the sniper in Battlefield or Call of Duty, I honestly think if you're coming into PUBG and are still fairly fresh, the Kar98 is best left on the ground. ARs are common to find and the SKS is hardly a rarity and I'd handily take either option over a Kar 98.
The flip side is that with practice you can probably master the Kar98, but in fast-paced situations, it's probably going to be a hindrance more than a help. Later, smaller circles are where it will come into its own, when the last players are taking up position and moving about less.
But the best advice is to find what works for you. I think an AR or SKS is the way to go over the Kar98 for sure, but the best way to find what works for you is to grab whatever you can and practice with it. Learn the bullet behavior and the recoil in particular.