…but they could be better, if Ubisoft officially supported them.
Far Cry 5’s Arcade Mode has become the latest hub for fanmade Battle Royale maps inspired by PUBG and Fortnite, but most of them aren’t quite what you’d expect. Using Far Cry 5’s extensive map editor, players are building everything from their own versions of PUBG’s Erangel island to shoddy lookalikes to some totally fresh and off-the-wall creations. A quick search for “battle royale” in Arcade Mode’s map browser brings up tons of rough drafts, many published just a day or two ago — an indication that this trend is only just getting started.
While some of them are impressive in detail, Far Cry 5 only allows for a handful of custom game modes and Battle Royale is not one of them — meaning the best many fans have been able to do is create the illusion of Battle Royale mechanics. As understandably rough as the current selection is, cool things are still on the horizon, especially if Ubisoft can match the growing community’s passion and officially support new game modes.
Players are already making Battle Royale maps — the map editor may as well support them.
There are a couple different types of Battle Royale-inspired maps popping up. You have ones like the functionally titled Battle Royale from user EpicSpeedyPie, a small, relatively flat island dotted with small houses and a few cabin resorts with rooftop sniping spots. Players parachute in, just like in PUBG, and scatter to loot houses for weapons, just like PUBG. There are several more like this. There’s the sand-covered Island Battle Royale by abacabb_77, which features a more tropical beach setting, Yellow Island Battle Royale Night V2 by Pigzit, a nighttime map set in a moody forest where piles of loot are strangely marked by glowing flares, and Damavand Peak Battle Royale by outofusernames, a more close-quarters map featuring a small roadside town tucked between two huge peaks and a web of ziplines running overhead. One of my favorites, Battle Royale Island by BloodNoskie, is a surreal and sparse pink landscape built around a floating cornucopia of ammunition and a circle of towering goddess statues.
Players haven’t been able to do more complicated things in the map editor, like randomize loot spawns or create the gradually constricting force field that contains the arena, both features which are more definitive of the Battle Royale experience. Between that and the fact that most of the examples we checked out have players respawn after getting killed, these maps are effectively just deathmatches on a bigger playing field. It’s neat seeing the way fans are getting clever with the format, but Far Cry 5’s map editor would benefit from a built-in Battle Royale mode packaged adjacent to the existing Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes. Players are already making the maps for it — the map editor may as well support them.
With a map editor this good, it feels like a shame its multiplayer content is so inaccessible.
Besides the absence of a built-in Battle Royale mode, the biggest constraint holding these maps back is the way Arcade Mode cycles custom maps through multiplayer. The ideal way to test a map is to get into a group of friends and agree to vote on the same one in the lobby. But things get harder if you can’t get a big group together — you have to join a multiplayer lobby, hope you’re randomly selected as the map picker, do a quick search for the map you want within the allotted 20 seconds, and then hope the players you’re queuing with vote on the one you chose. You can also download the maps, open them up in the Far Cry 5 map editor, and give them a test run that way. In any case, it’s sadly difficult to actually play a lot of these Battle Royale maps multiplayer, as intended. A custom server browser akin to the old Counter-Strike or Half-Life 2: Deathmatch days might be asking for a lot, but with a map editor this good and accessible, it feels like a shame to go without it.
A few players have gotten around the multiplayer barrier by simply faking it, with clever singleplayer maps that emulate the scattered encounters of the Battle Royale genre. PUBG A Battle Royal by user HotButteryCop is a solo/co-op mode map with seven cultist enemies placed in different parts of a flat, forested town. Eliminating all enemies wins you the game, creating more of an illusion of multiplayer Battle Royale.
Far Cry 5 and its accompanying Arcade Mode haven’t been out for that long, so it makes sense that Ubisoft would continue to support it and make things more intuitive for players. A built-in Battle Royale mode for players working on Battle Royale maps and even a “test map” function built directly into Arcade Mode (so you don’t have to relaunch the map editor separately) would go a long way to improve the already promising community being built here.
We’ll continue to keep track of the Far Cry 5 Arcade community and let you know what other cool custom content fans are creating. If you know of a good custom map you want us to play, leave us a tip in the comments.
Chloi Rad is an Editor for IGN. Follow her on Twitter at @_chloi.