Daybreak Games’ H1Z1 has had quite a long journey through Early Access. The game first hit Steam in January of 2015 before being split into two titles in 2016, H1Z1: Just Survive, a survival game, and H1Z1: King of the Kill, which was one of the first popular battle royale games. Just Survive wound up dropping the H1Z1 part of the title, and King of the Kill’s title reverted back to just H1Z1.
Now, after over three years in Early Access, Daybreak Games brought the title out of the service and officially launched H1Z1 today. This official release has brought several changes, including a brand new mode called Auto Royale, which as the title suggests, is a vehicle-focused battle royale mode.
Auto Royale matches consist of 30 teams of 4 players, who all drive around the map and try to be the last vehicle standing. In order to win, players must drive around, pick up, and use weapons, including the new Auto Royale exclusive LMG, in order to take out other players. There are also a variety of power-ups, including Defensive ones like vehicle repair kits, Evasive ones like turbo boosts, and Combative ones like landmines. Auto Royale also features two exclusive cars: the fast and nimble sedan and the slow but strong Armored Recon Vehicle.
While vehicles have been present in battle royale games before, they usually aren’t the focus, which should help H1Z1 and Auto Royale stick out from the competition. While the main game has officially launched now, Auto Royale is still in beta, so Daybreak Games will be taking community feedback into account in order to make it better. Anthony Castoro, General Manager of H1Z1 at Daybreak Games, had the following to say about the H1Z1‘s development and the addition of Auto Royale:
“In 2016, we did something unheard of — we split a successful game into two products and introduced the world to the first standalone battle royale game. The next year, we created the first battle royale esports league and became the second esport to ever air on broadcast television.
This year, we continue to push this young genre forward with the introduction of Auto Royale. Auto Royale doesn’t rinse and repeat what is currently available on the market, it turns the genre on its head with a fresh approach — arcadey, vehicle-only battle royale unlike anything anyone has experienced before.”
This update that adds Auto Royale and brings H1Z1 out of Early Access also includes a plethora of other changes to improve the experience. While you can see the full list of patch notes here, you can check out a brief developer rundown of the big things included in the update below:
ADDITIONAL H1Z1 LAUNCH FEATURES
- Tactical Deployment: Players can choose which area to parachute into at the start of a match using a heat map that shows locations of where other players spawn.
- Airdrop Revamp: The airdrop system has been refined to add more points of contention, increasing the drop frequency and item value.
- Season 1: The official first in-game Season for H1Z1 starts with an all-new scoring algorithm designed to reward consistency and aggression, not just a player’s 10 best placements.
- Mini Map: Players now have the option to turn on a mini map to help the navigate the world.
- Founder’s Item: All players who bought H1Z1 during Early Access will receive a special in-game shirt.
The developers also teased what they will be adding after launch, including Z1 Remastered, a map based on a fan-favorite one from early on in development. You can check out some screenshots of Auto Royale mode below alongside two new trailers focusing on Auto Royale. H1Z1 is currently available on PC for $19.99.