‘H1Z1’ finally leaves early access alongside new ‘Auto Royale’ mode

Daybreak Games’ H1Z1, the multiplayer survival game that served as early inspiration for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, has still been in the “early access” stage up until now, but that changes today, February 28. The game has officially released, and it comes with a new twist on “battle royale” multiplayer.

H1Z1 — previously called H1Z1: King of the Kill when the original game was broken into multiple releases — is out now on PC, and it comes with several new features. Players now have “tactical deployment” options, letting them use a heat map to determine where other players are before they parachute down to the surface.

A mini-map has also been added as an optional HUD element, and airdrops have been changed, with higher drop frequency and better items. The game’s first season also kicked off today, with “an all-new scoring algorithm designed to reward consistency and aggression, not just a player’s 10 best placements.”

The biggest addition, however, is the new “Auto Royale” mode. This mode supports up to 120 players split into 30 teams as they attempt to destroy every other vehicle on the map. The mode brings with it the sedan and armored recon vehicle, as well as the mode-exclusive light machine gun for quickly taking down enemies. There are also power-ups, including repair kids, fire extinguishers, armor, turbo boosts, and oil slicks. If Mario Kart’s “Balloon Battle” were a little more violent, it would be Auto Royale.

“Auto Royale doesn’t rinse and repeat what is currently available on the market,” said H1Z1 general manager Anthony Castoro in a press release. “It turns the genre on its head with a fresh approach — arcadey, vehicle-only battle royale unlike anything anyone has experienced before.”

The official launch of H1Z1 comes as the game is hemorrhaging players. It has lost more than 90 percent of its base since last July, with Fortnite: Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds scratching the same itch for many. Just Survive, a survival game that originally began its life as H1Z1, is still in early access, and is more comparable to DayZ than it is to the recent crowd of battle royale games.

H1Z1 is available now for PC.