SEATTLE – H1Z1: King of the Kill has a very simple premise: throw 150 players into a huge arena, then see who survives. It’s The Hunger Games; it’s Battle Royale; it’s probably going to kill you off within the first ten minutes. A recent combat update helped H1Z1 feel more balanced than before, but surviving into the game’s final rounds is still about as difficult as you’d expect. An upcoming practice mode may help alleviate some of the pain for newer players, and help veterans hone their skills even further.

(Image credit: Daybreak)

I got to try the new practice mode for myself at PAX West 2017, and while I’m by no means ready to win a 150-man-melee, I feel a bit better about my survival skills than before. The concept is pretty simple: You jump into a small map, complete with a few well-stocked bases, a few secluded outposts and a lot of open space. There, you can compete with a small number of players to find equipment and hunt each other down. The difference is that you don’t need a full complement of 150 players, and that if you die, you respawn immediately and get to try again.

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