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I've noticed in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds that, in some matches, certain types of items seem to be more readily available than normal across the entire map. For instance in one match almost everyone has a level 3 helmet, in another match almost everyone with an SMG has a silencer, etc.

Is this coincidence? In other words, does loot use the same weighted random distribution every match, or are there random distribution bonuses applied to individual types of items in each match? (or yet some other approach I haven't thought of)

Clarification: The weights in the weighted random distribution I'm thinking of are bonuses to loot drops in particular parts of the map that are consistent from match to match. I hadn't really though about how the particular plane route and zone movement pattern of a match would change the likelihood of people visiting different areas, but of course this would affect the mix of loot that people actually pick up in a particular match; I don't know to what degree.

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There may just be coincidences with a lot of people having similar gear. I often see the same stuff because people aim to get the better gear and obviously level 3 gear will be the most benefit to you. The places with higher loot spawns, and better gear tend to have a high percentage of players dropping at so it's not unlikely you'll see a lot of players with that better gear.

As far as I known in my time playing, and from reading forums and threads about loot spawning, there doesn't seem to be any particular weight applied to certain things spawning in different matches.

Common loadouts are ARs with a shotgun or SMG, in my experience, which is why they're so commonly seen. The more powerful guns have less frequency so that also contributes to seeing more SMGs around the place.

Some early threads like these all mention how it's weighted towards certain zones having better loot, and the farther away you are from them, the more RNG is factoring in. In my experience the more isolated places tend to have some things in them, and a variety of gear, but there is the chance nothing/little amounts of things are there.

If you check out various loot spawn guides like this or this, they'll tell you that you're guaranteed better things at places like the Military Base, the School, or the Power Plant to name a few.

Here is an image which shows the general distribution, and as you can see, some places are much more weighted in the amount/quality of loot spawned. enter image description here

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It's not a matter of weight, but mostly loot distribution.

One kind of loot tend to drop with higher chances on the same "area".

Also I can't tell if the "area" size is widemap or only a small portion, I would tend to say only a small portion.

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