Writing the Perfect Patch Notes Article
Patch notes are the easiest way to bring in a ton of views. When a new update releases for a game, everyone immediately searches for the changes and fixes while the patch downloads, making these articles a perfect traffic opportunity. If you follow this format when writing patch notes articles, you’ll be sure to get a lot of readers. You can make changes to the formula if you feel that things could be formatted a bit better, but if you find that you’re not getting a lot of views, try sticking to the formula as best you can.
How Do You Know When Updates Are Released?
Before you can start writing a patch notes article, there has to be a new patch to write about. Paying attention to the big games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone is one way to stay on top of things, but you can’t possibly know when new updates are released for every major game. That’s where the PSN Releases Twitter page comes in. This is a bot account that posts any time a new update is released on PSN. It’ll obviously be missing exclusive titles for Switch, Xbox, and PC, so keep an eye out for those elsewhere. Usually, the games that are on PS4/PS5 are the biggest when it comes to traffic anyway, so it’s not that big of a deal.
For the title of a patch notes article, you should only ever use one format. All of your titles should look like this: “Game Name Update X.XX Patch Notes” If you’re covering the new Warzone update, for example, it would look like “Call of Duty: Warzone Update 1.36 Patch Notes.” You can find the specific update number on the PSN Releases Twitter page.
Of course, for games on other platforms, use your best judgment. Switch games don’t make a version number easily accessible, so you’ll have to come up with something on your own. PS5 games have really long version numbers, so it’s best to use the PS4 version number if the game is multiplatform. In scenarios where you can’t use the standard format, just picture what an average person would search while their update is downloading. Sure, you could do something like “The Division 2 Title Update 5 Patch Notes” but nobody is searching for that. Think about the casual gamers who turn their consoles on, see a notification, and get curious.
For your first paragraph, start with this sentence: “Update X.XX has arrived for Game Name, and here’s the full list of changes and fixes added with this patch.” This nails the update number, the game title, and a few other keywords in the first sentence. After that, add a few more fluff sentences that cover the new features.
For example, you could say “This is a small unannounced update, so don’t expect any significant additions or changes. Season 8 of Apex Legends recently began, adding a new Legend and more to the game. The Anniversary Event is also currently underway, so there’s a lot of new content for Apex Legends fans to enjoy. This update addresses a few minor issues.”
Finally, end with “Here’s everything new with Game Name update X.XX” Generally, you want your introductory paragraph to be around 100 words. It doesn’t need to be super long, but you don’t want to have just two short sentences. It’s a bad look.
The Patch Notes
These are the real meat of the article. Just under your introductory paragraph, add a Heading 2 that says “Game Name Update X.XX Patch Notes” Then, you can add the list of patch notes below the heading. You want them to be formatted and easy to read, so simply copying and pasting from the source isn’t always the right move.
Use bullet points and sub-bullet points to keep things organized. If there are a lot of categories and you find yourself with too many sub-bullet points, then you can add a Heading 3 wherever you need it. Just make sure that it’s underlined to differentiate it from the main Heading 2. Check out this Warzone patch notes article if you need a visual aid for a cluttered patch notes list.
The Additional Text
You need at least one paragraph under your patch notes list, especially if the list of patch notes is short. Just like the introductory paragraph, discuss what the update adds and go into detail about any changes and fixes. At this point, you’re just trying to add original text so search engines have some copy to work with. Just write these paragraphs like a news post covering the update. Don’t forget your links.
The Closing Sentences
At the very end of your article, you must end with the following sentences: “Game Name is available now on platforms. For more information regarding this patch, visit the official Game Name site.”
You need to add an external link over the “official Game Name site” text and provide a link to where you got the patch notes from. Make sure to check “open in new tab” as you should with all external links. This closing blurb ties things up nicely and satisfies the external link requirement in the process, which is really helpful for SEO purposes.
If you follow this format exactly, your patch notes articles should start bringing in a lot of views. Naturally, traffic will depend on the game you’re covering. Big names like FIFA and Call of Duty will do much better than an obscure JRPG or niche strategy title. Keep an eye out for major updates for the biggest games.