The Battlefield 3 Survival Guide
By: Jeff Rivera
The Battlefield series has always been popular, but it's just recently that it's taking its first major strides into the mainstream on consoles. If you played Battlefield: Bad Company 2, then you're going to be well prepared for what Battlefield 3 has in store for you, but if this is your first exposure to the series, let our tips help you stay alive longer and be a better contributing member for your team.
In the Battlefield 3 beta, there's only a single game mode available and one map. The mode is Rush mode, a classic mode from past Battlefield games; and the map is Operation Metro, an all new map for Battlefield 3. In Rush mode there are two teams, each with different goals. The attacking team is trying to arm bombs on a pair of objectives, while the defenders are trying to prevent it from happening. The attacking side has a limited number of respawns at their disposal, and if they can't get the job down before running out of lives, the defenders win. If they manage to destroy the two objectives, it moves to the next pair of objectives, with three pairs in all per map. Each time the attackers clear a pair of objectives, their respawn count resets. It's a great introduction to the game, and it's available to play until October 10th when the beta ends.
Know Your Modes and Maps
The full retail version of the game will ship with 5 different multiplayer modes and several more maps. You will really need to understand how each modes work to be successful, because in many cases the modes are far more intricate than just running around and shooting the enemy; as demonstrated by Rush mode in the beta. While killing the enemy is always going to be helpful to some degree, many times you'll do more for your team by getting to a spot on the map and playing some defense or keeping an eye on key areas. Don't always just rush straight into the firefight without knowing if it's what your team really needs you to be doing.
Maps in the Battlefield series are always complex and deliberately laid out. It really pays off to get familiar with them outside of just where the good attacking lanes are located. Look around and see where high ground is located, know the map's choke points, be familiar with indestructible cover, and know alternate routes for crossing the map. The better you understand maps, the more common you'll find yourself spotting the enemy first or slipping through enemy lines undetected.
See, Spot, Run
You'll often spot the enemy at a distance where engaging them would just be a bit of wishful thinking on your part. Battlefield lets you spot the enemy for your teammates with a button press and gives their position away on the mini-map. You should always, always, always spot the enemy for your teammates, even if you are going to engage. By spotting enemies, your teammates can avoid running into the enemy unprepared or they might have a better attack angle than you have. If you don't have a good angle to fire, spot the enemy and keep moving along. It's better to not give up your position by firing. Let another player handle things while you continue to press on.
Battlefield isn't one of those games where you can soak up tons of bullets and keep going. If you don't have a good angle to fight from, just run away and regroup. Don't charge into enemies who are set up well in cover to try to melee them either. Melee attacks are best used as surprise engagements rather than rush attacks. One burst of fire from the enemy can drop you. There's more shame in dying from a bad engagement than running away and finding cover.
Keep Your Head Down
Like most shooters, Battlefield 3 allows you to crouch or go prone. While in cover or waiting, you should always crouch. Stay low, and if you can see while prone, that's even better. You should really only be standing straight up while moving from cover to cover or while running away.
Know Your Role and Stick to It
The different classes in Battlefield have always been about more than just the primary weapon. Each class as a very specific role, and the most successful players stick to those roles. If you choose Engineer, you need to be repairing your team's vehicles while making sure to attack the enemy's vehicles before looking for guys on foot. Support players should be laying down cover fire and helping the Assault class players advance or retreat safely. Recon players should be setting up on high ground while sniping and spotting enemies. Assault players should be grouped up in squads and pressing across the map to fight the enemy at close range and using their revive ability to heal up downed teammates. If you play your roles correctly, you'll gain XP much faster and be far more powerful of a player.
Lone Wolves Die First
It's tempting to go into Rambo mode and just rush into the battle. It doesn't matter how good you are, this tactic will not work in Battlefield 3. You should stick close to your teammates and always communicate well with your squad. The better organized teams can overcome a team of more talented players in many cases. Even if you are tallying up tons of kills on your own, often times your team will struggle to complete objectives without everybody being on the same page.
Newcomers to the Battlefield series are going to have to deal with a bit of a learning curve, especially if Call of Duty is your strongest point of reference for online multiplayer games. Some skills will transfer over, but chances are is that you'll have to learn a whole new way of doing many things. Even if you're frustrated early, stick with it as the Battlefield franchise has always provided a deep sense of satisfaction for those that are willing to stick with it and master the game's unique quirks.