++++++++++++++++++++++++ //===== //===== ======= // // // ======= + Battlefield 2142 + // \ // // // // // // + Squad Guide + // / // // // // // // + By EvanBGood + //======/ //===== ======// // =====// ======// +karma2142 @ yahoo .com+// \ // // // // // + Version 1.02 // | // // // // // ++++++++++++++++++++++//========/ // //======= // // //======= Version 1.02 10-27-06 ---------------------------- Updated more permissions Minor fixes to chapter II, section C Minor fixes to chapter IV, section A Minor fixes to chapter IV, section D Version 1.01 10-25-06 ---------------------------- Added permissions for Gamesradar.com and Cheatplanet.com to use the guide Made minor fixes and additions to the SLSB in Chapter V Version 1.0 10-24-06 ---------------------------- Finished the first version of the guide Version 0.0 10-20-06 ---------------------------- Began the guide Table of Contents ---------------------------- I. Introduction II. The Basics A. What's a Squad? B. Joining, Creating, and Managing Squads C. Basic Squad Leader Commands D. Why You Should Never Be a Lone Wolf III. Squad Points A. Points B. Titan Mode C. Results IV. Squad Leader Commands & Tactics A. A Big Note on "Move Here" B. Where to Place Your Commands C. Spawn Beacons D. Kit Options V. Squad leader unlock equipment VI. Field Upgrades VII. Making the Right Choices A. Servers B. Squads C. Squad Members VIII. Closing & Disclaimer I. Introduction ---------------------------- Battlefield 2142 is a great game. So great that it encouraged me to write my first FAQ. I'm by no means an expert of this game or any other game in the Battlefield series, but I did spend a good chunk of the past years in Battlefield 2 and I'm sure I'll do the same with Battlefield 2142. However, I figured a full FAQ would be too much for a first FAQ, so I decided to give a shot at explaining just one system in the game. The squad system is something that I see most people not knowing how to use properly. Many Battlefield 2 vets assume this system is the same as it has always been and, on the surface, it is. However, once you know how to use it properly, proper squad use can nearly double your score for a game, whether you're a squad member, a squad leader, or a commander, and can have a significant influence on the outcome of the game itself. In this guide, I'll attempt to explain the basics of issuing commands, following commands, optimizing point gains, and generally run or run with an effective squad. II. The Basics ---------------------------- A. What's a Squad? For those who have never played a Battlefield game before, a squad is basically a team within a team. Squads can have up to six players in them, comprised of one squad leader and up to five squad members. There can be up to nine squads per team. Each is assigned a number and name in the order in which they were created. By default, they are named "Alpha, Beta, Charlie, Delta, Echo" etc., but they can be renamed by the squad leader. There are several basic advantages to being in a squad that aren't new to Battlefield 2142. These are: - The squad leader, if alive, will appear as a mobile spawn point (a green dot) on the spawn map. This can make getting back to an enemy base after dying much easier if your leader is still there. If the leader is in a vehicle, you will automatically take the next available seat in the vehicle. The green dot will be surrounded by red if the leader has been shot down, or if the leader is in a vehicle with no seats available. - All squad members appear in bright green on your map and radar. The leader will have his "dot" on your map and radar replaced by a number inside a circle (your squad's number), making him easier to spot and follow. - Squads each get their own chat channel in addition to the team chat channel, allowing you to talk only within the squad quickly. - Squads each operate under their own VoIP (voice over IP, the system that allows you to talk to other players through a microphone when holding down a button). There is no general VoIP in a Battlefield team, so if you like to talk in a game this way, squads are a must. However, many people are a bit timid around the idea of VoIP, or simply don't have the equipment. On a public server, this is not typically expected of you, so don't let it be a reason to not join a squad, even if they are using VoIP in the squad once you join. The worst they can do is remove you from the squad, which has no negative effects other than needing to find a different squad. - Squad leaders all get to share a VoIP with the commander. This chain of command can be a powerful tool, as it allows the commander (the eye in the sky, the one with the best tactical information) to give specific information to the squad leaders, who then can organize against enemies more effectively. Again, this is not expected of new players and is often only used to its full potential in private matches such as LAN parties or clan wars. - Squads get to use the command system, which is a quick and powerful organization tool that doesn't even really require communication between the squad members to get things done. With this system, just because you don't want to talk in a game like this doesn't mean you can't still be a part of teamwork. Read more about commands in section "C" of this chapter. - Squads and squad leaders get an additional quick radio menu. The quick radio menu is normally what you get when you press and hold the "Q" button (by default). This allows you to call for medics, request ammo, thank people, apologize to people, and (perhaps most importantly) quickly spot an enemy type by simply looking at it, opening the "Q" menu, and clicking. However, squads also get a "T" menu, which allows squad members to make requests of their commander and squad leader. The first one on the menu is the "Request Orders" request. This can be used when there's no order on the map or one is sitting in a pointless place, though it often goes unheard to the ears of lazy leaders. You can also request that the commander use his abilities in your area, such as orbital strikes or supply drops, which (on occasion) can be useful to both you and an overwhelmed commander who isn't close enough to the front lines to know who needs those supplies. The squad leader gets a slightly better version of the "T" menu. Their requests for commander assets are much more noticeable by the commander. In addition, leaders can use the "T" menu to issue commands extremely quickly without ever even having to open a map. Just make sure to aim them properly! (More on that in section "C") In addition to the basic benefits that existed before Battlefield 2142, there are several great tweaks to the system to make it more powerful and useful than ever in this game. These are: - The one that's probably most interesting to the common Battlefield 2142 player is this: Points! Though these will be explained more in-depth in the next chapter of the guide, keep in mind for now that squad members get extra points when they follow a squad leader's command. As for squad leaders, they can get massive amounts of points for themselves when they correctly command and guide their squad. In addition to getting points for all normal activities (something commanders don't get), squad leaders get one point every time one of their orders are followed. For example, there is an "attack" command on an enemy objective and a full squad goes after it on their own. With the enemies within the radius of the attack command, the five squad members kill one person each. In addition to the point they get for the kill, they get a squad bonus point, while the squad leader gets a whopping five squad leader points for the five kills under his guidance. However, one extremely important thing to note about these points is that they don't appear until the round is over. I believe many people don't see the value of this system because it isn't reported on their in-game stats, but you WILL get all those points towards your soldier's development when all is said and done. - Commands are now objective-based. This is one thing that I see overlooked a lot. As stated before, this will be covered more in later sections and chapters, however, the important thing to note about this is that you can no longer pick "attack" or "defend" or "move" specifically. If you put a command on an enemy objective, it's automatically "attack". If you put a command on a friendly objective, it's automatically "defend". If you put a command in the middle of nowhere, it's "move". An important thing to remember about this (and you'll hear this from me several times during the guide) is that the "move" command is useless for squad bonuses! You MUST target your commands directly at objectives to get the "attack" or "defend" options, and the point bonuses that come with them. A huge mistake that new squad leaders and commanders will make is to issue a "move" command just to the side of an objective, because they didn't click directly on the objective. Though this still has organizational benefit, it does nothing for the squad's advancement. - Field upgrades. These are the other big reason to make and follow orders. In the upper left hand corner of the screen is a bar that will slowly fill up as a squad successfully completes commands. When full, this system will award all squad members a free equipment unlock for the rest of their time on the server (until they log out, that is). A good squad can earn several upgrades, which can be a great way to test out new equipment and see what you might want to unlock permanently. However, you can only unlock one item higher in the "tree" than you have permanently unlocked. That means that if you haven't unlocked anything permanently, you can only pick from the unlocks available at the beginning of the game. But this also means that if, say, you've unlocked all the medical unlocks up to the smoke grenade, a field upgrade will allow you to add a Voss (the medic gun unlock) temporarily to your arsenal. - Squad equipment. There are three items you can unlock specifically for squad leaders. These will be covered more in-depth in a later chapter. The first one is a beacon that can be dropped on the ground to allow your squad AND you to spawn at a place where there is no spawn point. The second one is a little hovering drone that will help you detect enemy forces. The third is a hovering drone equipped with a couple guns to give a little support fire to you and your squad. In addition to the fact that these need to be unlocked traditionally (or as field upgrades), you must have a squad of a certain size to use them. One member is required for the beacon, two for the drone, and three for the armed drone. So as you can see, there are several advantages to being part of a squad, or leading one yourself. In fact, there are no disadvantages! So get in their with your comrades, soldier! B. Joining, Creating, and Managing Squads Joining or creating squads is not at all a hard thing to do. Open the squad menu (caps lock by default) and you will see a list of the commander (if present) and all available squads. If the padlock icon is lit up in one of them or if there are already six soldiers in the squad, you can't join it. If a squad is available, you simply click "Join". If you'd like to make your own squad, click "create". You can make a squad with a custom name by clicking the "custom squad" button at the bottom of the screen. To see the members of a squad, hit the button with a down arrow on it next to the squad's name. Simple as that. As a squad member, there isn't much more you need to do. Get in the squad, maybe request an order if there isn't one already, and start doing what you came to do: shoot stuff! As a squad leader, you can do a bit more to set up your squad once it's running. Using the "manage squad" button at the bottom of the screen, you can kick members, mute them from VoIP chat, and invite others to your squad. When you've made changes on this menu, be sure to click "apply" to put them all into effect. The squad inviting deserves extra mention, as many people simply forget to join a squad when they join a game. You can make their experience better and increase your team's likelihood of success greatly if you invite a few people who have no squad. Three out of four unsquaded people will typically accept. If possible, you can even try to recruit the "MVPs" of the game by requesting that soldiers who are doing particularly well join your squad. After all, a squad leader is nothing without good squad members. C. Basic Squad Leader Commands Each squad can have one command open at any time. These commands can be issued by the squad leader or by the commander, himself. When a squad leader receives a command from the commander, an option to decline or accept the command will appear at the bottom of the screen. Typically, a squad leader should hit "page up" to accept the command whenever it's seen, as it's assumed the commander has better information on enemy whereabouts. These commands include: "Attack here", represented by a sword icon. "Defend this position", represented by a shield icon. "Move here", represented by an arrow icon. Commanders can also request that their equipment be defended and there is a "repairs needed" represented by a wrench if the commander wants his equipment repair. They can also target enemy equipment to request "demolitions". These options are also available to squad leaders, but typically they'll be of more concern to the commander. When one of these commands is issued, it will appear on your radar and map with the appropriate icon and a straight line between you and the objective. In addition, it will also appear as an icon right on your HUD (heads-up display, a term used to describe the basic interface in front of you when playing the game, including your health, objective icons, soldier names, etc.). The icon will appear in the center of the screen when you face it, or on the corner of the screen indicating that you need to turn around in that direction. In addition to the icon type, the icon will also have a number followed by an "m", such as "100m". This indicates how many meters you are away from the objective. Squad leaders can issue their own commands in one of two ways. The first way is to hit the squad button (caps lock by default) and bring up the squad command map. From here, you can right click anywhere on the map to bring up a menu. You'll see all the requests you can make to your commander on this menu, as well as one of the commands you can issue. If you click anywhere on the map, the command that you'll see on the menu will be the ever-useless "move" command. However, if you right click on a flag or silo icon, you'll be able to choose "attack" or "defend", depending on if you control the objective or not. This method of commanding can be useful because you can do it after being killed, while waiting to respawn. This is a luxury that the commander does not have and can save some time. The second way is a method that all good squad leaders should get used to. If you aim your sights directly at a flag, silo, or titan icon on your HUD, the icon will gain a yellow boarder. At this time, you can open the "T" menu and pick the "issue command" option. This will allow you to quickly drop an order on a specific objective, even if you can't see it clearly. This can be extremely useful because you can do it while moving with your squad and can quickly change the command to wherever you're headed. Keep in mind, however, that, like the map command, aiming the "T" menu and anything but a flag will issue a "move here" command. If you don't see the icons on your screen, keep in mind that they can be toggled on and off by using the left "alt" key (referred to in the option settings as the "3D Map" key). Once a command has been issued, it won't go away until another is issued, or the game ends. Command types also don't change. For example, if you have an attack command on an objective and you take control of it, it does not become a defend command unless you aim at the flag and issue it again. However, attack and defend commands work similarly to each other and will provide the same bonuses, even if they request the defense of an enemy objective or the attack of a friendly one. D. Why You Should Never Be a Lone Wolf A "lone wolf" is a word used to describe Battlefield players who do not join squads and instead opt to play solo. In the days of Battlefield 2, being a lone wolf was reasonably pointless. There was no advantage to running around alone and no disadvantage for working with your teammates. But there was really no reason a lone wolf couldn't gain just as many points as anyone else if they had good aim. But now we're in Battlefield 2142 and being a lone wolf can actually hurt your success and greatly slow your advancement in the game overall. There are three areas of success in Battlefield 2142 that can be harmed by being a lone wolf, and helped by being a squad member, squad leader, or commander. These are your enjoyment of the game, your advancement in the game, and the success of your teammates in the game. Let's look at each of these. - Your enjoyment of the game - Of course, game enjoyment is an extremely subjective concept. It might be fun for you to sit and snipe all day, or it might be more fun for you to hop in every tank you see. But no matter what you like to do, you won't do as much of it as a lone wolf. You might think that being alone will give you more kills and more action, but it's in fact more likely to get YOU killed and your team is less likely to help you out. You might also think that your style of play wouldn't fit into a squad. This is very untrue. The format of squads in this game allows you to stick as close to or roam as far away from the squad as you want. You don't have to move together, you don't have to attack at the same time, you don't have to attack the same targets, and you don't even have to follow orders if you don't want to. Lone wolves, on average, will find themselves getting frustrated a lot more by situations that aren't as impossible to overcome as they may seem. If you ever hear someone complaining that one class or vehicle is over or under powered in this game, they probably spend most of their time as a lone wolf. In addition, some servers have a "lone wolves go first" policy when it comes to balancing teams. This means you'll be more likely to be switched to the losing team when they need help, most likely resulting in a loss for you. In a squad, you'll quickly find that the game can be a lot more "fun", in whatever way that means to you. Squads often last a lot longer in exciting firefights and, with other soldiers around to help you, your chance to survive that excitement is much more likely. Squads also share many tactical advantages that will allow you to see enemies long before they see you. You'll also find that squads aren't at all restrictive to how you want to play. If you like blowing up things with remote explosives, there's a place for you in squads. If you like sneaking behind enemy lines, there's a place for you in squads. If you like just charging in rambo style and killing everyone you see, there's a place for you in squads. Lastly, good squads will unlock field upgrades, allowing you to try out new "toys" before you've unlocked them. It may be a little intimidating to play along with other people when you're just starting out, but don't worry, you're all on the same team and they're there to help. You'll probably even learn the game faster working with and watching your squad mates, and Battlefield 2142 only gets more fun if you get good at it. - Your advancement in the game - Ah, points. They may not have mattered to you before in FPS games, but with the unlock system, Battlefield 2142 turns stats and awards into more than bragging rights. The more points you collect, the more you can do, and (used correctly) the more powerful you'll become. As a lone wolf, you get some of the lowest point returns in the game, even if you do a great job. In addition to the aforementioned increased likelihood of death (you can't earn points if you're eating dirt), you miss out on many potential bonus points, which can sometimes double or even triple the points you walk away with at the end of a round. A big change in Battlefield 2142 that you should also note is that kills are all worth one point (down from two points in Battlefield 2), unless they are carried out with some kind of bonus (such as the extra point you get for killing someone under a squad command). This means killing alone is no longer an effective way to gain points. In fact, a kill is now equal to the one point you get for damaging an enemy and letting someone else finish them off. Squads simply always make more points than soldiers going solo. When it comes to pure killing power, squads find more targets, find targets sooner, and survive more assaults, which means more points from that. In addition, medics, repair men, and resuppliers are all more likely to get points from moving with a squad (especially medics who can revive). Best of all, as mentioned several times in this guide, for every kill you get as a squad member or any beneficial action you perform (such as a revive) in the radius of an attack or defend command, you (and your squad leader) get an extra squad point. These points are awarded to you at the end of the round along with any award points you might have earned. Speaking of which, awards are also much easier to get in squads. In addition to some awards actually being based on squad activity, awards like the combat efficiency pin (for a 5 kill streak) are much easier to obtain with a squad helping you, especially if that kill streak is assisted by being revived when you would have otherwise died. If you combined the added efficiency of combat with the squad bonus points and the potential for earning medals, a round with 35 traditionally earned points could easily result in over 100. - The success of your teammates - Next to team killing, being a lone wolf is one of the worst things you can do for your team. For every lone wolf there is on a team, there's one less space for someone who would contribute to the team's success more effectively. In fact, a team with too many lone wolfs can even be less successful than a team without a commander, especially in smaller games. At the top of the screen of a squad menu, there's a number next to the word "unassigned". That is the number of lone wolves that are on your team. If that number is larger than the number of lone wolves on the other team, you're at a disadvantage, plain and simple. Just remember, an organized squad is much more powerful than a disorganized squad, but a disorganized squad is still better than no squad at all. A squad actively using commands does many things to influence the outcome of a game. In conquest mode, squads often are the ones best-suited for grabbing control points and taking down enemies quickly, while in titan mode, they also handle the path to a titan core more effectively (it's all but impossible to take down a titan without help). Squads also have the benefit of squad leader spawning and spawn beacons, which are an extremely important tactical tool in any game. This allows one crafty squad leader to get up to five people behind enemy lines simply by getting there, himself. Even better, a squad beacon placed behind enemy lines will allow your squad to be an endless force of soldiers until the objective is taken or the beacon is found by the enemy. Finally, it's easy to see that squads are a lot easier for a commander to handle. When a commander is at work, he sees a list of squads in the upper left hand corner and he can tell any number of them to do what he needs them to do. At least in theory, no one of the battlefield will know how to win better or be more determined to win than the commander, meaning that being under his control is the key to success. However, lone wolves can not be ordered by the commander and are very hard for him to notice or keep track of, so it's rare that the commander's actions will help them. Nothing spells doom for a commander faster than a large team with one little squad. So, as you can see, there is no good reason to be a lone wolf. It hurts you, it hurts your team, and it can even potentially hurt the fun of the game as a whole, since the game is a lot more fun when two well-organized teams are clashing than when one is destroying the other or when sixty-four people are running around like madmen. Find your nook in one or more of the three roles in the chain of command and get good at it. Fun and success will soon follow. III. Squad Points ---------------------------- A. Points The squad point system is not too complicated when you get down to it. Simply, squad points are single bonus points that you earn each time you do something helpful to your squad and team within the radius of an attack or defend squad order. The size of this radius seems to vary quite a bit (I may have better test data on this in a future version of this guide), though it's best to just work normally towards and around the objective holding the command, not to try to only aim for enemies near the objective. There are several different activities that will award a squad point inside an attack or defend radius. These include: - Kills - Heals (that earn points, themselves) - Revives - Resupplies (that earn points, themselves) - Repairs (that earn points, themselves) - Kill damage assists (seems somewhat random, possibly based on if another squad member finishes the kill) Squad leaders do not gain any of these bonuses, but instead gain one point whenever a squad member gains one. In this respect, a squad leader has the potential to gain much more than a member if he commands well and has a good squad following those commands. B. Titan Mode Titan mode has some extra bonuses that can be a bit confusing. Though the titan can be highlighted as an attack or defend location like any objective, you typically do not get squad bonus points for actions inside it (though you get one titan defend or titan attack bonus point, regardless of squad status). However, I have seen squad point bonuses show up after the core of the titan has been destroyed. But because there is nothing that tells you where squad points come from, it's hard to tell if this was due to a kill on the way out of the titan, or if it was due to the destruction of the titan itself. This should not discourage you from putting commands on the titan when necessary, however, as it can be useful tactically and actions still seem to fill up the field upgrade bar normally. C. Results At the end of a round, you get to see the results screen. Then and only then will you see the number of squad points you've earned. On the first screen, you'll see a list of all your points, as well as your "career points", which is Battlefield 2142's way of saying "actual points" as opposed to the score you gained without bonuses. You'll see a squad member bonus, a squad leader bonus, or a commander bonus based on your role, as well as any bonuses you got from badges, pins, ribbons, or medals, or an "away bonus" which is gained by people who haven't played in a while. You can also see the squad screen, which will display the two best squads from both teams. The number on the far right next to the names of the squad members on the list is the number of squad points that they've earned. It also will display a combined total of all the squad points gained by the squad. If this total number is extremely low (between zero and five), that team probably didn't have very good squads or a very good commander and, if the other team's squad has a higher number, chances are that they won the game (obviously, this is not a guarantee, however). You can look between the multiple results menus at your leisure, but if there's a new map loading, the pages will change automatically and you won't be able to look at them twice, so be sure to read everything quickly. Unfortunately, the screen shot option doesn't work in the results screen, so you won't be able to save the memories of a good game without a third-party screenshot method. IV. Squad Leader Commands & Tactics ---------------------------- A. A Big Note on "Move Here" The "move here" command... if you ever see a squad leader or commander giving only this command, it's a red flag that they don't know what they're doing. "Move here" is the command that is issued when a squad leader or commander doesn't aim properly at an objective icon. It's identified by a yellow line (instead of a purple one) on your radar between you and the command location, and by an arrow icon in the position of the command. If this is sitting right next to a flag, it's simply a matter of poor aim. To avoid this, yourself, make sure you're pointed directly at the objective icon before using the "T" menu, or you're right-clicking directly on the objective in the command map. If using the faster "T" menu method, the icon will gain a bright yellow boarder before when you face it. Getting good at aiming at icons quickly will allow you to change commands in high-pressure situations. It's possible to issue a command like this when driving a vehicle at full speed. But back to the main point, why is "move here" so bad? Simple. It doesn't award any squad bonus points and it doesn't fill up the field upgrade bar. Other than being a signal that you want your squad to move to a certain position, it's like the command isn't even there. The only way this should ever be used is when you're in a squad or team that's so tactically minded that the squad leader or commander wants you to position yourself somewhere outside of an objective to fire from afar. However, you'd be hard-pressed to find a place for this tactic to ever be useful in any game, and even then, it would probably not be useful for long. Even if you're trying to attack from a far-away location, it's better to put the command where you're attacking towards, as any soldier with half a brain will find the best route to attack from and the best place to hold a line of fire, if necessary. B. Where to Place Your Commands The easy answer to this question is to point your commands right where your squad is (defend) or is going (attack). The idea isn't necessarily to tell everyone what to do, but rather to organize and support what everyone naturally wants to do. Don't place squad commands on the other side of the map when there's an objective one-hundred meters away that all your squad members are near. Also, it's easy mistake to assume that your squad will keep up with you, especially if you're a pilot or in a fast-moving vehicle, while your squad members may be on foot. Keep in mind that some squad members will fall behind if you put a command too far away and, by the time they get there (if they even try), the action might have already moved somewhere else. This might frustrate a squad member into not following any commands which, while not completely detrimental to your cause, certainly doesn't help you and your goals. The beginning of a game may be overwhelming, as there might be several neutral objectives on the map. If things are too spread out, just wait a minute or so for the map to fill up a bit. Alternatively, you can try to get your squad moving together right out of the gates and pick whichever objective you think would be useful. This is one of the easier times to get an entire squad in an air transport or APC, so a good method can be driving or flying several squad members to the objective of your choosing to stake your claims quickly. But once the map starts filling up, your choices should be a bit more obvious. Attack objectives near objectives that you own and defend objectives that are under resisted attack from the enemy, as the game calls for. You should also keep in mind that trying to attack every objective on the map, one after the other, is a bit foolish, as it will almost always result in you losing as many objectives as you gain, if not more. In conquest mode, this isn't too hard to understand. On many maps, you only need to hold more than half of the flags to cause your enemy's tickets to "bleed", at which point you might as well play defensively and keep the heat on the enemy for as long as possible. On others, it may only take one flag to make the battlefield even for both sides. Keep in mind that each time you die, you take a ticket from your team, so once your tickets aren't being drained by lack of flags, or once your enemy is being drained, your priority for you and your squad should be kill efficiency (more kills, less deaths), and this can often mean defending from a safer position than going into an insane kamikaze attack mode. Put simply, take what you can get and don't get greedy. Titan mode can be a bit trickier when it comes to commands because there's so many places to go, so many things to think about, and troops can travel so quickly to most objectives via titan pods or air transports. In addition, there is no "acceptable" number of silos, as more will always help more and less will always hurt more. You should also note that the missile count-down of each silo can be more important than who controls it. Each time a silo changes ownership, it launches a missile at the enemy titan. Then, two minutes pass before it launches another. This means that some silos might be more important to catch than others before they send another missile into you're titan's shield or hull. Pressing and holding the "T" menu button will display the count-down for each silo at the top of your screen. This can be used to influence your commands. Though all this may seem complicated to handle at one time, the same basic rule still applies: command where your squad wants to go. No matter how important one silo may be, it's pointless to command your troops to go there if they can't or won't. Fights at silos can be a bit faster and more chaotic than fights at flags, but the theory behind them is still the same, and commands still work in the same way. The major difference is that conquest games often have a "line" behind which the majority of each team has control (though this, of course, can be broken by sneaking to an objective far behind the enemy line). Because of the ease of travel, titan games often lack this line. This makes choosing the next silo a bit trickier as the enemy could literally be anywhere on the map. So, you have to be a bit more aware of enemy tendencies and exploit weaknesses when you find them. You might find one silo to be particularly appealing to the enemy, which makes a good place for your squad to defend and destroy, while the rest of your team takes care of the other silos. Your overall goal, however, should be the same as a conquest game. You want to control more silos than the enemy as often as possible and you want the enemy shield to fall before yours. Once the shield is down, the game only gets more complicated. As a squad leader, it's wise to try to make the decision for your squad, whether you're going to attack the enemy titan, defend your own, or continue gaining silo control. Keep in mind that, while attacking may be the most appealing option, defending can sometimes turn the entire game in your favor, and some games are so well-defended that silo control becomes a focus. If you're certain your enemy is too spread out in silos or making easily crushed attacks on your titan, attacking might be the best option. Remember, practice makes perfect, and you'll soon have good instincts to handle the rock-paper-scissors match that is a game of titan mode. Finally, a big part of where to place your commands is when to change them. The worst thing you can do when trying to command effectively is to forget that you left a command in a completely useless place. There is no limit to how many times you can change commands and, if your commander isn't giving you any or isn't giving you new ones fast enough, never be afraid to take matters into your own hands. Even with no commander at all, a good squad leader can change the tides of an entire game if he commands quickly and effectively. When something changes, command accordingly. When you take an objective, command accordingly. When your squad gets slaughtered, command accordingly. Though it might not always be possible to find the time to make the perfect command at every juncture, look for good opportunities to change commands, such as when sitting at an objective, when traveling, or when dead (remember, you can command even when dead, which a commander can't do). You may even want to change "attack" commands to "defend" ones after taking an objective to help remind your squad to stay put. Use your instincts, don't be afraid of making and correcting mistakes, and try to keep your eyes on the enemy, not just your map. After all, a squad leader should be out there fighting just like everyone else. Good squad leaders are the ones who can handle that with the added responsibility of issuing and accepting commands. C. Spawn Beacons Of the three items that can be unlocked for squad leaders to use, the spawn beacon may be one of the most useful ones, even though it's the easiest to unlock, only requires one squad member, and can even be chosen as a field upgrade in battle by someone who has no squad leader items unlocked. The exact effect of this item will be explained in the squad leader equipment chapter of the guide. This is just a brief reminder that any good squad leader should know how to use these and make use of them when the situation calls for it. One of the best tactics for leading a squad is to place your spawn beacon in a place that's hard to reach, such as on the opposite side of an enemy objective, or on the roof of an enemy titan. The beacon ensures an endless stream of your soldiers unless discovered by the enemy (which can be surprisingly rare). When used on an enemy objective, this will have one of three results. One, the most likely result, you'll overwhelm and take the objective. Two, you'll meet resistance and repeatedly make use of the element of surprise (as most soldiers will be moving towards the front lines, not checking their backs) and you and your squad will rack up kills and bonus points as you constantly respawn right on top of a command location. Or three, the least appealing result, the enemy will use your beacon against you and attempt to slaughter your squad each time it spawns. At this point, it's a good idea to try to snag your beacon so your squad doesn't fall blindly to their own deaths. Typically, however, squad beacons will have a great effect anywhere on the field, even if it isn't all the way behind an enemy objective (half-way between two objectives lowers travel distance). And remember, this is the only way to set up an extra spawn point for you, the squad leader, as you have no leader to spawn on like the rest of your squad. D. Kit Options Though all kits, weapons, and items have the potential to be useful in any situation you might come across, there are some benefits to each kit that a good squad leader should be aware of. Keep in mind that each kit can mix and match items from both trees if you have them unlocked. Let's take a look at each: - Recon, Sniper - Snipers only have one function, really: to kill infantry. Though this may not be the absolute best thing for a squad leader to spend his time doing, they are quite good at it, and kills never hurt. In addition, snipers tend to stay in one well-hidden place more often, which means you're typically a much safer spawn point for your squad, assuming you're in a favorable position. Try to avoid using anti-personnel mines on servers that allow them to cause team damage as this is a sure-fire way to get team kills, especially when your squadmates are hanging around you and running by places you might have mined. Mines should only be used by snipers who are far away from the rest of their team, where they won't cause unintentional harm. The other two items in the sniper's equipment only serve to make his rifle steadier and more deadly. The sniper's last unlock is a heavy sniper rifle that can kill a light armor troop in one body shot, which can only be a good thing if you like sniping. - Recon, Cloaker (Spec-ops) - Cloakers can take out specific targets for your squad, like dangerous vehicles (with their remote explosives) or well-placed infantry. However, a cloaker's main advantage as a squad leader is with the squad beacon, for obvious reasons. A cloaked squad leader can get to a good place to place a beacon more safely and without the action being noticed. Cloakers also get the NetBat Fade Delay helmet, which will allow squad HUD info to last on the screen longer than it would normally. In the end of the cloaker tree, cloakers get a much-needed non-sniper primary weapon which fires extremely quickly and is suitable for short and medium range combat. - Assault, Attack - The attack tree of the assault unlocks, much like the sniper, is there mostly to take out infantry. However, attack assault soldiers are much more prepared for the front lines, while snipers should obviously take their shots from further away. This means that assault troops are better for taking and protecting objectives, where the enemy is more likely to be close by. Even with no medic unlocks, attack assault troops can still use med packs, which can always be helpful to both you and your squad members when hurt. Attack assault troops also get the NetBat Infantry ID which allows you to pass on information about the kit enemy troops are carrying to your squad members' HUDs when you look at an enemy. This information isn't incredibly useful, but it's a free benefit once unlocked, so it couldn't hurt. At the end of the assault attack tree, in addition to getting two assault rifle attachments to make you slightly more deadly, you'll get the Baur heavy assault rifle. In addition to sharing a name with a certain TV action hero, the Baur causes considerably more damage than a standard assault rifle in exchange for a smaller clip size. This gun is more suitable for middle to longer range semi-auto shots than full-auto shots, where it's somewhat slow firing rate and smaller clip can be outmatched by other guns. However, keep in mind that you will have a shotgun attachment available if you have this gun unlocked. - Assault, Medic - The medic is one of the most useful kits for squad leaders. The ability to revive teammates, whether they're on your squad or not, will both help your team greatly and give you some nice point boosts. In addition, medics can heal faster and lay down smoke grenades for cover, though the grenades are rather difficult to use effectively. As a medic squad leader, you'll most likely spend most of your time just keeping your squad alive, mixed with shooting at the enemy. This tree ends with the Voss assault rifle, which has a larger clip than the standard rifle and is more suited to faster, close-quarters attacks. And here's a little tip for medics in general. In the real world, the first step of first aid on an unresponsive victim is to check the scene for danger. This holds true in the Battlefield world, as well. Don't go straight into a highly dangerous area just to revive someone without trying to clear it first. You'll most likely just be killed yourself, but if you manage to get the revive, it's very likely that you'll BOTH die. In fact, a good tactic on the other side of the situation is to lure enemy medics to dead bodies that you just shot, then shoot them, and the same person again. Don't let this happen to you and your squad. - Support, Machine-Gunner - MGs, including the HMG at the end of this tree, are the ultimate in defensive weapons. No soldier can guard a narrow area like one lying prone with an MG. Because of this, they are often well-suited for titan defense and, as their name implies, can spray some very powerful and distracting support fire for your team. As a MG-wielding support troop, your role will often be to find good positions and take well-planned shots, while you allow your assault rifle carrying teammates charge out in front. Though MGs can be offensive, they don't work as well in snap-judgement situations, especially when moving, which is why steadier guns should take the lead. In addition, this line gives you three very powerful tools. The first is an EMP grenade. EMPs can temporarily disable vehicles and blur the view of soldiers. In a teamwork situation, a support's EMP grenade followed by a well-placed engineer shot can spell very fast doom for an armored vehicle or walker. The second item support troops get is the NetBat Active Camo ID. This, like all the unlock helmets, is a passive effect, and perhaps the most useful one of the four. This will "paint" any cloaked targets in front of you for you and your squad with a red diamond. Cloaked targets are essentially unarmed when invisible, so this can result in some very easy kills and can stop the plans of the cloaker, who could cause lots of trouble if he sneaked by. Last is the A-12 Enforcer Sentry Gun, which is a reasonably powerful stationary automated turret gun. Though it often doesn't have enough power to work effectively on its own, it's essentially a free extra gun for you and your squad, which means more damage and more chaos. It also is effective in titan defense along with your MG. Like the assault kit, you still have the ability to resupply teammates even if you don't invest in the tree containing the advanced ammo hub. Because of this, you should always help your squad members and teammates when they need ammo, especially if engineers are around, as they run out of ammo faster than other kits. - Support, Resupplyer - The resupplying support squad leader is the most capable ammo resupplier on the battlefield and you should certainly make use of that ability. In addition, you can tactically use small IPS Shields to defend yourself and squad members against small arms fire. IPS shields, like smoke grenades, are difficult to use tactically, but not entirely useless. This tree also gets the DysTek Pulse Meter, which potentially has great benefits as a squad leader as it's supposed to act like a small, portable UAV. However, there have been reports that, as of now, this item is not working properly. Finally, the resupplyer gets the most powerful (of two) shotgun in the game, which can be deadly in the right hands, though it's pretty useless at longer ranges. Even if you're a resupplyer, your MG can still be your best friend and you're still extremely powerful defensively. A squad leader with this kit is best suited to provide covering fire for his squad while making sure they're well supplied. As an added bonus, the squad leader can replenish his own equipment with his ammo pack. This means if your beacon or one of your drones gets destroyed, you don't have to respawn to get another. - Engineer, Anti-vehicle - Engineers are built to take down vehicles. This can be very useful to your squad as an unchecked vehicle can lay waste to as many support and assault troops as you can possibly throw at it. This tree of the engineer unlocks allows you to defuse mines that might threaten your squad, and lay "PDS-1" devices, which act as small UAVs that detect vehicles in an area on your team's radar. All engineers can repair vehicles, as well, which can be very useful for squads that are vehicle-heavy. This type of engineer also gets the vehicle ID helmet, which transmits vehicle info back to your squad, though I have yet to see this prove very useful as typically all you need to know about a vehicle is where it is and what type it is, which is provided through a standard "Q" menu "spotted" option. Finally, the heavy anti-vehicle rifle is a dumb-fire anti-vehicle missile that travels faster than standard rockets, which can make an engineer much more effective in the right hands (though some prefer the normal rockets). A squad leader with this equipment is actively searching vehicles that might threaten his squad and, with the help of his squad, destroys them before they cause trouble. This type of engineer is the more "head-on" type, whose equipment helps them attack vehicles with more force than tactics. The secondary duties include handling repairs and disarming the occasional mine if you're lucky enough to spot one in time. - Engineer, Anti-Air - The anti-air engineer isn't as remarkable for it's anti-air abilities as it is for its first three unlocks. The engineer gets two different mines: an EMP and a motion mine. The motion mine is an anti-vehicle mine that can detect friend from foe, which can be extremely useful. The EMP mine is somewhat harder to use, but can deliver a debilitating EMP blast to any vehicle that goes over it. This equipment makes this kind of engineer the more "tactical" of the two, as a good mine-laying engineer will be able to more effectively plan ahead against enemy vehicles. As a squad leader, however, your biggest interest should be in the advanced repair tool. Unlocking this will allow you to repair faster and, more importantly, produce a repair "aura" when inside a vehicle. Though you can't repair your own vehicle without getting out (some vehicles allow you to repair from certain seats), this has tremendous teamwork potential. If a squad member also has this ability and you're both traveling together in armored vehicles, you make an incredibly irritating twosome for the enemy, as you'll both be there constantly repairing each other's damage. But even if you're the only one with this ability, it's simply more convenient sometimes to drive up next to a vehicle and repair it from the safety of whatever you're in than it is to get out and chase the thing down on foot, possibly getting stepped on or run over in the process. At the end, the anti-air engineer gets an anti-air gun. This is typically not the most useful gun in the world because it's reasonably rare to find air targets that are a threat compared to the many vehicles and soldiers you'll encounter. However, it could still be useful in some situations, especially on titan maps which have more heavy reliance on air transport vehicles. But as a squad leader, you're more likely to find repairing useful... not staring up in the sky and waiting. V. Squad Leader Unlock Equipment ---------------------------- There are three items in the unlockable equipment menu available for people who lead squads often. These are available as squad field upgrades, but remember that you can only get the first one (or one higher in the tree than you already have unlocked). Effective squad leaders should always have at least one of these with them when going into a fight. These items have their own slot on the soldier customization menu, so they don't take up extra space when used, though you can only have one at any given time. The item will then tuck itself out of the way, bound to your "8" key by default. In addition, an icon will appear next to your name in the squad selection menu to indicate that you are carrying one of these items. When you see a leader with this icon, it typically means they're more likely to know what they're doing and aren't just some person who decided to start a squad on a whim. In order of unlock, here are the three items: - SLSB - The SLSB, or Squad Leader Spawn Beacon, is arguably the most useful item a squad leader can carry. Like an AED is to a medic, so is an SLSB to a squad leader. The SLSB looks like some kind of high-tech Frisbee-based landmine. To use it, you simply click and it will be thrown out in front of you. Once on the ground, it acts as a mobile spawn point that you and your squad can come back to when you die. It works for an unlimited number of times until it's either destroyed or picked up by you. The benefit of this is pretty obvious; it allows you and your squad to spawn at places far away from captured objectives or friendly bases, eliminating the time and danger of traveling there by foot or vehicle. There are a few drawbacks, however. The beacon is very easy to destroy, if found and, though there are no icons to alert that a beacon is friendly or hostile, a smart enemy will probably assume something is up and take out the beacon. They might also make use of the fact that an endless stream of disoriented soldiers is popping up around one area, making a discovered beacon a pretty common ambush point. The beacon also replaces the ability for squad members to spawn on the squad leader, himself. Also, though spawning directly on a squad leader allows you to spawn normally, the SLSB brings in soldiers by drop pod from the sky (who knows where they come from). This has several drawbacks. One, the enemy can see you falling in and the sound of the pod colliding with the ground is reasonably loud. Two, unlike other drop pods, you have no control over where the pod falls; only control over the direction you're in when you hit the ground. Three, the pod can be quite disorienting, as you land in a cloud of smoke and it can take you a few seconds to figure out exactly which way you're headed and where your foes are (which is plenty of time to get shot). There is also a small glitch in the game when it comes to the semi-random positioning of the drop pods around the beacon. Sometimes, drop pods can get caught in trees or on other structures which will cause them to open prematurely, often causing falling damage if the parachute isn't opened in time. The biggest problem with this glitch is on the Camp Gibraltar map, where a beacon near a wall inside the camp could drop a pod on the outside of the wall. The outside of the wall is an out-of-bounds zone and there is no way out of it other than to die. If this glitch becomes a problem, be sure to move your beacon away from whatever obstruction is causing it. These drawbacks are minor compared to the true usefulness of the SLSB. A well-placed beacon can make a heavily contested objective much easier to grab, a titan much easier to attack, and a defended base much more secure (if the beacon is near a base that becomes captured). Squad leaders should typically have one of these down somewhere, unless they're moving to put one in a different place, or if their position is favorable enough that spawning on the squad leader is more useful than spawning on the beacon, such as if the squad leader is driving an APC. It should be noted that you can only have one beacon in place at any time. If you try to throw a second beacon while there is still one active anywhere else on the map, it will simply stick to your hands, though you'll still declare "Squad, beacon is now active!" each time you try to throw it. You can either destroy your own beacon to allow you to put down another, or pick it up with the "G" key (by default). It's recommended that you pick it up, as you can only carry one beacon at a time. However, you carry a new beacon each time you spawn and can get a new one from any supply drop crate or support troop. SLSBs award no points on their own, but used in conjunction with an attack or defend command, they can make more squad points and squad leader points than any other method. The SLSB can only be used by squad leaders who both have it unlocked and have one or more squad members in their squad at the time. - RD-4 Otus - The RD-4 Otus is the less violent of the two hovering toasters that squad leaders can use. The Otus tends to find enemies around you and "paint" them for you and your squad with the little red diamond icons that you see when an enemy is spotted for your team, allowing you to see their path even behind obstructions. Though this isn't as powerful as a UAV or as descriptive and reliable as a teammate's "spotted" command, extra tactical data can only be a good thing, and can help lead to the success of you and your squad. The Otus is selected like any other squad leader item, and looks like a remote control before activated. Simply click to use the remote, which will spawn a little hovering drone above your head. This drone will follow you around until it (or you) is destroyed. Like the SLSB, you can only have one active and can only carry one. If the drone is destroyed, you'll need to resupply before you can get another. The main drawback to the drone is its increased visibility. It's designed to help you in a situation with your entire squad around to help, as well, so one-man stealth missions don't work too well with the drone. The reason for this is that it hovers right over you when, say, you're hiding behind something, letting the enemy know that, not only is their a soldier hiding there, there's a squad leader hiding there, which means that they should be taken out quickly before their squad spawns around them. Even in normal firefights, this drone tends to point you out the enemy a bit more than you might desire. Snipers and cloakers would definitely not want to use this while doing their jobs. The Otus awards no points for use, but the tactical data may lead to more kills for you and your squad, which is always a plus. The Otus can only be used by squad leaders who both have it and the SLSB unlocked and have two or more squad members in their squad at the time. - SD-8 Accipiter - The SD-8 Accipiter is the more violent of the two hovering toasters that squad leaders can use. The Accipiter moves just like the Otus, but instead of painting targets itself, it looks for targets that have already been painted by other means, such as squad members spotting them. When found, it uses two somewhat weak chain guns to open fire on the target. These bullets are not nearly as powerful as the ones that come from the support kit's turret, but the drone has the added advantage of being mobile and passive (you don't need to do anything to help it once you've made it). Its main use is as backup fire to an already powerful squad, as it's rare to see it take down an enemy by itself, but it can certainly add to the chaos that you want to throw at your foes. Because it relies on the spotting abilities of you and your squad, it works better when there are more people around spotting things for it. The Accipiter is selected and used just like the Otus. It's held as a remote in your hand and, when the button is pressed, the drone will appear over your head. The drone spins constantly until it finds a painted target in any direction (its 360 degree range is another advantage over the support turret). Like the Otus, if it's destroyed, you must find another one to use it again. Both drones hover over your critically wounded body until you're forced to respawn, but it's rare for the Accipiter to continue fighting once you've been taken down, as there are no longer any eyes on the battlefield to find targets for what is essentially a blind drone. Though the Accipiter is the final crowning achievement of the squad leader unlock line, it may be the most difficult to find an effective use for. Its firepower is simply not as strong or accurate as you'd want it to be and, because it relies on you and your squad to paint targets for it, it's a lot more likely that you'll just shoot what you saw, yourself. The drone also suffers from the same visibility problems as the Otus, with the added drawback of the drone making a very loud and distinct noise, further pointing you out to the enemy. The drone is by no means useless, but it may not be the best thing for smaller or less organized squads (hence the limitation of only squads with three or more members being allowed to use it). However, when squads are large enough that tactical data is no longer that much of a benefit and a beacon has already been placed, a little extra firepower can be the icing on a good squad's cake. The Accipiter only awards points as a weapon for the squad leader, meaning if it takes out a target, the squad leader gets one kill point. Because of this, it doesn't contribute to the squad's bonus points, as squad leaders get no bonus for following their own commands. The Accipiter can only be used by squad leaders who both have it, the Otus, and the SLSB unlocked and have three or more squad members in their squad at the time. VI. Field Upgrades ---------------------------- The field upgrade system is a per-game award system for squads that make and perform commands effectively. Your squad's progress in this system is indicated by a green bar in the upper left-hand corner of the interface. As squad bonus points are earned through normal actions within the radius of a squad's attack or defend command, this bar fills up bit by bit. When full, you and your squad will get a message that a field upgrade is available and you will hear a little notification noise. To unlock your field upgrade, press enter to go into the kit selection menu. At the top of the menu, there should be three options, one for your map, one for customization, and one for field upgrades. The field upgrade menu will simulate an unlock screen as if you had just gained one unlock point. This means that you can unlock any one item available to you at that time. After you've selected your item, be sure to go to the customization menu and add the unlocked item to your kit. You will be able to spawn with it the next time you respawn. These upgrades will be available to you for the remainder of your time on the server, even if the game ends or you change squads or teams. The maximum number of field upgrades you can have is ten. You will continue gaining field upgrades after this, but since you can only unlock one item per tree in the unlock system, you will have all your next unlocks available after ten upgrades. If you have grenades unlocked already, this number becomes nine, because you are not allowed to get any field upgrades in the "player abilities" tree, other than grenades (this means you cannot unlock sprint boosts temporarily). This system isn't really much of a boost to your squad power, but rather a reward to the squad leader and the squad members for doing their jobs correctly. Its most obvious use is to test out the next upgrade available to you to see if you might like to unlock it permanently. For squad leaders, however, the unlocks can be used to unlock the next piece of squad leader equipment, which means someone who just has a beacon unlocked can upgrade to an Otus as well in the process of leading. Someone who finds themselves being a squad leader with no previous unlocks can also use a few commands and gain an upgrade to allow them to use the SLSB without unlocking it officially. It's recommended, however, that aspiring squad leaders at least unlock beacons permanently, since it's best to have one of those as fast as possible, and it will give you the beacon icon in the squad menu, which might help you recruit more soldiers at the beginning of a match. Squad leaders should only unlock all three squad leader items if they're very serious about squad leading and have points to spare. Unlocking the SLSB will be more than enough to do your job well, and unlocking the Otus will give you quick access to the Accipiter via field upgrades if you command effectively. VII. Making the Right Choices ---------------------------- A. Server Choosing the right server when it comes to squad play can be tricky. After all, a server full of lone-wolves one night may be a fully VoIPed clan war the next night. Battlefield 2142 allows you to view your history of servers and click a little "plus" sign to add a server to your favorites list, so if you have a particularly good run on a server be sure to mark it as your favorite. The first thing to look for in a good server is, of course, speed. Make sure you have a server with a good ping, preferably in low double-digit numbers. With a good connection, it's not unheard of to get a single-digit ping with some servers if they're close enough to you. Make sure the stability of the server is also in check. Just because a server has a low-ping doesn't mean it's lag-free. This is of particular concern in titan-mode games, which tax a server's resources much more heavily than conquest games. Never join a titan game with more than forty-eight people, as this is a recipe for laggy frustration. Once you have a fast and stable server, take into account the server's rules. Some servers have no team damage, which you may or may not like. Some severs do not allow APM mines to harm your teammates. This can lower the number of teamkills from those mines, but can dramatically increase the number of normal kills from them, which can either be useful or frustrating depending on your style. Also, you'll want to make sure the map rotation fits your style. Some servers alternate between conquest and titan maps, which can be bad if you only like one or the other, while other servers may be 24/7 of a certain kind of map, which can be good if you like one map in particular, but bad if you like variety. One thing to also look out for is clan presence in servers. Often times, a clan-owned server can be very pleasant and fun, especially if the clan is well-organized and you can play with a few members. However, some clans will design a server specifically for the purpose of loading all their members onto one team, then destroying anyone else who comes onto the server. If you see this happening, you'll probably not want to support their cheating unless your team is actually putting up a good fight. Perhaps most importantly to the squad-minded person, however, is the game-end policy of the server. Some servers will automatically swap the teams when each round is over. This can be very detrimental to squad structure because each time the server swaps the teams, all the squads are deleted and must be reformed. Because most lone wolves are just lone wolves because they forget to join a squad, these servers often will only have about five or six people in squads after the swap. In addition, you will lose any progress your squad had to the next field upgrade and there's a high likelihood that you won't have the same squad leader and members again. Because of this, these server types aren't recommended for squad play. The purpose of swapping teams is to make the game more balanced, but since all of the same team members are swapped, it rarely has this effect. Servers that don't do this can suffer from heavily one-sided games, but this is simply because good squads aren't wiped from the server repeatedly. If you find yourself on the losing side on one of these servers, try forming a solid squad to fight the organization of the other team. It's very possible to change the course of an entire game by leading one good squad. Finally, you'll want to consider the number of people and the capacity of the server. Ultra-small servers can make for a very interesting tactical game, while larger games can provide more excitement and action, as well as more squad and point opportunities. Just be aware that games that have too many people may not run smoothly and may result in unavoidable death (such as being killed directly after spawning) much more often. Games that have too few people may not even start until more people join and, especially if the map's too big, can be incredibly dull. After a while, finding the perfect server for your taste should be easy. You could even make some friends to make future squad work much easier and more productive. B. Squad Obviously, picking the right squad is one of the more important steps to using the squad system effectively. The most sure-fire way to be in a good squad is to learn to be a good squad leader and make it yourself. However, not all of us want to be squad leaders, and even those who do would like a break now and then. So how do you tell which squad to join? There are many signs. First and foremost is the number of people in a squad. Squads that consist of a leader alone are typically less likely to be serious, since a squad leader without squad members is essentially a lone wolf with a number on top of his head. If a squad leader needs members, he should invite some in the squad management screen. Leaders with just two members are also not the first choice squads, as they may not have been working well enough to gain a following, or they may be a couple of soldiers in a squad for a specific purpose, like manning a gunship (in which case the squad should be locked). The ideal number is between three and five (six obviously wouldn't work at all; the squad would be full). If you joined a three person squad, it would become a three member, one leader squad, which is ideal for most situations, and two more members could only help more. The second thing you'll want to look at is the names of the squad and the names of the people in the squad. On occasion, you'll come across a squad full of clan members with a little more space in it. If they welcome you (many of them lock their squad), you can be pretty sure that they're working together, as they at least know each other well enough to share a clan tag. Sometimes you'll see squads with custom names, as well. Some good squad leaders try to advertise that they know what they're doing with names like "teamwork" or "beacon". Whatever they name it, the fact that they took the time to make a custom name means they're at least serious enough to put a conscious effort into being a squad leader, not just creating a squad on a whim. You'll also want to check for the icon next to the squad leader's name. If they have an extra icon in the shape of one of the three squad leader equipment items, that means they are carrying that item. This is often the best sign you can have that a squad leader is serious about their role because this means they've spent enough time as a squad leader to want to spend unlock points on squad leader equipment. Of course, there are people who want to unlock these things just to experiment with them, so this rule doesn't always hold true. If you're very determined to find the right squad leader, you can even go as far as to check stats and ranks. A squad leader with a higher rank, especially if he has squad leader equipment, is probably much more experienced than a lower ranking squad leader. You could also look at the kill/death ratio and teamwork scores of the squad members to see how high of a caliber the people you're working with will be. This is all very specific data, however, and most likely you won't want to take the time to consider all of it when you're just trying to play the game. Once you find the right squad, try to stay with it as long as possible. Get to know the habits of the leader and each member. Find out what kits each member carries and plan accordingly. If you know certain members often play medics, for example, try to travel with them for added protection. Working with each other and knowing how everyone is going to act can help make a good squad a great one. C. Squad Members As a squad leader, you have the option of inviting soldiers to join your squad. Though it's perfectly fine to just pick a list of members at random, it's possible to be a bit more selective in your choices. The first rule of squad recruiting is to go for lone wolves first. Open up all the squads in the squad menu while choosing who to send invites to and try to avoid sending invites to those who are already in squads, as they're most likely to just ignore you. Since joining a squad is only a matter of hitting the "page up" button, most lone wolves will join you pretty quickly. If you don't get any answers, try a different group, or even try a few members who are in a squad (especially one you notice to be flawed). In most cases, you should at least be able to get two members to start. Once you have a couple, however, the squad may be able to recruit for itself and gain five members over time. If you're looking for a bit more of an A-team, you can actively try to get the best soldiers on your team in your squad. Though this can often happen at random anyway (you'll learn to love that mystery maniac who racks up a dozen kills under your commands), you can look at the scores and kits of people to try to assemble a more selective squad. However, since most squads are formed at the beginning of games, it can be hard to tell which people have the most potential. In this case, your best bet is to look at the report at the end of the game and make a mental list of the "MVPs", then try to invite them first thing. This works particularly well on servers that wipe the squad list each round, though you'll only be able to keep that up for one game, obviously. The rule for squad members goes double for squad leaders when it comes to getting to know a good squad. Since you're the sub-commander of this group of people, try to get to know the habits of each of them and work with that. Get to know how fast they travel and how apt they are to follow orders and command accordingly. And remember, if someone is acting like a fool or if there's simply someone better out there, you can always kick the weakest link out. VIII. Closing and Disclaimer ---------------------------- Thank you for reading my guide! My goal in writing this was to spread the idea of good squad leading, so if you've learned something from this, try to share it and make the game of Battlefield 2142 more fun for everyone! I know that my guide was not perfect and there might be some flaws or missing information. If you have any corrections (or compliments, tee-hee), send them to karma 2142 @ yahoo . com (without spaces; added those to avoid spam searchers). Please copy and paste the exact part of the guide that you're correcting or commenting on so I know exactly what needs fixing. Also, by writing any corrections to me, you agree to give me the right to paste your words and name (not complete email) in future versions of the guide if I choose. If you don't want your words or name used or want a different name quoted, please say so within your correction. I will attempt to update this guide when needed, especially after a patch. Do not write me demanding any kinds of cheats, game hacks, CD keys or otherwise illegal and undesirable requests. I will attempt to answer questions, if needed, but I may not be able to get to everyone and some questions may be answered within the guide or elsewhere. My priorities will be with the corrections of the guide, itself. This guide was written by Evan Good (AKA EvanBGood of GameFAQs, Karma of BF2142, and Karma_Chameleon of BF2). This guide may not be displayed or reproduced anywhere but the following websites: - GameFAQs.com and its direct partners (via links) - GamesRadar.com and its partner, CheatPlanet.com - Asylum-gameservers.com - Supercheats.com - Neoseaker.com This guide may only be displayed elsewhere by the direct consent of the author who may be contacted at the email address listed below. If you have read this guide anywhere but the listed websites, please contact this email address immediately. The email address again is: karma2142 (at) yahoo (dot) com