Following a last minute delay into the post Red Dead Redemption 2 era, Battlefield 5 has finally arrived on PC and console, bringing with it a new World War 2 setting hosting all the large scale, class based multiplayer combat you’d expect from a Battlefield game. By returning to the era in which the series first begun, DICE has doubled down on the core pillars of Battlefield and redefined them with a host of smart, sensible ideas.
You won’t find any crazy gimmicks like Levelution or Behemoths here, soldier, as Battlefield 5 is a summation of smaller, subtler tweaks to the franchise’s DNA. Resultantly, the less obvious additions to multiplayer are worth knowing about for staying on top of the food chain, so these are the seven biggest essential Battlefield 5 tips to know before playing things to know before you jump in and play this weekend.
1. Spotting now requires binoculars
In previous Battlefield games, you could tag enemies by pressing a button while aiming at them down a sniper scope. That way, everyone on your team knew where they were and could plan accordingly.In Battlefield 5, spotting has been dialled back somewhat. No longer can you pick out players through your sniper scope: you need to switch to your binoculars and tag them.
Of course, only Scout players have binoculars so if you’re playing with a full squad, make sure one of your pals is rocking Scout in order to spot the enemy team. Another change to spotting is that tags don’t persist when an enemy breaks line of sight. If they go behind a rock or building, they won’t be tagged anymore for you. It’s fairer and a lot more realistic (in real-life, soldiers can’t track enemies behind walls believe it or not), so spamming the spot key doesn’t help as much as it used to.
2. Squad up
Squadplay has been given some welcome TLC in Battlefield 5, as a core tenet of the multiplayer ecosystem. That means you ought to a join and stay in a squad even when playing as a lone soldier, as there’s huge benefits to doing so. For one thing, squadmates can spawn in on each other, and Battlefield 5 encourages players to do so by transitioning to a squad spectator mode whenever they die.
Furthermore, all members of a squad can now revive each other regardless of what class they’re playing as, while Battlefield 5’s scarcity of ammo makes the Support class more important than ever. So, find your three brothers or sisters in arms, make sure that team comp is tip top, and get fighting.
3. Build, build, build
One of Battlefield 5’s biggest new features is the Fortifications system, whereby any player can build (or indeed destroy) defenses at a variety of capture points or chokeholds across all eight of the multiplayer maps available at launch. Simply bring out your hammer, and the user interface will show you where any available Fortifications can be placed in the nearby terrain, at which point you simply need to hold down the build button to set them up.
The Support class can build at twice the speed of any other, so those who prefer to play Battlefield 5 like an intense game of Fortnite should select this soldier from their company. But pick your moments carefully; it’s not always worth placing down Fortifications during, say, a game of Conquest, when players are dispersed more evenly across the map. Instead, prioritise building when your team are tasked with defending a specific perimeter, but try not to leave yourself vulnerable to a stray sniper shot.
4. Take advantage of supply stations
When you spawn, you don’t start with much ammo at all. If you’re involved in a lot of engagements right from the get-go, you’ll run out of ammo swiftly. Keep an eye out for supply stations - even from the start of each life, they give you more ammo than you’re carrying.
They’re not just for ammo either. Health doesn’t automatically regenerate the same way as in previous Battlefield games, so you need to rely on either a medic dropping you a health pack or you can heal yourself up at a supply station. There’s only a few on each map, so make sure you take note of where each one is if you need to recover.
5. Remember to crawl on your back
There’s been too many occasions when we’ve been playing a first-person shooter, prone on the floor providing covering fire for some teammates when we start hearing shots from behind us. Of course, we’ve had to turn around slowly on the ground to try and return fire, but by that time, we’re long dead.
Now when you’re prone and you turn around 180 degrees, rather than spinning round on the floor, you’ll change position to essentially be on your back. This allows you to turn much quicker and retain your position, so you don’t make yourself more visible by standing up. Hopefully more games follow suit, as it’s a welcome addition and it looks badass.
6. Specialise your guns and vehicles
In addition to customisation options for each member of your company in Battlefield 5, every gun and vehicle in the gun now has its own specialisation tree, which can be levelled up through expenditure of the in-game currency known as Battlefield Coins. These will allow you to deck out your favourite weapons and transport with bespoke abilities and perks, while also encouraging repeated employment of these gadgets to get a better feel for each.
For example, upgrading the MG42 with a larger magazine and faster rate of fire will improve its effectiveness as a suppressive Support weapon, while adding a longer range scope to the Kar 98k with an added damage perk will turn it into a devastating sniper rifle for the Recon lovers. Meanwhile, you might remove the jericho sirens from your Stuka plane to make it less noisy, or outfit your tiger tank with a faster repair ability to last longer in combat. The choice is completely up to you, just don’t forget to make a decision once you’ve earned enough Battlefield Coins to do so.
7. Make the most of being squad leader
So, you’ve been promoted to squad leader. You lucky thing, you. By implementing Battlefield 4’s Commander feature more seamlessly into the gameplay, Battlefield 5 lets the leader of any squad call in unique and valuable resources for their team during multiplayer matches. Achieving team based objectives within your team of four, such as capturing objectives or defusing a bomb, will earn the squad with a currency called Resources.
These can then be spent by the squad leader to call in Reinforcements, which can be selected from the social wheel in-game. Leaders can deploy all sorts of helpful Reinforcements from this menu, from ammo filled supply drops to devastating missile drones that can decimate dozens of enemies at a time. So if you are the leader, make sure to issue orders to earn those Resources as quickly as possible, as the rewards for doing so will soon make themselves apparent.
8. Experiment with Combat Roles
Classes have been a part of Battlefield since the very beginning, and Battlefield 5 adds new layers to the system with the introduction of Combat Roles. These are essentially subclasses that can be selected for the Assault, Medic, Support, and Recon roles, which allow players to experiment between varying playstyles.
For example, Assault players can choose between the Light Infantry or Tank Buster Combat Roles, with the former equipped with perks and abilities focused on surviving at the frontlines, and the latter built towards doing exactly what it sounds like. What’s more, you can swap between these specialisations whenever you like, so if you think your team could use a specific type of soldier to help turn the tide, then feel free to quickly jump into the class customisation menu and switch over.
9. Don’t forget to heal
Like that of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Battlefield 5 introduces a new, self-healing mechanic into its core gunplay to change up the pace of multiplayer. Every class in the game is equipped with one health pack, and the game will prompt players to manually heal themselves when their character gets dangerously close to death, though you can use it whenever you want.
While life bars do eventually recover automatically over time, you’ll need to keep well stocked of these health packs in multiplayer either way, so ask a Support class for a resupply or look for a nearby ammunition crate once you’ve run out. The last thing you’ll want is to be stuck in the middle of a firefight desperately waiting for your lifebar to slowly climb back to full health.
10. Keep an eye out for Daily Orders and Special Assignments
Daily Orders and Special Assignments are Battlefield 5’s recurring multiplayer challenges that players can pick up from the main menu, four at a time, and many of these are tailored towards specific classes and playstyles.
They might be as simple as getting headshots as the Recon or resupplying squadmates with ammunition as a Support, but completing each one will earn you more experience points to level up your company, weapons, and vehicles with. This will thus quicken the rate at which you unlock new content for multiplayer, so don’t forget to pick up your fresh batch of Special Assignments and Daily Orders as soon they go live in the game.
Looking for more Battlefield 5? Then find out why I never imagined just how powerful it would feel playing as a woman in Battlefield 5.