Skip to main content

11 ways to not be an idiot in Battlefield 3 multiplayer

7. The obvious camping spots will get you killed. Really quickly

There’s a reason that all of those guard towers and top-floor port-a-cabins last approximately six seconds in a game of Battlefield. Rather than being a frowned-upon, niche tactic as it is in other shooters, camping is a legitimate move here, as it is in the real world. People are used to snipers. People are used to the obvious sniper hidey-spots. And with the presence of the spotting system – whereby any player can flag up a distant enemy for the attention of their team – locating and destroying those hidey-spots is incredibly easy.

As soon as the alert to a sniper in the area goes out, any decent player will immediately turn their attention – and explosives – to the high windows. Don’t forget that cover can and will be blow apart around you, so if you telegraph your location by using a stand-out spot, you’re screwed. Try using the natural undulations of the terrain to gain an elevated advantage instead. It’s far more subtle, and far harder to identify with a kill-cam.

8. Different weapons for different jobs

Battlefield’s weaponry is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Some shooters might let you mix and match for the sheer sake of variety, but in Battlefield, know this: Shotguns are for close-range, rifles are for medium-to-long, sniper rifles are for killing people a really long way away. And rocket launchers are for killing tanks, not men. And if you don’t have lock-on, don’t use them from too far away. Otherwise you’ll be disappointed and look a bit silly.

9. Feel free to mix it up

One place where you can – and should – mix it up though, is in your use of classes. Yes, you might get really attached to Charlie Medpack or little Bobby Rocketlauncher, but like I said, different equipment for different jobs. A Battlefield game is a long, drawn-out, ever-changing ecosystem of tactical murderising, and to pin yourself down to one class is a very silly action indeed.

You might be desperate to level-grind your Assault guy up and get that diamond-plated, triple-barreled sniping dagger you have your heart set on, but if a chopper suddenly appears over the horizon and starts shredding your front line, no amout of your sticking plasters and Calpol are going to help. Swap out, come back with something that can kill a chopper, then swap back if you want to. Every class has a part to play, and if you want to maximise your usefulness to your team – as well as your enjoyment of every kind of fun Battlefield holds – you’ll want to learn to use all of them.

10. Don't spawn on your squad if your squad is getting killed

It’s that simple. If you can see that your squad is getting torn apart, pick a different spawn point. Know when you can help them, know when you’re just wasting a spawn. Pick somewhere safe, and they can spawn on you.

Hmmm, I’ve said ‘spawn’ too many times and the word has now lost all meaning. It sounds weird. I'm going to move on to the last and most important point before it starts bending my brain.

11. This fight is not about you

Forget your position on the scoreboard. Forget your K/D ratio. Forget measuring the success of your game based upon how few seconds you go between kills. None of that shit matters in Battlefield. Enjoying Battlefield, I mean really enjoying Battlefield will require you to throw ego aside and see the experience for the bigger picture it really is. Like I said in my review, Battlefield isn’t really about who wins or loses. The class-specific assist skills mean that you’ll level up regardless, as long as you really get involved. No, it’s really about a bunch of people coming together to dynamically choreograph the biggest, most ostentatiously epic war movie imaginable.

Treat it as such and play your part. The most seemingly innocuous actions can be the tide turners that change the whole shape of the battle. You might think you’re not making a difference, camped out half a mile from the action, spotting enemy positions and sniping the occasional guy out, but snipe the right guy at the right time, hell, just draw the right guy to your distant buddy’s attention, and you can change everything. Play selfishly, play wrecklessly, play simply to see how high you can get your name on the scoreboard, and you’re helping absolutely no-one. Least of all yourself, because you’ll be missing out on 90% of the fun of Battlefield.

Remember guys, the new Back to Karkand multiplayer DLC is coming soon next month. Play to get the best out of Battlefield 3, and you too could be be having this awesome a time by Christmas:

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.