Battlefield 1, the latest in the venerated Battlefield series is now out, and it’s a big change from its predecessors. Instead of near-future combat, the setting is the major theaters of World War I, or The Great War. From the vintage guns to the era-appropriate planes and tanks, the game has spared nothing to bring the ugly reality of that war into focus.
But we all know what Battlefield is really about: The fast-paced FPS multiplayer. And while some parts of the formula haven’t changed for this game, there are some new things to the game that even veterans might need to know.
If you’re planning to get into the competitive modes, there are a few things that can help you get the upper hand, even if you’ve never played a Battlefield game before. Here are some tips that will help you dominate on the field in multiplayer!
Play the Campaign on Hard
Campaigns in most multiplayer-centric first-person shooters are generally designed to be tutorials for the multiplayer itself. It’s a low-pressure environment where you can hone your skills and, at worst, enjoy some cheesy dialogue. Battlefield 1 is no different.
First, I would advise playing the campaign because it’s good, in a way no CoD or BF game has been in years (sorry, Black Ops 3). It’s made up of short chapters focusing on individuals and how the war affects them. Each vignette tutorializes some aspect of gameplay (tank combat, dogfighting, etc), but each is also worth playing for its own sake.
If you have the time and chops, I recommend playing the campaign on Hard difficulty. Not only will this get you an achievement, but it will be better training for the multiplayer. The enemies are harder to kill and your defenses aren’t robust. It’s not prohibitively long or difficult, and it’s good practice.
Don’t Shoot the Horses
One of the period-correct changes to the multiplayer is that players can now mount horses and charge around the map with a sword and a gun in hand. The use of cavalry units is situational, but you’ll still likely encounter them throwing ammo and health packs to their team as they race by.
If you spot a player on horseback coming your way, draw a bead on them and not their horse. In a necessary break from realism, horses in Battlefield 1 can take vast amounts of punishment before they die, so firing at them is a waste. Shoot at their riders instead.
Tag Your Targets
As you’ll learn in the campaign, tagging your targets can help a lot with keeping track of your enemies across very uneven terrain. The game can be a little shy about teaching you exactly how to use the tagging button, so check the key bindings if you aren’t sure.
In both the campaign and multiplayer, tagging enemies is not easy. You can only tag enemies if they are directly within your sights. Still, it’s worth the effort to tag enemies because it paints them so your allies can see them for a while. It’s a little inconsistent and tricky, but it can be immensely valuable to you and your squad.
Use the Companion App
We don’t always approve of companion apps for games here at MakeUseOf – some of them add a lot to the experience, but sometimes they are useless. But EA has tied their players’ hands by making it impossible for you to customize your loadout from the main menu.
The only way for players to customize their loadouts outside of a match is to use the companion app. This might sound like a minor stumbling block, but customizing your loadouts can make all of the difference and doing so mid-match – as you must if you don’t have the app – can slow you down. So until DICE puts the app’s features into the main game, it’s worth it to use the app.
Playing Support? Keep Firing
The weapons in Battlefield 1 are fairly normal, especially compared to some kinds of weapons in video games. If you’re playing Support, you don’t have a lot of options where weapons are concerned. Light machine guns are the order of the day, and they have one big drawback: They’re incredibly inaccurate.
However, there’s a little secret to using an LMG in-game: They become more accurate after a few seconds of sustained fire. Don’t fire it in short bursts if you can help it. If you’re playing Support, it might make a big difference.
Learn Elite Weaknesses
It’s a player’s lucky day when they get the chance to play as one of the Elite Classes, and it can frequently be a death knell for their opposition if they don’t know how to combat them. Learning the weaknesses of these classes.
Each class has a relatively obvious Achilles heel. The Sentry can’t wear a gas mask. The Flame Trooper has poor peripheral vision and can be shot in the fuel tank. The Tank Hunter must lie completely prone in order to use their weapon. Learning how to exploit these weaknesses can make you a hero to your squad.
Similarly, if the losing team is backed up by a Behemoth blimp, there will be a method of defeating it somewhere on the field. Look for it and bring the blimp down.
Teamwork, Teamwork, Teamwork
As with many multiplayer games, going off on your own is an easy way to die quickly. In Battlefield 1, it’s a recipe for disaster since a good squad relies on all of its members.
The good news is that, thanks to the relatively simple loadouts and roles available, it’s very easy to slot into a team, even if you don’t know the other people. If you’re on an Operation, you can select which team you want to be on, so you can find a place for the character you want to play.
Turn on party voice chat (or hop into a Discord server together) and get coordinating, because you’ll likely be facing lots of teams who function like well-oiled machines.
Do you have any tips for Battlefield 1 players out there? Anything you wish you’d known when you started?