Learning and exercising the fundamentals are imperative to success in anything you do. When my dad coached our middle school basketball team, he worked hard teaching us the fundamentals. And even though I subsequently forgot them all, made dinosaur noises on the court while we lost every game, and bounced a basketball off my dad’s head during a team prayer, got in big trouble, and then never played basketball again, I learned an important lesson. If you want to win, don’t fuck up all the time. That’s why after a long day of Battlefield 3 today, I walked away more frustrated than ever. I saw people making unforgivable mistakes, and so it is my goal to provide some simple rules that all players of BF3 must obey if they want to succeed, like:
Don’t waste vehicles
Yes I know, it’s ever so tempting. You’re not very good with the jets, so why waste your time flying around not getting any points when you could just shoot off to one of the capture areas on the map and eject over it? It’s like a lightning fast city bus, taking you directly to your destination.
The problem is, it is imperative to maintain air superiority for your team so that the enemy can’t use their transport helicopters for the same purpose. The only difference being that both teams are using their air vehicles for transport, and only one team is doing it correctly. While you parachute softly to the group in an attempt to capture the area, your plane is crashing into a mountainside, leaving your team minus one jet and you all alone to try and capture a point you probably won’t get, because of the whole being alone factor. But it’s not just with jets that I see this happening. All too often people will drive their tank to a spot and abandon it so they can go hide somewhere with more cover, like in a building. But in the land of Battlefield 3 we always leave the keys in the ignition, which all too often means the opposing team gets a free tank, and one more tool at their disposal to win with. So please, don’t waste vehicles. They can and often do turn the tide in a match, and they must be used wisely so that the team has a chance of winning. This leads us to another vehicle related point:
Don’t drive off without your teammates
I see it all too often. Someone at the beginning of a match, like today on Damavand Peak on Rush, will hop into the Hummer and just take off screaming down the road. And while they’re probably eager to get to the objective, which is a good mentality, they leave in their rearview mirror three teammates running in vain to catch up as the Hummer quickly disappears.
It’s like the older brother from an 80′s movie, stopping for the sibling to catch up, only to gas it at the last second, ad nauseum. Except here, they aren’t trying to get home from school, they’re going into a warzone, again alone, while everyone else has to run 400m to get to the objective. This not only wastes vehicles, but it also gives the opposing team plenty of time to get set up to slaughter your team as they stumble down the mountainside. And not only that, but it is incredibly annoying. Why drive off and leave someone who’s prepared to be your gunner in the Humvee or your second gunner in the tank? What purpose does it have, other than to show just how big of a dick you are? Ignorance here is no defense; that map is there for a reason. And yes, you should always look at the map. I think I need to repeat this one:
Always look at the map
This is one of the more forgivable sins in BF3, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. I’ll give a prime example. I was the gunner on a jeep today while another guy was driving. We pull up at one of the flags and prepare to take it. No one else is around, but the map very clearly shows two claymores surrounding the jeep. I was preparing to shoot them when my driver just jumps out and is immediately greeted with an explosion to the face. Sorry, but no sympathy from me. He didn’t get any points, and I got to capture the flag and drive off unharmed. It happens more than you’d think, too. My buddy and I were playing the other night, taking turns with the controller between matches. On his turn he quite simply refused to look at the map, because “why take my eyes off the action” and proceeded to decimate my stats in just one evening, constantly running right past enemies he could have easily ambushed in some sad, futile attempts to even score. Needless to say, I switched it up to MW3 so we could split screen, and he could ruin his own stats for a bit.
Go down with the ship
I’m sure by now we’ve all heard about that Italian cruise ship captain that “accidentally” “tripped” and “fell” into the lifeboat, leaving behind women and children to drown as he attempted to win the Guinness World Record for biggest pussy award. But that sort of behavior is apparently embraced by a small community in Battlefield 3. In a transport helicopter packed to the brim with teammates, many pilots will jump out at the first sign of danger, leaving their teammates to plummet to the ground and die without warning. Not only is it difficult for the teammates to realize you’ve abandoned ship if they are actually working for the team by trying to spot and shoot enemies, but it is also incredibly easy for your engineer teammates to repair the helicopter from within, leaving no excuse. Don’t waste precious lives in Rush or Conquest by killing your entire team by abandoning your helicopter mid-flight. Go down with the ship, or at least be the last to abandon it. Or for god’s sake, at the very least, tell them what you’re about to do.
Don’t place Spawn Beacons in the deployment area
This one is short and simple. Anyone can, at any time, spawn in the deployment area. And it isn’t usually recommended to spawn that far away from the combat unless you are trying to get a vehicle. Regardless, I see people place spawn beacons at the deployment areas all the time, not only making their spawn beacon pointless, but also sending tons of people “back to the start” in otherwise competitive and close matches, for no discernible reason that I can figure out. Just think about it. Does the location of this spawn beacon actually help the team? Is there any reason to put it here, other than because you can? If not, then maybe be a little more strategic. Plant them somewhere closer to the objectives to help your team become unrelenting in their advances. But this isn’t my only beef with those brave recon soldiers:
Don’t snipe when you are on offense in Rush
Ok, maybe I’ll catch some flak for this, but listen. I was playing Kharg Island on Rush last weekend, and for whatever reason, my entire team consisted of Recon soldiers. Normally it wouldn’t really matter, but we were the rushing team that round. That means the enemy has no death limit. They have unlimited respawns. We, on the other hand, do not. And so I’m not really sure what the rationale was for how we were going to win. I still attempted, in vain, to arm the M-Com stations with obviously poor results, while my entire team hung back on the aircraft carrier, racking up hardly any kills at all. I was killed plenty of times, like a lone soldier storming Normandy Beach the day before because I got my dates mixed up. It wasn’t pretty, and eventually we lost. My teammates had 0 to 2 kills each, no deaths, and I had about 20 kills and a million deaths. I’m not one to focus on the K/D all that much, but come on. There was absolutely no strategy involved on our side, no one had their mics on so we could coordinate, and everyone just sat on the ship sniping. It was the most pathetic invasion attempt ever, and those M-Coms sat safely for the entire, seemingly never ending match. Point being, there is nothing wrong with being a sniper. I love it just as much as the next guy. But be strategic with which classes you choose. And if everyone else is sniping on the offensive, maybe choose something else.
This is something I was actually guilty of not doing early on, because I didn’t know how to spot. I’m not sure about the PC players out there, but for consoles, just press select when aiming at any enemy or vehicle. It will spot it and put it on the map, plus you get a nice little spot bonus if you do nothing else but point them out to others. It is vitally important to spot people for a number of reasons. It helps your snipers know where to shoot, it helps your jets know where other jets are, it helps your engineers know where enemy vehicles are, it helps your mortars know where to bomb, and it helps your team coordinate when you spot objectives. You can actually get tons of points for spotting and nothing else, and it is an absolute must for any match to be successful. Even if you plan on engaging, if you can spare that extra millisecond, spot the enemy so in case you get killed, you have a better change of gaining that assist and spot bonus.
There is a term in the BF3 forums called PTFO. Standing for push the fucking objective, it means that one must, at all times, be working to win the match. It has been said before, but it is just as true now as it ever was, that Battlefield 3 is overwhelmingly a team game. You need to be conscious of what role you play on your team. If you are recon, put the motion sensors and spawn beacons in strategic areas. This, just like all the other tips, will not only net you points, but also help the team win. If you are support, make sure to resupply the team’s ammo and use the C4 strategically. If you are an engineer, make sure you repair your team’s vehicles and aggressively attack the enemy’s. If you are assault, make sure you are supplying health to not only yourself but your team as well. Make sure you are reviving when you can, and know when it is wise to do so. There are times when camping is a must, and at other times nothing short of testosterone-fulled aggression will suffice. Know each map and adjust your weapons and classes accordingly. There is no one size fits all standard for this game, and so tweaking will help you play a better game. I believe many of the problems I’ve encountered stem from MW3 players bleeding over into BF3 with the one-man-army mentality. This state of mind does not work in BF3, and those who focus solely on their own K/D ratios end up hurting the team. Be smart out there, and you’ll find the game will reward you handsomely for your team-based efforts. And just for shits and giggles, here is my most recent match. I played hard for the team, we won, and my K/D came away healthy regardless.