Battlefield 3 Basics

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.

Got my pilot's license online!

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.

Catch the next one douchebag!

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.

Just make sure it's the right map

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.

Because this guy is universally the gold-standard of douchebaggery now.

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.

Spot everything

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.

Kind of like this. But imagine there being a tank somewhere in the picture.


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.


8 Comments to “Battlefield 3 Basics”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more, especially on the not waiting for your teammates to get in the fracking vehicle with you before you rush off to glory thing. I would change the always look at the map thing to always be aware of the map.

    I have a poor sense of direction, takes me a few moments to get my bearings when exiting subways and such. Even when I see an enemy on the map it takes me a second to zero in on his direction. I used to navigate straight to the area where I saw an enemy, using the mini-map as guidance. Never ended well for me. These days I forget about the map entirely once I know the enemy is in the area. I also play on a 46″ wide screen, it takes my vision a bit longer to refocus on the action after checking the mini-map. For me, too much reliance on the mini-map is disastrous.

    The mini-map is a good thing but don’t rely on it. Map knowledge is the key to these games. Knowing where the enemy is coming from. Knowing well traveled routes. Knowing where snipers and support like to nest. Knowing were the lone wolfs like to hide (usually just off shore in the water.) All that knowledge comes in time with experience. And all that experience can only be gained by making noob mistakes!

    Good post.

    • Oh I agree completely, one shouldn’t overuse the map to the detriment of their game, and knowledge of the maps is imperative to success. My complaint with that lay more with those who eschew the maps entirely. And your last sentence is so true “And all that experience can only be gained by making noob mistakes” because God knows I made (and still make) my fair share. But what’s a blog if I can’t complain? Lol

      • I didn’t think you were complaining one bit. I’ve experienced all of what you said in my short time playing BF3 so far. Oddly, it doesn’t seem to frustrate me. I think CoD desensitized me (holy cow I just spelled that correctly without spell check!… go figure, I just misspelled correctly… twice.) Was playing squad rush with two new found friends the other night and there was one guy on the other team just putzing about with the recon drone, annoying the hell out of us, but still not doing much for his team as we teared into them!

        I made the noob comment because there is a stigma associated with BF3 that I think many would-be-BF3-players-now-currently-trapped-in-CoD-hell have that there is this HUGE learning curve with BF. That the game is somehow more difficult than CoD. That’s the way I felt when I was playing Black.. I mean Lag Ops. I wanted to try BF but I was scared. After all I wasn’t much good at CoD how could I even measure up to the folks playing such a “superior” shooter like BF. But then they patched Black Ops and my lag got worse and I swore off the series forever, thus giving me little choice but to venture into BF3 territory. After playing a few games, I turned to YouTube to help me figure out what the hell I was supposed to be doing, went back to playing and a few games and a few weapon unlocks later I found my groove. And I haven’t looked back since. It’s not so much that BF is more difficult than CoD but more that there is more for you to do than just shoot people and call in killstreaks.

        Playing CoD is like playing a shooter with blinders on, you can only see and do what’s in front of you. But when you take those blinders off… Now you’re playing BF.

        Anyway, really been enjoying reading your blog today. Keep at it.

  2. Reblogged this on The Dead Console Society and commented:
    Some more sound Battlefield 3 advice from a new found friend, Mortar and Pistol. Check the blog out, some good gaming goodness going on there.

  3. PLEASE make JimmyPaperboy read this. He is always like , “hey spawn on me dawg as I get blowed lolz.” Sometimes I don’t even understand the words that come out of his mouth.

  4. What the fuck is this shit? Don’t tell me how to play videogames. You talk about this battlefield shit cause you are garbage at CoD. Oh and that trash score you posted from that newb game…it’s shopped. I can tell cause I am a hacker. I would own you at CoD anyday. Let’s go 1 on1!

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