On this week’s Battlefield blog, games journalist and Battlefield fan Guy Cocker takes a look at how to take down a chopper using a tank, addresses your feedback, and explains the ultimate form of one-upmanship in BF4, otherwise known as Dog Tag hunting.
Hello and thanks for joining me for another update on the official Battlefield blog. This is the place to find out the best unlocks, the latest tricks, the greatest weapons, and generally how to be a Battlefield badass.
In this week’s update, I’ll look at how you can use tanks to take down aerial vehicles, specifically the slower-moving helicopters. As any Battlefield player will tell you, the aerial vehicles can be pretty popular, so if you can learn how to be effective against them when in a ground-based vehicle, you’ll be the saviour of your team. As ever in Battlefield, it’s all about teamwork, so read on to find out how you and your squad can pair up in tanks to take down some of the birds in the sky.
Elsewhere in this update, I’ll talk about the best practices when it comes to taking Dog Tags from your enemies. There’s nothing quite like sneaking up on an unsuspecting soldier in Battlefield 4 and taking their Dog Tags before they even knew you were there. I’ll talk about the best ways to go about doing this, as well as the best ways to protect yourself from the same thing happening to you.
I’d love to hear what you guys have been up to in Battlefield 4 and incorporate your tips into a future blog post. Please feel free to send me a message on Twitter at @guycocker, and I’ll share the best of your Tweets on a future update.
Tanks vs Helicopters
At the beginning of a multiplayer match, there’s always a rush to get into one of the airborne vehicles. So what do you do if you miss out on a jet or a helicopter? As always in Battlefield 4, get yourself into a vehicle as soon as possible--you’ll be able to get around faster, and you’ll usually be more protected. In most scenarios, your default option will likely be a tank.
Battlefield 4’s tanks come equipped with something called the STAFF shell, or the Smart Target Activated Fire and Forget Shell. It’s designed to take out armour, so is useful against other land-based vehicles and infantry. You can also always fire it blind into the sky and take out airborne units that way. It’s difficult to do, but not impossible, especially on some of the slower helicopters. However, the best method to use is to take down laser-designated targets set by your squad mates.
Ideally, you’ll want to have a sniper on your team or a gunner in your tank with the SOFLAM (Special Operations Forces Laser Marker) upgrade, as they can lock on to an airborne target and you can fire a STAFF shell at it. So, if you like driving tanks, make sure you’re in a squad where someone has the SOFLAM upgrade, as it will make things much easier. Alternatively, you can unlock the Guided Shell, which makes a return to Battlefield 4 from BF3, and is available once you reach a 12000 MBT score.
Collecting Dog Tags
Battlefield 4 is well known for its bombastic action set pieces, whether it’s the tower collapsing in Siege of Shanghai or the destroyer smashing into the island in Paracel Storm. However, one of the most satisfying things you can do in the game is quietly sneak up on someone, stealthily kill them, and steal their Dog Tags as a memento.
The key to doing this is, no matter what class you’re playing as, try to use silenced weapons so your enemies don’t hear you coming. There are other things that you can do to make yourself more ghost-like though, depending on your class. If you’re playing as the Recon class, there’s a Field Upgrade that doesn’t take any points to unlock called Shadow. It includes plenty of little perks, such as a slightly faster run speed, but one of the most useful is “Quick Unspot”, which reduces the amount of time you remain spotted by an enemy by two seconds. It’s not much, but it can help if you favour a stealthy approach. Another simple tip is to loiter around the outside of the map - a lot of people won’t be there, meaning you can sneak in when you do see someone and (hopefully) score your Dog Tags.
However you try to get your knife kill, always make sure you come in from the rear or the side. While you can still get a knife kill in when you’re facing someone, the odds are stacked in the defending player’s favour, because they have the opportunity to perform a counter-attack. The window is relatively small, but with Battlefield 4 now having been on sale for over two months, skilled players have honed their reflexes to win this battle more times than they lose it.
On the flip side, if you think you’re at risk of being stabbed, make sure you stand up as soon as possible--if you’re crouched or lying down, you don’t get the opportunity to counter a knife attack. So, if you can’t shoot someone who’s getting close and it looks like they’re going for a silent kill, the best thing you can do is face them, as you’ll be given the option to counter attack them.
A short while ago, @EA_ActionMan posted a link to my update covering the SAR-21 rifle and asked for feedback on other people’s favourite weapons. @LAClennell said he prefers the L85A2 with Iron Sights, as he’s not a fan of optics, while @Cyantiffic said he opted for the M416 with Chinese Coyote Red Dot Sight, Stubby Grip and Compensator. He boasted that such a combo resulted in 1,100 kills to date - a pretty impressive feat, and one I’ll attest to, having been killed by it quite a few times recently.
I originally focussed on the SAR-21 because of its great accuracy and rate of fire, making it a decent all-rounder. I need to spend some time with @Cyantiffic’s M416 setup--it was one of my favourite assault rifles in Battlefield 3, but I’ve not used it as much in BF4. Out in the Battlefield, I see that the AK rifles are still popular, as is the CZ-805. The latter has a high rate of fire but maintains good accuracy, much like the SAR-21. On Xbox One, I see a lot of people using the F2000, but right now it’s only available as part of the Second Assault DLC which is exclusive to that console.
Hopefully, this blog update will have you and your Battlefield 4 squad designating a SOFLAM expert so you can take down helicopters using a tank. And when you’re not in a tank and you’re out on your own, you have some tips that will help bolster your Dog Tag collection. Either way, please let me know what you think, even if you disagree! I’d love to include your thoughts in a future post. Just Tweet me at @guycocker!