This week, I’m going to look at a rarely discussed element of Battlefield 4 - suppression. This is when you lay down covering fire that disorientates and limits the movement of your opposing players, rather than wounding them (although it’s always an added bonus when that happens). Things have changed slightly in Battlefield 4 over Battlefield 3, so let’s jump straight in and figure out the most effective suppression and counter-suppression techniques.
Laying Down Suppressive Fire!
Suppression is a mechanic that was originally introduced in Battlefield 3. It basically means that you don’t have to hit an enemy in order to cause them problems just as long as you’re firing in their general direction, even if they’re behind cover. This covering fire causes a suppression effect, which lowers that player’s field of view and and makes aiming more difficult. If they do try and engage you while being suppressed, they’ll incur noticeable sight and scope sway, which can cause even expert players some problems. If the enemy is then killed by a teammate, you will get a suppression assist, as well as being warm in the knowledge that you’re a team player.
Dress To Suppress
So, suppression can be a really useful tool, and one that’s not actually utilised by many players effectively. It could be that it’s seen as something of a consolation prize by many for inaccurate shooting, but it’s actually really useful in the right situation. For example, if you know you’re heavily outnumbered, unloading a clip in the general direction of your enemies is a good way of delaying an attack for a few seconds before reinforcements (hopefully) arrive. The suppression effects will affect your enemy really quickly, and as an added bonus, if you pin them down behind cover, they may think they’re facing more than just one person.
One thing to bear in mind with this tactic, though, is that firing will give away your position, so don’t open fire unless you’re pretty sure they already know you’re there. The exception to this rule is if you’re using a silencer, and thankfully suppression does work even if you have a silencer on.
Guns, Guns, Guns
You can suppress the enemy with lots of different types of guns, but the big change in BF4 is that suppression is now easier at medium and long ranges, so you can suppress someone even with a sniper rifle if you like. However, guns like Light Machine Guns, Assault Rifles and Carbines are still the most effective for suppressing, thanks to their rapid rate of fire. The faster the fire on the gun, the more effective the suppression, but just bear in mind that your enemy recovers from suppression relatively quickly. So if you stop firing to reload an LMG, which has a longer-than-average reload time, don’t stick around as the enemy will most likely counterattack, and fast.
Support Class - King Of Suppression
The class that normally suppresses the most is the Support class, as they’re the ones with access to the LMGs. The Support class also boasts the highest level of suppression effect over the other classes. If you’re playing the game with the intention of trying to suppress an enemy, stick a bipod on your LMG, as this will improve your accuracy as well.
One handy thing to remember is that suppression works on snipers, and it’s very difficult for a player to snipe accurately while being suppressed because they just can’t see much. So if you see a sniper in a building, fire in their general direction and it will cause them a lot of trouble. This technique doesn’t work on people in vehicles though, so if you see someone through the window of a light armoured vehicle, don’t try and suppress them by shooting at the windows, just get out of their way!
Combating the effects of Suppression
What can you do to protect yourself against incoming suppressive fire? Well, whatever class of soldier you’re playing as, equip the Defensive Field Upgrade Pack, which contains a perk that reduces suppression effects by 50 per cent. If you’re playing as a Support soldier, work your way up to a 104,000 Support Score to unlock the Perimeter Defense Upgrade Pack, which increases suppression effects by 50 per cent. Whatever your class and unlocks, if you find yourself being suppressed, remember to throw a frag or smoke grenade at the enemy if possible, as it will break up the suppressive fire and maybe give you time to launch a counter-attack.
Suppressive fire can be a really good thing in Battlefield 4--if you’re playing as the Support class, try unloading your LMG at a group of enemies in your next game and see how you get on. Just bear in mind that if you’re trying to be stealthy, don’t do it--suppression is all about when the chips are down and you really have no other option. I hope you’ve enjoyed this update - as always, message me on Twitter at @guycocker with your tips, stories and other multiplayer intel and I’ll share the best of your feedback in a future update!