Even though Battlefield™ gives players many battle options, gunplay – the behavior, mechanics, and feel of your weapons – is arguably the heart of the series. It’s also one of the most complex and multifaceted game components, where every detail matters – be it the length of a reload animation or a bullet’s effect on a concrete wall.
TIPS AND HANDY INFO FOR YOUR BATTLEFIELD V GUN FIGHTS
Whether you’re new to Battlefield, a veteran since Battlefield 1942, or somewhere in between, you may find some of these general Battlefield V gunplay tips useful.
We’re just scratching the surface with these tips – more detailed pointers will come in future articles.
THE AMBITIONS OF BATTLEFIELD V GUNPLAY
For Battlefield™ V, we’ve set up two pillars for what we want to achieve with gunplay. First, we want our players to really be able to both learn and master it. What’s key to achieving this? Simply put, to allow the player to understand the behavior of their weapons, be it recoil, fire power, or any other aspect. If a player can foresee this behavior, they will learn what's going on – and if they learn, they can improve. Overall, we want to create a more physical experience where players firing a weapon really feel like they’re in control. Combined with the movement systems in Battlefield V, you‘ll have a responsive and controlled experience.
Second, we want to create a clear character for all the weapon classes. They should feel distinct, but at the same time not confining. For example, Assault Rifles are great for burst firing. Semi-Automatic Rifles should be about finding a rhythm. The Bolt-Action Rifles are all about pulling off that single, important shot.
On top of this, we believe that good weapon design should support game balance and player choice. There should be viable options for many different playstyles, with none of them being best. Weapons should also be easy to understand in their function, as first-person shooters can be quite unforgiving to new players.
DAMAGE, SPREAD, CONTROL, AND OTHER FACTORS
As you’ve seen when choosing and customizing your gear in previous Battlefield titles, there are several fields in which weapons can be efficient – and less efficient. Your gun can dish out a great deal of damage but be hard to control. Range is a factor, so is rate of fire. Setting all these values to make your fights fun and fair can be challenging, but we believe we’ve got something really balanced and good going with Battlefield V. Let’s get in to the specifics of how we’ve approached the various weapon values.
Tweaking the Bullet Damage
Bullet damage has been chosen with two things in mind. First, even weapons with a low rate of fire should allow you to win a 1-vs.-2 situation reliably when flanking and surprising the enemy. You should also not experience catching an enemy off guard, shooting him or her in the back from close range, only for your enemy to turn around and kill you because he or she uses a weapon with higher damage output.
In a game like Battlefield V, the time to take out a single player should not surpass 300 milliseconds by a lot.
Hence the MP40 and STEN, with their rate of fire of 539 rounds per minute, require four bullets to kill a healthy enemy at short range. This results in a Time to Kill of 333 milliseconds if all shots hit. With this damage output, the player will not be forced to use faster firing weapons only to be able to flank successfully or win a 1-vs.-1 in which he had a significant advantage.
Second, the difference in raw damage output between the fastest and slowest firing weapon should be as large as possible. Why? To ensure variety between weapons. As an example, the Suomi KP/-31 has the same damage as an MP40, but handles very differently, making it much less suited for medium range.
Turning Spread into Recoil
Bullet spread is a gunplay aspect that’s hard to communicate to a player firing his or her weapon. We have worked hard on improving this, and the main change is that spread has been converted to behave more like recoil. This creates an instant visual feedback, which makes you understand when you’re not in control of the weapon anymore, and that you should stop firing due to the spread.
Furthermore, Semi-Automatic Rifles no longer have increasing spread while firing while aiming down the sights, making them more intuitive to use. Applying recoil as spread in this way required some major changes to how recoil is added (it can now be added over time) and the underlying spread decreases (it can now decrease while firing if you start at very high values). You’ll find that recoil itself is significantly higher than in previous titles.
Adjusting Effective Ranges
Effective range refers to the range where a weapon or weapon type excels. Shotguns are best in close-quarter fights, Bolt-Action Rifles are for taking out enemies from afar. Effective range in Battlefield V is similar to older titles like Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4, where guns used to be best at a certain range, but not useless outside it. While you will likely lose an even 1-vs.-1 fight against an equally good player if your weapon is outside its effective range and theirs is not, being a better player or having another advantage can still allow you to win the fight.
Shooting from the Hip
Hip fire accuracy is comparable to Battlefield 4 or Battlefield 1. While firing, accuracy decreases much quicker now, especially for weapons with a high rate of fire. This means landing your first shots matters much more, as otherwise your weapon might no longer be sufficiently accurate.
CHANGES IN GUNPLAY AND WEAPON DESIGN
Moving on to some of the more gun-specific changes we’re doing, let’s look at the StG 44, an Assault Rifle which we’ve got a lot of feedback on. Having looked at data from the Open Beta, we were happy with some aspects of it, less happy with others. This weapon was designed to be a jack-of-all-trades – which it was in medium to medium-long range. However, we found it overperformed on shorter to medium ranges. So, we're correcting that to ensure gameplay balance.
We have heard players saying that the sights on the weapons were a bit too dark. Therefore, we are adjusting the tint. We’re also making the crosshair more visible, since reducing the tint makes the crosshair go away too.
We're looking at the performance of Light Machine Guns, too. The bipod animation was a bit broken, which we’ve fixed now. Changes have been made across the board when it comes to the recoil of LMGs, which has been lowered. One good example is the KE7. Recoil-wise, it has been a little too demanding compared to our other Light Machine Guns. It’s a heavier weapon class, but we’ve made it slightly more user-friendly when it comes to both horizontal and vertical recoil.
MORE COMING IN THE TIDES OF WAR
As you know, launch is only the beginning of your Battlefield V journey and the arsenal that comes with it. We will be adding more weapons in our Tides of War seasons, which all players will be able to access. Not only do we want to expand upon the existing weapon types, but also introduce new ones post-launch, to make the player experience both deeper and wider. We look forward to going on this journey with you.
– Jonas Elfving, talking to Florian le Bihan, Core Gameplay Designer and Julian Schimek, Weapon Designer.
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REFERENCE TO A PARTICULAR MAKE, MODEL, MANUFACTURER, AND/OR VERSION OF WEAPON, GEAR OR VEHICLE IS FOR HISTORICAL ACCURACY ONLY AND DOES NOT INDICATE ANY SPONSORSHIP OR ENDORSEMENT OF ANY TRADEMARK OWNER.