Battlefield 1 tips and tricks: Making the Great War a little more survivable
Electronic Arts and DICE’s Battlefield series has become one of the staple franchises in gaming. With releases coming annually – or near enough – it’s easy for a developer to fall into traps with gradual updates rather than major shifts. With Battlefield 1, however, it’s closer to the latter.
Battlefield 1 is very much a “Battlefield” game, but it’s also something new. There are enough tweaks and changes that the new game is just different enough to be original. And like all Battlefield games, the competition online is fierce.
If you know the franchise, then you’ll be familiar with how it plays. It shouldn’t take you long to get up to speed, but there are some significant differences from past offerings. With that in mind, we offer a few Battlefield 1 tips and tricks that can make the learning curve a little gentler and make the Great War a tiny bit less dangerous for you.
We’ll update this guide several times, so check back often. And if you like the Battlefield 1 setting, we have a few recommendations on where to get more of it.
Battlefield 1 DLC
There will be plenty of additional content coming for Battlefield 1. Some of it will be free and come as an update, some of it will be available for purchase individually or as part of the “Battlefield 1 Premium Pass” (which is available for $49.99).
The first major expansion is titled They Shall Not Pass, and it’s scheduled for March 2017. We’ll update this section with more details on Battlefield 1 DLC when they become available.
Here’s what’s been announced so far:
- Four expansions are planned.
- Two new armies – France and Russia.
- 16 new multiplayer maps.
- New operations and additional game modes are coming.
- New elite classes will be introduced.
- There are at least 20 new weapons scheduled.
- At least one new vehicle will be added.
The Battlefield 1 campaign is fairly self-explanatory but it deserves its own section because unlike the last few Battlefield titles, the story in this game is actually really good.
Rather than telling the story of a single guy as he/she improbably survives the most intense action of a brutal and bloody war, Battlefield 1 breaks it into six individual stories (seven including the prologue), all featuring different characters in different areas. One is a tank driver, one is a pilot, one rides horses in the desert, and on. They don’t don’t necessarily connect, but they give the impression of a world at war.
The campaign is worth playing, and it’s actually a good tutorial for the multiplayer.
One of the staples of a Battlefield game are the classes, and Battlefield 1 is no different. There are four classes to choose from, and each has its own weapons, gadgets, and upgrades – which means they each have their own pros/cons.
One thing to keep in mind if you are a vet of the franchise, the classes have changed, and you may need to alter your strategies to match. The classes also each have their own leveling system. As you increase that level – which is separate from your player rank – you’ll unlock the ability to purchase new weapons and gadgets. You’ll need to spend warbonds on those unlocked items, which you’ll earn simply by playing or through scrapping weapons and items you earn as a reward in battlepacks.
Here’s a breakdown of class, including some of the pros and cons.
The assault role in Battlefield 1 is a little different from previous Battlefield games. The name really says it all, as the assault class is made to dole out destruction on all levels, from enemy troops to vehicles. If there is a hostile tank coming toward you, you’ll need to have an assault player or two ready to deal heavy damage on it.
Assault class players should lead the way when it comes to breaching an area or wresting control from enemies. They can be used on defense as well, but they can’t directly help other teammates with things like health or ammo drops, so they should be placed where they can watch for armor and cavalry. One of the downsides to an assault character is that they can’t earn points as easily as, say, the medics, who just need to drop a med crate and earn points as others heal. Assault needs to be proactive, and they need to be in the right environment where they can deal damage.
- If you want to kill opponents, assault is the best option. Assault has powerful close quarters weaponry that can quickly and easily kill enemies, even if they see you first and get a hit or two in before you can react.
- Assault class players dole out a lot of damage, but their confrontational style means they soak it up too. Always be mindful of your health, and know where the nearest medics are.
- While assault has a lot of firepower, its weapons have poor range and accuracy.
The medic class is a good class if you aren’t having a lot of luck getting kills, but you want to level up relatively quickly.
The weapons in the medical class are meant for medium range combat, with moderate accuracy and damage. Going at enemies head on by yourself borders on suicidal, so use cover and stick with your teammates. Besides, you’re more useful healing troops and reviving them than leading the charge. Just keep an eye out for the skull icon of a fallen ally and make your way to them for a revive and the points that go along with it.
- If someone in your squad goes down, hurry over and revive them. You’ll get the revive points and a squad bonus.
- You can kill someone with the revive syringe. It’s tough to do, but funny.
- Heal yourself often.
- Some medics’ weapons can switch between full and semi-auto. The automatic weapons aren’t very accurate when you hold the trigger down, but they make decent suppression weapons.
- If you are helping to defend a location, throw down medical crates as often as you can. You may also want to put away the weapon and just be ready with the revival syringe.
- When you die, if there’s a medic nearby you’ll see their name(s) and distance until you jump to the loadout screen (or they leave/die).
- On game modes where the enemy comes at you, you can equip a sniper rifle and keep your distance behind your lines.
- The longer you hold down the syringe, the more damage it can do to an enemy.
The support class is arguably the most versatile in Battlefield 1. Support characters can mix and match options, opting to attack close/medium range with an LMG or from a distance with mortars. They can also live up to their name and stay back in a support capacity by dropping ammo for others, and/or repairing vehicles.
Like the medic, support is a great way to earn a lot of points quickly. Continually drop ammo crates and lay down suppressing fire so your teammates can get to the crates.
- Machine guns in the support class act a little differently than most. The longer you hold down the trigger, the more accurate they become. You’ll waste a lot of ammo, but holding the trigger down while in a fight makes you deadlier – just watch for the reload.
- Like the medics, if you are on defense, make sure to frequently drop supply crates.
- Team up with a medic and the two of you can indefinitely attack and heal each other. If you are holding a location, these two classes are vital.
- A November update makes the LMG more useful at mid-range.
- The repair tool can damage fortress guns.
The scout is the sniper class for Battlefield 1. Ironically, it’s a great class for people that want to play lone wolf, but it’s arguably also the best teammate to have. Snipers can stick to the bushes and stay hidden, but they can also mark enemies from a distance and shout out enemy movements. The flare is also a huge advantage for teams as it marks enemy positions.
Most sniper rifles have a sweet spot when it comes to the distance. They increase their damage at a certain range, then eventually drop off as they bullet falls. Each rifle has a slightly different range, and some of the rifles have adjustable distances that can be switched by hitting down on the d-pad. It really comes down to experimentation to find the best settings.
The sniper is also more versatile than you may think. If you have an area you want to shoot from, set traps. If an enemy gets past them, switch to your pistol.
- The pistol is extremely effective at close range. Don’t hesitate to use it.
- While sniping is effective at a distance, if you are being overrun by multiple enemies you may want to grab the kit off a dead player.
- It’s always best to go for headshots and try to get the one-shot kill, but hurting enemies as they run by could lead to an assist. Plus, with the chaos of a large battle, you can generally squeeze off a few shots before anyone knows where you are.
- While you are looking through a scope enemies can see the glint of light off the glass from a distance. Don’t stay in the same spot for too long.
Cavalry, Pilot, & Tanker
There are three more subclasses found in Battlefield 1 that you are automatically assigned based on your spawn. If you choose to – and are able to – spawn into a vehicle (specifically a plane, zeppelin, tank, or on a horse) and you will spawn as one of the three subclasses. These subclasses have their own loadouts and leveling systems, complete with unlockables.
If you live and die in the vehicle, you may not even realize you are in a subclass. The vehicle itself is your primary weapon, and unless you jump out, the firearm you have doesn’t really matter (the exception to this is the cavalry, where you will immediately be using the rifle). Unlike the other classes, you can’t always work at leveling these, as you need to spawn in the specific vehicle to utilize them and that requires luck and/or patience, as well as the proper map and game mode.
- The tanker and pilot class are basically engineers. They both have repair tools as one of their gadgets, which allows them to make repairs on the go.
- The cavalry class can resupply troops – it is one of the gadgets and you drop it behind you when you hit the gadget key.
- If you need a quick resupply and you see a horse, jump on it and back off, and you’ll be fully stocked.
Battlefield 1 has six multiplayer modes with more possibly coming in the future via DLC. They are mostly familiar to Battlefield fans, but there are a few twists.
If you’ve played a Battlefield game online, then you’ve played Conquest at some point.
The game is based around cumulative points, and to earn points your team needs to kill enemies and – more importantly – control flags located around the map. The more flags a team controls, the faster you earn points. First team to 1,000 points wins.
The maps in conquest are huge. Running from one side to another takes minutes, which in video game time is nearly an eternity. That makes choosing your spawn point all the more important.
- If you need to get somewhere quickly, look for a vehicle. Don’t bother running the full way – you’ll be lucky to make it without getting killed.
- If you can spawn in a plane, you can parachute out when you are above an area you want to reach.
- Being part of a squad pays off in Conquest for the spawn points alone.
Domination has become one of the most well-known FPS multiplayer game modes in online gaming, behind only team deathmatch. The concept is essentially universal at this point. There are three flags, and the more flags your team controls the faster you accumulate points. 100 points wins the match.
The maps in Domination are smaller than in Conquest and you won’t find many vehicles. The action is fast and brutal, and you’ll live and die quickly.
- Change your loadout to match the smaller map. You can still snipe and fight at range if you like, but you’ll get a lot out of short range and close combat weapons.
- A squad working together – healing, resupplying, and laying traps – can control a point indefinitely.
Operations is Battlefield 1’s multiplayer flagship mode that works under the conceit of having a story. It’s very thin, but there is a historical setting to each map, although it’s really just background.
This mode falls somewhere between Conquest and Rush. There are two teams, one attacking and one defending. The attackers have a limited number of spawns, and when they run out, the game is over. The defenders have unlimited lives, but they have to stop the attackers from taking three sequential sectors.
- Operations games contain several matches until there is a winner. Make sure you have plenty of time.
Rush is another staple of the Battlefield franchise. One team attacks while the other defends; the attacking team has a set number of lives while the defenders can respawn without restriction. If the defenders can hold at least one of two telegraph posts long enough to wipe out the entire attackers’ reserves, they win. If the attackers manage to take the two spots, Two more spots appear, along with a fresh number of respawns.
If you are an attacker, as tempting as it might be to rush a point and destroy a telegraph post alone, the odds are very much against you and your death will hurt your team. Coordination is key. You don’t necessarily need to talk with your team, but don’t charge in alone.
If you are defending, remember to push out beyond the telegraph post. You may feel inclined to make a stand there, but it’s a tough fight. Once attackers get a foothold in that area it’s easier for them to flood in than for you to respawn, run back there, and fight them off. Sometimes it’s better to accept the inevitable loss of a post and move on to the next one.
- If you are having trouble scoring kills, you can earn a lot of points through additional actions like healing and reviving teammates, and resupplying them. Find the choke points and leave crates for them.
- Scout class should never be in the middle of a Rush fight, they should be on the fringes.
- If you are defending, having a medic and a supply class player helps a lot.
If you’ve ever played an online shooter, you probably know what Team Deathmatch is all about. There’s a set number of kills you aim for (determined by the server), and the first team to reach that number wins. It’s simple enough with small maps and quick action.
- The Battlefield series is not really made for TDM, but it works if you want a lot of action quickly.
- Team Deathmatch is a good way to build up the assualt class relatively quickly.
War Pigeons is an interesting addition to the Battlefield series, and offers something new. Two teams race toward the pigeon. Once a team has it, they must hold on to it long enough to release it. That calls in an artillery strike and respawns the pigeon somewhere else on the map. Three captures wins the match.
There are several strategies to winning War Pigeon. Just keep in mind that the ultimate goal is the pigeon – the number of times you die doesn’t make any difference. Kills only help indirectly.
- Change your loadout and prepare for fast, brutal action.
- Scouts can help if they can get a look at the pigeon, but the flare is also useful.
- If you are a medic and your team grabs the pigeon, leave a trail of med crates so they can get out of the line of fire.
Anyone that has played a Battlefield game online should probably be familiar with the concept of squads. They haven’t changed much, and the same rules apply.
When you join a game, you’ll be asked to join a squad. You can sort through the available options, and you should try to join a squad where the class you are planning on using compliments the others, but don’t worry too much about this.
If you are playing with friends, the squad dynamic is different than if you randomly join a group. When possible, it’s always helpful to assign roles and work together. If you are solo though, the main benefits of joining a squad are the spawn points you can access by respawning on a squad mate, and the extra points you earn for using your class ability on someone in your squad.
The role of the squad leader has taken on additional importance in Battlefield 1. By holding down the spot button (R1/RB/Q), you can bring up a list of commands for your squad. It’s a good way to direct the action in a game where people may not want to talk, and you earn 100 points when the objective is completed. Once you issue a command, a timer appears on the left side of the screen by way of a circle with a clockwise status bar. You must complete the objective before the time runs out (or hold/survive until it is done) to earn the points.
The squad leader also has the ability to lock your squad, but unless you are playing with friends and want to make it so only they can join you ,locking your squad inevitably just hurts you by denying you more spawn locations and extra points.
- If you are the squad leader, you may want to choose medic or support and keep your squad healed or supplied.
- The one possible exception to locking your squad is if you are determined to be a sniper. Having people spawn around you could give your spot away to enemies.
- If you see a notice that a squad member is trying to spawn in on you but you are in a fight, leave the fight so they can respawn, then head back.
- If a squad member requests an order, they become next-in-line to be squad leader. If the squad leader doesn’t issue an order in 60 seconds, the next person in the queue becomes leader. If the original squad leader does issue an order, the queue clears.
- Battlepacks provide the occasional squad XP boost.
As has become a staple in Battlefield games, Battlefield 1 features several vehicles, although they are dependent on the map itself and the game mode.
Used properly, vehicles can turn the tide of a battle – but they can’t do it alone. If a tank, for example, bursts through the enemy lines, it’s only a matter of time before someone with an assault class weapon comes and destroys it. That doesn’t help anyone, but if the tank is followed by troops, you can make a solid opening in the enemy lines.
With ground based vehicles, it helps to have a full team on board (assuming the vehicle has multiple spots for people). If you are in control of a vehicle, watch the flow of battle and jump in where you can do the most damage to the enemy. Follow your team as they push toward objectives, and offer cover if they need to retreat. Vehicles aren’t indestructible, they should be used tactically and even sparingly.
With aerial vehicles, strafing the ground is fun but it’s rarely effective. Depending on the game mode, consider planes to be support vehicles, capable of targeting more powerful vehicles and adding in suppressing fire. The better tactic is to drop bombs on areas you know will be enemy hotspots, like flags/posts. In most matches, planes will fly overhead and do their own thing. If they are coordinating with ground forces though, it’s almost a guaranteed win.
- If you are on the ground and see a tank roll by, follow it. It will protect you, but you can also protect it.
- If you are in a plane, either as the pilot or a gunner, you can always jump out and parachute down to the ground. While falling you are extremely vulnerable though, so don’t drop in on heavily fortified locations.
- If you are determined to control a vehicle, you can wait in the loading map for one to appear, then select it and spawn as the pilot/driver. You may be waiting a while though.
- If you spawn as the pilot/driver of a vehicle, you will automatically be part of that subclass (see the class section above for details).
- Several vehicles have two types of weapons you can switch between. Experiment with them.
- Although it would seem like a horse isn’t the safest vehicle, in Battlefield 1 it is surprisingly powerful. Your sword strikes are a one-hit kill, and the horse can take a lot of damage.
- Horses grant you immediate and complete resupplies and you can drop them as you go.
General Multiplayer Tips
- Mark enemies using the spot button – R1/RB or the Q key. If you think someone is in a particular area hiding, keep hitting the mark button and the game may reveal them for you.
- Battlefield 1 features bullet drop, meaning bullets lose their height and power the further they travel. It isn’t a huge drop, but you’ll need to compensate over distances.
- Horses refill your ammo. Just jump on and off and you’ll be resupplied.
- You can switch classes in the middle of a match by grabbing the kit of someone that has died near you.
- Don’t worry about your Kill/Death ratio. Points are more important.
- Save your warbonds. You’ll want them once you start unlocking later level weapons and gadgets.
- Listen for elite class drops, like the sentinel kit or the flamethrower. Once you hear the announcement that one is incoming, look for the icon and run for it. Depending on the game mode and situation, and elite kit can single-handedly change the course of a match.
- Battlepacks are actually kind of useless in the early hours. They unlock items that you still need to purchase, so you may want to scrap them. The one exception is the special parts you earn that combine to make a special melee weapon.
- The bayonet slows down your ability to aim from the sights, but the melee addition makes up for it.
- If someone is on a horseback and charges at you, go prone to dodge their attack.
- Change the zoom level in the weapons menu.
- You can customize your loadout during a game at the spawn screen.
- Battlepacks will be sold for real money.
More Battlefield 1 tips and tricks coming soon!