How to play ‘Battlefield 1’ without pissing off your whole team

Battlefield 1 is no Call of Duty game.

That’s not a value judgment; they’re just fundamentally different experiences. Battlefield is about big warfare. Epic moments. Everyone has a gun and shoots at stuff, but it takes more than a body count to win matches.

Sure, you can play smaller format game modes like Team Deathmatch or Domination. But that misses the point. Battlefield shines around big team modes like Conquest, Rush and the new Operations. 

You just have to take some time to learn the basics. It’s easy to do the wrong things and piss off your teammates in Battlefield 1. Here’s how to avoid those awkward situations.

1. Join squads

Image: DICE

This is old, old news for Battlefield fans, but let’s just lay it out for all the noobs: squads are your friend. 

Normally when you die, you can only respawn at your team’s home base or any point your team controls. But when you join a squad, you can respawn on any active squadmate, provided they’re not in active combat.

Battlefield maps are huuuuuuge. You do not want to run from home base to some distant target. Especially not when you have four squadmates who are right there and ready to attack.

There are other reasons to join squads, like earning more points, If your squad leader designates an enemy flag to capture and you manage to capture it, you get a bonus. If a squadmate spawns on you, you get a bonus. 

Even if you’re selfish and just want to get all the kills, you still benefit from joining a squad because of all the extra points.

Similarly: If you’re playing with friends or just in a new match and starting a fresh squad, don’t forget to unlock it. Squads are locked by default, meaning no one can join unless you invite them. If you’re running a squad and you’re not planning to fill it with friends, open it up so others can join.

2. Wait for revives

Image: DICE

Do you like dying? Is it fun to run halfway across when you respawn?

Let’s assume the answer is “no” because you are a grown-ass adult who can think rationally. The Medics of Battlefield 1 run around with a seemingly magical syringe that can bring the dead back to life. But that syringe doesn’t work if you respawn before the medic gets to you.

When some enemy soldier or exploding tank cuts your soldier’s life short, chill for a minute. Give any nearby Medics the time to reach you. They can see a skull icon marking where your body is, and as long as you’re not in the middle of a killing field they can probably get to you.

Battlefield 1 even helpfully includes a new feature that lets downed players see how many Medics are nearby and how far off they are. If there’s no one to save you and your corpse is surrounded by the enemy, fine. Respawn away. 

But if you see a Medic listed and their distance to you is dropping quickly, just give it a minute. Not only does doing so help both your team and the Medic who is just there to help, it also lets you get back into action faster.

3. Play your class

Image: DICE

There are four main types of soldier in Battlefield 1: Assault, Medic, Support and Scout.

If you choose Assault, go ahead and shoot all the things. That’s what you’re there for. Assault is the squad’s front-line infantry. You are equally capable against foot soldiers and — thanks to an assortment of explosives — vehicles. So go forth and sow destruction.

Support soldiers are meant to back up Assault. Your front-line troops are most effective at close range, and Support soldiers clear a path with their high rate-of-fire enemy suppression. Support also comes packing reserve ammo, allowing them to resupply any nearby teammates.

You know all about Medics now, right? In addition to their magical syringes, Medics come packing health-restoring tools that can benefit any teammate, whether or not they’re on your squad. This class also packs rifles rather than machine guns, since they’re better off engaging at a distance.

Scouts are the trickiest class. They’re snipers, so they’re best off at the rear of the pack. If you suddenly find yourself surrounded by Assault soldiers, pull back. Scouts also have access to recon gadgets and are in the best position to mark threats. Don’t just focus on headshots; get your team that all-important intel, too.

Pilots and Tankers also merit a shout-out. If you’re lucky enough to land at the controls of a fighter plane or tank, be smart about it. Vehicles are in short supply in Battlefield 1, so make sure you’re supporting your team and — for the love of all that is holy — make repairs when your ride takes damage.

4. You have a gas mask

Image: DICE

If you’re going to run headlong into a billowing cloud of green death, put on your gas mask first.

Every class of soldier in Battlefield 1 comes equipped with a gas mask. Wearing it restricts your field of vision slightly, and prevents you from aiming down your weapon’s sights, but neither is a high price to pay for your soldier’s continued existence.

There’s no trick to this, nothing mysterious. If you see a gas grenade land near you or you’re advancing on a point that is blanketed in death gas — that green cloud is hard to miss — remember to wear your mask first.

5. Play through the campaign

Image: DICE

You might be reading all of this and thinking, “But Adam, how am I going to keep my team from hating me when I have so much to learn?”

Easy: just play the campaign. Battlefield 1‘s six “War Stories” each focus on different types of warfare. You won’t learn about joining squads, but you do get to take control of various vehicles, affect repairs, capture flags, use gadgets and try out an assortment of weapons.

The campaign has stories to tell, but it’s also training wheels for the online play. Unless you’re some kind of Battlefield badass — in which case you don’t need any of these tips — hit the campaign first.

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