Battlefield fan Guy Cocker takes a look at two underused but very powerful unlocks in Battlefield 4.
I’ve headed up the Kunlun Mountains of Operation Locker to experiment with the best unlocks Battlefield 4 has to offer, and then figured out the best way for you to use them and conquer your enemies in the game.
Smoke grenades are massively underused by Battlefield 4 players, because using them isn’t directly tied to a points-based reward. However, I’ve found that they’re key to controlling bomb points, and noticed lots of high-level players using smoke grenades to do the same.
Then there’s the mortar. The mortar works a lot differently in Battlefield 4 compared with how it did in BF3, but the changes are mostly for the better. Again, I’ve found out the most effective ways to use this weapon, so read on to find out how to become a lethal mortar-wielding killing machine.
I’ve been playing Battlefield 4 as the Support Class unit with the mortar on Rush mode. It’s quite a different experience to using the mortar in Battlefield 3.
In the last game, the M224 Mortar was a traditional remote indirect fired weapon that fired 60mm shells in a high angle arc. Basically, it was quite traditional, so when you wanted to use it, you were stuck there while you got your shot off. As a result, you had to be sat right behind the weapon and when you fired it, you'd not only appear on the map, but you were highly vulnerable to people coming up and flanking you.
On Battlefield 4 the mortar may be the same model, but it’s received a major upgrade in the form of remote controls. This means that a Support class soldier can place the mortar on the map and activate it from afar, which allows you to fire it much more safely. If you time it right and want to play aggressively, you can also fire off a shot or two and then move forward, and be close to where the mortar shells land in case you need to finish your target off.
I've used the mortar on Rush mode recently to control a lot of choke points, as it's fantastic for taking out sniper nests and clearing out buildings. It will kill someone with full health with only two hits, or it will kill a wounded enemy with only one hit. So the mortar in Battlefield 4 is easier to use, you're less vulnerable, and if you want to be really aggressive, you can fire off two shots, move forward, and be close to where the shells are going to land, if that's how you want to play it.
I’ve recently grown to love using smoke grenades. Like many people, I didn’t give them any time of day, because you don't get points for using them, unless you're very lucky and happen to shoot someone direct in the face. However, when used effectively by a squad, they really have the power to fool your enemy, heavily suppress at attack, and massively turn the tide of battle in your favour. If you want to use the underslung grenade launcher, the Assault Class has access to it, while the Support Class has an XM25 unlock with smoke shells instead of explosive shells. Just bear in mind that there isn’t the option for handheld smoke grenades in Battlefield 4.
Let me give you an example of how to use Smoke Grenades. On Rush and Obliteration on smaller maps like Operation Locker, you’ll get to points where the game can turn into a meat grinder. Take the last base you attack on Zavod 311 on Rush, where the key objective is up a tower. As the defenders, you can sit behind the tower and shoot at people trying get up one set of stairs, which is the only entrance. I was playing it and fired a few smoke grenades from the Assault Class’ underslung grenade launcher, and because the other team couldn’t see us, it enabled me and the rest of my squad to push up the stairs.
In a situation like the one above, using grenades will allow you to suppress an attack and allow you and your team to clean up with kills as a result. Because the benefits aren’t immediate though, a lot of people don’t use the tactic. At the moment, when you do see such tactics being employed, it will be in an organised manner by a high-level squad that knows what it’s doing. And, more often than not, that squad will be the one absolutely smashing the opposition. So, if you want to dominate the opposition, give it a try.
Using smoke grenades will also make a huge difference in Rush and Obliteration game modes where you need to arm or defuse a bomb. The only thing is, you don’t get the points. Maps like Operation Locker and Zavod 311 boast urban combat, which make them great for smoke grenade tactics. Just bear in mind that smoke grenades are less useful on Conquest mode, as the maps are just too sparse and open.
So what do you do if you want to combat smoke grenades? The only way to counter smoke is to use the infrared scope, which not many people use. If you have IR vision, you can combine it with your own smoke grenades to protect yourself or your squad when diffusing a bomb, hiding yourself from enemy sniper fire, for example. Or, if you think you’re up against a particularly skilled enemy, you can fire smoke grenades into an area as a diversion, as the opposing team should naturally become fixated on the smoke. So, if you’re up against an enemy of an equal or greater skill, try making them think you’re somewhere you’re not using smoke grenades.
Hopefully these tips will have opened your eyes to the mortar and smoke grenades, as well as the most effective ways to use them. Get yourself into a game as the Support class and give them a try - I’d love to hear what you think.
If you have any tips of your own, please let me know by tweeting me at @guycocker.
Thanks for reading, and see you again next week for more Battlefield 4 tips.