Stay one step ahead of the competition by using the tools and weapons at your disposal to your benefit with this weeks Battlefield 4 tips. Today week games journalist and Battlefield fan Guy Cocker looks at the Recon tools which can really help those on your team with rocket launchers hit their targets - the Laser Designators.
These tools help you mark land and air-based targets so that both you and your teammates can lock on to targets using their rocket launchers. These targets often boast a good level of armour, so coordinating an attack in this way can often be your most effective route to taking down a heavily-protected enemy vehicle. So let’s take a look at how Laser Designators work, and the best ways to use them.
The Basic Laser Designator
The basic Portable Laser Designator (PLD) is available from the off for Recon class soldiers in their Gadget slot. The PLD is completely mobile, meaning you can move around with it instead of having to place it in a certain spot. It’s easy to use, with a built-in rangefinder, a 500 meter ground and 300 meter air range, and 1x and 3x zoom levels.
Now, the laser designating device can lock onto all vehicles, including those on land, in the air and at sea, as well as equipment as well. If you have a rocket launcher like the SMAW, the Javelin or the MBT LAW, you can lock onto any target that’s “painted” by a laser designator. If you’re in a helicopter, your guided missiles will also lock onto these targets.
Another cool perk is that you can fire at laser designated targets without even being able to see the target--just blind fire and the laser-guided rocket does the rest. There are other perks too--normally the Javelin can only lock onto ground vehicles, but if there’s an air vehicle that has been laser-designated, it can lock onto that as well. Not only that, but rockets often score a critical hit if they strike from above, so laser designating targets really broadens your options .
SOFLAM and Advanced Laser Targetting
The SOFLAM (Special Operations Forces Laser Marker) is a more advanced laser designator that’s unlocked a Recon score of 26,000 points. Its range is better than that of the standard PLD for a start--500m in the air as well as land. But it’s the the fact that it will designate targets by itself that is the real killer feature--it’s a fixed weapon that, once deployed, can be controlled remotely or left to its own devices.
This opens up some interesting gameplay options. One little tactic that I’ve been using is both useful and entertaining. On the maps where you get stationary rocket launchers, such as the 9M133 Kornet, HJ-8 or M220 TOW (which are functionally all the same, they just vary by army), you have to control the missiles because they’re fly-by-wire. On Golmud Railway on Rush mode, the first base that the defenders have to protect has a couple of stationary launchers. If you play as a Recon class soldier and equip the SOFLAM, it will automatically lock on to the vehicles without you having to do anything. If you then stick yourself on one of the stationary rocket launchers, you can just keep following up with an infinite supply of rockets at them. So if you’re playing effectively as a Recon, not only are you taking out people, you’re allowing other members of your team to lock on, and you personally become an anti-vehicle machine. It’s a great tactic that you can put into practice. .
That’s it for this week’s blog on Battlefield 4’s Laser Designators. If you’re a Premium member, remember that Battlefield 4 Second Assault is out this week (and arrives March 4 for everyone else), featuring four fan-favorite maps from Battlefield 3, updated with a BF4 twist. I’ll be back next time with some tips on these particular maps, but in the meantime, please 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!
Thanks for reading and see you again soon for more Battlefield 4 tips.