How to win with tanks in
Battlefield 3 multiplayer – Part 3
You and your tank will fight against other tanks often. The Battlefield series has already set the stage for many truly epic tank battles.
Many more are sure to follow in Battlefield 3 multiplayer.
In a tank battle against other tanks, only the large cannon will do. This puts enormous firepower at your disposal, but unfortunately your opponents have exactly the same power…
And the winner is…
Here are the rules for tank vs. tank: the winner is the one who first hits the opponent with the required number of shells.
This immediately reveals one of the tank’s weaknesses: reloading the tank’s main gun takes a few seconds, during which you might get hit multiple times.
To compensate for this you can do several things:
- Keep the tank on the move. This makes you a harder target to hit. Make short stops to allow you to fire your own weapon accurately. With some practice, you may not need to stop in order to shoot well. It’s difficult to get hit after hit while your tank is in constant motion – but it’s far from impossible.
- Use vehicle specializations. Go for the choices that either increase the reloading speed, the main weapon’s power or that strengthen the armor.
An Ace Up the Sleeve
As an engineer you have an ace up your sleeve: the rocket or missile launcher.
Here is a little maneuver you could try:
- You cruise around in your tank.
- Suddenly you see one of your opponents’ tanks.
- Take aim and fire the first shell immediately.
- Jump out of the tank.
- Choose your rocket launcher, aim again and fire a round into the tank.
- Get back inside your own tank again.
- Fire shell number two with the cannon.
By doing this, you will have sent three projectiles at the enemy tank while your opponent has managed to fire only one or two (at best) shells at yours – as long as he is not employing the same trick.
This way, you will be the first to have fired the required number of shells.
It is possible to add even more punch to this trick. To achieve this, you must man the tank together with another engineer.
Both of you jump out of the tank after the tank’s first shot has been fired. Both fire your rocket or missile launchers.
This stunt is not without danger. Remember to check that there are no other enemies in your immediate proximity, who could either kill you or steal your tank while you are outside.
An Untrusty Friend
Be aware that your teammate (on the machine gun) can let you down. Perhaps his greatest desire is to drive the tank. He may even believe that he’s a better driver than you.
So, when you have jumped out of the tank, he sees his chance.
Instead of helping you, he switches positions and gets into the driver’s seat. And while you are on the outside, firing your grenade launcher, your buddy drives off – with the tank. You are left behind – alone and deserted – and as a much easier target for your opponents…
Increasing The Odds
If you think your online war buddy can be trusted, though, there is another way to improve your odds at winning a tank-to-tank battle.
While he or you switch between the rocket launcher and the tank’s main gun, the other could lengthen the lifetime of the vehicle by repairing it in the shadow of the attack. This is only useful if there’s not too much firepower assaulting your tank: there’s a limit to the speed with which an engineer can mop up incoming damage.
The tanks in Battlefield 3 have several strengths. The firepower is an obvious one. Armor is another advantage of using tanks.
Because the armor is stronger at the front of the vehicle, a tank can withstand more beating there.
In contrast, the back and the sides of the tank can tolerate less damage.
This is important to remember for when you are going to attack another tank, while avoiding damage to your own. Positioning your tank well is key to achieving victory.
Positioning – also known as the art of placing your tank correctly in relation to your opponents – is quite simple, really. Or at least, the theory is:
- Ensure that the front of your tank is always facing your opponents straight. This allows you tolerate multiple hits.
- The in between solution is to place the tank at an angle in the direction of your opponent. The worst way to get hit is to have a shell reach the sides or back of your tank straight on. Your tank takes less damage if it’s being hit from an angle.
- Fire your shells in a straight line. Either right in the side or right in the vulnerable butt on your opponents’ tanks.
Helicopters and other flying nightmares
Battlefield 3 multiplayer is hectic. Attackers are everywhere. Behind you, in front of you, on the sides and not least – above you. Helicopters and jets are a real pain for the tank drivers.
You should take those dangers from above seriously. They are heavily armed and can take out one or more tanks without too much effort.
So what can a tank respond with?
Well, it’s almost impossible (but not totally impossible) to take out a jet, a helicopter, or a UAV with the main weapon.
The machine gun, however, will get you a long way.
Just remember this when you are shooting at a helicopter or a jet with the machine gun:
- The laws of physics apply to the Battlefield 3 multiplayer; meaning fired projectiles take time to travel and eventually drop to the ground.
- You can account for this by placing the reticle a tad ahead of the helicopter you want to hit. You may need to aim slightly above it as well, to get a hit.
- Shoot in short bursts (this makes it easier to control the recoil). Adjust the reticle. Shoot a new round of short bursts.
- If everything goes your way, you will eventually hit the target. This means that you have zeroed out the bullet drop.
- Now, you can try to shoot several more continuous rounds.
If you eventually find that you miss the target more often than you hit it, you can return to shooting in shorter bursts again.
Other Tank Tips
Avoid driving in areas with many craters.
If an area looks like a giant Swiss cheese, it often means one thing: someone has been very generous with mines there. Do not assume that all have exploded. Some players also place mines down in the craters, where they are particularly difficult to spot.
Support your team.
Help your team when they are advancing towards an objective. Use the tank to destroy the other team’s ability to hide behind trees, houses, cars, walls, etc. Use the big lump of iron to crush everything in your team’s path towards the target.
Support teammates who plant explosives on an M-COM station. Make sure they can do their work undisturbed and afterwards, use the tank to keep opponents, who want to defuse the armed charge, away from the station.
Spot and Tag everyone and everything.
Spot and Tag enemy tanks, air force, infantry, mines, etc. This helps other players to spot enemy units, but can also be of immediate help to you. Imagine that an enemy tank is racing towards you to take you out. You become aware of this and you tag it. As a result, it becomes subject to a wave of shells and rockets from your fellow players. If you had not tagged it, you probably would have had to do the job on your own.