How to win with tanks in Battlefield 3 multiplayer – Part 2
This is the second part of my introduction to tanks in Battlefield 3 multiplayer. Part 1 can be found by clicking on this link.
Pimp my tank
A tank in Battlefield 3 multiplayer can be configured in many ways.
For those who haven’t played Bad Company 2: vehicle specializations improve or add features to a tank (and other vehicles). Here are the options that are available in Bad Company 2:
- Improved Warhead Package – Increases the power of the tank’s main weapon, so that you can take out an opponents’ tank with fewer shells.
- Active Upgrade Armor – Increases the armor’s ability to withstand damage. Only works if the specialization is chosen by the driver. Allows you to drive over anti-tank mines and survive.
- Electronic Warfare Package – Makes it possible to detect opponents and their equipment, including mines and vehicles in the mini-map. Works within a radius of 20 meters.
- Quick Reload Package – Reduces the time it takes to reload the main weapon.
- Smoke Countermeasures Package – Makes it possible to remove the Tracer Darts that enemies can attach to your tank.
- High Power Semiconductor Package – Increases your range and accuracy. Allows you to zoom in on your opponents.
- Alternate Weapon Package – Provides the driver of a tank with an alternate weapon. Allows the driver to fire both the main gun and a machine gun.
Battlefield 3 Vehicles Specialization
The choices in Battlefield 3 are at least as many. Dice recently revealed the list of vehicle specializations in Battlefield 3. Among these are:
- Canister shells
- Guided shells
- Zoom optics
- Thermal optics
- Reactive armor
- Belt speed
- Auto loader
- Proximity scan
Eventually there will be more details about what these different specializations do.
As a general advice, make sure to test them all out. Do not rely solely on the experiences of others, as found on blogs and forums (or in strategy guides… 😉 ).
Find out for yourself what each specialization does to the tank.
If you do this, you will quickly learn how the different specializations work. This will allow you to make choices based on your own experience, tailor-suited to your own skills and style of play, instead of on the opinion of others. You can use this experience to customize the tank for a wide range of tasks. A couple of examples:
- Do you play on a map where you often encounter enemy tanks?
Try reinforcing your armor, adding power to your main weapon or speeding up your boosting time. All of these can give you an edge in tank-to-tank combat.
- What if the opposition has control over a number of helicopters and airplanes?
Try a specialization that increases your speed, or gives you the ability to use a machine gun as an alternative weapon.
Don’t Get Stuck
A tank in Battlefield 3 multiplayer can be an easy target. First and foremost, that is because of its size, but it’s also because tanks have the nasty tendency to get stuck in confined spaces.
A tank and urban areas form a dangerous combination – for those who are inside the tank.
If you are driving through urban areas, remember that buildings are excellent cover for your opponents. They may be waiting for you behind a corner, ready to jump out from their hideouts and plant C4 on your tank once you are close enough. They can also place mines both in front of you and behind you, before spraying you with grenades. Either way, a trap like that means game over for the tank.
More open terrain can just as easily trap a tank: ditches, holes in the ground, trees and rocks can all hinder tank movement, leaving you in a vulnerable position.
In open terrain, it is important for you to know the maps and all the geography that could get in your way. Avoid the places where you can easily get stuck, and stay on terrain where it’s safe to drive.
A wise tank commander will often stay in open terrain with few objects for the enemy to hide behind. This makes it easier to spot opponents with evil intentions in time.
How to hide an elephant
The only way to hide an elephant, is to find something bigger to put in front of it.
The same goes for tanks.
Buildings and terrain are not only a good cover for enemy infantry. Even a tank can hide behind a house, a hill or a big rock, using its cover to inflict a lot of damage.
Here is a quick back and forth tactic you can try:
- Place the tank behind a house or a hilltop.
- Drive the tank a little bit forward or backwards and aim for the opponents.
- Fire one shell.
- Get back to the starting point (behind the building or the hilltop).
- Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4
You can do this for a while, but your enemy will certainly adapt and in the end, it will get too hot under your tracks. The house you are hiding behind may even be demolished – a pretty obvious sign that you should floor it…
A Tank’s Best Friend
As mentioned before, an engineer is a tank’s best friend. Engineers can repair a damaged tank until it is 100% ready for combat again. A tank thrives if two engineers control it. Two pairs of hands repair better than (n)one.
However, repairing a tank is not without danger, especially if you’re close to your enemies. Since you have to get out of the tank in order to repair it, doing so leaves you in a vulnerable position. To avoid falling victim to your opponents’ thirst for blood, it is best to have tank repairs take place far away from them.
Unfortunately, doing so is not always easy. In many situations, retreating is impossible. Often, you have to repair there and then – close to dangerous opponents. Try this if they literally are breathing down your neck:
- Get out of the tank.
- Use the tank as a cover between you and your opponents.
- Repair the tank so that it is drivable again
- Stay alive!
- Jump back into the tank and give full throttle – away from the opposition.
- Complete the repair in a more secure location.
Obviously, a teammate who mans the main gun or the machine gun increases the chance of success if performing this little stunt.
Do not get tankjacked
Tankjacking is another good reason why you should always repair your tank far away from the opposition. Imagine this:
- You are repairing the tank.
- Perhaps you are humming a song as well. You feel safe.
- An opponent sneaks up to the tank without you noticing.
- Suddenly, he jumps into the tank and gives full throttle.
- It all ends when the tank thief sends a large caliber farewell gift in your direction.
This problem can of course be prevented by having a buddy waiting inside the tank (who is preferably scanning the area to stop any enemy in his tracks!).
Leave No One Behind
Engineers are risking their lives on the battlefield, screwing bolts into place. It’s not really nice to leave them standing there, while you drive away. Be sure to protect your repairman to the best of your ability. If you disappear on him, he will be nothing but target practice for your opponents.