How to Improve Your Aiming and Accuracy in Battlefield 3 Multiplayer
Weapon skills are an important part of being a good player in Battlefield 3 Multiplayer. It is simply more fun to play the game when you know how to handle a weapon.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that is going to transform you to a super marksman in an instant. Still, there is plenty of advice on how to improve. Here, I have compiled some tips:
How to Take Aim in Battlefield 3 Multiplayer
In theory, it is really quite simple: place the reticle over your opponents’ characters and pull the trigger.
In practice, though, there are a couple of other factors you need to consider.
Laws of Physics and Battlefield 3 multiplayer
There is a flight time for bullets in Battlefield 3. This means that it will take a tiny bit of time before a bullet hits its target once you’ve pulled the trigger. The longer the distance to the target, the more time it will take. Just like in real life.
Gravity will start pulling a bullet towards the ground as soon as it has left the barrel. This effect is known as a Bullet Drop. It also happens in reality.
At short distances, you will not notice these factors, but they become more noticeable over longer distances. The further away your target is, the more you need to compensate for the bullet drop and the bullet’s flight time.
- If your target character is standing still, far away, place the center of the reticle slightly above it before taking the shot.
- If the target, in addition to being far away, is moving, place the center of the reticle slightly above it and a tad in front of it.
- It may happen that you need to follow your moving target (through the sight) a bit in this position (slightly above, slightly ahead) before you fire. This technique is often referred to as deflection or “leading the target”. Notice that targets can still move once you’ve fired your gun: the trick is to predict their path and aim at the place where they will be when the bullet gets there, instead of the place where they are when you pull the trigger.
How to Fight Recoil
The weapons in Battlefield 3 have recoil. This means that the aim of your gun will be pushed away from the target – usually in an upward movement – while you are firing continuous rounds. This makes it hard to keep the reticle centered over the target.
Here is a solution to counteract this effect:
How to fire your weapon in bursts:
- Place the center of the reticle over the target (or above it if you need to compensate for bullet drop!).
- Pull the trigger and fire two or three rounds.
- Release the trigger for a really short moment.
- Keep an eye on the reticle and make sure that it is still centered over the place where you need to aim.
- If it has wandered off, adjust the reticle back to the desired position
- Fire a new set of two to three rounds.
- Repeat the process until you have killed your opponent’s character.
Speed is the key to success with this technique. The whole process should be fast.
In the beginning you will probably focus too much on the technicalities of executing this technique. This may affect your performance, but that’s ok. Just keep practicing. Focus on getting the technique right!
With time, you will find that you are using Burst Fire on autopilot. You will be thinking less about what you’re doing and will be focusing more on keeping the sight aimed at your target.
In my experience Burst Fire works particularly well over medium to long distances.
This video demonstrates the benefit of Burst Firing:
(Video created by Slyerious – click here to subscribe to his YouTube Channel.)
(I know… It’s not BF3. But the principle is the same ;))
Weapons with Selective Fire Modes
Dice has made it easier for people like you and me.
One of several great features in Battlefield 3 multiplayer is that many weapons are now equipped with selective fire. This means that you can choose which firing mode you want to use – fully automatic, burst fire, or single fire. Some weapons have two of these options, while others have all three.
How to change your weapon’s firing mode:
- On PC: Tap on the V key
- On Xbox 360: Press Down on the D-pad
- On PlayStation 3: Press Down on the D-pad
Because of this, you now have the ability to adapt the weapon’s firing rate to the distance across which you’re aiming.
Here is a simplified list of which firing modes you could use at which distances:
- Use the fully automatic firing mode when the opponent’s character is close to you.
- Use Burst Fire on medium to long distances.
- You can also use Single Fire on medium to long distances (note, however, that you should be able to rapidly and repeatedly pull the trigger if you want to use single fire).
Choose your targets wisely
It’s not worth it to shoot at everything and everyone. Sometimes you will actually be better off if you refrain from taking the shot – especially if your potential targets are far away.
There are several important factors that that determine the odds of you hitting your target:
- The distance to the target.
- Your weapon’s range and power.
- Obstacles and cover between you and the target.
- And (let’s be honest) how good you are at aiming at and killing characters.
If you discover an enemy character that is far away from you, use the Spot function instead of shooting. Tag the opponent character, so that the rest of your team becomes aware of it. Perhaps one of your teammates will be in a better position to kill him.
Alternatively, you can of course move closer to the enemy. If you choose this approach, you’d best flank the person – i.e. attack him from one of his sides.
Chances are that you can surprise your opponent more easily if you attack from one side, compared to when you storm forward, straight into his line of sight.
Shoot from the hip
This advice is primarily for Close Quarter Combat situations.
Most automatic weapons in Battlefield 3 multiplayer are pretty accurate when you fire them from the hip at close range. It is worthwhile to do so, because aiming down the Sight has some drawbacks that shooting from the hip overcomes:
- Speed – You will fire the weapon faster from the hip. Raising your weapon, aiming and then shooting takes longer.
- Flexibility – Your character is more flexible in its movements if he is firing a weapon from the hip.
Aim for the biggest target
Killing an enemy with a clean headshot is the Holy Grail for many players in Battlefield 3 multiplayer. Headshots come with bragging rights and online gamers love to brag.
Now, if that’s your cup of tea, by all means focus on blasting people’s heads off. Personally, though, I’d shy away from looking for this boost in self-esteem, and would rather focus on hitting your enemy’s upper body.
Sure, it’s true that you usually need fewer rounds to take out a character when you hit him in the head. However, the head is smaller and thus a more difficult target to hit than the upper body – especially over long distances. For every round you save by going for the head, you will probably lose many more by just plain missing your target.
So make it easier for yourself: Always go for the upper body when you take aim. Then, if you do happen to make a kill by a headshot, consider it a nice bonus…
Settings and Sensitivity
Your weapon skills can also improve by making some adjustments to the game itself.
In the options menu, you can adjust how sensitive your character is going to be for inputs from your controller or your mouse. This sensitivity influences how quickly or slowly your character can look up, down and sideways, and how quickly he can turn around 360° along his own axis.
Your character’s speed when walking or running is not affected by these choices: they are fixed for everyone in the game.
If you set the sensitivity to High, the character’s movements becomes faster. The opposite happens if you lower the sensitivity. The lower it is, the slower your character’s movements will become.
These settings can also affect how well you manage to take aim and how accurate you shoot in Battlefield 3.
Note that quicker movement of your gun can make aiming more difficult: a small movement of your hand could move your gun way off target.
It is impossible to give specific advice on what settings you should choose, as the ideal configuration depends on your own preferences, style of play and computer setup. However, I can say with certainty that it’s worthwhile to adjust the sensitivity if you are not happy with your aiming and accuracy.
- If the sensitivity is already high, try to lower it gradually.
- Turn it down a notch, play some games with the new setting and ask yourself if you think your gameplay has improved.
- If not – lower the sensitivity even more before you try to continue playing.
- Continue until you have found the setting that you are comfortable with.
- And of course – if your sensitivity is initially low, try gradually increasing it instead.
Do you want to share some aiming & accuracy tips with other players? Please use the comment fields below.