The multiplayer component of Battlefield 4 is the largest and most complex so far in the series. Many things have changed, even for those players with experience from Battlefield 3 and the Bad Company games.
Are you a Battlefield newbie? If so, it’s no wonder if you find everything overwhelming.
Just take it easy. I’ll help you. Here’s my guide for newly hatched Battlefield players.
Mindset and Gaming Style
You want the best possible start in Battlefield 4 online? Then you’ll have to work a little bit on your attitude first. You’ll have to take in what this game is really about.
Most game modes have an objective.
- In Rush, you and your team are destroying or defending M-COM stations.
- In Conquest, you’re capturing and holding different parts of the map.
That’s why you’ll find that many of your fellow players primarily focus on the objective. You should do the same.
In other games, the relationship between how many characters you kill and how often your own character is killed – known as Kill to Death ratio or K/D – is a measure of success.
This isn’t necessarily the case in Battlefield 4.
Summary: If you want to be a successful player that other players respect, forget about K/D and play the objective.
Teamwork = Success
All online Battlefield games have focused on teamwork. This focus is even bigger in Battlefield 4.
You can do well on your own in the Call of Duty games. You can do even better as an active team player in the Battlefield games online.
Prefer playing solo?
Try changing your attitude. You, with the rest of your team, have a bigger chance of winning matches if you prioritize the team over solo performances.
See what I’m getting at?
Good teamwork and a focus on the objective are two of the most important prerequisites for winning matches in BF4.
Perhaps you’re a capable rusher in other games? Well, this game isn’t like the others. Running and gunning simply does not work as well here.
One reason is purely physical. The maps are often so big that you’ll have to run a lot to shoot very little.
Another reason is the focus on objective-based gameplay and teamwork.
For many Battlefield players, solving tasks through co-operation is priority numero uno. That’s why they move less at random.
Additionally, many players stick together when they attack or defend their targets.
You run into larger groups of opponents more often than in other games.
Taking out one character is easy. Number two may also go down without a severe struggle on your part. But the third, fourth, and fifth become increasingly challenging.
The opposition is often too great for successful running and gunning.
Summary: calm down. Reduce your pace. Try planning how you’re going to reach you and your team’s goals instead of chasing after a high K/D.
I know. I go on about teamwork and objective-based gameplay a little too much at times.
One thing trumps all these things: you’re supposed to have fun!
Battlefield 4 is an entertainment game. Notice the word entertainment. Playing this game online should be entertaining, primarily.
Getting annoyed or pissed off at something on the digital battleground?
Take a break. You’ll be a worse player when you’re in a sour mood anyway.
Drink some water, take a walk. Talk to your cat.
Have you calmed down? Good! Now, get back to having fun in the game again.
Before the First Online Match
We’re getting close to your Battlefield 4 multiplayer debut. In not too long, you’re going out to digital battle with and against players from all over the world.
But we’re not there quite yet. There’s one thing you should do first.
Play Single Player
Yes, I know this is a big no-no among die-hard multiplayer fans.
Don’t listen to ‘em. Play the single player before you enter the multiplayer.
There are, of course, differences. But you’ll be given hints in single player about what to expect in multiplayer.
This is first and foremost about weaponry. A lot of the single player weapons show up online too. Their mechanisms are fairly similar.
If you play single player to start off, you’ll enter your first online match with more knowledge of the weapon mechanisms. How to change your rate of fire, to mention one.
In addition to this, single player offers you many chances to do some target practice. Perhaps you haven’t been able to shake the desire for a K/D you can brag about, despite what I told you earlier.
No worries. That’s completely fine.
If K/D still means something to you, you’re better off practicing your aim in single player than in multiplayer. None of the single player characters can gossip about your miserable K/D anyway
Learn the Mechanisms
We’re getting increasingly close to your multiplayer debut. Just bear with me a little while longer. I’ll release you onto the hordes of online players soon enough.
But there are still a couple of things I’d like to mention to you.
Battlefield 4 has a range of mechanisms you’re better off knowing about. Here are some of them:
No, this isn’t a seat at the cinema, or front row at a gig.
In the Battlefield universe, one ticket equals one soldier life. Each time a soldier dies, a ticket disappears from the team’s stock.
Here are a couple of examples of how the tickets are used:
- Rush – The attacking team has a set number of tickets. The defending team has an unlimited amount of tickets. The attacking team fails if it loses all its tickets before the goals are reached.
- Conquest – Both teams have a set number of tickets. The team that loses all of its tickets first fails.
So, the next time someone’s babbling about Battlefield tickets, you know what they’re on about.
The term “teamwork” is the backdrop for almost every guide I write for Battlefield 4 multiplayer.
DICE has taken many measures to motivate us to play with more solidarity.
Simply put, it enables you to mark hostile soldiers and vehicles.
Everything and everyone you mark, or Spot, appear as symbols on the mini maps of your team mates.
In addition to this, the spotted characters and vehicles get a small symbol above them in the hud.
Not only will whom or what you spot be marked visually. Additionally, a voice will indicate the compass direction. As such, it’ll be easier for your team mates to determine where the bad guys are situated.
Spotting is good. Both for you and your team. So try to spot as much as possible.
We might as well come to terms with it now. Our characters will die. Often. But they’ll resurrect.
And, as opposed to other first person shooters, you have some say in where your character is raised from the dead.
You can choose between several alternatives:
- You can spawn in the home base.
- You can spawn in areas you’ve captured and are still holding.
- You can spawn on squad mates that are still alive.
- You can spawn on radio beacons.
- (You can also choose an available point on the map and spawn there.)
I write in more detail on spawning in other guides.
Here, I’ll just say the following: use your brain before spawning. Ask yourself the following question: where can I spawn so that it’s most advantageous for my team?
One thing’s for sure: spawning on a squad mate in the middle of a hectic gun fight usually results in your character being killed almost immediately.
Heal & Revive
The Assault class has healing hands. Well, not quite.
But as an Assault, you have a defibrillator and two kinds of med packs at your disposal. You can both heal and revive teammates. Use these abilities as often as you can.
You see a fellow soldier in desperate need of medical attention? Run over to him and toss him a med pack.
You’ve got two packs to choose from:
- Medic Bag – Heals all soldiers in range of it.
- First Aid Pack – Only heals one soldier at a time.
Like I said – you can also bring dead teammates back to life. You use the defibrillator for this.
- Run all the way up to the dead soldier.
- Get your defibrillator out.
- Aim for the dead soldier, and press “Fire”.
Have a wee think before using the defibrillator. It’s not always a good idea to use it.
- Safety first – Make sure that it’s fairly safe to move towards the soldier you want to revive. Remember, you can’t revive yourself.
- A lost cause – Don’t revive soldiers lying in bullet showers. They’ll most probably die immediately again.
My personal record in Battlefield 3 is four attempted serial revives.
My character received life-providing shocks four times in a row, but was immediately killed every single time. I didn’t even have the chance to refuse revival…
Hand out Ammo
The support class can also carry supplies. These are filled with ammunition.
Don’t be stingy. Share them with your teammates.
In this class you also have two different bags to choose from:
- Ammo Pack: Largest content. Supplies ammunition to all soldiers in range of it.
- Ammo Box: Contains less ammo. Additionally, it can only provide one fellow soldier at a time.
Get Familiar with the Game Modes
Battlefield 4 multiplayer has a range of different game modes. Here I’ll briefly tell you about three of them (you can read about the rest on this site):
This has always been one of the most popular game modes in Battlefield 3 multiplayer.
Some players accused DICE of copying the Call of Duty series when it put this mode in BF3.
Fact is, Team Deathmatch was one of the modes already in the first Battlefield game – Battlefield 1942. And this game was released more than a year before the very first Call of Duty Game.
So who’s copying who?
Well, I’ll let it lie.
I feel confident you’re familiar with the Team Deathmatch mode principles: Two teams fight each other. The team to first take out a set number of the opponent characters, or that’s killed the largest number of hostiles when time’s up, wins.
This is the case in Battlefield 4, too.
Team Deathmatch is a nice entry level mode.
Most Team Deathmatch matches take place on smaller, limited areas on the multiplayer maps. The game mode is characterized by close quarters combat.
So, you’ve never played an online Battlefield game before?
Take a few rounds in Team Deathmatch first. The mode is a nice arena to get a sense of the game’s mechanisms and how its different weapons work.
This is the classic Battlefield mode. It’s been present in every game in the series.
Two teams fight each other. The objective is to take control of and hold neutral areas, aka capture points, on a map. These areas are marked with flags.
As soon as one team has taken control over an area, all members of that team can spawn in that area.
The more areas your team controls, the fewer tickets you’ll lose. The team to lose all its tickets first fails.
Here’s a simple rule of thumb: as long as you and your team control more capture points than the opposing team for the majority of a match, you’ll win.
Conquest is a little less action packed than Rush (see below).
The first time you could play Rush was in the first Bad Company game. Then, the game mode was called Gold Rush.
In Rush, you also have two teams fighting each other. One team plays as attackers. This team has a limited amount of tickets.
The other team, the defenders, have an unlimited stock of tickets.
M-COM stations are situated between the two teams.
When you play on the attacking team, your job is to destroy the stations. When you play as a defender, you stop the attackers from doing so.
The attackers win the match if they can destroy all the M-COM stations before they run out of tickets.
It goes the other way too – the defending team wins if the attackers have lost all their tickets before all the stations are destroyed.
Learn the Maps
The Battlefield maps are big. They’re so big that you can play every day for weeks on end and keep discovering new things.
Map knowledge is important in all kinds of multiplayer games.
When you know routes, short cuts, places to hide, and busy areas, so-called kill zones/choke points, you can play with more tactics, flexibility, and unpredictability.
Simply put, you become a more dangerous opponent.
So learn the maps.
You can choose to do this the slow way. For every match you play, you’ll become a little bit more familiar with each individual map.
But this guide is about how to get a good start in Battlefield 4 multiplayer. So – here’s a short cut to map knowledge, express delivery.
Search For Empty Servers
You can search for an empty server no matter which platform you play on. Or you can rent your own server. When you do so, you can wander around every single map at will, undisturbed.
I’m not saying you need to know the maps like the inside of your pockets before your online debut. But it’s a good idea to know a little bit about the big picture.
- Try noticing specific landmarks each map has. Like bridges, roads, special buildings, power lines, noticeable characteristics in the landscape, and so on.
- Find physical references that make it easy for you to know where you’re situated at any given time.
- Picture where recons might set up shop.
- Try finding different routes from one point on the map to another.
Familiarize Yourself with Vehicles
Battlefield multiplayer games have always been characterized by vehicles. This makes the game even more intense and action packed. And harder to master.
Tanks, other armored vehicles, boats, helicopters, and jets have so much firepower that they easily change the outcome of the matches. At least in the hands of good players.
But a rookie has a long way to go before he becomes a game changer with his tanks movements or aviation skills. The airborne vehicles can be particularly difficult to master.
Battlefield 4 multiplayer has its own test range, where you can practice your motorized battle skills.
And you won’t have to worry about cranky comments from other gamers, or the other team’s mines, grenades, and missiles.
My advice is simple: spend some time with the different vehicles in the test range before you turn the ignition in other multiplayer modes.
Video: Test Range – First Overview
Your First Match
OK – your big moment is here. It’s time you debut in Battlefield 4 multiplayer for real.
Do you know what I think you should do first?
Play some rounds in Team Deathmatch.
It’s a simpler mode. Here, it’s mostly about kill or be killed. Your sole focus is surviving for as long as possible, and taking out as many opponent characters as you can.
This will make it easier to get a sense of how different weapons and equipment work:
- Choose different weapons each time you play, depending on which ones you’ve unlocked.
- Test the weapons with different attachments. Try noticing how they change the weapon’s behavior.
- Spot as much as you can. After a little while, spotting will become an automatic reflex.
- Heal and revive other players – often. Hand out ammunition – often. Do this enough times to no longer have to think about which button to press when you want it done.
- Try playing tactically and unpredictably. Practice finding the not so obvious routes from A to B. Try flanking your opponents as often as possible, instead of meeting them face to face.
After a few rounds, you’ll have strengthened the four fundamental Battlefield pillars:
- Weapons handling
- Using your brain
Another advantage is this: when you start by playing Team Deathmatch, you’ll strengthen your knowledge of certain parts of the maps.
Grasshopper, I think you’re ready for the big leagues
After Team Deathmatch, Conquest is the natural step forward.
This game mode is a little less hectic than Rush. But it introduces you to new vehicles, and not to mention, objective-based gameplay.
Here are some tips that’ll help you along the way:
Join a Squad
This is simple, and doesn’t need any further thought. Join a squad.
Squads are pretty much the whole point of Battlefield 4 online. Your chances of winning increase considerably in a squad, even if it’s just a decent one.
You can choose to join a squad when you enter a match. There are several advantages to doing so. Here’s a couple:
- You’ll receive extra points if you heal or revive squad mates.
- You’ll also receive extra points for handing out ammunition to other players in your squad.
The biggest advantage is still this: teamwork.
Take the Lead
Be the player who makes the squad co-operate.
This is easiest when playing with a headset that allows you to speak to the other players.
But you can show that you want to co-operate without a headset, too. Here’s how:
- Stay close to your squad mates as much as possible.
- Playing Assault? Heal and revive other members of the squad when they need it.
- Playing Support? Make sure everyone in your squad has enough ammo.
- Playing Engineer? Jump into a vehicle along with the others from your squad. Repair it when needed.
- Playing Recon? Spot like a madman, and place radio beacons so they become smart spawn points to everyone in the squad.
When you do these things consistently, other team players in your squad will quickly catch on to the fact that you’re someone they can work with. They’ll start playing for the squad and the team, and less for themselves.
Unfortunately, not everyone you’ll meet online will be team players. Far from it.
But I’ve rarely played in a squad where no one’s responded to my encouragement for teamwork.
Often, I think everyone is waiting for someone to take the lead. That’s why YOU should be the one with the teamwork invite. Don’t wait for someone else to hand those out.
Playing Battlefield 4 has a learning curve. You might as well realize sooner rather than later that you’re unlikely to become a star player overnight.
But with patience and a touch of awareness about what it is you’re actually doing, you’ll pass the skill level of most newbies with speed.
Being willing to learn doesn’t hurt either. When you recognize that you’ll never finish the learning process, you’ve come far already.
Here are a couple of ways to learn more:
Check out YouTube
There are countless highly skilled Battlefield players. A lot of them are nice people, who’ll willingly share their best tips with you.
You’ll find several of them on YouTube.
Here are some of the best channels to subscribe to, if you want to become better at Battlefield 4 multiplayer:
How about you? Have you got tips on how new Battlefield players can get a decent head start? Use the comment field below.