If you want to improve how accurately you aim and fire then here are a number of pointers that can assist.
Understand Ballistic Basics
There is a flight time for bullets. This means that it will take a 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.
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.
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 is moving you will need to compensate for both the above and their movement. 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. This technique is referred to as deflection or “leading the target”.
Weapons in Battlefield 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 centred over the target.
One solution to counteract this effect is using burst fire. As the name suggests this involves firing in short, sharp bursts rather than constant, and allows you to compensate, after each burst, for the recoil. Burst fire works particularly well over medium to long distances.
You can achieve this by firing a few rounds and then stopping or by choosing a weapon that has selective fire modes. 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. To change your firing mode, press Down on D-Pad on consoles or tap the V key on PC. Because of this, you now have the ability to adapt the weapon’s firing rate to the distance across which you’re aiming…
- Use the fully automatic firing mode when the enemy is close to you
- Use burst fire on medium to long distances
- You can also use single fire on medium to long distances
Here’s a great video which demonstrates burst firing…
Choose Your Targets
Don’t just shoot wildly at any potential target. Take into account the likelihood of getting the kill and act accordingly. There are several things that can affect your ability to take down your opponent…
- The distance to the target
- Your weapon’s ability – range, power, muzzle drift, etc.
- Obstacles and cover between you and the target
- How good your own accuracy is
For instance, if the target is a distance away, use the spot function and let a team-mate, hopefully, get the kill. By tagging them first you ensure that he’s visible to your team but you also get additional points after the kill.
Flanking is another good tactic and, in a recent poll on Battlelog, is the favourite way to surprise the enemy. Flanking is going around the target, sometimes in a wide arc, and catching them unaware at the side or behind.
Understand Your Weapon Setup
Battlelog is useful for showing you how each weapon and it’s various attachments will improve basic statistics, such as range and stability. If you’ve not mastered it already, as you add an attachment or choose a different weapon a number of statistics, shown as bars, will highlight the new ability, with sections of the bar being red or green to show improvements, or otherwise, that this new setup will give you. Yes, it’s a nice idea to add a suppressor so you remain largely invisible on the mini-map but, if as a result, the stability is severely compromised, is it worth it?
Other information, such as drift, are best investigated at sites such as Symthic, which should be an essential bookmark for any Battlefield player. On this site you can get detailed statistical information on any weapon, including the ability to compare different weapons directly.
However, even after all this, there’s nothing better than simply trying it as different weapons will suit different people based upon their play style. Statistically the PDW-R is not the best but, for me, it’s my weapon of choice after trying it.
Shoot from the hip
Mainly for close quarters situations, shooting from the hip is a quick way to fire as there is need to raise the weapon and aim first. Additionally, it affords you more flexibility of movement and the ability to recover from the situation quicker – if things go “pear shaped”, you’re in a much better position to act accordingly. In comparison, holding a gun in front of your face and looking down the sights is not the best position to be in when having to flee from a situation quickly.
Most automatic weapons are pretty accurate from the hip too.
Aim at the Upper Body
People love getting headshots. But aiming for the head is not necessarily the best approach. Yes, a headshot usually means less rounds are required to take an enemy down but it’s also a smaller target to aim for. Also, due to weapon drift, it’s not unusual for your aim to head upwards after each successive shot. If you start at the upper body then, at least, any upwards drift will still find the target.
Sensitivity & Other Options
I’ve covered this elsewhere but there are numerous options within Battlefield, particularly the ability to alter sensitivity, that really are a must and can vastly improve your game. If you’ve not tried this already, it’s an essential.