If you’ve played a Battlefield game, you’ve probably encountered a scenario where you an idiot on your team ran towards the nearest plane/helicopter/fighter jet, took off, and immediately proceeded to slam it into a mountain/a tree/the ground/your team.
Screaming profanities into their microphones, your entire team immediately chimes in with helpful advice:
- “Go to hell, idiot“
- “Stay out of the plane/chopper/jet!“
- “Uninstall Battlefield, dipshit“
- “Why don’t you kill yourself, WiNGSPANTT?!”
But, as upset as you are, you understand your team’s concerns. Aircraft are a scarce and powerful commodity. For each time you crashed one into the ground, the ace pilot on your team could have instead used it to rack up a dozen kills.
And therein lies the rub: it’s impossible to learn how to fly. Every time you get into a plane or helicopter, you crash. Every time you crash, your teammates get more angry at you. The angrier they get, the less likely they are to let you make it into the pilot’s seat again (taking friendly fire into consideration). And the less you fly, the less likely it is you’ll ever get off the runway. It’s a vicious cycle.
Most Battlefield games don’t have a practice mode or even a single-player component, and the ones that do don’t focus many missions on air combat. You’re essentially forced to kamikaze your planes thousands of times just to have a shot at getting halfway decent. Just like in real life.
That’s where MIND BULL3TS comes in. (No, Kyle, it’s not telekinesis.) MIND BULL3TS is a YouTube series by satherewasting that, in short, demonstrates how to actually use the vehicles of Battlefield 1943 and Battlefield Bad Company 2. While they’re not tutorials, they’re certainly comprehensive and demonstrative of many good habits.
Don’t pay attention to the preview image; it represents only a small fraction of the ownage included.
Even in a kill montage, MIND BULL3TS immediately illustrates the value of a wide variety of important aerial tactics:
- Immediate positioning upon takeoff
- Tailing targets and using short bursts to test leading distance
- Dive-bombing for accuracy, short-delay drops on bombing runs
- Forcing opponents to play Chicken while maintaining a damage lead
- Knowing when to/when not to bail
- Preventing otherwise certain stalls
- Applying a mixture of throttle, aim, and gravity to turn effectively
And, while it may appear he’s showing off with the rearview camera on his bombing runs, the camera serves an important purpose; it allows you to see how close you were to the target. So while it certainly seems flashy in a kill montage, getting into the habit of pulling up and looking behind you to check your aim can make a big difference in how well you hit your future marks.
MIND BULL3TS isn’t particularly prolific, but he’s also shown his skills off in Bad Company 2, Just Cause 2, and (it seems) any other game that will allow him to get into a flying machine. Here’s his particularly fun take on helicopters and drones in BFBC2.
Use the boost to get through.
Of course, there’s only so much a video can teach you. In my experience, the best way to learn to fly in Battlefield is to find a nearly empty server, take an aircraft, and practice at extremely high altitude (to decrease the likelihood of crashing into the ground).Although helicopters are more finicky than planes, they’re also fairly stationary, so you can get accustomed to using pitch, yaw, and roll separately.
But, regardless of your craft of choice, it’s important to begin your practice in first person view and deviate from it only when doing so will allow a strategic advantage (as mentioned above) or when you honestly have no clue why the X button is causing you to flip over every 4 seconds.