Battlefield 3: advice for a new player?

My brother and I played the heck out of BF:BC2. Since we’re older and unable to keep up with the run and gun tactics/reflexes of the rest of you guys, we played as a sniper team (he’s in TN, I’m in the midwest, FWIW) and focused on supporting our team where they needed the support the most and countersniping when enemy snipers became a pain. It was kinda nice working as a sniper team - we could provide overwatch for each other (people trying to sneak up and knife a sniper are always shocked when they get taken out from behind) and help each other spot, plus between the two of us we could spot a ton of enemy and make sure our team knew where every enemy was around them.

So we’re looking at moving to BF3. Didn’t jump in when it first came out because of issues I read about, like super IR scopes that made cover pretty irrelevant, and snipers having bright lights attached to them that made cover, well, pretty irrelevant. But, while visiting my son this past week (along with my first grandchild - yes, I’m that freakin’ old!) I watched him play, and it was very cool looking.

So questions: my brother and I want to play as a sniper team again. Is that practical at all in BF3 or is it more the run and gun style of COD (which I hate?) Also, watching my son play on hardcore servers, I was thinking of starting on hardcore servers as I liked the more lethal weapons and lack of kill cams. Is that a dumb thing to do as pure 0 score privates? Also, are we going to just be killed non-stop with practically no advancement, since everyone online by now are probably generals the 7th time through with everything unlocked and we’ll be starting with nothing unlocked, lucky to have shoes and a gun that fires forward?

And lastly, any tips for successful/effective recon in BF3, especially for someone just starting the game (although with a lot of experience in BF:BC2?)


We had several help posts about BF3 already. Look in the Battlefield 3 multiplayer thread.

The game is more or less like BC2. Which I consider a run and gun game.

If you are just jumping into the game then you are going to need to spend some time unlocking weapons, accessories and such.

Sniper teams seem like a good idea but I never really found it too beneficial when playing. I think you’re more likely to be taken out by another sniper than having someone come up behind you, but of course that does happen.


Hardcore is horrible IMO, it throws out many of BF3’s great features such as the spotting system and with the increased weapon damage you don’t even need to aim. Having no HUD is just silly too.

At least give “normal” servers that run big conquest maps without 3rd person vehicle cam/killcam/regenerating health/3d spotting and with slow vehicle respawn a try before you restrict yourself to HC mode.

With normal gun damage you can still snipe people from the other end of the map, you just need to hit the head and can’t do 50 cal 360° noscope bodyshot one hit kills. At close to medium range people die really fast anyway once you get used to a gun’s recoil pattern.
Playing a few rounds of Canals TDM is great for getting used to new guns and to learn how to hit the upper body and head with it constantly.

A sniper team can work out well if you’re on voice comm and stay mobile, a recon with SOFLAM and an engineer is very effective too.
Full squads are the best since you can take on anything and won’t run out of ammo or health of course.

Recon in BF3 is…an acquired taste. There are a lot of people who will tell you it’s a pointless class, some that say it’s just not as good as Assault/Engineer/Support, and some that say it just needs a tweak. I’m of the opinion that it tends to be very situational.

My advice is to not start as Recon, start as Engineer or perhaps Support. You need to start unlocking the rank rewards as soon as possible as they’re the ones that’ll help you later on. Excellent examples include the ammo and suppression specialisations, the 870MCS shotgun, the suppressed pistols, the extremely rapetacular P-90 and USAS-12. These unlocks will help you level Recon when sniping isn’t really viable, which is more often than not.

Oh and don’t start on hardcore servers, the proper game is the most fun and spotting is the key to good teamwork.

Recon is pretty terrible unless you’re a phenomenally good shot, and even then you need to be pressing forward to actually make yourself useful.

With the changes to the game, the first few guns for Assault are excellent and ressing people is a quick way to earn a lot of points. Support is probably going to be harder although if you enjoy recon’s more static gameplay then a bipod LMG is very effective.

TDM is a good way to unlock scoped and such. Find a 1000 ticket TDM server and finish one round from start to end. You’ll boost your rank pretty fast and unlock a lot of new weapons.

I found BF3 to be a bit grindy. It takes a while to unlock the gear you really need. It’s certainly much more sniper friendly than most other FPS multiplayer games though.

I haven’t played if for a long time, but i enjoyed it more than any other BF game i have played (which aren’t too many as I’m not a big fan of DICE’s multiplayer).

Incidentally if you must use a sniper rifle, use the SKS until you have a good aim. You can basically spam bullets at people through a scope and kill them before they move out of the way, which is a lot easier than waiting ages to get a head shot and suffering the looong reload time for a bolt action. With a laser and 4x scope it’s also quite a good offensive weapon, although not a substitute for a true offensive class. Which is basically Recon’s problem.

I’m on the 360 - I assume that means I can’t select servers with no killcams, etc. right?