Battlefield 1 Tips and Strategies Part 1

Tips for winning the Great War.

DICE's latest entry in the Battlefield series takes players to the trenches of World War I. Battlefield 1's world is a far cry from the modern combat of Battlefield 4. Even hardened Battlefield series veterans might find themselves at a loss when confronted with Battlefield 1's archaic and eclectic arsenal of weapons, gadgets, and vehicles.

As a long-time fan of the Battlefield series, I know your pain. That's why I've written this comprehensive guide to tactics and strategies that you can use to be the best at Battlefield 1. These tips apply to all game modes of Battlefield 1, and you can even get some practice using them in the excellent single-player campaign mode. However, the bread-and-butter of the Battlefield series is its multiplayer gameplay, and this guide will mostly center around how best to wage war with players from around the world.

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The basics of World War I combat.

Battlefield 1 trenches

The armies of 1914-1918 were much different in structure and armament than the armies of today. Fans of Battlefield 3 or 4 or the Call of Duty Black Ops or Modern Warfare series may find the selection of unfamiliar weapons and vehicles to be dumbfounding. In the beginning decades of the twentieth century, the rifle was still king of the battlefield, and the vast majority of combat troops were general infantry. The self-loading rifle was still a new and unproven concept, and the main battle rifles of all armies of the time were bolt-action such as the Springfield '03, Gewehr 98, and the Lee-Enfield.

World War I marked the end of the military tradition that had existed in the West throughout the 18th and 19th centuries of an orderly Gentleman's' War, and the beginning of the use of technologies that increased the killing power of a soldier exponentially. Primarily the adoption of the machine gun, poison gas, and more accurate artillery led to the complete change of battlefield strategy and tactics that occurred in World War I, and those that faced those terrifying new technologies had no counter-offense for them. This led to the stalemate of trench warfare, where positions in the front lines would cease moving for days or months on end. 

When playing Battlefield 1 it's essential to keep in mind that the weapons you're using are a combination of absolutely revolutionary technology that was just making its debut, such as the machine gun, tank, and airplanes, and the tried and true reliability of the field gun, the rifle, and the bayonet. No matter what class you play, you're extremely vulnerable to vehicles, but you're also much more deadly to them than in previous Battlefield titles. 

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There is no Blitzkrieg in World War I.

Battlefield 1 landship

Blitzkrieg, or lightning war, was a school of military tactics used by the Germans in World War II and was the foundation for modern military doctrine. Blitzkrieg utilizes a spearhead of armor, motorized infantry, and close air support to strike quickly at opponents and, after displacing them, encircling them with superior maneuverability and destroying them. This is how many of Battlefield's previous iterations played out, with maneuverable and powerful air support and armor capturing control points while being supported by infantry. 

Battlefield 1's vehicles, however, don't have the speed or the defensive capability to make the hit-and-fade attacks that make Blitzkrieg possible. Instead, they're much more specialized in their utilization. Unlike Battlefield 4, where a foot soldier (without the correct anti-vehicle loadout) could barely dent a main battle tank or fighter plane, the tanks and aircraft of Battlefield 1 are much more susceptible to explosives and gunfire. 

Instead of a quick rush towards the nearest control point, tanks are best used as standoff weapons, where they can utilize their cannons as short-range artillery while staying outside the range of anti-vehicle grenades and anti-tank rifle rounds. Aircraft too can be damaged by even the small arms fire of a pistol, and are best used for anti-aircraft duties and higher altitude bombing runs as opposed to strafing the ground where lower flight level makes them an easier target.

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Differences between Player Rank and Class Rank.

Battlefield 1 loadout screen

 Battlefield 1 has two different ranking systems, one of which is not readily apparent but is probably the most important of the two. Player Rank is the most obvious ranking system, and anyone who has previously played a Call of Duty or Battlefield title will be familiar with it. Basically the more points you get in general for kills, assists, completing squad objectives, etc, the higher your rank will go. Mostly player rank just counts towards getting more War Bonds, the currency used to unlock new weapons and gadgets in Battlefield 1.

Class Rank is not displayed as prominently as your Player Rank, but it's through Class Rank that you'll unlock powerful new items to use in combat. To view your class rank, head to the Class Customization screen and you'll see a progress bar and a number in the top left corner that shows your current level and progress in that class. To gain class experience, you need to do things unique to each class successfully, so if you're a Scout you need to spot enemies. If you're a Medic, healing and reviving teammates gains class experience, and deploying ammo packs does if you're a Support Class.

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War Bonds and Unlocks.

Battlefield 1 battlepack

 When you level up the various classes you'll gain access to new weapons and gadgets, but the process isn't automatic. Instead of earning new weapons and gadgets themselves when you level up, you just earn the ability to buy them. This means that you're not going to just to pick from a smorgasbord of weapons as you level up.

Instead of just going willy-nilly and choosing the first thing that looks good and buying it, you need to think things through. War Bonds, the currency used to buy new items, are in short supply. You can earn more and more of them as you level up, but, especially early on, you're not going to be able to buy every unlock all at once. 

Each class shares the same pool of War Bonds, and you need to take into account several things before you make a choice to purchase a new item. How do you plan to develop your classes and character? Buying a new item can make a class you're not normally proficient at suddenly viable, or it can make leveling up a different class easier. Your playstyle factors into the decision as well. Are you the type of person who wants to concentrate on getting everything unlocked and are concentrating on each class equally, or do you want to buy a new item that will make your favorite class even stronger? Make sure that you're happy and sure about your decision to spend your War Bonds before you pull the trigger because it can take quite a bit of play time to make up for a mistake.

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Understanding XP

Battlefield 1 medals

 There's not any grand trick to leveling up in Battlefield 1. It's pretty much impossible to power-level your way through the game, but there are ways to make sure you're maximizing your experience each match. 

Making sure you use the secondary abilities of your class is a big way to ensure that you're squeezing all the XP you can from your playtime. Throw down medpacks or ammo, spot enemies, use suppressive fire, be a team player. All these things are important and the player that makes sure they're doing all these things and not just rushing headlong towards the enemy will not only get more XP per match, they'll have a better time playing the game. 

Also, make sure that you're staying until the end of each match. There's an XP bonus at the end, and you have a chance at getting an XP multiplier as well. If you quit early you also lose your chance at getting a Battlepack too, which has a chance of having an XP booster in it.

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Elite Classes.

Battlefield 1 Flame trooper

 There are three classes of soldier that players don't have the choice to spawn as. Instead, they will appear in-game during certain times and are much more powerful than the standard classes of soldier.


The Sentry is a cross between a medieval knight and the Support Class. The Sentry can take down entire squads of soldiers in seconds with the MG 08/15 it's equipped with, and the thick metal armor that covers it makes standard bullets ricochet off with barely a scratch. 

The Sentry does have a few weaknesses, though. First, they can't look down gunsights, so every weapon they carry is fired from the hip with reduced accuracy. However, the Sentry's armor allows it to get in close so that accuracy becomes less of an issue. The Sentry's second weakness is a lack of a gas mask. Gas quickly kills Sentrys and is one of the best weapons to use against them.

Tank Hunter: 

The Tank Hunter packs the Tankgewehr M1918 Anti-Tank Rifle and is a menace to any vehicle in the game. One shot from the M1918 is enough to take out lighter vehicles, and with a few shots, even Landships will bite the dust.

The biggest disadvantage of the Tank Hunter is that the M1918 must be fired from its bipod, meaning you'll have to deploy it in the prone position or from a window or rock ledge before you can fire. 

Flame Trooper:

The Flame Trooper, as its name describes, is equipped with a flamethrower. The Wex Flamethrower is a devastating anti-infantry weapon and is ridiculously powerful against massed groups of enemies. 

Unfortunately, your main weapon is also your primary vulnerability. The fuel tank you the Flame Trooper's back can be targeted and destroyed by any infantry that are able to avoid the flames of the Wex.

To be continued!

Keep your eyes peeled for the next edition of Lifewire's Battlefield 1 tips and strategies.
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