Spotting's Importance Grows
After logging over one hundred hours with Battlefield 3 (BF3) since its release (October 25, 2011), I can’t emphasize enough how important mastering the simple technique of spotting is to achieving overall victory. As the bulk of the Battlefield 3 player community starts to rank into higher levels with increasing weapon and vehicle perk unlocks, use of Battlefield's 3D spotting feature will quickly prove itself as an essential tool to all players. Debating spotting in BF3 is moot since it's already a feature. Besides, there's always the "hardcore" game setting which doesn't utilize 3D spotting for those players that find this feature over-the-top. Big kudos goes to the DICE development team for crafting a game through its proprietary Frostbite 2 technology that has enough tactical nuances straight out of the box that eventually only those players that choose to accept and adapt will truly dominate the battlefield. The 3D spotting command in BF3 could be the easiest feature any player at any level can master to achieve a decisive tactical advantage. Another major observation from my first one hundred hours with Battlefield 3, most players either fail to do enough spotting or any at all.
For Reals? Player, I've got kills to rack and spotting holds me back.
Any military professional worth their salt going back to Sun Tzu will tell you that increased battlefield intelligence and information equals power. Now, real-time information of exact troop locations and emplacements; that’s information which shapes victories. In Battlefield 3, 3D spotting is the most accessible and possibly most important intelligence sharing activity everyone playing the game can do and master. Again, EVERYONE CAN DO IT with no MAV (micro air vehicle, recon class gadget) required. Besides, you're leaving points on the field if you're not spotting. That’s right it doesn’t matter whether you’re playing in a tight squad which you’ve organized with your best buddies all decked out with the latest and greatest headsets, once the fog of war settles over the field of battle, you’ll quickly see how spotting quickly takes over as the most effective form of communication. Lone wolves in those conquest games, no more excuses – get spotting. The team that spots well will see returns quickly through saved lives, a decrease in wasted spawn tickets and increased team/squad kills. Those Ace Squad ribbons roll by with the Ace Squad medals quickly following as your squad increases their spotting activity.
PC; press Q
PS3; press the select button
Xbox 360; press the back button
How to Spot
The commands above only serve as a quick guide. Spotting in BF3 is more of a process than pressing the correct key or button. The easiest example is when gunning with a scoped weapon. Once the hostile is in the scope’s sight picture you press the proper button command and an orange triangle (tortilla/Dorito as some have commented) will glow above the target’s head and an accompanying scripted voice prompt will also alert all team members in the vicinity that there’s an enemy sniper, AT (anti-tank) soldier, machine gunner, tank, etc. in the area. The mini-map in the lower left corner will also show a corresponding illuminated triangle tracking the spotted player’s course. One will quickly see how spotting becomes a powerful tool to everyone on the team. Not only are troop numbers and current positions shared, but their ever-important path and flow is also revealed. Tired of getting flanked by those organized squads? Your answer to their tactics starts with effectively mastering spotting in Battlefield 3. Aiming through the sights is the most cut and dry example of how to use the new 3D spotting in BF3, but aiming down the sights or through the scope is not necessary. Yes, that is correct-not necessary. It is also possible to spot on the move by simply maneuvering your hip fire pointer (the constant on-screen opaque white cross or circle with each weapon) to the target and then pressing the proper button command.
Player, that's the BF3 411 on spotting, do it!