Written by: DeltaForce
Hello. In this guide, i will teach you how to make the most of the Attack Helicopter.
Updates to layout, structure and content may follow, especially in the near future since i just started this guide.
1. You need a certain minimum of Trainingpoints to cover mandatory abilities.
2. You need a fast PC. This helps to spawn first in generell and especially after a map change (even a server with only one map will "reload" the map from time to time, which will result in more time spend in the Attack Helicopter. Every second of your gaming time, you are not spending in an Attack Helicopter with the designated Training is a waste of at least 10 TP.
I am not going into detail here, because i assume you have some basic knowledge about how the controls work and even if not, there are tons of other guides telling you what yaw, pitch and roll does. All i have to say is, make sure you feel comfortable with the way you set the controls, because it has a great impact on how you will influence the battle for yourself and your team.
Guide about how to manually set keys & more by St0mpy:
The round begins, first priority
So we assume the round starts and you were able to get the Pilot seat of the Attack Helicopter.
Now the first thing you do is to approach the battlefield and seek to engage the opposing Attack Helicopter. This has 2 important functions:
1. Eliminate the biggest threat early on.
2. Save your teammates from air-to-ground attacks.
The only time you should delay this encounter is, when there is clearly no sign of the enemy AH yet and/or a another significant threat (e.g.) APC spamming shells at you. But never forget to be on your guard.
Hydra Missile seems to be more accurate then Hellfire and also a bit faster.
Hellfire on the other hand boosts massive damage in a large area and can lock onto tracers.
Traced Hellfires works very reliable on ground targets and hits quite often vs traced helicopters that are facing their backside to you, in other words flying away.
Hellfire Missiles have a very fast reload time (and in case of the Apache are really powerful),
So initiate attacks always with those.
Missile Stats can be viewed in this guide in the Vehicle section:
Both types of missiles are affected by gravity and thus will drop over time and way like bullets.
When you engage targets that are on the same/similar height like you (e.g. helicopters), you have to aim your missiles above of your target, according to the distance you have to make small or large adjustments.
Most of the times it is better to approach ground targets fast, so they won't have time to aim their cannon (Tank/APC) or place tracers (Infantry). In this situation you have to shoot your Missiles in front of the enemy, since they get carried forward by the speed of the Attack Helicopter.
When your target is turning away from you, you have to aim directly at (slow moving targets) or even beyond it (fast moving targets), this depends on the speed of your target. The same technique applies to opposing helicopters.
The Co-pilot seat features additional firepower and an inbuilt tracer. The Co-Pilot has to take the movement of the helicopter into consideration when aiming his gun, similar to the Pilot. However the projectile seems to be affected by gravity to a lesser extent in comparison to the missiles, so he can aim directly at this target in helicopter encounters on equal /similar height. The Co-Pilots Gun allows to aim under the Helicopter, who neutralizes enemies (especially infantry), which would be hard to reach without making another full turn. An aware Co-Pilot is definitely a huge plus to your Attack Helicopter, as he makes duelling rivalling AH’s easier, helps to cover a part of your deadzone and has the option to place tracers, which leads to deadly accurate hellfires.
The safest method to engage an enemy attack helicopter is to sneak up on them via flank or tail and surprise them with a quick missile storm. It might sound a bit cowardly, but it is safe, easy and gets the job done, without putting yourself in unneccessary danger.
However there are situations, where you cannot avoid direct encounters with your hostile pendant. First of all it is important to stay calm. If you panic, your opponent will be able to exploit that.
The weaponsystems of the Attackhelicopter are influenced by bulletdrop like ordinary weapons. In otherwords the closer you are to your target, the likelier you are to score a hit. It is advised to be in a higher position than your opponent, which will allow you to aim directly at their vehicle, or atleast reduce the way you have to aim above your target. You can also try to fly evasive maneuvers by rolling slighty left or right, to make your rival waste missiles while saving your own. In such a situation a competent Co-pilot will be a great help, as he can already attack with reasonable precision, when you are still out of effective missile range. He will benefit from a stable approach.
Here is a short video about a dogfight or rather how you should not behave. Plus it shows how a copilot adds to the overall lethality of your Attackhelicopter, so it might have some use for now.
There are 3 different views you can use in addition to your standard camera. Genereally speaking you should utilize these, to organise yourself better on the battlefield.
1. Backside View
This is especially useful to see if there is anything chasing you, in case of a jet you will also know there the sudden Beep,Beep comes from
2. Free Camera
By pressing CTRL + Mousemovement, you can can watch your sides. Useful to see if there are any dangers approaching from a flank
3. "Vehicle" Camera
This option allows to view your vehicle as a whole. Useful to get a better view of the nearby area. Especially useful to locate an opposing AH that passed by you in a close "dogfight".
1. Attack Helicopter.
Armed with 15 Hydra Missiles, of which 8 have to hit to destroy you on full HP, this one can bring you a fast death, the hellfire missiles are devastating in close combat (this is more true for the Apache, then for the Havoc). In a direct encounter (both helicopters facing each other) it is advised to have the higher position. Even if you won the initial Attack Helicopter Duel, watch for more as the battle continues (Respawn time around 1 minute).
I rate this one more dangerous than the AA, because it is very mobile, has a fast reload, damage is not avoidable by nullifying a lock and it can encamp itself using the terrain (e.g. Oman wall near D).
Most notable in Oman. You can disable their lock with flares, but as you are a rather slow moving target (at least when compared to jets), it is very likely to get locked again in just a couple of seconds. The best way to take on an AA is to sneak up out of their field of view and consequently fly an surprise attack. Check the map to see if an AA gun is unmanned. If not, it is very likely that it is manned by the enemy (the only other option would be the status of destruction).
It is not as dangerous as the APC, but if you pass by a tank on low altitude then don't be surprised if you suddenly miss 405 HP, which may even result in missing your vehicle if you keep going like this just a little bit longer.
You should always try to avoid damage. With high/full HP you can fly around with a certain feeling of "safety" and are less suspectable to death by a single attack. Every second you spend out of combat, is a second you are not assisting your team, which could lead to situation, where you are needed, but not present (Tank capping flag, enemy AH harassing teammates etc).
It is important to avoid encounters with more than one highly dangerous threats at a time. A simple example of this would be chasing the Apache, while crossing A on Oman. You can either focus on taking down the Apache, but are giving a free target to the AA or you can engage the AA, which results in lower altitude, which gives an advantage to the now higher placed Apache, which just has to turn around and unleash his missiles.
In your Hud three symbols can appear, warning you from various dangers.
This indicates that an enemy with a tracking weapon has you in their sights (Tow, both the stationary and the APC version) and is firing in your direction. In general, the best choice is to gain altitude and use an alternate view to locate the attacker and possibly neutralize him.
The triangle indicates that a tracer has been shot on you. When a beeping sound starts to occur it means that a hostile RPG or Hellfire, which has been launched, is moving to you. There is no 100% chance that you will get hit, but I would not rely on that. The only exception would be if you know that you will get locked on by an AA, to save the flares for the threat that will hit you with much greater ease.
3. Square with diagonally crossing lines.
This one indicates that either an AA gun or AA Missiles have locked onto you. When the beep becomes steady, the projectile has been launched. If you know the lock origins from a chasing jet (backside view), then it might be worth to not activate the flares. A jet has to have a lock on an enemy aircraft for some seconds, or the missiles won’t hit. In case of an AA gun, always release the flares.
Map knowledge / Team Assists
By opening up the map you can not only check the status of hostile AA guns being manned, but you can also watch where your teammates are heading to. Generally speaking you can engage whatever opposition presents itself, but it is better to coordinate your attacks with your team movements. When you see teammates approaching a hostile flag, it is a very good opportunity to take out targets in that area, to ease the flag capture for your team. In addition you should engage spotted key targets like heavy armour, to allow your team to proceed faster. Furthermore you can easily dispatch camping infantry on rooftops and cranes, so always go for it unless you put yourself in danger. Most of the times these campers are not doing anything good for their team (recons who barely score bodyshots/ Engineers trying to get single Infantry Kills with their rpg and the like). Still they are annoying to your team, and if you can neutralize that annoyance, why not go for it?
There are people here on the forum and in the game that think Attackhelicopters should never capture a flag, because it is a waste of attack power and way too dangerous to present such an easy target. It is their mind, they are free to think what they want.
I advocate a more liberal theory: "As long as you can get away with it and it helps your team, DO it". In reference to flags this translates to the following: When there is an opportunity to capture a flag without risking death, then by all means go for it. Capturing and holding flags is what wins you the game, you can have over 100 kills and still lose. It is up to your personal judgement when to go for a capture and when not.
Simple example: Dragon Valley, my team is leading, we have A and B at the moment, while the enemy has C and D. APC enters B and manages to reduce the flag to neutral state, before i am able to destroy it. An allied infantry and apc were approaching, and i wanted to speed up the capture so i went down for hovering, as there was no other nearby threat left.
At the start of a round i capture inital flags on a regular basis, like A on Dalian when playing US or D on Oman when playing RU, utilizing the cover of the nearby building in the latter case to hide myself from early jets. It provides an early game advantage and often makes the initial dogfight easier, as there will be less attention from the rest of theopposing team on you, when entering the battle a bit later.
Full Helicopter Training (3/3)
Full Anti Armour Training (3/3)
Full “Flare” Training (2/2)
Full IFF Radar (2/2)
(2 TP to unlock Tier 2 )
These skills fall under my definition of mandatory, because they either decrease reload time of a weapon or self defence system or help you to find targets on the battlefield. The Helicopter Radar highlights infantry as opposed to the jet radar, so you have less trouble playing the hide and seek game. You need to spend 2 additional TP to unlock Tier 2 of the Equipment Expertise, so these are mandatory in a way, but they do not aid directly to your Attack Helicopter. I suggest spending one point in each APC and Tank Training to unlock the TOW /MG, which enhances the efficiency when piloting those vehicles in case you need to spend time on the ground. If you happen to be an engineer you better take the additional RPG Ammo.
Improved Threat Awareness (4/4)
The Radar show the sign (Square or Triangle) also on dead infantry, so it is helpful to check whether your target is really dead or just stationary. In addition it is one of the best general skills to have on the Battlefield, which helps if you should be stuck on the ground for whatever reason.
Especially the higher levels aid in localizing the enemy, which fires upon you. This can be crucial to assess the source of danger in time. You have to spend one point here anyway, if you want to unlock Tier 2 of Combat Expertise in addition to Improved Threat Awareness (non recon only)
Physical Training: Increase Sprint Speed
This skill helps you to reach the Attack Helicopter FIRST. And again, this is one the skills that greatly improves your performance on the battlefield outside of the Attack helicopter, too.
Higher speed results in getting where you want to be faster, which can decide about revive or no revive, flag capture or no capture etc.
Engineering Damage Assessment (Engineer only)
Knowing the enemy health is always a plus. It aids in judging the amount of missiles you need to invest to dispatch a hostile vehicle.
Vehicle Repair Tool 4/4
When you won't be able to reach the repair station, you can go for an emergency landing and repair the helicopter yourself. Bear in mind that you should only try this in a "safe" place, otherwise the better option is to bail.
As with every section of Battlefield Playforfree, the bugs do not stop at the Helicopter Department.
The Hellfire Missiles of the Russian Version (Havoc/ Mil-28), do only 40 damage to vehicles, or the explosive damage does not trigger at all (which leads to 1 whooping damage from the direct hit). This makes the Apache vastly superior as of now.
When using the Apache, it can happen that your map fades black, you don't see the minimap and can't open the map. When using rearview, the game freezes temporarily or even stops entirely. Atleast for me i also a get a heavy lags when this bug occurs (but only while being in the Attack Helicopter.
Dalian (might be a "feature"):
When US has D, repair on the helipads is disabled.
When RU has A repair is disabled on the carrier, except a tiny section to the very end of the carrier (where no vehicles spawn).
Also make sure to Thank me if this helped (: And if we find this helpful enough maybe we can pin this forum? (: Thanks guys!