A Guide to the Battlefield 3 Engineer
The engineer has a critical role in Battlefield 3. Without them, you will have fighting tanks and aircraft. Let's have a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the engineer.
The Engineer's Role
Like all classes in Battlefield 3, the engineer has several unique functions that no other class can fulfill.
This is the only class in the game that can repair vehicles. Doing so works the same way as it has in previous class-based Battlefield titles. There is a repair tool (in this case a mini-blowtorch) that you can use at melee range to improve the health of any vehicle. In addition to this, the engineer is able to unlock the EOD Bot, a small remote control robot that can be used to repair vehicles. It's a good choice for use in situations that are too dangerous for the engineer.
In addition, this is the only class that obtains significant anti-vehicle capabilities. Engineers start out with a dead-fire rocket launcher that is effective at medium range (it's difficult to use at long range because of projectile drop). However, the class can quickly unlock a guided ground-to-air missile launcher and anti-tank mines for additional anti-vehicle capabilities. At 82,000 Engineer Score the final anti-tank weapon is unlocked, the Javelin.
Engineer Weapon Tips - Against Infantry
Although the engineer provides anti-vehicle capabilities, most will spend a lot of time attacking enemy infantry as well. The class has access to a wide variety of weapons, but in most situations is at a bit of a disadvantage against both the Support class and Assault class. New players are particularly likely to be frustrated because the early weapons have unaided sites, and you'll have to play a few matches before you can unlock an upgrade. That puts you at a significant disadvantage in mid-to-long range combat.
As such, engineers need to be more aware of cover than any other class. You'll want engagements to be at short ranges, preferably in interior environments. Even after you've gained upgraded weapons, you'll still be better in these situations.
One way to gain an early advantage is to use a noob tube. This is general slang for any weapon that can be used to area-of-effect explosives, and you rocket launcher is a very good one. It doesn't work at in-your-face ranges, but at mid-range it's deadly, particularly in enclosed areas. Firing off a rocket at a group of enemies is a good way to rack up points.
When using any explosive against infantry, try to aim for the opponent's feet. This will ensure that even if you miss, you should hit the ground beside your enemy, and they'll be harmed or killed by the blast. You can also kill enemies behind cover in this way if you have a height advantage on them.
Engineer Weapon Tips - Against Vehicles
Destroying vehicles is largely the responsibility of the engineer. It's a difficult job, but somebody has to do it.
Your basic tool of the trade against vehicles is the dumb-fire rocket launcher. You do eventually receive the Javelin, but on some maps, the dumb-fire launcher is a better choice in almost all situations. That advantage to it is that you don't have to lock on, so you can simply pop out, fire, and then return to cover. Remember to flank vehicles as well, as this will give you the chance to hit the more vulnerable side and rear armor.
Still, the Javelin is sometimes the better choice on the larger maps, such as Conquest Large maps. Because it is guided, you can fire it from much longer ranges while maintaining accuracy. You will also be much safer from return fire. On the downside, the Javelin is difficult to use at short-to-mid range and can be fooled by counter-measures.
Against helicopters and jets, your weapon of choice will be the Stinger/IGLA. This weapon has a lock-on time, but is very accurate once locked - although countermeasures do usually fool it. The projectile is fast and powerful enough to take out these vehicles in one or two hits, in most cases.
Although it has a long range, closer is often better with the Stinger/IGLA. The quicker the projectile hits the enemy vehicle, the less time they'll have to react and use countermeasures. Also, try to use these weapons when standing if you are at close range. If you are laying prone, you will not be able to tilt your view directly above you, creating a dead-zone where you can't lock-on to an aircraft.
Tank Killing 101
The engineer's main task is a difficult one. It's your job to take our vehicles. When you become good at it, you will be a hero to your team. But until then, it can really suck.
Let's review some important points for tank-killing.
- Be unpredictable. It's not enough to just use cover, because a smart tanker will destroy your cover or flank you. To be as effective as possible, you need to use cover and move between different pieces of cover quickly, so that the enemy is not sure from which direction you'll fire. Learn to avoid cover that only has one entrance and exit.
- Flank your opponent. Vehicles are most vulnerable from the rear and more vulnerable from the sides. Besides the fact that your opponent is less likely to be looking behind them, you'll be able to do more damage.
- Battlefield 3 is unique from previous games in that vehicles can now be "disabled" before they are destroyed. When disabled, a land vehicle can't move, but it can still fire and be repaired! You're not safe until the tank is destroyed completely.
- Don't forget to use your anti-tank mines. Most maps will have certain sections that are heavily traveled, and spreading some anti-tank mines in these areas will net you easy kills. Try not to place them in areas that are open, because it will be easier for an opponent to detect them and destroy or avoid them.
The engineer is one of my personal favorite classes. I enjoy the David vs. Goliath aspect of fighting a heavily armored tank while on foot, with nothing but a rocket launcher for offense. I also like driving vehicles myself, and having a repair tool for self-repair can be handy from time to time.
Do you have any top tips that you think are important for every engineer? Don't keep quiet! Let us know in the comments.