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  • [GUIDE] Fighter Jets

    Last update: 11.27.11

    INTRO



    I've got a fair bit of flying under my belt (20+ hours) and thought I'd share some tips and tricks I've learned for the newer pilots and also open up a discussion for other pilots to lend their experience. Jets are nowhere near as deadly as in BF2, the primary purpose of jets is to eliminate enemy air assets and protect your own. Although there are some air to ground capable weapons they are currently not overly effective.

    Your first priority should be taking out enemy jets, followed by enemy helicopters, and then finally ground targets. The biggest impact jets can have on the game is eliminating the enemy helicopter, its also generally the most difficult thing to accomplish in the jet (especially with 3D spotting off).

    As far as performance there is not difference between the factions. There are some very minor advantages between them though. The Flanker have a top painted camo pattern which can make it harder to spot if its low to the ground, the hornet's coloring makes it a little harder to spot in the sky as well. Also the hornet has a smaller wing making it a little more difficult of a target. Most of the time these factors are not going to add up to much though.



    TIPS


    * Always afterburner during takeoff, its makes a big difference in the length of time you are vulnerable on the ground
    * Until you unlock flares you will have a very rough go. Try to get onto a server with a very low population, most pilots don't use sidewinders but you'll get eaten alive by SAMs.
    * Sidewinders are not very effective, you'll be a much better pilot if you get good with your cannon.
    * If you are going to use sidewinders don't fire both at the same time (unless they just flared) fire one, wait for their flare, then fire the other followed by a cannon burst.
    * Switch to 3rd person view when you are flying or tailing someone and loose them from your sights (get to know when to switch back to line up shots.
    * If you are tracking someone and they don't notice you hold your fire until you can get one long burst in to finish them off (hopefully)
    * If you are avoiding a SAM or Helo missile wait a second or two before deploying flares, it will give you a little extra time to get out of their range so they don't follow up with a second missile.
    * Afterburners really negatively impact your maneuverability
    * Make sure your joystick works properly...I just found out two days ago my throttle wasn't working right and I couldn't fully decelerate, I couldn't figure out how people were always turning tighter than me until I used my keyboard for throttle.
    * Fly high and flip upside down to get a good view of the battlefield and spot enemy aircraft
    * Be aware of the stall ceiling, if you hit while being chased you are as good as dead.
    * Don't ever pull straight up if someone is behind you, you give them a very easy target.
    * Be aware of friendly and enemy AA, if you find yourself in trouble dart for your friendly AA.
    * If possible try to engage helo's from high and behind or straight on from the side, don't fire until you have your shot perfectly lined up, you need to make sure your first burst lands with the most bullets possible if you are going to have any hope in taking it down. Don't engage them headon, they'll generally win.
    * Always play engineer, sometimes you can land a disabled jet and repair it
    * Try to avoid playing chicken, its always better to try and get behind someone than take them head on.
    * Be a wingman...work with the other jet, even if you both are not in TS you can still support each other.
    * Hit "N" twice to fully zoom out your mini-map before you take off.
    * Put hills/buildings between yourself and ground AA to break lock and LOS.
    * Proper etiquette is to not engage any jet that is taking off until they have fully come up to speed and left their UCB. Unfortunately many players don't follow this and will continually camp the enemy UCB shooting up jets on the ground. If you find yourself in this situation you really have two choices, 1) Man the stationary AA and see if you can't shoot down one or two. 2) Leave the server. If its on TG server just ask them to stop and if they continue report them to the admins.



    EVASIVE MANEUVERS


    The jets in BF3 arn't the most maneuverable, so its really hard to shake someone if they are a decent pilot, that said there are some maneuvers you can try. Generally you always want to be banking, rolling and making yourself as hard a target as possible to hit. If you are being chased vary your throttle while you dodge to either get them to overpass you (preferred) or to quickly accelerate out of their range (if you are heading to friendlies). One thing to note when trying to evade, it can be tempting to get very low to the ground as a first maneuver, however; once you are close to the ground that eliminates one whole direction of travel to evade and is guaranteed to give your opponent the height advantage.

    Tight Turns:
    The most basic maneuver. Half Roll your jet and apply full rudder in the opposite direction of your turn. Brake into the turn and accelerate (not afterburn) out of it for tighest turn possible. The closer the enemy is to you the better this works.

    Split S:
    Completly roll your plane upsidedown and pull hard towards the ground (make sure you have enough height), brake going into the maneuver and accelerate going out of it for best effect. Any decent pilot will be able to follow you though, use this to quickly reverse your direction.

    Immelmann:
    The less useful brother of the split-S. Pull straight up and half way through the loop roll your jet and level off. Its handy if you are close to the ground but almost any pilot will follow you through it just fine so its uses are limited.

    Below is a link to a visual of the Split-S and the Immelmann

    RC Plane Demonstrations

    Corkscrew:
    Basically a combination of a tight turn and a split S. During your dive do a half roll and apply full rudder in the same direction of your turn. Brake into the turn and accelerate (not afterburn) out of it for tighest turn

    Dodging SAMs:
    If you are not already at full speeds afterburn for 1 or 2 seconds and roll your jet so you can make as sharp a turn as possible. Brake and make the turn as hard as you can before afterburning out in the opposite direction. The missile won't be able to make the turn and will detonate before it comes around. Keep in mind you need a certain amount of speed to do this so its really only good for one, or sometimes two missiles in a row. Once you get good at this it makes the extinguisher perk a lot more useful. This doesn't work great against sidewinders, but they are rarely used anyways.

    Disabled Landing:
    If you are disabled it can be hard to land in time, try to know the flat area's to land beforehand so you can head straight for one. Brake hard and try to get as low as possible. Be mindful of pulling up on the stick too much when close to the ground because it can be difficult to get your nose down in this situation. Generally you'll want the jet to come to a complete stop before getting out but if time or distance is a factor you'll slow down faster if you get out of the jet (though if its still going too fast you'll get ran over). This is especially handy for Kharg island when trying to land on the aircraft carrier for repairs.



    GENERAL TACTICS


    The Circle of Death
    Finding yourself in this situations is an inevitability. This is when two pilots engage a slow circle trying to out turn each other. Generally against an experienced pilot it can go on forever...so what do you do? Here you have two options:

    1) Continue the Circle: If you are in the attacker position you generally do this to keep pressure on the defender to make them either make a mistake, or break the circle (which gives you the best opportunity to get on their six again). Also if you have a wingman you'll want to continue the circle and trust that they'll take out the enemy for you.

    2) Break the Circle: Generally not a good idea unless its timed well, watch your air radar and if you see them widen the distance between yourself and them hit the afterburner and accelerate straight for your friendly AA (is possible) try to head towards mountains and keep the afterburner on too keep that distance advantage you have.

    Avoiding AA Tanks (and UCB AA)
    These things kill me more than anything else, and most of the time its because I get greedy and try to finish off an opponent that is heading straight for it. Your only defense is to try and stay high and fast with random movements. If you are in its sights hit the afterburners and takes as much evasive action as you can until you get enough distance and/or height. Be especially mindful when you come in for a ATG missile or rocket volley and when you are lining up a shot on a helo and are going slow, that is when you are most vulnerable and a good gunner can disable you before you have time to react.
    If you see it spot it, hopefully someone on your team will see it and take it out. Most of the time your best option is to ignore and avoid it if possible.

    Spotting
    When you are in your LGM view you can spot enemies on the ground for your teammates, you don't need to have your target right overtop of them (I'll have to test it but I believe anything in your large targeting square will be spotted). This can really help squads that are trying to take/hold flags.



    UNLOCKS


    Weapons:

    Cannon:
    This is your go to weapon to take out anything in the air, getting good with this will make or break you as a pilot. Treat it like an assault rifle, burst fire unless in CQC...generally the closer they are to you the longer the bursts should be (and vice versa). Remember to mind your overheating, one mistake people can make is wasting too much heat firing at a great distance and having their cannons overheat before they can disable the jet when it gets close range.

    Sidewinders:
    Most people run with stealth and flares making this pointless, by the time you get tone you could have downed them with your cannons. One sidewinder does 25%-35% damage. I have found some use with them if I am really struggling with helicopters. I'll run with beam scanning and come in high and from behind the helicopters really slow, you fire one missile, wait for the flares, fire the second and immediately follow up with as many cannon rounds as you can get (you'll be pretty close by the time you fire two missiles so they should be a decent target).

    Rockets:
    Decent weapon but you are vulnerable during approach and they are hard to aim. They don't give any warning for enemies so take the extra second and line up your shot. Empty your entire salvo so they fully reload. One salvo does 40%-50% damage.

    Mavericks:
    Laser guided missiles, I use these if I've cleared the skies. Most of the time the enemy will smoke or get out of their armor to break your lock but I've gotten a decent amount of kills with them that they are worthwhile. Try to target tanks already engaged, chances are better they've used up their smoke and/or are damaged. One missile does 30%-40% damage. These work especially great if you have a recon lighting up targets (especially helo's). Come in high and slow and after you release the missile switch to guns and follow up with a cannon burst. If you can connect with enough rounds from your cannon you can get a disable in one pass. Be mindful of buildings/cranes because you'll end up pretty low to the ground.

    Important Unlocks:

    Stealth:
    Great unlock, increases enemy lock on time and makes you appear on the mini-map for a shorter duration, this is what you'll most likely run until Air Radar. This unlock will generally prevent helo's or stingers from getting a second lock and almost always enough time to double flare if they do.

    Air Radar:
    Shows all friendly and enemy aircraft is a mid-long range. Air Radar is the most useful unlock for your top gadget IMO. Between flares and learning how to dodge SAMs (plus the stinger damage nerf) the intel air radar gives is invaluable, especially for detecting that enemy jet closing in on you or knowing when the enemy breaks the "circle of death". One downside is that you can't zoom it out, its not a big issue on non-TG servers because A: people don't spot, and B: 3D spotting makes it easy to scan the skies. On the TG server though you have a better chance of people spotting and the 3D is disabled so there is a small advantage to having the regular map fully zoomed out. To me though when the spotting matters the most is in dogfights so its not a sufficient tradeoff.

    Flares:
    Pretty much a must-have, if there isn't very much ground AA I'll switch to extinguishers. There are two instances where flares won't work for you, one is you deploy the flares too late, the other is if you are head on with a jet/helo and they fire at medium/close range, generally the missile will still travel through you on the way to the flares so you'll still get hit. There is also a bug where sometimes your flares just don't work (seems to happen since the last patch) this is pretty rare though.

    Extinguishers:
    Using this will put out fires and give you a health boost to 55%. Most pilots will ignore you once you are disabled which can give you a second chance. There are two big downsides to this: one is that if you are in a middle of a dogfight you get disabled by a missile it can give your opponent a chance to turn on you, the other is that the reload time is long enough that if the enemy fires multiple missiles (which if they are using anything other than a sidewinder is likely) you can get disabled and destroyed before it reloads. If you do decide to use it one mistake I see from people is deploying it as soon as they are disabled in a dogfight. Its a waste since one more burst will disable you again. If you are disabled and there is a jet behind you roll towards the ground (think of playing dead) most pilots will break off thinking you are seconds from hitting the ground, once they've disengaged use the extinguishers and try to get on their tail for a nice payback surprise :row__584:

    Useless Unlocks:

    Proximity Sensor:
    I assume it detects air and ground targets, use air radar instead since it has a greater range.

    Maintenance:
    You repair faster...not really an issue in jets.

    Below Radar:
    Should be a passive permanent unlock, but its not currently working. Description states that when flying low ATA missiles won't be able to lock.

    ECM:
    Breaks lock and makes you impossible to lock onto for a very short time, I prefer flares because they have a larger window of use (flares work anytime, ECM only works before the missile is fired)



    MAP ADVICE

    CASPIAN
    This a large wide open map. There isn't a lot of cover from mountains so you'll want to stick high and to the outskirts and only come into the middle for quick strikes on targets before leaving again.

    FIRESTORM
    Use the mountains for cover and to break locks. If I have someone on my tail I like to after burn straight for the mountains and then once behind them (hopefully breaking their visual) make a very hard turn. Generally I can't get fully around to be the attacker from this but it will at least put in me a 50/50 situation. Watch for the big cranes in the middle. There are lots of places to land and repair.

    KHARG
    Use the giant mountain range to your advantage by staying behind it and just popping up over the crest now and again to see/engage targets. This map has very limited places to land (especially if you are russian) so extinguishers might be more useful here than on other maps.

    CANALS
    This is like NASCAR in a football stadium. This map is very tiny and the ceiling is very low so you'll find yourself constantly hitting the stall walls. I always run with beamscanning on this map since the quicker lock on is pretty much a must have. Do big circles and try to engage any targets of opportunity. Probably most peoples least favorite jet map.
    Last edited by Skud; 11-27-2011, 03:17 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Fighter Jets

    Great post! +rep

    Comment


    • #4
      Re: Fighter Jets

      Couple more things I've picked up and thought I'd share:

      How to dodge SAM's without Flares: Afterburn for 1 or 2 seconds in a straight line, brake and make as hard a turn as you can and afterburn out in the opposite direction. The missile won't be able to make the turn and will detonate before it comes around. Keep in mind you need a certain amount of speed to do this so its really only good for one, or sometimes two missiles in a row. Once you get good at this it makes the extinguisher perk a lot more useful. This doesn't work great against sidewinders, but they are rarely used anyways.

      Be a spotter for squads: When you are in your LGM view you can spot enemies on the ground for your teammates, you don't need to have your target right overtop of them (I'll have to test it but I believe anything in your large targeting square will be spotted). This can really help squads that are trying to take/hold flags.

      Maximize LGM damage: Come in high and slow and after you release the missile switch to guns and follow up with a cannon burst. If you can connect with enough rounds from your cannon you can get a disable in one pass. Be mindful of buildings/cranes because you'll end up pretty low to the ground.

      Comment


      • #5
        Re: Fighter Jets

        Just wanted to point on that Ground Radar should probably be Below Radar. It only protects against ATA missiles so not much use.

        Comment


        • #6
          Re: Fighter Jets

          Originally posted by tpg0007 View Post
          Just wanted to point on that Ground Radar should probably be Below Radar. It only protects against ATA missiles so not much use.
          Oops, you are correct its called below radar, that's what I get for trusting memory and not looking stuff up. Thanks for catching it.

          If it was working I think it would have great use on the few occasions you run into someone using sidewinders. Currently it doesn't do anything though.

          Comment


          • #7
            Re: Fighter Jets

            The Below Radar unlock makes it impossible (or at least more difficult) for enemies to lock on to your jet when you're flying low to the ground. 100 feet off the ground or less. Works against all missiles, and is very useful. Not sure, but it may also make you disappear from radar and being spotted.

            Comment


            • #8
              Re: Fighter Jets

              Thought I'd add some more tips and tricks:

              First off a correction: In the original post I stated that stealth was more useful than air radar. After playing more I have concluded that Air Radar is the most useful unlock for your top gadget. Between flares and learning how to dodge SAMs (plus the stinger damage nerf) the intel air radar gives is invaluable, especially for detecting that enemy jet closing in on you or knowing when the enemy breaks the "circle of death"...speaking of the circle...

              Circle of Death:
              When two pilots engage a slow circle trying to out turn each other. Generally against an experienced pilot it can go on forever...so what do you do? Here you have two options:

              1) Continue the Circle: If you are in the attacker position you generally do this to keep pressure on the defender to make them either make a mistake, or break the circle (which gives you the best opportunity to get on their six again). Also if you have a wingman you'll want to continue the circle and trust that they'll take out the enemy for you.

              2) Break the Circle: Generally not a good idea unless its timed well, watch your air radar and if you see them widen the distance between yourself and them hit the afterburner and accelerate straight for your friendly AA (is possible) try to head towards mountains and keep the afterburner on too keep that distance advantage you have.

              Avoiding The Ground AA Tank:
              This kills me more than anything else, your only defense is to try and stay high and fast with random movements. Be especially mindful when you come in for a ATG missile or rocket volley, or you are lining up a shot on a helo and are going slow, that is when you are most vulnerable and a good gunner can disable you before you have time to react.
              If you see it spot it, hopefully someone on your team will see it and take it out.
              Last edited by Specterr; 11-24-2011, 12:16 AM.

              Comment


              • #9
                Re: Fighter Jets

                Some techniques I have had good experiences with are as follows:

                1) Hit the Deck - Don't be afraid to make a quick dash for the ground. The best approach is to flip the plane and pull down hard. Once you feel like you've reached your limit pick a direction and turn. Assess enemy jet's position and continue trying to engage or evade.

                2) Landing is Possible - Find a flat stretch, you only need about a couple hundred feet in-game. Slow down all the way and point nose slightly up. Keep holding throttle back until stopped.

                Also a note on spotting from the jet. If you are using a mouse use the free look mode and you can spot like you do when you are on the ground. Obviously you wont be seeing many spotting icons however you will get the audibles from your avatar.
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #10
                  Re: Fighter Jets

                  Awesome work in this thread, gents. Adding to the "TG BF3 Guides" Sticky!

                  Specterr, if you ever need this updated and cannot edit the thread, you can PM me.
                  Skud


                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Re: Fighter Jets

                    Edit: OP updated.
                    Last edited by Skud; 11-27-2011, 03:18 PM.

                    Comment

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