Essential Tips for the Battlefield 4 Beta
The exclusive beta for Battlefield 4 is now live, and I’m absorbing bullets like a target dummy. Bit rusty.
If, like me, you’ve been away from DICE’s FPS for a spell, now would be a good time to reacquaint yourself with the franchise. DICE and EA are doing their part, with a video posted on the Battlefield Blog titled “Learn how to dominate the Siege of Shanghai.” Push play above for a good overview of what awaits. I spent a few hours in Shanghai (one of 10 maps Battlefield 4 will feature at launch) yesterday, and I’ve also got a few tips of my own.
The big takeaway from the video should be the skyscraper at the center of the map, China’s national TV broadcast building. At the outset, you can take elevators up to the roof to secure the flag there, snipe from afar, and parachute down for quick assaults on far away capture points. I must admit, it’s a pretty exhilirating experience. You absolutely want to control this point.
Be warned: If you don’t win the broadcast building first, you’ll have a very tough time taking it back. Elevators are the only way up on foot, and they can be easily defended. If you hitch a ride on a helicopter, the enemy can see you coming and target you from cover with anti-aircraft. What’s a losing team to do? Take the whole damn building down.
We saw a skyscraper collapse right in front of us in the Battlefield 3 campaign, and we could play in the rubble of the earthquake ravaged city in the Aftermath expansion. Siege of Shanghai combines the two. Focus enough heavy fire on the base of the broadcast building and it will come toppling down. And it is a sight to behold. Once it’s down, the key capture point is in the middle of a huge field of rubble that is open to fire on all sides. No more elevator rides up to your death.
That’s my big map tip. As for overall play, I experienced quite a bit of lag and I was less than impressed with the visuals until I installed the latest Nvidia beta driver for my GPU. I can’t overstate how much of a difference this made: if you have a GeForce GTX card and you’re playing the Battlefield 4 beta, you absolutely must install Nvidia’s 331.40 beta driver. Without touching my settings, the driver update instantly transformed all aspects of performance, making it far more enjoyable.
One more tip: the free Battlefield Battlelog app has been updated for Battlefield 4. I’ve never been one to use companion apps, but the new Battlelog features an essential tool called Battlescreen. After you log in to a multiplayer server, fire up the app on your tablet and a Battlescreen icon will pop up at the bottom of your tablet screen. Touch the icon and it will quickly bring you a live, real-time stream of the map you’re playing on. I propped my tablet up next to my monitor and absolutely loved being able to quickly scan the map, pinpoint my squadmates, and see squad-leader objectives without having to open the in-game map on my monitor. It’s pretty flippin’ fantastic.
That’s all I’ve got. If you’re in the exclusive beta and have any tips, let us know in the comments below. And we’ll see you all when the Battlefield 4 beta opens to all on Friday, October 4.