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Old 11-16-2011, 11:10 AM   #1
TheKritsTheyKil
 
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Having Trouble Spotting Targets in BF3?

This thread will introduce you to spotting, what it does, give a brief explaination of how spotting mechanics worked in the past battlefield series, and how spotting in BF3 is performed and how the mechanic works, as well as hints and tips on how to make the most of it in BF3.

1. Spotting- What does it do?
Spotting is a gameplay mechanic that allows you to identify threats in the battlefield. This mechanic is activated by looking at a enemy and pressing the "Spot" key (default is "Q"). When successful, a symbol will appear about the enemy's head identifying his position to yourself and all teammates.

You can identify:
1. Infantry
2. Land Vehicles
3. Air vehicles

Depending on the type of threat you have spotted, determines the type of symbol that will appear above the enemy's head. This helps others quickly identify the threats so that they may avoid or engage the target.

You are able to spot 1x every second, continuing to spam the spot key will set it into a global cooldown mode for several seconds.

2. How has spotting worked in throughout the past battlefield series games?
Spotting has played as a big game changer throughout the battlefield series. Due to the massive size and scale of the battlefields, spotting has become key for working with teammates to coordinate attacks. However although spotting is a very team oriented tactic, it can provide many self fulling reminders of enemy locations and types of vehicles that you are encountering. Originally spotting allowed you to identify a target and the spot symbol stuck with the enemy for a long period of time. This allowed a "spot and forget" style of play, meaning you could spot a enemy, and then leave the area for teammates to engage them. The problem for this was that stealthy gameplay was hindered and aggitated many players.

Over the course of the series spotting continued to remain the same until BadCompany 2 came out. During this game, spotting was revisited. You could spot a enemy, but the symbol only remained with the enemy for a shorter period of time, or until the enemy was out of sight for several seconds. This allowed stealthier players to hide better, but still proved to be a good balance since you could see where a enemy disappeared behind cover. However this again proved to be an annoyance for some since it encouraged cover camping in some cases.

3. So how does it change in BF3?
Battlefield 3 has reinvented and rebalanced spotting completely. Unlike the previous series of spot and forget style play, or spot and cover, BF3 has a realistic spotting mechanic which has been a real tough handle for veterans and new players alike to grasp onto.

Spotting in BF3 has 2 different mechanics that you need to be aware of to become better at coordinating attacks. We will look at both.

A) Spotting Infantry

Infantry can be spotted in BF3 as normal, however spotting has changed so that in order to spot, you must have the enemy within view. When the enemy steps behind cover, the spot symbol is immediately removed from him. If the enemy steps out of cover again while you remain looking in his direction, the spot symbol will return automatically.

So how is THAT fair for the enemy!?

If a enemy that is spotted remains behind cover and out of line of sight for more than 5 seconds (from what i've gathered via gameplay) the spot symbol is removed permanently.

By doing this, spotting has opened up a much wider variety of places to hide since anything that breaks line of sight will break the spot symbol. Balance is maintained though by the ability to automatically retag a target provided its attacker keeps track of the target's location.

B) Spotting Vehicles

Vehicle spotting is different from spotting infantry. Unlike infantry, when you spot a vehicle, it will continue to have its symbol above its head when it is in line of sight or behind cover. Spot symbols for vehicles only disappear when the vehicle is completely out of line of sight for more than 5 seconds.

4. Hints and Tips for spotting in BF3
Spotting is very useful in BF3 and can be used for a variety of things, below are a few hints and tips on how to make the most of it.
  • Always "Spot" an area before entering it, such as a forrest area, rock formations, or building. Any enemy infantry will be highlighted as long as they are within line of sight.
  • If you can Spot an enemy from your location, you are able to shoot that enemy from your location.
  • Before shooting your target, always spot it first.
  • Once you have spot a enemy, so long as you keep your line of sight to them, the spot symbol will never disappear.
  • Remember, spot assist points stack. If you kill an enemy you spotted, you get 10 extra points just for doing that.
  • A spotted target is easier to shoot at than one that is not.
  • Spotted targets area easier to keep track of.
  • If you spot a sniper, keep him within view so teammates can kill him.
  • If you cannot engage a target, such as a tank, spot the vehicle and keep it in view, someone will always be able to help.
  • Jet/Helicopter Pilots have very limited views, spotting targets for them can be very beneficial to their overal performance.
  • Do not SPAM the spot key, it will only allow you to spot 1x ever second. If you continue to spam the key, it will go into a timeout mode for several seconds.

4. Conclusion
Thank you for reading this thread and I hope you learned a lot! You should now know what spotting does, how the mechanic worked in the past, how spotting works in BF3, and useful hints and tips on how to improve your spotting.

Addendum #1- Question about spotting radius
Does this mean that anyone in your screen becomes highlighted, or only people in your crosshair. If it's crosshair, then doesn't that make spotting everyone in the forest difficult?
~TheUndeadNinja

Answer: Excellent question! To give you my best answer I went in game to test this. The area of which you can spot is larger than your crosshairs. If you hold down the "SPOT" button, you will see the quick voice commands become visible. Notice the size of the circle with "SPOT" in it. Any enemy that is within this circle will be highlighted when you use this command.

Addendum #2-Add to Hints and Tips list:
  • Hold down the "Spot" key to pull of the quick command. Any enemy within the "SPOT" circle will be highlighted when you use this command.
  • If you have spotted a enemy, chances are he has spotted you.
  • If up against a group of enemies and outnumbered, spot as many as you can and defend yourself and dig in. Multiple spotted enemies attract a lot attention!
  • If you believe you have been spotted, dig in and hide or change objectives.
  • Killing an enemy that has spotted you will immediately remove the spot on you.
  • Spotting an enemy does not alert them of your presence.

Addendum #3- Add to Hints and Tips:
  • Smoke works like cover does. If you are spotted by an enemy, your 3d spot will not trigger when you come out from behind "hard" cover if you are breaking line of sight with smoke nades. ~Bejayel
  • If you've spotted an enemy before dropping smoke, their 3d spot will still be visible through friendly smoke however. ~Bejayel
  • You cannot trigger a spot through smoke, whether smoke is friendly or not. ~Bejayel
  • IRNV does not work through smoke. ~Bejayel

Last edited by TheKritsTheyKil: 11-18-2011 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:41 AM   #2
PawBear
 
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Thanks a lot. I just left a lengthy reply in another thread about how frustrating it is as a new player with no useful info available. If you can give me more!

Thanks again.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:23 PM   #3
MotionTracker
 
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Get the IRNV scope and no more spotting or it makes spotting more easier.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:54 PM   #4
lasseholmen
 
 
 
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More players need to use this more actively, it not only brings a bonus for the spotter when said target is destroyed, but it will clearly make teammates aware that an enemy is close by. For helicopters and jets it helps a lot, as it is occasionally quite hard for pilots to spot enemies as they travel a lot faster.

Mash the Q!
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
TheUndeadNinja
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKritsTheyKil View Post
[LIST][*]Always "Spot" an area before entering it, such as a forrest area, rock formations, or building. Any enemy infantry will be highlighted as long as they are within line of sight.
Does this mean that anyone in your screen becomes highlighted, or only people in your crosshair. If it's crosshair, then doesn't that make spotting everyone in the forest difficult?

Great tips btw.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:01 PM   #6
TheKritsTheyKil
 
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Addendum #1-
Does this mean that anyone in your screen becomes highlighted, or only people in your crosshair. If it's crosshair, then doesn't that make spotting everyone in the forest difficult?

~TheUndeadNinja

Answer: Excellent question! To give you my best answer I went in game to test this. The area of which you can spot is larger than your crosshairs. If you hold down the "SPOT" button, you will see the quick voice commands become visible. Notice the size of the circle with "SPOT" in it. Any enemy that is within this circle will be highlighted when you use this command.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:09 AM   #7
TheUndeadNinja
 
 
 
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Cheers Krits, interesting stuff
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:03 AM   #8
Gentlemen?
 
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Now can you write a guide to tell the idiots I was just playing with what the orange triangles signify.

A bunch of times I have spotted every single enemy with my MAV and my team just suck.

I'm not talking about a failure to do anything particularly sophisticated like co-ordinating a flanking attack based on spotted enemy locations.

I'm talking basic stuff like sprinting past an enemy who has been spotted about 10 feet away with no intention of engaging him, and who was clearly in his cone of vision and surely on his minimap.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:45 AM   #9
Qwepir
 
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I miss the Q instantly opening the commo rose and simply having SPOT in the middle. I hate having to hold down Q to get the menu. It's not that much of a delay but it really feels clunky, and the lack of a call medic/ammo function is infuriating.

Also you should mention in the OP that chopper and jet pilots can hold right mouse to freelook around the cockpit and spot like that.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:45 AM   #10
ginger_hammer
 
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Thanks for the tips!
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:56 AM   #11
Horsesass
 
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Awesome info,I didn't even know about spotting.. I would see the symbol over them,but had no idea it was a spotting thing. I'll have to start using it :P
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:55 AM   #12
TheKritsTheyKil
 
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Bump as requested.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:16 AM   #13
bejayel
 
 
 
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Smoke:

Smoke works like cover does. If you are spotted by an enemy, your 3d spot will not trigger when you come out from behind "hard" cover if you are breaking line of sight with smoke nades.

If you've spotted an enemy before dropping smoke, their 3d spot will still be visible through friendly smoke however.

You cannot trigger a spot through smoke, whether smoke is friendly or not.

IRNV does not work through smoke.

I use smoke very heavily in rush and this is what I've noticed for how it acts.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:35 AM   #14
TheKritsTheyKil
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bejayel View Post
Smoke:

Smoke works like cover does. If you are spotted by an enemy, your 3d spot will not trigger when you come out from behind "hard" cover if you are breaking line of sight with smoke nades.

If you've spotted an enemy before dropping smoke, their 3d spot will still be visible through friendly smoke however.

You cannot trigger a spot through smoke, whether smoke is friendly or not.

IRNV does not work through smoke.

I use smoke very heavily in rush and this is what I've noticed for how it acts.
Very nice find Bejayel!

Addendum #3- Add to Hints and Tips:
  • Smoke works like cover does. If you are spotted by an enemy, your 3d spot will not trigger when you come out from behind "hard" cover if you are breaking line of sight with smoke nades. ~Bejayel
  • If you've spotted an enemy before dropping smoke, their 3d spot will still be visible through friendly smoke however. ~Bejayel
  • You cannot trigger a spot through smoke, whether smoke is friendly or not. ~Bejayel
  • IRNV does not work through smoke. ~Bejayel
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:17 AM   #15
Smooth613
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKritsTheyKil View Post
  • Spotting an enemy does not alert them of your presence.
Pretty solid information, good tips for newcomers and others who simply may not be aware. However, there is one point I slightly disagree with, ever so slightly, and that is the point quoted above. Spotting an enemy certainly can alert them of your position, if they're paying any attention to sounds, as they'll hear your soldier holler "Enemy Spotted" or whatnot. This is of course dependent on the distance between the spotter and the one being spotted.

All in all, good information.
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