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Old 11-17-2011, 03:58 PM   #1
TheKritsTheyKil
 
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Post Having trouble with the SOFLAM in BF3?

This thread will introduce you to the SOFLAM Recon kit unlock, give a brief explanation of what it is, how it functions, how it benefits your team, as well as hints and tips on how to make the most of it in BF3.

1. The SOFLAM- What does it do?

The SOFLAM is a unlockable equipment item for the Recon Kit in BF3. The SOFLAM is a semi-autonomous laser designator that is used to lock onto a target for friendly guided weaponry.

You will be able to lock on to:
  1. Land vehicles
  2. Air vehicles

2. How does it work?

Once selected (default “3” key) the SOFLAM you will notice a mirror image of the item near your feet. This tells you where the item will be placed when selected. If the mirror image is Yellow, the SOFLAM can be setup in that location, if it is RED, it cannot. Once placed the SOFLAM is immediately activated via remote control. You can always stop using the remote by pressing “E” or exit/enter vehicle, but you must have the remote control out, default “3” key, to re-enter the SOFLAM view. The big advantage of the SOFLAM is that it can be picked up once you are done using it by holding the reload button “R” when facing it allowing you to take it with you.

The SOFLAM view is a TV view of what the SOFLAM sees, from this view you can rotate the view, tilt it, or zoom in and out. As you survey the battlefield, you can “SPOT” targets for your team as normal, but this is not the purpose of the SOFLAM. The SOFLAM is unique because when a vehicle, land or air, enters the view and range of the SOFLAM, they will be locked onto. Once locked on, or “PAINTED”, the target will display a diamond with a dot in the center above it. This symbol can be seen by all teammates and squad members similar to a “SPOT” symbol. The difference is that once a vehicle has been “PAINTED”, friendly guided weapon systems can lock onto and fire at the target from anywhere on the battlefield, whether the target is in line of sight or not.

What can lock onto the “PAINTED” target?
  1. Tanks with guided missiles
  2. Jets with laser guided missiles
  3. Helicopters with guided missiles
  4. Javelins used by Engineers

Similar to how “Spotting works” (see my spotting guide: http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=2235841 ) the “PAINTED” target will continue to have the symbol above it for several seconds before disappearing.

Another point to note is that the SOFLAM is Semi-Autonomous, this means that any enemy vehicle that enters the SOFLAM’s view will automatically be “PAINTED” whether you are actively controlling the SOFLAM or not. This allows the user a great amount of flexibility since you can place the SOFLAM, turn its view down a street, and then leave the area while it automatically “PAINTS” any vehicles that come into it’s view. The downside of the SOFLAM is that it fires a laser beam at its target. Similar to the laser attachment unlock for your rifles/lmgs/pistols/etc. When the target faces the SOFLAM, a very bright Red light shines on the target’s screen and gives away the SOFLAM’s location. To counter this, if you turn the SOFLAM slightly to the left or the right of the target, the brightness of the SOFLAM’s laser decreases making it harder to spot.

3. How does the SOFLAM benefit my team?

The SOFLAM is a very team oriented piece of equipment. By yourself, you can use the SOFLAM to “PAINT” vehicles that come into view, or you can use it as an advanced spotter scope to “SPOT” enemy targets on the battlefield. However the true purpose of the SOFLAM shines with teammates.

Similar to spotting, as mentioned before, enemy vehicles that come into the SOFLAM’s view will be “PAINTED”, when this is done it will put a diamond with a dot above the vehicle to notify you of its location. This does not inform you of the type of vehicle, but at minimum it notifies you of a vehicle’s location. When this is done, and you have some type of guided weaponry, as mentioned before, you will be able to lock onto the painted target from anywhere on the map, whether the target is visible or not. This is because you are locking onto the laser, not the target’s heat signature. This gives your team an even greater advantage when fighting against vehicles.

Even if there are no vehicles in sight, the Recon player can actively control the SOFLAM and use it as a set of remote binoculars allowing them to scan the battlefield and “SPOT” enemy threats.

4. Hints and Tips for using the SOFLAM
  • The SOFLAM does not have to be manned in order to “PAINT” targets, any vehicles that come into its set view will automatically be targeted.
  • When you exit the SOFLAM view, you “Set” its view to the direction you were looking in, it does not rotate or turn by itself.
  • The SOFLAM produces a very bright red light that can be clearly seen by the target if pointed directly at it.
  • To minimize the bright light shine of the SOFLAM, turn the camera slight to the right or left of the target.
  • To completely remove the bright light shine of the SOFLAM, place and aim the camera so that vehicles will pass perpendicular to the way the camera is set.
  • Remember, you can access and control the SOFLAM’s view from anywhere on the map.
  • The SOFLAM can make an excellent spotting tool.
  • SOFLAM painted targets can be locked onto by guided weaponry from anywhere on the map.
  • SOFLAM painted targets can be locked onto, even without line of sight.
  • The SOFLAM can paint air and land vehicles.
  • The SOFLAM is a mobile tool, pick it up and move it to vehicle infested areas.
  • The SOFLAM light is extremely bright and will immediately gain enemy attention, make sure you are away from it and hidden from view before using the remote control.

5. Conclusion

Thank you for reading this thread, you have now learned what the SOFLAM is, how it functions, how it can benefit teammates, as well as hints and tips on how to improve your game with the SOFLAM.

Addendum #1- Can the Javelin lock onto targets without the SOFLAM?

Good guide. btw, can the javelin lock on to targets without the soflam? i havent unlocked it yet so im not sure. ~Kmrking

Yes. The Javelin can lock onto land vehicles without the assistance of the SOFLAM. However, you must maintain line of sight to the target in order to lock on. The SOFLAM allows you to lock onto the target without having to maintain line of sight to the target. The SOFLAM also allows the Javelin to lock onto Air vehicles.

Addendum #2- Add to Hints and Tips:
  • When used in conjunction with the SOFLAM, a Javelin shooting at a "Painted" target will do 3x the normal damage. ~Redtide
  • Guided weapons that fire at "PAINTED" targets will also do triple damage. ~YeOldeChopChop

Addendum #3- Add to Hints and Tips:
  • Helicopters that are painted and fired upon by Javalins cannot "confuse" the rocket with smoke/chaff.
  • Jets that are painted and fired upon by Javalins cannot "confused" the rocket with smoke/chaff.
  • Tanks that are painted and fired upon by Javalins cannot "confused" the rocket with smoke.
  • APC's that are painted and fired upon by Javalins cannot "confused the rocket with smoke.

Last edited by TheKritsTheyKil: 12-16-2011 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
Robotkio
 
 
 
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Good stuff! I knew it was useful, I just didn't know it painted targets without me actively using it. Also, now that more engineers and vehicles have guided missiles I may start using the thing again.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:03 PM   #3
kmrking
 
 
 
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good guide. btw, can the javelin lock on to targets without the soflam? i havent unlocked it yet so im not sure
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:24 PM   #4
TheKritsTheyKil
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmrking View Post
good guide. btw, can the javelin lock on to targets without the soflam?
Addendum #1

The Javelin can lock onto land vehicles without the assistance of the SOFLAM. However, you must maintain line of sight to the target in order to lock on. The SOFLAM allows you to lock onto the target without having to maintain line of sight to the target. The SOFLAM also allows the Javelin to lock onto Air vehicles.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:34 PM   #5
Overt.Enemy
 
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Great guide. Or just look at one of the dozens of youtube videos that explain all this AND show it to you.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:32 PM   #6
Redtide
 
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About the javelin, it's normal lock is in horizontal mode and only does about the same damage as the SMAW/RPG but when used with the Soflam it changes to top-down mode and will do almost triple it's normal damage (plus the obvious range bonus of the Soflam).

5 starred + rep and all that. We really don't have enough people making informative posts with organization like this.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:48 PM   #7
sander_dutch
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redtide View Post
About the javelin, it's normal lock is in horizontal mode and only does about the same damage as the SMAW/RPG but when used with the Soflam it changes to top-down mode and will do almost triple it's normal damage (plus the obvious range bonus of the Soflam).

5 starred + rep and all that. We really don't have enough people making informative posts with organization like this.

I was wondering about that. The Javalin kinda flies like the tagged rpg/CG from bad company 2, instead of flying up and striking tanks from the top.
I'm currently ranking up my recon to get to the SOFLAM, so I can try it out. Wish more people on my team would use it.

Russian Soflam on the Caspian Border antenna could wreck a lot of havoc...
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:41 AM   #8
YeOldeChopChop
 
 
 
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You should include that guided projectiles (e.g. Javelin) will have a damage bonus if they are used on painted targets.

At least I got that from the hints ingame. I never actually could try it because most recons dont use it (right)

EDIT: nvm, it got mentioned above. silly me
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:56 AM   #9
ginger_hammer
 
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Nice guide Will start painting.
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Old 11-18-2011, 08:52 AM   #10
TheKritsTheyKil
 
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Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overt.Enemy View Post
Great guide. Or just look at one of the dozens of youtube videos that explain all this AND show it to you.
I am well aware of the multi-million posts of all of the weapons, gear, map strategies, etc. However over 90% of them don't reveal the exact information people are wanting to learn. Mainly its people slapping things together and posting as quickly as possible to say "LOOK! LOOK AT ME! I KNOW SOMETHING YOU DON'T!"

I grew extremely tired of this and thought "there must be others that just want a straight out, non biased guide that explains everything i'd care about knowing on the subject. Thus came born my slowly growing series of "Having trouble with _____ in BF3?" short guides that gives us players a very short and thorough but complete set of information on a subject in question. I don't plan on covering main stream items unless absolutely requested.

But yes...there are tons of videos out if you want further information.

Redtide and YeOldChopChop, very good find! Will add it in another addendum!
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:53 PM   #11
TheKritsTheyKil
 
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Still seeing folks who are asking about the SOFLAM
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:31 PM   #12
Heids24
 
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Does your SOFLAM disappear after death?
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:01 PM   #13
chmcjh
 
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I hear a lot of talk about the Javelin locking on to painted targets, but can a Stinger (or the Russian counterpart which I forget the name of) lock on to painted targets as well?
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:23 PM   #14
plychucky
 
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this is absolutly the worse weapon in the game.way over powered.really sucks getting locked up as soon as you leave your spawn
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:34 PM   #15
taodemon
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plychucky View Post
this is absolutly the worse weapon in the game.way over powered.really sucks getting locked up as soon as you leave your spawn
There are ways around it, spawn as recon with a MAV and kill all the soflams on the map along with any radio beacons, tugs, or engi bots. If you want to have some real fun try ramming enemy choppers (protip: killing soflam, tugs, radio beacons and engi bots does not involve ramming, mouse over and lmb).
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