Fighter Pilot Mastery Guide by wolverineli

Version: 1 | Updated: 01/13/13 | Printable Version

Battlefield 3 Fighter Pilot Mastery Guide
Created by: WolverinEli


Introduction -----------------------------[a001]
Settings ---------------------------------[a002]
Aircraft and Weapon systems --------------[a003]
Tips for Beginners -----------------------[a004]
Air-to-Air Combat ------------------------[a005]
Land Vehicles ----------------------------[a006]
Infantry ---------------------------------[a007]
Maps -------------------------------------[a008]

              Introduction                [a001]

Hello, This is my first guide so you might have to bare with me.
The reason I'm writing this guide is because I think I'm a very good
BF3 Pilot. I've been playing fighter pilots games since I was a kid.
I've played almost all the Ace Combat series and more then a handful
of others like it.

What I hope for you to get out of this is insight into the Battlefield 3
flight mechanics, and strategies and tactics to improve your overall
flight ability. But, only you can improve your skill.

              Settings                    [a002]
The default controls for the “Jet Sticks” are:

|Left stick:                 Right stick        |
|                                               |
|Up/Down                     Up/Down            |
|nothing                     Pitch              |
|                                               |
|Left/Right                  Left/Right         |
|YAW                         Roll/Look          |
|                                               |
|Press                       Press              |
|Afterburner                 Change Camera      |
---------Southpaw (Ace Combat)-------------------
|Left stick:                 Right stick        |
|                                               |
|Up/Down                     Up/Down            |
|Pitch                       nothing            |
|                                               |
|Left/Right                  Left/Right         |
|Roll/Look                   YAW                |
|                                               |
|Press                       Press              |
|Change Camera               Afterburner        |
|Left stick:                 Right stick        |
|                                               |
|Up/Down                     Up/Down            |
|nothing                     Pitch              |
|                                               |
|Left/Right                  Left/Right         |
|Roll                        YAW/Look           |
|                                               |
|Press                       Press              |
|Afterburner                 Change Camera      |
---------------Legacy Southpaw-------------------
|Left stick:                 Right stick        |
|                                               |
|Up/Down                     Up/Down            |
|Pitch                       nothing            |
|                                               |
|Left/Right                  Left/Right         |
|YAW/Look                    Roll               |
|                                               |
|Press                       Press              |
|Change Camera               Afterburner        |
The controls are obviously what suits you best.
But, if you are familiar with the Ace Combat series
you are gonna want to use the Regular Southpaw.
Just use whatever you feel most comfortable with,
maybe even try all of them to find the best for you.

          Aircraft and Weapon systems       [a003]
United States


A multirole jet fighter aircraft introduced in 1983 and used today by the USMC
The C and D variants include upgraded avionics and weapons capability.




A long range multi-role fighter, modernized and deployed starting in 2011. 
The last of the “Flanker” series by Sukhoi.


United States


Designed for a USAF requirement to provide CAS of ground forces by attacking
ground targets with limited AA capability. 




Soviet CAS plane nicknamed “Grach”. NATO reporting name “Frogfoot”. 

The only difference between the F-18 and A-10 (or SU-35 and SU-25) is that
they are slower, which actually makes them turn a lot faster. Their turning
ability is amazing. Also, they have a powerful cannon. This cannon can
easily chop a tank in to in about 2-3 seconds. Needless to say it is a
very good asset. These aircrafts are only available for 1 per team,
so use it wisely.

(Listed by unlock)

For your loadout you can pick 1 Upgrade, 1 Gadget, and 1 Weapon.
what's the best? I like Air Radar, IR Flares, and Guided Missile.
But, it's all up to you. I do suggest to have a sight upgrade, either
IR Flares or ECM Jammer, and a anti-ground weapon.

Name:           Unlock:        Type:
IR Flares       0 EXP          Gadget

Infrared flare launchers that when launched will distract incoming missiles
and cause them to miss their locked target.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Heat Seekers    700 EXP        Weapon

Heatseeking missiles launched by the pilot which lock on to and 
track enemy aircraft.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Stealth         1500 EXP       Upgrade

Engine tuning and fuselage coating materials disguise your vehicle's
infrared signature, increasing enemy locking and tracking difficulty and
decreasing the times you are revealed to the enemy from being spotted.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Belt Speed      2700 EXP       Upgrade

An enhanced mechanism decreases the minimum time between
firing bursts with your main weapon.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Proximity Scan  4200 EXP       Upgrade

External sensors detect and reveal enemy units on your minimap.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Rocket Pods     6200 EXP       Weapon

A set of unguided FFAR Rocket Pods mounted under the wings.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Air Radar       8600 EXP       Upgrade

The range of your minimap increases greatly and reveals all friendly 
and enemy aircraft.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Below Radar     8600 EXP       Passive

When flying at low altitudes your heat signature is decreased, hiding you
from enemy radar and preventing enemy air-to-air missile systems from 
locking on to you.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Extinguisher    11600 EXP      Gadget

Returns a disabled vehicle to normal operation.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Maintenance     19000 EXP      Upgrade

Preventative maintenance procedures improve your vehicles recovery
from damage.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Guided Missile  24000 EXP      Weapon

Laser-guided missiles launched by the pilot which lock on to and track enemy
land vehicles and can acquire laser-desingated targets even if they are
out of the line-of-sight.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
Beam Scanning   29000 EXP      Upgrade

A computer upgrade for advanced weapon systems that helps you lock on to 
enemy targets faster when using heatseeking or laser-guided missiles.


Name:           Unlock:        Type:
ECM Jammer      35000 EXP      Gadget

Electronic countermeasures including chaff launchers and deceptive 
transmitters disrupt enemy missile tracking and tracking systems for a short
time when activated.


Anything after those are Jet Service Stars, which give you a ton of experience

               Tips for Beginners         [a004]

A few things you should know about the game physics and mechanics
before playing.

>You don't need the full runway to take off. As soon as you get in the
plane hit the afterburners and keep pulling up in till you are in the air.
It should only take about have the runway.

>There is a maximum height limit. If you fly straight for a while
you are going to hit a "the ceiling". Once you hit it you are kind of
trapped, just floating there in till you manage to pull down and get
out of the maximum height barrier.

>You start out with nothing but your flares. When you first start playing all
you have is those IR flares and you cannon, But don't be discouraged, because
the cannon is your best friend. Once you start playing and unlock the 
heatseekers, you find out that they're not that great.

>Enemy bases have AA cannons! Be carefully when you fly near enemy bases, most
of the time they're unoccupied, but after a while flying around their base, 
someone well get upset and jump in one.

>Afterburners are a great tool. Afterburners are obviously the fasted way to 
get around, but they're not always the best way. If enemy AA is attack you, 
the best thing is to hit the afterburners and fly away. But, if you are 
chasing someone you don't want to use them, unless they're using them. The 
last thing you want is to get in front of them and get shot down.

>IR Flares. The best way to use this is not when you are getting locked on, or
before, it's right after the missile is launched. Otherwise you'll just waste a
flare and give the enemy a chance to shot you down.

>Quick Turns. A quick turn is when you roll your aircraft almost completely
to it's left or right and hit the airbrake (left trigger). If you're chasing
them and they keep flying in circles, they are trying to get in the attacking
position, to keep turning better then them you need to keep using the quick 
turn but when you start to lose speed hit the afterburner for a few seconds,
just enough to get some speed, then go back to hitting the airbrake.

>Using you cannon effectively. Your cannon is your most effect weapon you have,
it cuts through steal pretty well. When engaging an enemy airplane, especially
when they're turnig, you want to make sure to shoot in front of it so the 
bullets hit the plane. Also it's a good idea to shoot in bursts, so it doesn't
overheat to quickly.
                 Air-to-Air Combat           [a005]

Attacking an enemy fight, they're a lot of ways to shot 'em down,
but before that you need to find your target. The best way I think to find
them is to switch to third person view (clicking in one of the joy sticks).
Third person view allows you to better see all of your surroundings, however,
it is almost impossible to shoot someone down while in that view.
So, when you have no immediate targets and looking for action the best thing to
do is go into third person view, then when you find a target and are ready to 
fire switch to first person view. They is a bunch of switching views, which 
can be difficult at first, but when you get use to it, you'll be able to 
easily hunt and kill you target.
>THE CHASE (attacking)
Probably the most common attacking/evading fighter situation. What happens in 
this situation is you fly behind your enemy and try to shot him down, he is
doing everything possible to evade and/or get in the attacking position.

>Using Heatseekers. these are very effective. With flares and ECM jammers,
it makes it more work then it's worth. The time you took to lock on, is the
time you could have used to just shoot him down with your cannon.

>Don't lose them! Switching between those views help a lot. Use third person
until you are ready to fire. Also marking them helps too.

>A lot of times in this situation is they'll try some *quick
turns* (*review in tips for beginners) to get in the attacking position. Stay
prosistant and do some quick turns of your own! they will eventually break off 
and try to out run you, in that case you can chase them again. Also, against
an advanced enemy you might want to predict his turning, this will allow to
get behind him in a hurry, but, be careful not do over predict and end up 
getting in a worse postion or just losing him.

>The fasted and easiest kills. When chasing them they'll try to turn and 
shake you off. THIS IS THE BEST OPPERTUNITY! When they are turning is when
they reveal the most surface area. Turn as they turn and get ready to shoot
cause 3 seconds with that cannon and they just won't go down, they'll blow up
and you'll get the kill.

>When they try to out run you. Sometimes they just get tried of either flying
around in circles or just give up, so they hit the afterburners and start 
flying fast and pretty much straight. This is a hard way to get a kill. 
Because when they fly straight you only have their back in view. Go ahead and
do some short cannon bursts, but it's hard to get the steady stream of lead to
hit just the back of them. Sometimes if you hit them when they're flying fast
and straight, it'll scare them, they then trying turning, which is verry good.
As I said before the best way to get a kill is when their turning.

>Double teaming. You see an enemy fighter, so does you comrade. These usually
end pretty quickly, you and your friend try to shoot the same guy. There is 
the dedicated fighter (The one who is right on the enemy planes tail) and the
support fighter (The one who joins in). The dedicated fighter gets him on the
run, while the support fighter is higher or lower, shooting at him. 
The support has a good opportunity because if he's higher or lower he has more
surface area. BE CAREFUL! sometimes you have 2 dedcated fighters. which ist'n
always a bad thing, but DON'T CRASH INTO EACH OTHER.

>Chasing and being chased, at the same time. These can be good or bad. You can
manage to shoot down your prey, but right after be shot down yourself.
I suggest either, shot down the guy your chasing then do a quick turn and get
behind him, or break off completely and go on the defensive.

>Enemy Runway. You can shot the planes before they take off, if no one is in
them. If an enemy just entered the aircraft there is a grace period. This 
grace period allows a temporary invincibility along as it's stationary. So, 
just circle around intill it's starts to move.

>THE CHASE (evading)

If you know someone is behind you, that means you're the prey, and he's 
the hunter.

>Missile evading. Sometimes they'll try to use some heatseekers on you, these 
are easily evadable using your flares or ECM jammer. If you have flares, make 
sure to use them after they launch the missile(s) at you. If you have the ECM
jammer, use them as they are locking on, not after.

>Fast and Straight. An other way to evade is to hit the afterburners and fly 
straight. It is very hard to shot someone down cause of the low surface area.

>Reversal. You are the prey, but you want to be the hunter. This is a fairly
long process. You going to want to use those quick turns to make the sharp 
turns. They don't have to be the sharpest turns, just sharper then your hunter.
Don't forget to use those afterburners when you start to lose speed. Be careful
too, when you make turns it puts you in a prime postion to be shot down, just
make fast and sharp turns and you'll be fine.

>Double Teaming. This is no good. It's hard to come out the victor in this
situation. As I was talking about before, There are 2 types of attackers on
you. The dedcated and Support. What works sometimes is, keep fly fast and 
straight for quite a while and the support fighter will break off, it's a lot
easier to deal with one, then two. Also you could try using quick turns to
either confuse the support fighter, or to get behind one of them.

>Taking off. Normally no probably, but if theres a enemy airplane floating
around the base you want to time your take off. Go ahead a just sit in the
airplane intill the opening arrives. You will stay invincible untill you
start moving.
Dog Fights

A dog fight is when you are coming at that enemy and he is also coming at you.

>FIRE! Once you see him, start shooting. you might shoot him down quickly.

>Is it worth it? A lot of ways these end is you crash into each other, no
experience, no kills for either party. So get some shots in, if you think 
it's not going anywhere, just pull up or down. Then throw a turn in there and
try to get behind him, He'll be doing the same!


Helicopters aren't really much of a threat, unless it's an attack chopper that
keeps locking on to you and won't give up. Also, these mean big trouble for
your ground troops, especially tanks. So, it's a good idea (If no fighters 
are around) to go ahead a take them out.

>Attacking Smart. You could use heatseekers, but, they'll just use flares,
especially if there are two guys in a attack chopper, that means they both
have flares, and if it's a good chopper team they'll alternate, making it
almost impossible to get those heatseekers in there. So just use you cannon.

>Attack Choppers. If the enemy chopper knows there is a fighter trying to
kill him, he'll obviously defend himself. Attacking from the bottom or at 
it's altitude is not a very good idea, because it allows him to lock on, have
his buddy fire at you, or just evade. So attacking from above is an excellent
choice, they can't see you and thus can't hurt you. What I suggest is to gain
some distance and altitude, then turn into it, and firefrom above. A good 
steady stream should disable it, throwing into disarry allowing you to fire
from an angle, and then finishing it off.

>Support Choppers. These can be very effect, espically with an engineer in it
constantly repairing it. Do basically the same thing that you did for the 
attack chopper, but if the engineers are constantly repairing it, you might 
want to try something a little risky. Fly at it's altitude and go to it's
sides and try to kill the engineers inside. BEWARE, these gatling guns can
shread you to pieces, so be quick or just forget about it.

                  Land Vehicles             [a006]

For attacking land vehicles, you defiantly want either the
Rocket Pods or Guided Missile. Your cannon is pretty effective too.

>M1 Abrams/T-90A Tanks
These tanks are a big threat on the battlefield. Wether using rocket pods or
guided missiles you going to first need distance and a little altitude. Fly
pretty far out then turn around and slow down (hit the airbrake), and either
lock on, or fire those rockets. A full barrage of rockets should disable it,
a guided missile however is not as strong. The adventage of have rocket pods
is it deals more damage, but it puts you in low altitude situations. The good
thing about guided missiles is it allows you to provide fire power while being
at a safe distance and altitude, but, they can use IR smoke to throw the 
missile off course. 

>LAV-25/GAZ-3937 Vodnik
These are pretty simular to tanks, but faster. They have lighter armor so
they're easier to kill, but, they have a pretty damaging cannon on top. 
It's faster and a very hard hit on your airplane. So keep a good altitude
and you'll be fine. These too have IR smoke.

>Growler ITV/ VDV Buggy
These are some-what easy prey. One guided missile or a few rockets will 
kill it. But, it's very fast so sometimes your guided missile won't get a
direct hit, so it'll only disable it. And for the rockets, it's fast so try
to aim a few feet before it.

>Boats. Pretty much the exact same for the buggies. Aim ahead with the 
rockets, even use your cannon, or lock on.

                   Infantry                [a007]

Nothing is funner then shooting a solider on the ground from 500 feet in
the air. Soldiers are small, pretty fast, and usually if they're on the 
ground, they're trying to capture some bases. There are a couple of ways to
kill 'em.

> Rocket Pods. This is kind of a hard way to kill them. It's also very hard to
see them.

>Guided Missile View Technique. It is normally really hard to find soliders on
the ground, shooting them is pretty hard too. So, to do this you are going to 
need the guided missile. Fly pretty far out, and fly facing towards a base. 
Then slow down and switch the view, start hitting the mark button and start
marking soliders. Then after they're marked, switch to your cannon and fire a
few shots in their direction, this should light up the marks, and now you have
them marked, and guns ready. So, start shooting. You can do this again, and 
again, till your hearts content. Careful not to run in the ground! Sometimes
it's better to break off and have another go, then try and risk it and get 
the kill.

>Road Kill. This is a really awarding way to kill. This is not the best way 
to kill, but it sure is fun. A good way to do this is on enemy runways, 
occasionally there'll be a soldier waiting for a airplane to spawn or 
whatever. Just fly 2 feet off the ground and you'll kill them, and they'll be
very upset. You don't need to be going very fast either.

                     Maps                  [a008]

All the maps have different places for people to hide, or tendencies.

Operation Firestorm

>Cranes. A lot of times you'll see snipers sitting up there, you can just shot
them with your cannon. 

>Mountains by the bases. Not all the time, but sometimes you'll see about 2 
soldiers, usually snipers, sitting up there and shooting at people in your
base. They're people easy to kill, you can even run over them if you wish. 

>Roof of the buildings. There are always people sitting on the the roofs 
of those buildings, easy to kill, just mark 'em and shoot 'em.


Caspin Boaders

>Buggies. There are a ton of buggies driving around, which means easy kills.
Go ahead and take them out if you want some easy experience.

>Lot of Air battles. This map is really big, so airplanes and helicopters are
very good way to get around, and support your team. To really help your team
out you can shot down some of those helicopters and jets.

>The Tower. Snipers and engineers love this spot. They will either try and 
snipe some of your buddies, or use those stingers and try to shot you down.
You can fly level with the tower and shot them pretty easily.


Kharg Island

>Teams. The best team to be on for this is RU. All because of the aircraft 
carrier. It's a very small, easy to find, carrier.

>US Jets. It's actually really easy to shoot these before they take off. 
They're just sitting there, and in a easily visible spot. 

>US Carrier. Sometimes there are solders on the carrier for whatever reason.
Just tag them and shoot them. It's also pretty easy to get some road
kills too.

>RU Jets. It's not as easy, but still pretty easy to knock these out.
It's not as easily visible, but, like the carrier, if you shoot the first
airplane infront of the second, the other can't take off.

>RU Base. They have there jets up top on the mountain, but their vehicles are
at the bottom. You could do some damage with some rockets, if you wish.
Just be careful of the AA guns.


That's all I got. I hope it helps you out in some way.