The Battlefield franchise is commonly known for its deadly vehicular combat. That includes tanks, planes, and now even horses. But one of the more troublesome vehicles, planes, often proves difficult for folks to handle. It’s also the one where you’re most likely to kill yourself while piloting. Which is why we’ve cobbled together some tips for would-be aces.
Just like planes in Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4, planes in Battlefield 1 require you to spawn into them at the start of the match or via the respawn screen — just look for a biplane icon next to an objective point on the map. Once highlighted, you then select which of the three planes you want to spawn with and head out into the match. Here’s the three available choices:
Attack Plane: These two-seater planes were used extensively during World War I — armed with a machine gun up front, light bombs underneath, and a rear gun for defense. In Battlefield 1, Attack Planes are designed to deal damage to ground targets and engage enemies in the air with both guns.
Bomber: Powered by twin engines, Bombers require three players to fully function. They’re equipped with a loadout of bombs for the pilot and two machine guns on the front and rear of the plane for defense. If utilized with a coordinated squad, these can wreak havoc on the battlefield.
Fighter: Many aces of World War I flew these single-seat aircrafts which excelled at outmaneuvering their opponents. With no bombs but twin machine guns mounted up front, these planes are the fastest in Battlefield 1 and are built to engage other aircraft.
If you’re confused about which type of plane to pick when you’re just getting started, I’d recommend giving the Attack Plane a shot. While they aren’t the most maneuverable, they serve as a nice balance between both the Bomber and the Fighter in combat, allowing you to engage targets in the air and on the ground. What’s great about the Attack Plane is that you can swap into the rear gun if you’re flying solo in order to absolutely annihilate planes approaching from the rear.
When you’re up in the air, you’ve got to keep a few things in mind too. First and foremost is your ability to maintain your plane. Just like tanks on the ground, pilots can repair aircraft by holding down X on PC or RB on a controller, restoring roughly 20% of the plane’s health. Keep in mind that this repair can be interrupted by damage though. Since aircraft now take systematic damage, you’ll want to repair your plane continuously no matter how confident your feel. Extra maneuverability or a few points of health can mean the difference between winning and losing an engagement.
The second key thing to remember is to maintain your plane’s speed. Unlike in previous Battlefield titles, the planes of Battlefield 1 are made of paper and powered by propellers that push or pull them forward. This means that you’ll need a lot more speed to come out of a dive or to make a tight turn, so be sure to keep it going relatively fast. If you don’t? You’ll find yourself stalling out and slamming straight into the ground when you try to climb from a bombing run.
Just play it safe and work on your aim, and you’ll be an ace in no time.