After some launch day DDoS issues – which I talked about yesterday here – I was able to really sink my teeth into a few good hours of Battlefield: Hardline online. My buddy from college and I have been playing together – a two man squad – and messing around pretty much solely in the new modes. Combined with what I played in the Beta last month, I think I might be able to offer up a couple tips that might help you help your team to victory. Over the next couple days I’ll hit the different game modes I’ve been playing, as well as each of the four classes. We’ll start today with Hotwire.
The mode I’ve played, admittedly, the least in the full game; Hotwire is probably the easiest to get acquainted with. If you’ve played any previous Battlefield game, you already have the foundation for Hotwire ingrained in your gaming memory. At its core, Hotwire is classic Battlefield Conquest mode. Both are large scale, combined arms combat; both involve fighting for control of set points to decrease the other team’s “tickets” (essentially respawns). The difference is that in Hotwire those command points are actually all vehicles – and you gain control of them by driving fast. Conquest always demanded a balanced team loadout – the more vehicles out there, the more important that engineers were. Now, in Hardline there isn’t a class called engineer – instead that role is filled by the mechanic class, among other roles. Just because you’re trying to control cars though doesn’t mean you need a full team of mechanics – that’s actually a really bad idea. Balance is still important – the mechanic is built for close range combat, with SMG’s as their primary weapon. The maps in Hotwire are all huge – they have to be to accommodate the vehicles. So bringing a balance is still very important. If you’re playing with friends in a squad, try to split the roles – operators are always nice, for the healing; enforcers can keep you supplied, as well as causing damage, and professionals are great at long range spotting.
Which brings me to another little skill that I think is really under used – across all the game modes. Battlefield has the ability to tag enemies – on the Xbox One it’s the Right Bumper. Use that button! Regardless of how many you spot, how far away they are, or even if you kill them right away – it’s an insanely useful feature. It marks enemies on the radar, as well as highlighting them with a red triangle. It makes target acquisition way easier, and you can follow them as they find cover. You get points for any kills on targets you mark, so it benefits not only the team, but you as well. Add in that any team points are boosted within a squad, and spotting is even more beneficial. Eventually it should just become second nature – see an enemy, spot them, then engage. That whole sequence takes a split second – and helps no matter the outcome. As a professional, armed with a sniper rifle, you can spot enemies that are even farther away – that really is as much a part of their role as any other. It’s a little thing, but I really haven’t seen a ton of it online – it could be because there’s a lot of new Battlefield players.
As for Hotwire specific tactics – it’s really very similar to Conquest. Play it a lot like you would Conquest – focus on the control points, spot enemies, and don’t be afraid to focus on a section of the map. The maps aren’t quite as large as in Battlefield 4, but they’re still plenty big enough to divide up into sections. For example, I’ve played Dust Bowl the most on Hotwire – it’s a pretty big map, built around a small desert town. As such, the control points will probably be driving around the perimeter – which is where your team’s vehicles come into play. But there’s nothing at all wrong with setting up shop around the respawn locations for the control points. If your team can control the spawn points, you can easily gain control of the conquest points. Don’t feel like you have to chase the points all around – if you don’t like being in vehicles, for whatever reason, don’t use them. There are other roles that need to be filled. For example – enforcers can purchase breaching charges – the Hardline equivalent to C4. Those breaching charges can be used, to great effect, to plant traps for those enemy vehicles. There are plenty of houses and trailers to hang out in to lie in wait, and detonate them at the right time. Take your squad, find a section of the map that impacts the match, and control it.
Those mechanics that I was talking about earlier too are incredibly important. Any control point that your team has should have at least one mechanic with it – both for defense against enemy vehicles as well as healing your car. The developers themselves shared that Hotwire+mechanic+repair torch=lots of cash. Hotwire is the one game mode where it’s really okay to unbalance a squad with a certain class. Whether your a squad that is built around spotting with professionals, a squad that likes laying explosive traps and resupplying your team, a squad that constantly heals each other or one that is built around vehicle play, build your squad appropriately.
The nice thing with Hardline‘s unlocking system is that as long as you have the money, you can buy whatever you want. So the weapons you bring in are really more a matter of personal preference. I was pretty much exclusively playing the enforcer yesterday, using the 870P Magnum shotgun the most. It’s a powerful close-mid range weapon, and is actually pretty effective against “soft” vehicles, by which I mean the cars and bikes – not so much the armored SUV’s. So even shotguns – weapons usually saved for smaller maps/interior combat – are useful in Hotwire. But if you aren’t a shotgun fan – which I really recommend turning into – the enforcer also has access to battle rifles – powerful rifles with lots of recoil. They give the class some range.
At the end of the day, Hotwire really plays a lot like Conquest, and as such you should approach it like that. Teamwork is really important, but it doesn’t need to be across the whole team. Use teamwork within your squad and you’ll end up with a pretty high score. If you can manage to grab control of one of the points, just focus on driving – you have a whole team of other people that can get kills. Your goal should be staying alive, driving fast and racking up points. As long as you keep control and driving, you’ll have a huge player score – and you’ll be playing the objective, so you’ll also earn reputation for your class boosts. Battlefield has always been a game that’s way more fun when you actually play the objective, and Hotwire really rewards you for doing it.