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BF3 Jet Guide

BF3 Jet Flying

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#1 Dbl Incertion

Dbl Incertion

    Strategic Savant

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:48 PM

Okay. So I have taken some of this from others suggestions however the majority is my own experience and skill as well as the sum knowledge aquired since BF3 release and multiple conversations and sessions with very accomplished BF3 pilots.

It is very long winded and has a brief TL;DR section at the bottom. Hopefully you enjoy the work here.

Flying the Jet

Jet fighting

Let’s start off with the proper perspective. This applies to choppers as much as jets:

Don’t be a douche.

Being in a jet doesn't give you license to stay as high as you can and only attack other jets and helicopters. Use the rocket pods and guided shells to own ground vehicles, and spot targets for your team, switch to the main gun to rip up guys out in the open. It is possible to kill with these tools, I've done it. Pilots that stay high in the air are the same as snipers trying to ping targets from spawn to spawn. Worthless at best.

Okay that being said the next rule is simple. You can get behind enemy spawns easily and strafe their base over and over to get basically free points. It also reduces the chances of you encountering real opposition in the air and reduces your chance of being shot down. What are ya, yella? It makes it abundantly clear you have absolutely no balls, and does not improve your piloting skill at all. However I will strafe a runway is if I'm provoked. If someone decides to do it to me I’ll just say this.

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.
And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you”

Don’t do it.

Ground rules have been laid let’s move on.

JF-1: What control configuration?
There are multiple choices on controls for the PC/Xbox/PS3 Try them all out and try to get comfortable. Fly around on an empty server. Practice tight maneuvering, flying very low off the ground skirting the ground (very useful for bellow radar and to blend in avoiding being seen) Do loops, S turns, Barrel Rolls, Learn what your aircraft is capable of. Don’t just fly in circles do half loop banks, find that sweet spot of burning straight down and pulling up at the last second. You get the point.

JF-2: What load outs should I be using?
Most people reading this probably won’t have everything unlocked but I will go over them as if you do so you get a longer term concept of what to use and why.

JF-2.1: Load 1 Stealth, Autoloader, Proximity Scan, Air Radar, Maintenance, Beam Scanning. To most pilots, there simply is no replacement for Air Radar. Stealth is mildly useful, but Air Radar makes dog fighting and target acquiring a breeze, especially against pilots that don't have it. Autoloader is useless, compared to the alternatives, proximity scan is useless, If you’re using heat seekers (you should only use this load out till you unlock rocket pods) beam scanning is obviously not worth it.

Primary Choice - Air Radar it really is the best choice. Being able to see all enemy units around you both in the air and on the ground as well as their general direction makes it simply gasmtastic. Just use it when you unlock it. Until you unlock it use stealth to help avoid missiles.

JF-2.2: Load 2 Flares, Extinguisher, ECM Jammer. This is where some contention between pilots occurs. Some pilots will exclusively use flares, some prefer the extinguisher some the ECM.

Flares are particularly useful if you start having a lot of enemies using AA and Stingers against you. I will personally swap to flares if I am shot down and have been having nonstop lock ons. This gives me a chance to spend a few extra seconds seeing where the missiles were fired from and killing them before they get the next one off. Once the third phase warning occurs pop flares it will shake them off and prevent you from being locked on again for a brief time allowing you to either bug out or acquire the target.

Designed to bring your disabled vehicle back to just above the disabled mark* and hopefully allow you to avoid blowing up. In theory as long as you get away this is the only ability that keeps you up. In practical application if you were disabled by another aircraft you will probably be instantly disabled again and shot down before you can get away.

*As a note with the new patch aircraft are disabled at 35% as opposed to 50% if you are disabled and use extinguisher it brings you to appx 37% meaning the guy shooting behind you is ½ second away from instantly disabling and destroying you after you use it. There’s just not enough breathing room anymore for it to be particularly useful unless you were disabled by a noob who doesn’t finish his kills and fly’s off thinking you will crash now.

ECM Jammer:
I start with the ECM Jammer now which, I feel, is fairly useful once you have mastered avoiding missiles. It eliminates the lock on for a brief period and jams Air Radar for the same time period. My main use for it is for quick stealth breaks or flanks on enemy jets and choppers. At this point in the game most pilots have Air Radar choppers are using laser painter and guided shells (which arguably is still worthless against jets as you can out run guided shells without even maneuvering.) Simply the ECM jammer gives you a quick surprise for those pilots who rely too heavily on air radar.

Primary Choice: ECM Jammer
Secondary Choice: Flares

*It really depends on the situation. As I mentioned earlier I only switch to flares if it’s an overwhelming amount of AA and Stinger locking. However once you’ve learned the basics and start to become advanced at dodging missiles you will have the opportunity to decide for yourselves.

For beginners/intermediate players use flares exclusively.

JF-2.3: Load 3 Heat Seekers, Rocket Pods, Guided Missile.

There are really only 2 viable options allowing you to be a well rounded player.
They are the guided missile and rocket pods. This again is a play style choice. But for now let’s cover the options.

Heat seeking Missile: Heat seekers they allow you to lock onto a target and fire similar to stingers. Use them only until you get the next upgrade. As heat seekers will only be effective against a bad pilot. A good pilot will almost never give you time to lock on to them meaning you won’t be able to fire. Even if you get a shot off it’s so easy to dodge you wasted a good LOS opportunity to destroy with cannons. In fact, when I am being locked and I know it's by another jet it is Christmas in the North Pole for me. I know they're probably terrible and I'll have them down in seconds.

When you use heat seekers, you are worthless to your team on the ground. When your worthless to the ground you get scorned. When you get scorned you get mad. When you get mad people think you have anger issues. When you get anger issues people avoid you. When your alone you pick up stray animals and your house smells like piss. Don’t let your house smell like piss. Use AGM or Rocket pods.

Rocket Pods: The rocket pods operate exactly the same as the rockets you fire from attack choppers. You get 14 rockets that do a fair bit of damage to hard targets on the ground. Diving on a tank and spraying your rockets can disable a tank in a single pass if you aim well. And if you happen to be lined up with his rear armor, switching to your main gun and finishing him off is a distinct possibility. They are nice suppression good against vehicles, reload quickly, but are extremely weak against infantry. Don’t know why but meh it is what it is.

Guided Missile: The guided missile brings you into a secondary view that utilizes infrared vision and allows you to lock onto ground targets and laser designated aircraft. I love the guided missile personally. It makes spotting a wide birth of the ground immensely easier and since the guided missile buff and top down damage buff they hit like a beast. When hitting a tank I will come down from a high altitude lock fire quickly swap to cannons and have enough time to unload 2 full burst if need be to completely destroy the tank in 1 pass.

Primary Choice: AGM Missile*
Secondary Choice: Rocket Pods

* If the map seems to have turned into mostly a infantry battle I have been known on occasion to kamikaze some enemies and change my load out to rocket pods in order to help pound the ground with some less precise fire.

Permanent Buffs - Below Radar. Below radar only prevents against air to air missile systems, in other words helicopters and jets trying to lock onto you. And it does work for the most part. If you're being locked onto (especially from a chopper who doesn’t have a chance to keep up with your speed) Hit the deck and get out of town. Most of the time chopper pilots have ADD and engage someone else, giving you time to flip around and come in with an attack of your own. I never let someone get away with trying to kill me! Against jets, well mostly it’s a terrible jet pilot running beam scanning and heat seekers. Hit the deck then evade and come back in for the kill. If the jet pilot isn't totally intellectually deficient when he sees you hit the deck, he will switch back to the main gun. Being as how you're low and can't maneuver particularly well (obviously rolling will cause you to hit your wings on the ground), his main cannon will tear you to shreds. Ultimately against AA helicopter missiles, Shorty get low low low low and run out of his range. Against jets, use the ground to break his lock sharp turn and get back on him.

JF-3: Shaking a tail or tailing a bogey.

Once you have gotten familiar with flying, gotten a feel for what control scheme you prefer, and have basic knowledge on what loadouts to be using the next phase is to cover engaging or breaking engagements with enemy pilots. A lot of players have a misconception that jets are useless. That’s understandable because a lot of pilots get into these game long circle battles with other jets and not disposing the air targets and moving on to ground units. Learning how to quickly dispose of an enemy or shake a tail and turn the tides on the enemy is the most important aspect of being a jet pilot. The faster you kill your target the sooner you are helping your team on the ground.

If you tend to play non-hardcore servers learn to use the third person camera. Being able to have the panoramic 3rd person view is what will aid you with maintaining a visual on your target. If you have an enemy chasing you it will allow you to get a more accurate depiction of your surroundings and when it is time to go from defensive to offensive. It’s paramount to use and get comfortable lining up and switching between 1st person and 3rd person views. Perfecting this means you will be an Ace pilot in no time. The third person camera means you can keep eyes on then enemy and follow his every twist and turn. Once you approximate a line up switch to 1st person aim a bit in front of the aircraft direction and unleash your cannons. If you can't line up on him because he's turning as fast as you, the third person camera will at least make it so you can follow his every turn eventually it becomes a matter of who makes the first mistake. And if you're behind him turn for turn the longer your putting on the pressure the more nervous or aggravated he will get. That lapse in judgment means he will soon make a mistake. Once he does, turn and burn. Psychological warfare works in video games too.

Banking/turning is something a lot of pilots have yet to truly understand. I can sniff out a new pilot from a distance just by watching his banking radius. You will make quick snap turns by slowing down to about 300mph. This is about the most optimum banking speed. Banking is an art form. But there is a few subtle nuances to it. That quick snap you get from slowing down only works for about a 180 degree turn. After which point the tight radius starts to straighten out. After a 180 pop a quick after burn boost and then hit your air breaks for another rapid 180. Don't just roll so your wings are vertical to the ground do it at an angle. Pull up while holding the yaw left or right, roll to that same side when you start turning flip down while slowing off the throttle. The turn will come a lot faster. Getting the faster turns is everything in a dogfight and the man that can turn fastest is going to win. If you do end up in the endless turn worst case scenario is you and your opposing pilot will go around in circles until someone messes up or gets bored and breaks off. That by the way is a waste of time and why people think jets are useless. If you seem to be endlessly circling hopefully you have a teammate who can help shake him with stingers or laser lock on or a jet/chopper.

When being pursued your turning is what gets you out of it. If you're in the on a strafing run and you spot an enemy closing in on you from the rear, make him change his angle of attack, airbreak and turn out. Do something unexpected*, in the time it takes to regain you as his target he'll be too close to you to make the shot, you either turned the tides and are on him or have shaken him and are retreating. Also don’t do the usual fake them out. A lot of the time people expect a jet to do a big loop, or a giant circle try combining them. Pull straight up like you're going to do a loop. You don’t have to follow through. You can complete the loop and be facing the same direction you were to start with. You can perform what is known as an Immelmann. You pull up all the way until you're facing the opposite direction and then roll over onto your belly again. Or tweak it out and modify that Immelmann, pulling straight up until you're facing straight up, rolling to your left or right, and then sharply turning, then rolling out back upright. So Up, roll left or right, 90 degree bank, roll over and your will have done a gyroscope baby.

Being unpredictable is the key. Keeping him guessing is what you're going to do, and then make him commit to the wrong turn. Once he loses line of sight you have a chance to get back on him, then he has to be the one to out think you. Don't let him. Expect the unexpected and you can stay on him at all times.

Now all of that being said you may be able to dodge all the way home but to win at dogfighting master using your cannons. Heat seekers are a joke and mean you won’t be an effective resource to help on the ground. Don’t rely on that.

I have found the best way to train friends with jet cannons is to playing with the The A-10 Thunderbolt and the Su-25 Frogfoot in rush maps. Their main cannons are 30mm Avenger for US and the Russian equivalent being the behemoths. These cannons own any ground target one strafe. You can kill ground targets easily you can tear apart the enemy jet and enemy helicopters while laughing to the bank. Getting used to using only the cannons and seeing the instant destruction helps build your ability with cannons and increases your volition to use them. While the conquest jets are quite as strong with their cannons they still pack a hell of a punch.

*If it seems like you keep breaking LOS and they get behind you they probably have Air Radar. Hence why I choose ECM Jammer. When you get the chance to break off pop ECM pull out and get behind them before you reappear back on radar.
Now the cannon is what will win for you every time. Don’t just spray and pray you will overheat and take a few precious seconds that you have him in your sights to reload as well give him time to recover. Also it eliminates the element of surprise you could wind up costing yourself the showdown. Burst fire is the key here. It takes awhile before the jet starts to self regenerate health, and every time you hit him, the time to auto recovery resets. So if you can keep hitting him with even a single bullet until you can line up on him, do it. Remember to lead your targets, both for his speed and his distance from you. And most importantly use your judgment. If you're both about to pull into a turn, and you get the feeling he is about to broadside you meaning you have a barn wall to shoot at hold down fire and light him up.

I also get the annoyed and frustrated feedback about not getting kills because the pilots bail**. Well, really you have to get the disable and destroy in 1 pass. Most pilots aren’t going to jump out till they are disabled. So getting that sweet spot where you can take him from full to shot down is where you have to be. It only takes ¾ of a second of continuous fire directly hitting the jet to completely destroy it. I don’t get a kill every time If I’m averaging 4 or 5 kills out of 10 disables I’m doing pretty decent and I’m happy with that.

So what you should be getting from this is to time your shots for when he is running right into it. Don't let him get the time to recover. If you fire the first barrage and it doesn't disable him, and he makes a drastic move to get out of your line. Switch back to 3rd person view camera and stay on him. Shoot from 3rd person view for the kill if you have to. It can be done I’ve gotten plenty of kills from 3rd person view. Remember all you need to do is hit him once to prevent his jet from auto repairing and get that kill!

There will come a time when you have 2 jets engaged. Your trying to take down one his buddy is trying to run it up your rear. In these scenarios the best thing you can do is go for a quick disable on the first one and employ evasive maneuvers to get behind and destroy the second one. This will take time and is not the easiest thing in the world to pull off.

*Kicking back to what I mentioned in JF-2.2 regarding extinguishers. Once you get the knack of owning enemies with the cannon you will have graduated and will move on to Top Gun. Pilots running Extinguishers nowadays don’t realize its free points for me. They think it helps them against you. Nope thanks for the extra points amigo.
A jet becomes disabled at 35% Health. Using the extinguisher (anywhere from 1% to 34%) will automatically restore the jet to about 37% health and will put out the fire. One bullet hit before he starts self repairing, will instantly disable the jet again. That's another 100 points, and they still have to wait for the Extinguisher to recharge before they can do it again. Also Pilots that run extinguisher are less likely to bailing out of their jet, they believe that they can avoid you, run long enough for that Extinguisher to recharge, fire it and heal up in time to get back in the fight. Might as well bet your life savings in Vegas.

That being said don't let them get out of your sight, keep the pressure on, keep firing even if you're going to miss it will panic the pilot, disabled jets are hard to fly, keep firing and you'll finish him off. Destroying and killing the pilot of a jet awards you 250 points (100 disable, 50 destroy, 100 kill). A pilot running extinguisher gives you 350. Hurrah.

JF-4: Stingers: The ever present locking tone!
Since the nerf to stingers they are significantly less powerful. Annoying just the same however at this point people nonstop trying to get a kill with the Stinger are wasting their time. You might sneak a kill or two but at this point. They are more a air deterrent then air destroyer for now. But a few stingers making it through and hitting your jet will disable and or destroy you. (About 3 – 4 stingers as of 2/21/2012)

You can learn to dodge stingers. It is possible and about the easiest thing to dodge in jets. The first part in dodging Stingers is too understand the map you're on and how the Stinger works. The Stinger requires line of sight, while trees, towers and so on might buy you a few extra seconds it doesn’t totally stop the engineer from taking the shot.

Understanding that also means; you will know that an Engineer committed to bringing you down with a Stinger will want to find the highest point available to him in an open area where he won't be obstructed by buildings or other big objects to block line of sight. Knowing this is half the battle. Now There are two ways to avoid a stinger missile without using flares.

JF-4.1: Obstacles. This is less of an exact science, if the missile is CHASING YOU (literally right behind you), it will be very hard to force it to splash down without hitting you. But if the missile has been fired from somewhere other than behind you, it will make a soft turn while heading straight for you, rather than make a wide turn to get behind you. (It's not a pilot, it's a missile.) Which means if you can get to a mountain or behind a building (Kharg, Op Firestorm, Gulf of Oman), you can get very low and duck behind crests in the mountain and there’s a highly likely chance the missile will crash and miss you.

JF-4.2: Yeah I sidestep missiles all day. The easiest and most effective way to avoid a stinger, is to literally dodge it. Stinger missiles and Anti Air missiles for that matter cannot turn as fast as you can. (Especially with what I have imparted about turning sharply.) This is where knowing your map comes in very handy. If you’ve just had a stinger missile fired at you, take a look at where you are, and figure out the most probable place the stinger is coming from. Roll to your left or right, pull as sharp a turn as possible, and fly directly at the area you believe the stinger is coming from. The stinger won't come straight at you, it instead will make a soft turn intending to hit the hottest part of your aircraft. (the butt ^_^), flying straight at the person that fired the missile will often get it to turn behind you and lose the track and fly harmlessly away. It is easy to do. But it's something you can't exactly do "twice in a row". You can't just keep circling over the guy so get out of sight after you dodged it let things cool down for a few. Hence why I said stingers are an area denier at this point in the game.

Example Scenario: Your coming down for a run on ground targets your getting locked onto, missile fired, (Cant break yet I almost got this guy!!) your committed to this run! Pop flares, you get the kill.
But the engineer is already relocking you, bam another missile is off, you want to hit the afterburner and run. But he locked you too fast, and your flares aren't recharged. IMMEDIATELY on the sound of the missile being fired, not the locking tone, pull as sharp a turn as possible and fly right back where you came from….. Missile fly’s by your window and you pee a little in your pants. By the time he has locked and fired his 3rd missile your flares will be up and you can giggle away out of range.

JF-4.3: Yes I also back flip missiles all day.
Alternative to hopefully seeing and flying directly back at the stinger missile there is another tactic that I employ after getting my ground kill. Once a missile has been fired Pull up and go completely vertical while also using your afterburner. After going vert for a few second do a sharp turn directly down the missile will miss and your most likely high enough that stingers can get a lock on you.
This also lets you see the smoke trail of the stinger and rain some lead down on the bugger who tried to BBQ your multi-million dollar toy. This takes a little more knowledge and experience knowing when the missile will make impact but once you master it you will be on a roller coaster ride blowing up ground targets avoiding missiles while gaining attitude to be able to come back down for another ground target. This is your goal as a jet. Support the ground; spot targets, destroy vehicles, get rid of those damn choppers ruining your buddies tanks and caps, and then take out the enemy jets.

JF- 4.4: Really this guy with the AA again. He doesn’t learn. Sigh…
Ok so its not quite a walk in the park but still quite doable. Stingers are easy AA are a bit more work and finesse. When you have confirmed the source of the lock on is AA missiles the next it to find where they are being fired from. Air Radar people Air Radar… Ok so once you see who it is that’s being silly time to turn and burn. Doesn’t seem intuitive but it works most of the time. Once a missile has been fired at you from behind pop your after burner and got into a long afterburn turn. Do not use your airbreaks. The reasoning is you are traveling at peak speeds and while the AA missile travels 2x the top speed of jet its not so good at turning. So when you’re going top speed and turning at the same time after a short period the AA burns out and misses. I also have had success doing my back flip maneuver. Ultimately the same principle of dodging stingers applies to AA with a few modifications. Keep in mind distance from the origin. You will not have any success flying head on at a chopper who is firing AA missiles at you if you are within lets say roughly 100 yards. They will impact, the philosophy of dodging by going right at them seems to break down when the missile is coming from the air. However sometimes it works, just don’t rely on it.

JF-4.5: Mobile AA – What a pesky little thing.
Learn and familiarize yourself with maps that have these and where they spawn. Flying too close to mobile AA is the same as strapping chopped up tuna to your legs and swimming with sharks. You are whats for dinner. They can and will destroy you very easily in one pass. This obviously depends on the gunner competence. Even if the guy just uses the guns without using his heat seekers, it will tear you to pieces. But keep this in mind. Just like an engineer wants a clear shot at you traditionally so does the mobile AA. Sometimes they will be crafty and be hiding with just enough room to shoot but usually they are exposed in an open area, with some elevation, with an unobstructed view of the airspace. If you can find where the mobile AA is "hiding", you can take him out from outside of his range. Your rocket pods and AGM missiles can lock on and destroy him before he can get hit markers on you. Find out where he is, either fly in high and rain down fiery death or fly in fast and low both come out the same. I prefer getting some serious altitude and dive bombing them and switching to cannons to close the deal. They are not as rough and tough as tanks and melt like butter in your cross hairs.

JF-4.6: Stationary AA: What? How the hell… Man he shot me down before I knew I was being hit.
Those pesky people who are sick of your flying shenanigans eventually sit in this titanium indestructible superman box and spend all game gunning for you. For the most part just avoid it. I have seen it destroyed once? Maybe twice and that was by TV missiles being fired one after another from a friend in a chopper. If you get sucker punched keep in mind they are placed by DICE in places where they don’t particularly have a good shot on most of the map. So use terrain to your advantage and avoid that titan.

JF-5: Get to the choppa Nowwww: This'll be easy, right?
The jets can just pewp all over choppers. A lot of noobish pilots by now have learned the silly jet boop maneuver where you sort of skim the chopper and knock it upside down causing irrecoverable deceleration. I don’t do that on purpose. Well I might have done it once or twice for the lolz when the chopper is spending the entire game spawning and non-stop harassing me instead of doing his job. Heheheh booped ya. . . .

However it’s much more satisfying to own them with the guns. Get a nice solid bead on the chopper from a solid distance away. Level off roughly at their height and then air break nice and slow coming in for an attack. You will be an easy target for him but usually you get the jump on em as they aren’t expecting it. It also give you a much better chance of getting your entire cannon load on him.

You can also get some hit markers while you’re coming in for him I like to ping off a bunch of burst fires coming in to get a solid bead on the guy. Most chopper pilots start to panic and get all erratic avoiding what is hitting them but they all seem to have a preset path of avoidance they take. So once he is running away his back to you and I am close enough to get an entire 9 yard off on him and finish him effectively in 1 pass. Even if you only disable him he'll probably try to land and repair. Just come back around and finish him on the ground.

JF-6: Sky is clear for now lets plow the road!
Tanks and Jeeps for conquest, Everything for rush ground vehicles…. For me I sum it up like this. Oh piece of candy, oh piece of candy, oh piece of candy. Lol.

Ground vehicles are not particularly dangerous to you, however killing them helps your team. They can be absolutely treacherous on the ground. Sometimes its just the most immortal tank drivers on the other team amazing on the ground and my team just can beat em. Well time to call in an airstrike my friends. I've never been hit by the main gun of a tank while in a jet but have seen it happen to others. Situational awareness helps Don’t come in so low and slow on them that you’re a big ol balloon ripe for the taking by the tank. Also at this point in the game tanks with CITV can also hit you with guided shells. Its not particularly likely dodging guided shells in a jet has been explained already. It’s just a joke being fired on by javs and guided shells. Keep in mind tanks, LAVs and aamtracs do have LMGs that aren’t particularly damaging but can hit you and slightly bring down your health.

Anyways similar to choppers slowing off all the way will increase your chances of getting the maximum effect on target. Decelerate so you can really hit him good. I like to either come down at a nice 45 degree angle from very high or a quick pass directly at them. Still lead your target just a tad with rocket pods and gun fire (you still have to account for gravity and movement duh). Always come with rocket pods or AGM first, hit with as many of them as you can, you can aim with the rockets don’t just spray and pray, then switch to the main gun. Sometimes when you disable a tank, someone gets out to repair, you get to kill him with the main gun. Also if you see a tank that’s being repaired the splash damage of a Guided missile kills everything around it. I have gotten a quad kill by shooting a tank that had a few people hiding behind it. One thing to keep in mind is what are you really doing.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t destroy or even disable a vehicle you unconvinced him enough lose focus on your teammates and refocused on his survival. They have to get out and repair, or go to cover and if a friendly tank or Engineer with an RPG get to that tank while they're repairing, they will be that much closer to killing them and living to fight another day. For that matter another aspect I keep in perspective is you’re the eye in the sky. While flying you can see the battle going on. It is easy to tell where your team needs help. If you can focus fire synergistically on the target to eliminate it faster rather than flying by and hitting some nobody way behind the front lines you are icing on the cake papa bear.

JF-7: Those pesky Doritos* on the ground.
So, you’ve taken out the jets, the choppers, the tanks, the jeeps… No vehicles in sight… What to do what to do. Oh hey there’s a camper down there or some guys ontop of a building snipers who maved into my territory or really any Doritos on the ground. Time to go fishing. Same principle as killing vehicles come down from above nice and easy line up rocket pod away I personally prefer to use the cannons but that’s up to you. Make sure to lead your shots. And for the ultimate gag boop players sitting there camping. Ive gotten more road kills then I can count its fun and it builds character.

* I define Doritos in this context as specifically the nacho flavored corn chip looking arrows above spotted enemies. LOL.

*Disclaimer – Really have to learn the lay of the land and be able to fly inches above it before getting road kills otherwise you will crash and burn its always embarrassing seeing the enemy you meant to road kill tea bagging your fiery wreckage because you missed and crashed.

I am not the best pilot on BF3. I am proficient but still have my noob moments. A true expert never stops learning. Some of the things I have posted here may not work for everyone. There are other schools of thought on the subject, and there are certainly better pilots then me. But I am aware of my surroundings get the kills work as a team and am quite often considered a menace in the air. I am only at 14 service stars in jets and 4 in choppers at the time of this writing. But from time to time I get to spawn into my beloved jet and rule the air.

For all the TL;DR.

  • Burst firing is better with regards to rocket pods and the main gun, you're more accurate in bursts.
  • Change speeds often. From going full speed with after burners, decelerate until you're at the minimum speed.
  • Optimal turning speed is ~300mph/280 knots
  • Change your angles regularly. Don't just turn flat, turn while climbing and descending for faster turns.
  • Remember heat seekers means your house smells like piss. Refer to JF-2.3
  • Every single player on the battlefield can be destroyed by you, by yourself in a jet. From jets to tanks, you can get every kill.
  • Be a team player. Just because you're in a jet doesn't mean you can't help effect the ground game.
  • Don't strafe runways, you'll never get better and you're helping no one but yourself.
  • Bad pilots are a quick source of points, don't play around with them, dispatch them quickly and get back to helping your team.
  • Helicopters pose a serious threat to your team, try to prioritize them above other things.
  • Find people to play with and party chat it up. Having someone that can be watching your back (even if it's from the ground) is handy. Just someone telling me "Jet closing on you" is handy, I'll know when to bank and prepare for him.
  • Flying with a wingman in party chat or voip is amazing your unstoppable. You CMA ill return the favor, making tandem strafing runs is devastating.
  • When flying with a friend, if you're being chased and your wing man is coming to your aid, don't circle jerk, try to get low, move quick long zig zaging lines up the guy chasing you for your partner to take him out. It may seem counter intuitive to give your enemy a line on you, but trust your partner to take him out before your enemy can take you out.

Special recognition to C. Cman.

Just place holder for potential incoming changes.

-Below Radar will now also prevent the lock on of Stinger and IGLA missiles.

-Fixed a problem when locking on to two nearby targets, the locking should no longer jump rapidly between multiple targets. This applies to all locking weapons and Laser Designators.

-Increased the damage of the Javelin and Air to Ground missiles against laser designated targets.

-Laser Guided missiles can now be distracted by Flares.

-Increased the locking distance for AGM Missiles for Jets when locking on laser designated targets.

-Reduced the locking time for the AGM Missiles for Jets to make them more viable against ground targets.

-Reduced the locking time for AA Missiles for Jets to make them more viable against air targets.

-Flares will no longer break the lock of a vehicle that is locked on, it will only distract the missiles.

-Flares now more reliably distract missiles, especially for Helicopters.

-Flares for Jets and Choppers now reload at 11 seconds again, except for the gunner, which remains unchanged at 20sec.

-AA Missiles are more difficult to dodge in Jets, this was unintended behavior that created an imbalance against skilled pilots.

-AA Missiles should no longer kill the pilot instead of the vehicle.

-AA Missiles should no longer detonate before hitting their target or a Flare/ECM chaff cloud. Been saying ecm cloud stops the missile... Nobody listens.

-Reduced the damage AA missiles do to jets to 45%.

-Fixed the SU-35 firing Air to Air missiles at a lower rate of fire than other vehicles.

-The IGLA and Stinger now lock on much more quickly and disable an attack aircraft in 1 hit, but have significantly reduced range. This should allow Stingers to mount an effective close range point defense, without dominating an entire airspace.

-Increased the speed of the Helicopter AA missiles lock on to reduce the tedious nature of Helicopter dogfights and improve the Helicopter's defensive abilities vs Jets.

-Slightly reduced the damage of Jet cannons against Aircraft. Damage is now only slightly higher than it was originally at launch.

-Guided Rockets will now only track ground targets, as originally intended.

-Adjusted the F35's Center of Mass and Hover Engine for more stable, level flight in all flight modes.

-Updated the F35 weapon systems to be consistent with the other Jets.

-The F35 will now only attempt to enter Hover at low altitudes, though it will maintain the hover until forward flight is resumed, even if it reaches high altitude.

-The F35 and SU35 now properly have Ejection seats to prevent players from being killed when exiting the vehicle.

Edited by Dbl Incertion, 23 February 2012 - 10:15 AM.

#2 Doctorrodders



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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:55 PM

Wow. :Applause:

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#3 chocolatemilk95



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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:24 PM

when you said this thing is long you weren't kidding O.o
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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:13 AM

Wanted to say awesome job - I did a quick scan of it and will come back and read it in-depth once I get a little free time

#5 Dbl Incertion

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:57 AM

The formatting didnt come out quite as well on the post as it looked on MS Word :poster_oops:

But other then that I think it about covers all the basics with flying. The rest would be tactics such as where to fly, when to put on the pressure and when to leave for alittle while to let things cool down, and also the differences of flying with a friend and flying solo.

Anywho glad yall like it.

I think one of these days we should try and get together on an emptyish server and give some visual too all this. I think if we end up having all the aircraft we can go to a secluded area and sort of run though demo flights switching vantage points. Like Hey I am right behind you what do you do? Missile fired what do you do? Being locked on from the air what do you do? Etc. Not necessarily shooting them down but essentially laser tag aerial training like is done IRL..

Drod could be all propper and show how to make us jets not shoot him down in the choppers, I can be all yeah man? Well check this ish out... Lol. IDK wish we had private servers.

Edited by Dbl Incertion, 22 February 2012 - 01:18 PM.

#6 skispunk



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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:11 PM

I lift my hat for you my good sir. Very nice, indeed!
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#7 ParadoxPP


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Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:30 AM

clap clap clap clap clap man, best guide I've read, modesty apart, I'm a good pilot, but as you said: ''A good pilot never stops learning'', Can't wait to try these tips out
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#8 chocolatemilk95



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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:33 PM

You forgot something. If you have friends in the jets of the enemy team, form "truces" so you can terrorize the choppers and ground targets in peace :)
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#9 Mister Maf

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:50 PM

Wow, I feel so bad that you wrote this whole giant guide two days ago and then Dice comes out with planned patch notes that turn the entire thing on its head. A for Effort. D:

#10 YamahaRaptor08


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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:57 AM

Great write-up! Really helped me out, especially "JF-3: Shaking a tail or tailing a bogey". At least now I can actually engage in dog fights and not just be a minor inconvenience to the other pilot haha.
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#11 Dbl Incertion

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:16 AM

Wow, I feel so bad that you wrote this whole giant guide two days ago and then Dice comes out with planned patch notes that turn the entire thing on its head. A for Effort. D:

Yeah, alot of those changes arent subtle. They are completely game changing. I guess its wait and see what makes it through to the actual patch then back to the drawing board. No biggie.
(Mild biggie actually lol)

#12 Dbl Incertion

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:34 AM

Well my buddy says defaulted Igla/Stinger and AA is like having Beam Scanning on everything. I am concerned what having beam scanning on now does. Also with SAM missiles insta shooting down choppers and jets I'm concerned aircraft will be more or less relegated to pure dogfights useless to the ground since noob pilots will be afraid to get low and in range of Stinger/Igla. AA missiles do less damage now but lock on faster so I'm gonna bet on more beam scanning / aa or aa only jets. . . .

On the lighter side Supposedly you can see marked infantry easier and from higher altitudes now. Maybe to compensate for not being able to get lower. The ECM does not stop missiles at all now but does block the lock. HOWEVER missiles are apparently able to lock on and be fired with little to no warning tone meaning ECM is basically not an effective counter measure if you experience lag at all while playing, the Flares stop but do not block missile locks which idk I guess makes sense except that they should actually block a lock on temporarily and ECM should confuse or block missiles too. Dodging missiles no longer works they will follow you forever. The fire and forget super easy derp mechanic of engineers aa missiles now is a unstoppable tidal wave of death if you have ECM and not flares or if your flares are on CD.

See: !

I guess technology has gotten worse since 1991 now that we cant dodge AA missiles in jets.

Its sounding more like a segregation air fight the air ground on the ground. You might get tempted to help but will be instantly shot down in jets. Bellow radar means lower then the lamp posts scatted all over except out of the effective sortie range. So basically stay real high shoot some guided missiles since the range is buffed don't get too low or if you do stay inches off the ground. And if you must I guess AA missiles are back and is what DICE wants jets to be doing. (Coming from a buddy who has 45 service stars in jets on PS3)

Still waiting on Xbox patch so I can get some first hand flying in and figure this all out for the revised guide.

#13 Doctorrodders



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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:13 AM

Low is below the lampposts? This'll be interesting...

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