Stealth and Non-Lethal Takedowns
While the single-player campaign can be approached in a direct way with guns blazing, the preferred tactic is stealth. Taking down criminals non-lethally earns bonus points toward Expert Level. Increasing this rank unlocks better weapons and gadgets, so it is well worth the effort. There are various techniques that aid in this endeavor. A flash of the badge freezes up to three perps, giving you an opportunity to handcuff them with little confrontation. Tossing a shell casing from an endless supply attracts the attention of a nearby enemy, allowing you to take him down out of sight. The minimap displays vision cones for nearby bad guys, letting you stay just out of view. Crouch and these cones become smaller.
Very early in the single-player game, you are introduced to the Scanner, an extremely valuable tool in the fight against crime. With the device equipped, suspects and objects can be tagged, allowing you to keep track of enemies even when behind a barrier. When tagging the criminals you identify suspects with warrants, who are worth big points if taken down non-lethally. You also use the Scanner to find and analyze evidence, which is added to Case Files. As you complete Case Files, you unlock better weapons as well as bonus Silver Battlepacks. Any time you reach a new area, scan the environment to assess the situation.
In Battlefield: Hardline’s multiplayer, speed is everything. At the start of a round, equip a handgun (or melee weapon) while sprinting toward an objective. Your sprint speed is significantly increased while one of these light, compact weapons is equipped. In game modes without vehicles, sprinting is the quickest way to reach key objectives before your opponents, so make a habit of switching to your secondary weapon when speed is essential. This is particularly helpful when racing to a Heist extraction point or Blood Money vault with a bag of money strapped to your back.
Need some ammo or health? Instead of spamming requests or jumping up and down in front of a distracted teammate, just take what you need. Simply walk up to an operator carrying a first aid pack or an enforcer carrying an ammo bag and interact with them using the key/button shown on-screen to replenish your health or ammo. Not only is this a quick way to resupply, but it allows the carrier of the first aid pack or ammo bag to stay focused on the battle instead of stowing their weapon and switching to a gadget. This is also a quick way to stay healthy and resupplied while on the move, eschewing the need to stop and huddle around a dropped bag.
Stunt Driver Drama
Costing a whopping $39,000, the Stunt Driver gadget isn’t cheap, but the nitrous oxide boost is well worth your hard-earned cash—especially if you play a lot of Hotwire. When driving a ground vehicle, hold down the sprint button/key to initiate a jolting boost in acceleration, complete with flames spewing from the exhaust. The nitrous is great for making a quick getaway or chasing down opponents. Or, launch your nitrous-infused vehicle off a ramp to score big jump bonuses. The farther you launch your vehicle, the more points you earn. In addition to increasing acceleration, the gadget also reduces the amount of damage your vehicle takes from collisions. Use this increased durability to ram enemy vehicles head-on at high speed, bringing their joy ride an abrupt halt. If their vehicle has already sustained heavy damage, the collision may just be enough to disable or destroy it.
The Jack of the Hack
Unlike anything we've ever seen before, the hacker in Battlefield: Hardline is very similar to Commander Mode, except far more intuitive and with a much greater appreciation for those that wish to be the greatest support player your team could have. The amount of time and effort that a player puts into playing the hacker always pays off. Upgrade your subroutines by using them productively and as often as your team requires and add to your arsenal of tools to give your team that edge it needs to dominate the opponent. Hack into security feeds to get a more personal feel for what is actually happening on the battlefield, be part of the team rather than just a distant command unit. Having the ability to see what is going down and where exactly your team will benefit most makes the hacker more useful than the commander ever was.
Junk in the Trunk
Need a bit more firepower? Battle Pickups aren’t your only source for heavy weaponry. The three armory upgrades available for the sedan and coupe put a MG36 light machine gun, RPG-7V2 rocket launcher, or Stinger anti-air missile launcher in the trunks of these vehicles. While these armory upgrades aren’t cheap (costing as much as $90,000 each), their associated weapons can absolutely tear-up enemy infantry and vehicles, instantly assuaging any buyer’s remorse. Equipped with two 100-round magazines, the MG36 is ideal for mowing down opponents or peppering enemy vehicles with automatic fire. Aim through a vehicle’s windows to target its occupants. The RPG can outright destroy most vehicles with one hit and you get two rockets. Stingers are the answer for silencing those pesky enemy choppers. It takes one hit to disable a chopper and a follow-up shot to destroy it.
Weapon Selection Perfection
Every weapon has its own unique use and Battlefield: Hardline provides an equal opportunity for each class of weapon. To use your weapon efficiently you must know its strengths and weaknesses. Don't bring an assault rifle or sniper rifle to an SMG or shotgun fight, because the odds are you are going to lose. Every situation on every map and on every game mode has its very own strategy. It's up to you which strategy you are going to use and it's a good idea to keep the enemy guessing. Just make sure you bring the proper equipment with you.
Objectives are Subjective
Because of all the brand new game modes in Battlefield: Hardline there are a ton of ways a team can complete their objective, depending on the situation. It is a challenge to pay attention to so many things at once, but in order to become an optimal game winner, pay attention to what is happening at the objective and each point around it. There are usually many ways to get to a key location. Pick the best way and outsmart the enemy by using their oversight to your advantage. Objectives normally have alternate access points or a full menu of ways that they can be completed. You and your team must work together as never before, surprising the enemy with tactics they just won’t recognize. It is extremely difficult to overwhelm an enemy position in many game modes. Take your time and plan accordingly if you want to take control of the battlefield.
Don’t forget to open those Battlepacks! There have been some changes since Battlefield 4, most notably the introduction of vouchers. Instead of being awarded with attachments for weapons you never use (or don’t even own), vouchers allow you to apply a specific attachment to any weapon in your inventory. For example, if you get a voucher for an angled grip, you can unlock the angled grip for any weapon you own, assuming it can equip the attachment. If you have no need for the angled grip voucher, you can sell it for in-game currency and use that money to buy something you want. Vouchers are a great way to outfit your favorite weapons free-of-charge. So if there’s a particular optic, accessory, or attachment you want, check your Battlepacks first—you may already have it.