The Main Battle Tank is one of the most feared vehicles in the history of Battlefield. This armored beast is not only capable of taking an incredible amount of punishment, but it’s also one of the best offensive options in Battlefield 4. Being successful involves much preparation. That’s where we come in. Have a look at the gadgets that’ll keep your tank healthy and dominant all game long.
You have three options here, all of which have their benefits. We suggest sticking with the default AP Shell. Not only does it deliver high damage to all types of armor, but it can also be a big help in taking down infantry. The HE Shell gets an honorable mention, though. It travels at a lower velocity but deals heavy damage to armored targets. If infantry isn’t a concern for you, give this option a try.
The Coaxial LMG is your default, so you’ll have to use it to start. Once you have all of the unlocks, put it away and don’t bring it back out. It does not outperform the other options. The Guided Shell was our favorite in Battlefield 3, but those were the days of fire and forget. Now the Guided Shell must keep its lock-on until the target is hit, making it a less effective option. Our top recommendation is going to be the Staff Shell. Like the AP Shell we suggested for your primary weapon, it’s a 120mm. It also features a smart warhead that will identify enemy targets and explode above them. Simply put, this one is a tank killer. We have had nothing but success alternating shots between our primary and secondary weapons. Of course, if you are looking to go with something more anti-infantry, give the Coaxial HMG a go. Unlike the Coaxial LMG, which uses a 7.62mm round — Same as the SCAR-H — the Coaxial HMG features a .50 caliber round, far more effective against infantry.
There are actually a few good options here. Let’s start off by saying that the Fire Extinguisher is not one of them. Good idea in theory, but considering how quickly your tank will take damage from the 500 or so incoming rockets, you’ll almost never get a chance to use it. Our favorite option is the Smokescreen, which not only disrupts enemy target acquisition, but also makes it very difficult for incoming rockets to achieve precise hits. We’re going to give the Active Protection an honorable mention for this category. It will sense incoming missiles and detonate them before they hit you. This is definitely appealing, but the Smokescreen essentially makes you a ghost and gives you an opportunity to fall back.
Because Battlefield 3 — on console — ran at 30 FPS, the Thermal Optics made spotting distant targets a breeze. Thanks to the wonderful 60 FPS that Battlefield 4 runs on, that’s not really as much of an issue. We’re going to advise you to stick with the default Zoom Optics. However, this is one area where it’s completely your choice and it comes down to preference. Use whatever feels the most comfortable to you. If you’re having a hard time spotting infantry, go with the IRNV Optics or Thermal Optics. Otherwise, stick with the Zoom Optics.
There are a couple good options here, but we think we’ve got the clear winner. The final unlock in the category is the Reactive Armor. As soon as you get this, equip it. Although tanks are still dominant in Battlefield 4, there are more ways than ever to destroy them. Reactive Armor will give you that slight bump in your vehicle’s health, allowing you to win those close tank battles or take that one extra hit from those shoulder fired rockets. Honorable mentions go out to Maintenance — Default unlock — and the Autoloader. Maintenance will help your tank recover from damage faster. Although appealing, that’s what your squad and their Repair Tools are for. The Autoloader will allow you to fire rounds more quickly, which can help you destroy targets faster. Again, it’s appealing, but the biggest challenge faced by tanks is staying alive, not destroying targets faster.
This category applies to the gunner, not the driver of the tank. Once again, it comes down to your preference. The optic you choose will in no way boost the tank statistically. The only concern here is what works best for you. Your choices are the same as the previous optic category. You can go with the Gunner Zoom, Gunner IRNV or Gunner Thermal. Since this is all about spotting infantry, so use what works best.
Perhaps the most well rounded options available are in this category. You’re going to start off with the Gunner Belt Feeder,which reduces your reload time. Handy but definitely not essential. The Gunner Proximity Scan might be the winner here. We all know that Support and Recon soldiers love to sneak up behind a tank and put C4 on it. This gadget will scan the surrounding area for enemy movement, a great way to keep your tank safe. Although useful in their own respects, stay away from the Gunner SOFLAM and Gunner Incendiary. The SOFLAM is used to laser designate targets so the tank driver can use the Guided Shell. Since we advised not to use the Guided Shell, using the SOFLAM would contradict our earlier advice. The Gunner Incendiary looks like it was put in the game to deter C4 bandits. Although good in theory, it is unlikely to kill them. As stated above, use the Gunner Proximity Scan to stay aware of your surroundings and then proactively take out the targets.
The Main Battle Tank is at a crossroads in Battlefield 4. There are more options than ever to help you become a beast, and more ways than ever to be destroyed. Our suggestions are all tested out in our own games, but we also run with a squad. The best gadgets in the world won’t help you if you’re alone. You need a gunner, and ideally, an Engineer with a Repair Tool watching your back outside.
For more Battlefield 4 tips, check out Prima’s eGuide.
Jump in the comments and get the discussion going, what are your suggestions for Main Battle Tank loadout?