Get to the Choppa!

Thanks to ShadowExile @ gamereplays.org

Okay, so if you’re reading this guide it’s probably safe of me to assume you’re one of two things: either a veteran ofDICE’s epic Battlefield series or completely new to the series Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (sometimes referred to as a Battlefield Virgin). Either way, you will still face problems remembering those controls you used to be so good at with the helicopters – or maybe you’re new and every time you’re the chosen pilot, you get an Epic Fail and your team curses you vehemently, because they refuse to fly the plane and you simply cannot figure out how.

At the moment you want to get familiar with the controls. I recommend changing your settings (in the top left of the first settings page, invert flight controls). This is great for flying, but not so great for UAV by the way. The fact of the matter is that flight controls includes both the UAV and Helicopter. Unfortunately – with the UAV controls – by default they aren’t inverted. The Helicopter controls are, however. So inverting flight controls swaps what’s inverted and your UAV will become harder to control if you’re used to it but that will be a decision you have to make until DICE do something to either help fix this or patch in mod-support to the game, which would let the player fan base do this.

So let’s get started. I’m going to assume you are using the default controls for the helicopter. Luckily enough, in Bad Company 2 the default controls for vehicles and Helicopters are already pretty good. When you get into the Helicopter, you want to start by pressing the button for “Up”. I’m a PC player, so the default for that is W. You want to do this till you’re clear of buildings, just in case. When you’re in the air, try to be unpredictable by mixing up both “yawing” (the A and D keys) or using turning, which is the helicopter staying up straight and simply rolling on it’s side by using your mouse. Of course if you’re too predictable you’re going to be shut down, hard. Predictability is what causes an RPG on the ground to get lucky. Or maybe he’ll get lucky with a tracer dart, and then their whole team laughs their asses off as you’re no longer able to avoid their shots at taking you out.

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Easier Flying
Before you start going up at all, anchor the mouse in the middle of your mouse-pad. This is very important. Assuming you reversed controls, in order to dive you want to slowly move your mouse downwards. If you begin to lose control, then long swipes across your mouse pad might be necessary. All actions that you do with the mouse while flying should eventually return to the middle, as it will help you stay afloat in the air.

So you therefore want to combine both yawing and rolling, as well as diving and rising (effectively). Try and get in good positions so that -assuming you have an aircraft where the pilot is able to shoot out missiles from the front – you can get people camping in buildings and such. Something you really want to do is ascertain which side your gunner is on if there’s only one passenger. Position yourself on the edge of the map with your gunner facing the inside of the map so that he is able to get kills, so that as you fly around to give them a better view they can fire whilst you don’t have sight. You want to repeat these patterns.

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Positioning myself on the outside of the map with the gunner facing into it, so he can land a lot of kills.

If you get down to around 30 health, you want to begin to fly back towards your safe zone. Your helicopter dying is not what you want at all because then it’s too easy for the team to come out with tanks while you’re still waiting for a vehicle spawn. Basically make sure that either you’re the engineer who can repair the helicopter, or have a teammate on board (in your squad) who is an engineer. You don’t want the helicopter to die in mid-air because you were careless, not random enough so that your movements were very traceable and you just stayed out way too long. I’m not saying you should be rolling 360′s in the air, that’s going to kill you, remember to anchor your mouse in the middle of your mouse pad and you should think that anything that moves out to the sides should come back to the middle.

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Four people in the helicopter, with an engineer in the back. They can spot for you while in the air with their RPG, as well as occasionally shoot it and perhaps get a kill below. If they face the seats in the cockpit, they are well within reach to use their repair tools, rendering a single Heavy MG ineffective.
Surving RPGs
Sometimes you’re going to get unlucky and get tracered as you’re flying. It happens. Then every person in the game with an RPG is going to want to shoot you. If a teammate on the ground notices you get tracered, he should immediately make this apparent so you can fly back to base. The smoke grenade from an assault class is able to get rid of tracers. Abuse this feature, and always try and carry an engineer in the fourth or fifth positions of a helicopter to repair as you fly from turret damage.

So, now you’ve gotten to the stage where you don’t have much health left and its retreat or parachute out (or not and die). Most of the time parachuting out is not a good idea, because you could end out at sea and not be fast enough to swim back in to land, or simply because the enemy team can spot you (and the rest of your team) and quickly take you down with a well placed 40mm grenade launcher and an RPG, grenade and some gunfire to finish off whoever is still alive. Chances are you will be better off retreating. It’s not a cowardly thing to do – it’s a tactical decision – so remember that if you’re piloting, take it back instead of taking a risk as the risk will almost never pay off. In order to land properly, you want to arc the nose down a little bit once you get towards your base and start pressing ‘S’ for descend. Once you get relatively close to the ground (to some people it is easier to land in the outside view of the helicopter, press C to do so), then arc the nose back up and hold S still. You should land without taking damage, allowing you to repair it and get back into the air and wreak havoc again. It is always a better tactical decision (and advantage) to go back and repair, so that you have more chance to do damage and the enemy team have less ammo than when they started, meaning their efforts were futile.

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Flying back to base after sustaining continual damage from a Heavy MG, so that I can be repaired. My team did not understand the importance of having an engineer in the back repairing, but if there was an engineer repairing, you would not sustain much damage from Heavy MG fire.
Moon Lander
If you’re not new to the Internet, then odds are that before you’ve played the arcade game Moon Lander. Landing straight down often blows you up. Think about your Helicopter in the same way. While the wheels allow you to have more leeway than Moon Lander does, you should still balance between ‘W’ and ‘S’ as you go to land. Sometimes landing too hard has given me a few pieces of damage and if you’re only left on 3 – unless you have an Engineer – that’ll blow up your helicopter

Before you get into the helicopter, survey your surroundings carefully, and continue to do so. I’ve called for my entire team to get in, and as the fifth person got in, a UAV shot a hellfire missile at us and we all died, and we lost the helicopter. It’s of paramount importance that you be aware before you fly. If you see a UAV when you’re in the air, try and spot it (you can spot as a pilot), and at the same time, get above it. The same goes when an enemy has a helicopter in the air, the winner of the air fight is the one who shoots from above the enemy.

Something to remember while you’re flying is that you should switch between third person view and first person view. This helps to add unpredictability to your flying (and confuses the enemy), as well as being able to see what’s happening below. If you don’t know what side your gunner is on, then go to third person mode so you can see, and then fly in such a way that allows him to get a good view of the map. Switching between first person mode and third person mode is the key to staying in the air for a long amount of time. I find that when I fly only in first person mode, my flying is smooth and natural, but very predictable, and I get shot down easily. But when I switch it up, there is only the very lucky sniper fire through the cockpit or the lucky RPG that will bring down my helicopter. Being in third person mode makes it easier to see where an RPG is coming from to help you dodge it in time (through a combination of yawing and rolling away from the rocket).

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If you did your job correctly and had gunners taking out the enemy so that they couldn’t advance or defend M-COMS, then you should get this image at the end. Congratulations, a great pilot wins games.

Hope you enjoyed this guide! Please do check out the link to the discussion; since I am not oriented fully with the 360 and PS3 controls it would be helpful if any of you would get in there, comment on this Tip of the Week and clarify the control system related to this guide for the PS3 and Xbox. It’ll just help to get the message across and help everybody be flying like a pro in the air – and it reduces the number of Epic Fails out there.

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