Battlefield 1943 Primer Guide

Turn the tide of war with our Primer Guide to Battlefield 1943. Check inside for class tips, vehicle strategies, and stamp/postcard info!

Lest you believe the Battlefield series had exhausted every possible year-based title, along comes 1943 to prove us all wrong. As the first downloadable-exclusive title in the series, the amount of content present is noticeably less than its predecessors, but at a fraction of the price, it also makes it more accessible. We'll give you a run-down of the basics of the battlefield, providing you with the intel you need to win the war.

Here's what you'll find in GameSpot's Battlefield 1943 Primer Guide:

  • Boot Camp: We'll whip you into shape for life on the battlefield.
  • Objectives: Find out more about Battlefield's 1943 game types.
  • Classes: Get a rundown and tips for each of the three classes.
  • Vehicles: Learn the best uses for each of the vehicles.
  • Stamps: Discover how to earn every stamp.
  • Achievements: Learn how to obtain Battlefield's achievements.
  • Trophies: Want some of those sweet PS3 trophies? Here you go!

Boot Camp

Classes

The first decision you have to is also one of the most important: what class to play as? The game offers three: Rifleman, Infantry, and Scout. Although they all play similarly, each has access to a few exclusive skills or weapons tailored to a specific play-style. For more on classes, please consult our "Classes" page.

Spawning

At the start of a round, you automatically spawn at either your team's home base or aircraft carrier, depending on the map--these locations cannot be captured by the enemy. However, as your team takes control of capture-points, you can choose to spawn at any in your teams possession. To do so, simply switch to "Flag Spawn" (from Auto-Spawn") by tapping the button shown on-screen then use the right-stick to select a location on the mini-map. In addition, if you're part of a squad, you can actually respawn at any of your squad members locations by switching to "Squad Spawn" in the same way, then using the right-stick to select the specific squad member you'd like to respawn next to (their location will be marked on the map).

Squads

Although being part of a squad isn't required, it does provide some additional options that can greatly enhance your ability to work as a team. Firstly, as mentioned above, you can respawn at the exact location of any of your squad-mates, making it much easier to attack or defend capture points. Speaking of which, being part of a Squad also allows you to mark specific flag locations to instruct your squad to focus on a single point. To do so, simply look in the direction of any capture-point and tap either "select" (PS3) or "back" (Xbox 360).

Ammunition & Supplies

You never have to worry about finding ammo or supplies in Battlefield 1943, as you have an unlimited supply! That's right, whenever you run out of any particular item, such as ammo, grenades, or explosive charges, you'll attain more after just a few seconds! An on-screen timer will appear over the respective depleted icon which shows the time remaining until you get more.

Restock Sooner! Although ammo is replenished whenever you reload, grenades only respawn when you've thrown both. As such, this means you may find yourself in situations where you only have a single-grenade available. If you find yourself in a bit of a lull, it's often best to toss your only remaining grenades, which forces your supple to be renewed, giving you two more (or one more than you had). This can be a life-saver.

Engaging Enemies

Any time you or a teammate opens fire on an enemy, a marker will appear over the enemy's head showing their exact locations for several seconds. But keep in mind that the same happens to you if you start taking fire, so it may be best to get out of sight for a few seconds, so your opponents lose the marker, giving you the chance to attack from another location sight unseen.

Objectives

Conquest

Conquest mode in Battlefield 1943 is very similar to its predecessors, in that the core goal is deplete your opponent's "reinforcement points" meter by killing them and/or taking control of Capture Points. These "capture points" are marked on your HUD and mini-map by flag icons. When close to a Capture Point, you'll begin the capturing process--assuming no opponents are nearby. A timer at the top of the screen displays the time remaining until the territory becomes yours. If the Capture Point isn't currently in control by your opponent, it'll fall under your possession within seconds. However, if the enemy team currently controls it, this will double the amount of time it takes to capture it!

You'll find two meters at the top of the screen, one blue, the other red. These represent the amount of "reinforcement points" each team has. Remember, your team is always represented in Blue, while the enemies are Red. Taking control of capture-points will slowly deplete your enemies "reinforcement point" meter--the more control points you have, the faster it will dwindle. In addition, killing enemies will deplete a single point for each soldier, so try to take down your opponents without falling victim yourself (although that should go without saying, right?).

To Attack or Defend? It's very important to know when to attack and when to defend. In general, if you have more capture points in control than your opponent, you should focus on defending those locations instead of trying to capture the remaining ones. As long as you can maintain majority control, victory should be coming your way.

Air Superiority

Air Superiority mode, as the name implies, is pretty much a dogfighting exclusive map. You'll find no "Capture Points" here; instead there's one giant 'Capture Zone' in the center of the map--whichever team controls it will cause the opposing teams "reinforcement points" to slowly deplete. To gain control of this area, you'll have to eradicate the enemy from it completely, while having several of your own fighters in the area. In addition, killing the enemy will also deprive your opponent of a single Reinforcement Point for each kill.

Being adept at piloting aircraft is crucial to this mode. If someone's on your tail, try to shake them off by lowering your speed and dropping altitude--they should glide right over you, allowing you to return the favor. You can also try ditching them by flying through the archway of one of the main islands. Oh, and try to stay in the center of the map as often as you can to maintain control of the capture zone.

Taken Damage? If you've taken damage, don't forget you can fly over your aircraft carrier to repair yourself. Just make sure to fly over the ship length-wise at a slow speed in order to fully heal the plane.

Classes

Battlefield 1943 offers three classes: Rifleman, Infantry, and Scout. Although they all play similarly, each has access to a few exclusive skills or weapons tailored to a specific play-style. For more on classes, please consult our "Classes" page.

Infantry

The Infantry's primary purpose is to attack or defend vehicles. He comes equipped with a powerful bazooka that can destroy most vehicles with a single shot! Be aware though that the Bazooka's shots have a limited range, so be sure to aim higher for farther targets. Also, the bazooka is near useless against other soldiers, so save it for the vehicles.

In addition to being adept at destroying vehicles, the infantry is also equipped with a repair wrench, which is handy if the vehicle you're piloting has taken damage. To repair a vehicle, simply whip out your wrench ("Y" on Xbox 360, or "Triangle" on PS3), then stand anywhere near the vehicle and press the "fire" button to begin the repair process--it should only take a few moments.

As for general combat abilities, the Infantry unit packs a machine-gun and two grenades. The machine gun has a lot of recoil, so it's best to fire in bursts, and even better to do so while crouching for increased accuracy. Because of this, the weapon is best used at close-range.

Destroy Tanks Quickly Tanks are most vulnerable from behind--a direct shot from your bazooka will deplete most of its health, but it won't destroy it. Instead of waiting to reload your Bazooka (which takes far too long, leaving you vulnerable), follow-up with a grenade to quickly finish the tank off!

Invincible Tank? With a little bit of teamwork, you can make the tank near Invincible. Simply roll a tank into an enemy base with an Infantry unit behind you. While the tank attacks the enemies, the Infantry should stay behind, repairing the tank anytime it takes damage. This will make it very difficult for your opponents to destroy the tank unless they take the Infantry unit out first.

Rifleman

The Rifleman is a medium-range fighter, and uses a rifle as his primary weapon. It's slow, but powerful, and deadly accurate. Even so, it's still best to crouch before firing whenever you can to steady your aim even further.

Taking on Snipers! Although the rifleman is primarily a medium-range fighter, his deadly-accurate rifle is effective at almost any distance that you can see your target. As such, don't let the Scouts with their snipers intimidate you--the rifle is nearly as accurate and can fire many more shots without reloading, allowing you to effectively take them on.

The Rifleman is also equipped with a rifle-grenade; it's weak against vehicles, but its large explosions make it ideal for targeting enemy soldiers--a single shot near an opponent can kill. Just be careful not to fire it too close to yourself, as it can severely wound you as well.

Scout

The Scout comes equipped with both a sniper rifle and pistol. The sniper rifle features a powerful scope, allowing you to pick off targets from extreme distances. As such, it's best to stay out of sight by hiding among the trees or buildings, and crouching down to maintain a low profile. In addition, it's generally best to snipe from hilltops, providing an excellent view of nearly the entire map. Now keep in mind the farther away a target is, the more you'll have to lead your shot. That is, if a target is far away, you want to aim slightly in front of them so they cross the path of your bullet after you've fired it--this is a tricky, but crucial skill to learn. The Scout also has a pistol, ideal for closer encounters. If your hiding spot is compromised, this is the weapon you'll likely want to use to protect yourself.

Effective Sniping

A head shot will take down an enemy in a single hit, but they're tricky to get off. Even worse, the sniper-rifle requires reloading between shots, making it difficult to re-target an enemy if you miss. Instead, try aiming for the torso for an easier target, then immediately switch to your pistol after a direct shot and fire your entire clip at the enemy until they're dead (it should only take two or three direct hits, but fire them quickly to ensure you kill your target).

In addition, it's best to move often as a sniper, generally right after any enemy engagement. Even if you killed your opponent, they likely know where you are and may come back gunning for you. Try to anticipate this by finding a new sniping location.

The Scout also comes equipped with three satchel charges that can be planted either on the ground or on vehicles. Once you've planted them, you can detonate all three at once at anytime with your detonator (just keep in mind that if you're killed before you can detonate them, you'll have to replant them). They are best used in defensive situations, such as laying them around Capture Points, then hiding somewhere nearby to keep a watchful eye for any enemy who dares to step near.

Destroying Tanks Satchel charges are incredibly effective against tanks. Obviously, it's best to approach from the rear, but if the tank driver is playing using the third-person camera, he's going to see what you're doing. As such, it's generally best to wait a moment or two before detonating the charges, as the tank driver may exit the tank in an attempt to avoid being destroyed, in which case the tank is all yours! If he doesn't exit though, then detonate the charges as usual to send him sky high.

Vehicles

There are several vehicles available to you in Battlefield 1943, each with its own distinct purpose.

Boat

The boat is really only useful for getting from the aircraft ship to the mainland. It can hold the most occupants of any vehicle, making it an ideal vehicle to storm a base. In addition, there are two turrets on board which can be used to protect you while en route to the mainland.

Jeep

The jeep's primarily a transport vehicle, capable of holding up to three occupants: One driver, one gunner, one passenger. It's relatively weak, so make sure to avoid enemy tanks or Infantry units. Despite its vulnerabilities, it's fast and highly maneuverable, making it ideal for transporting a small squad to a Capture Point for attack.

Tank

The tank is the most powerful ground-unit, armed with both a cannon and machine gun. However, its back is highly vulnerable to attack, so try to keep that facing away from your enemies. It's generally best to use third-person view when roaming the landscape to keep an eye on your backside, while you should use first-person view for targeting. Speaking of which, while in first-person view, the tank's reticule displays where your tank's cannon is in relation to the tank's body. This can be handy for keeping your bearings when targeting enemy units.

Invincible Tank? With a little bit of teamwork, you can make the tank near Invincible. Simply roll a tank into an enemy base with an Infantry unit behind you. While the tank attacks the enemies, the Infantry should stay behind, repairing the tank anytime it takes damage. This will make it very difficult for your opponents to destroy the tank unless they take the Infantry unit out first.

Plane

The plane is the fastest, and potentially most dangerous, vehicle in the game, but controlling it can be tricky. Although both sticks can be used, most of your flying will be performed using the right-stick. In order to turn, you need to roll the aircraft onto its side, then tilt the right-stick up or down to steer left or right. Now you can also turn using the left-stick when level with the ground, but this method is slower and should only be used for minor adjustments.

We strongly suggest using the first-person view whenever engaging enemy aircraft, as enemy planes will be marked on-screen, allowing you to track them far easier than if you were using the third-person view.

Round Opening Strategy

At the start of a match, it's best to grab a plane and use it to quickly fly to the furthest Capture Points (leaving the closer ones for your boating team members), ejecting from it just as you fly overhead, and parachute down to the flag. This will net you a Capture Point quickly, likely before your opponent.

Another helpful strategy is to take a plane over to your opponent's carrier at the very start of a match and perform a few bombing runs on the escaping boats. Because the boats hold a lot of people, this can set back a large amount of their team long enough for your team to take control of a few more capture points.

Taken Damage? If you've taken damage, don't forget you can fly over your aircraft carrier to repair yourself. Just make sure to fly over the ship length-wise at a slow speed in order to full heal the plane.
Eject! If you find yourself on the brink of destruction, bail out! That's right, if you eject yourself from the plane before it explodes, you'll escape completely unharmed and deprive your opponent of a kill--just don't forget to open your chute!
Steal Your Opponents Planes! If you're feeling particularly evil, try flying over to the enemies' aircraft carrier, then eject from your plane and parachute onto their main deck (don't worry about your plane--it'll explode upon impact and respawn back at your carrier). Now steal one of the opponent's planes and either use it for yourself, or take it back your aircraft carrier--as long as it remains in your team's possession, it won't respawn at your opponent's carrier, depriving them of a valuable assets.

Air Raid

The Air Raid isn't really a vehicle, per se, but more of a weapon that can utilized to decimate an enemy base. To access the Air Raid, look for the structure marked on the map with three tiny plane icons (usually toward the center of the map). There you'll find a small building with a satellite on top--if that satellite's spinning, that means an air raid is available for use. If not, that means it has been recently used and you're going to have to wait (up to a minute) for one to become available. Oh, and if the light on top is shining bright, that means it's currently occupied.

Enemy Air Raid If the enemy is currently occupying the Air Raid building, try hanging out just around the side of the building with your melee weapon equipped. As soon as he finishes his air raid, he'll be forced outside the building, giving you a chance to melee him before he can regain his bearings.

If an Air Raid is available and the building's not currently occupied, simply approach the door and press the button displayed on-screen to enter. This will put you in control of a trio of bombers on-course to fly over the mainland. You only have limited control of them, able to steer only left or right with the left-stick. Controlling them can be tricky--try steering in quick bursts and then wait for the planes to straighten-out before making further adjustments, otherwise you'll likely over-steer significantly. It's generally best to direct the bombers toward a Capture Point in the enemy's possession--look for a lot of enemy indicators or a capture point with a 'crossed-rifle' icon laid over it, indicating a lot of action is going on there.

It's difficult to tell where your bombs are going to land using the default third-person view, so we suggest switching camera angles using the control-pad to have a birds-eye view of the landing zone. Once the reticule's lined up with your target, simply push the "fire" button to carpet bomb the area below. Oh, and don't worry if some of your teammates are in the blast zone, as they're immune to friendly fire.

Now if you notice the enemy team has gained control of an Air Raid, you can try and intercept the bombers using an airplane or anti-aircraft turrets to shoot them down. They're defenseless, so try and take down as many of the three bombers as you can before they reach the mainland to prevent them from doing damage.

Postcards

Stamp NameHow To Earn
AttackerCapture thirty flags.
Best SquadBe in the best squad three times on each map!
Bomb runLaunch an air raid killing at least one enemy.
DefenderDefend twenty flags.
Fighter AceGet fifty kills using fighter planes.
InfantrymanKill fifty enemies with a submachine gun.
LiferReach top rank.
Master BlasterKill fifty enemies with grenades, rifle grenades or explosives.
Master of your DomainGet Seventeen kills playing as each class.
Melee ManGet twenty melee kill.
MilkrunFly a plane for twenty minutes.
MotormanGet twenty five kill with car, tank and plane.
Pacific CampaignWin twice on every map as any team
ParachutistUse the parachute four times.
RiflemanKill fifty enemies with a semi-automatic rifle.
Sniper!Kill fifty enemies with a scoped rifle.
Squad AssisterGet one hundred squad assists.
Squad AvengerAvenge one hundred squad members.
The BestGet the highest score in a match.
Tour of Duty IPlay fifty matches.
Tour of Duty IIPlay one hundred and thirty matches.
Truly EliteGet 10,000 Kills.
VeteranCap fifty enemy flags.
WheelmanGet fifty kills using car, tank or boat.

Stamps

Stamp NameHow To Earn
Air Defense EfficiencyKill two planes with an anti aircraft gun.
Air SuperiorityShoot down three bombers.
AT EfficiencyKill four vehicles with recoilless rifle.
Attacker EfficiencyCapture five enemy flags.
Best SquadBe the best squad of the round.
Boat EfficiencyGet two kills with a landing craft.
Bombing EfficiencyKill four enemies with air raids.
Defender EfficiencyDefend five flags.
Explosives EfficiencyKill four enemies with grenades or explosives.
HMG EfficiencyGet four kills with a heavy machine gun.
Jeep EfficiencyGet four kills with a car
Knife EfficiencyKill four players with melee weapons.
LeatherneckKill at least twenty enemies.
Pistol EfficiencyKill four enemies with a pistol.
Plane EfficiencyGet five kills with a fighter plane.
Rifle EfficiencyKill four enemies with a semi-automatic rifle.
Rifle Grenade EfficiencyKill four enemies with rifle grenades.
SMG EfficiencyKill four enemies with a submachine gun.
Sniper EfficiencyKill four enemies with a scoped rifle.
Squad Exellence!Each squad member gets any one stamp and kills ten enemies.
Tank EfficiencyGet four kills with a tan
TeamplayerGet ten squad assists.
Vehicle Assist EfficiencyGet five vehicle assist kills.
Vehicle EfficiencyDestroy six vehicles in any fashion.

Xbox 360 Achievements

Achievement NameHow To EarnReward
AttackerCapture five flags10
Best SquadBe in the best squad on all three maps20
Tour of Duty IIPlay one hundred matches30
DefenderDefend five flags10
Master of your domainGet one kill playing as each class20
MilkrunFly a plane for 10 minutes20
MotormanGet one kill with car, tank and plane20
ParachutistUse the parachute once (2 seconds)10
The Pacific CampaignWin once on every map as any team10
Tour of Duty IPlay 30 matches10
VeteranCap 25 enemy flags20
Melee ManMelee kill one enemy player20

PlayStation 3 Trophies

Achievement NameHow To EarnReward
AttackerCapture five flagsBronze
Best SquadBe in the best squad on all three mapsBronze
Tour of Duty IIPlay one hundred matchesSilver
DefenderDefend five flagsBronze
Master of your domainGet one kill playing as each classSilver
MilkrunFly a plane for 10 minutesBronze
MotormanGet one kill with car, tank and planeBronze
ParachutistUse the parachute once (2 seconds)Bronze
The Pacific CampaignWin once on every map as any teamGold
Tour of Duty IPlay 30 matchesSilver
VeteranCap 25 enemy flagsSilver
Melee ManMelee kill one enemy playerBronze

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