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Battlefield 4 Class Guide: Recon

Battlefield 4 Screenshot - 1159265

Battlefield 4’s Recon class ... where to begin? This guide will be a little different from my past class guides because, honestly, I had to spend a good while sorting out what to do with this class. Yes, I am that guy that sees a sniper up on a hill and just assumes they’re busy raising their kill/death ratio while bringing my team down. The reality is that a good sniper can turn a game around from up close or a mile away. BF4’s take on Recon is flexible, rewarding, and actually lives up to its name.

The Guns

Battlefield 4 sniping

Sniper rifles are the primary weapons of the Recon class, though I wouldn’t blame you for running a Recon shotgunner with C4. A good middle ground is the DMR weapon class, which allows for a single shot rate-of-fire and heavy damage at midrange. Overall, though, I suggest actually learning to use a sniper rifle, because it can be very satisfying and allows you to fill a niche the other run-and-gun classes can’t.

As a sniper you can go in two different directions, depending on how hardcore you want to take it. You could attach the biggest scope you have with a variable zoom for 14x magnification, find some mountain in the distance and start lobbing bullets across the map at your enemies. Bullet drop is a tricky thing to account for, but if you use the rangefinder on the PLD (or the rangefinder attachment, unlocked for each gun after 120+ kills), you can zero your scope to an approximate range and adjust your shot from there.

The other option is to fight from the sidelines, but remain in the heat of the action. Keep it simple with a 6x or 8x scope and fight at a range where bullet drop isn’t too severe. Swap to a pistol in tight quarters and push for objectives when you can, but recognize that in a one-on-one fight, a sniper rifle is usually too slow to win out. You want to help your teammates fighting at the front lines, but at enough of a distance that no one realizes it.

The Gadgets

Battlefield 4 SOFLAM view

Recon gadgets tend to lean towards exactly that -- reconnaissance. Letting people know where the enemies are might not be your idea of a fun time in a shooter, but it is amazingly helpful, and BF4 does a good job of rewarding those who help their team. Starting off with the meat and potatoes gadgets, the PLD and C4, you may find that’s all you need. C4 gives aggressive Recon players a deliciously suicidal option for taking on tanks, while the PLD allows them to laser designate targets for other players.

Funny thing about the PLD: in my experience aiming it at helicopters and locking on can sometimes scare a heli pilot enough for them to bail out with an Engineer to finish the job. It’s a pretty amazing, and a hilarious outcome for doing little more than looking at an enemy.

You can also laser designate with the SOFLAM, which is a nice option when you want to stay on the move but there are enemy vehicles on the horizon. Set it up somewhere safe, aim it at a high traffic area, and you may find yourself racking up vehicle kills for something you did five minutes ago.

Rounding out the list of what I consider the especially useful Recon gadgets is the Radio Beacon, which allows you to set up a mobile spawn point for your squad anywhere on the map. Hiding these deep within enemy lines is an amazing way to push your squad toward an objective and ruin your opponents’ day.

The Field Upgrade

Battlefield 4 Recon sniping

Like my previous class guides, I once again recommend that you focus on unlocking the last two field upgrades, Spec Ops and Sniper, as they are designed specifically for the Recon class. Spec Ops emphasizes gadgets, with a particular emphasis on buffing Motion Sensors. While Motion Sensors aren’t on the top of my gadget recommendations, they aren’t bad for an aggressive Recon player, which this upgrade works well with. C4 and Motion Sensors paired with the Spec Ops upgrade and maybe a more close quarters weapon like a DMR could also be a sensible loadout.

The Sniper upgrade is, alternatively, built around more distance and sniping tactics. If you’re a part of the mile-away club, or you simply prefer to fight from a decent range, you’ll probably be better off taking this path.

Recommended Strategies and Teamwork

BF4 Recon taking on vehicles

A good Sniper is all about balancing the act of sniping with actually being a contributing member of your team. Distance sniping in Battlefield 4 is a game of its own, and it’s tempting to get caught up in it. Still, if you aren’t at least killing the right targets, you’re more or less useless.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had snipers in my squad sniping at rabbits on Mars while the rest of the team tries to capture objectives. There’s a stigma attached to the Recon class thanks to that. At least with BF4 DICE made a distant Recon player a more viable team player. The trick is to get a good view of the objectives and support your squad. You don’t get much credit for clearing out a flag area for your squad to move in on, but at least you get the satisfaction of sniping from a mile away.

At the end of the day I feel like a truly useful Recon player is still in the thick of it to a certain extent. A Recon player should be helping with objectives too. Similarly to an Engineer, it is important for Recon to keep tabs on vehicle superiority. A good Recon/Engineer duo can torment enemy vehicles, but it can be rare to see that kind of teamwork, even in 64 player matches.

Do some honest Recon and you’ll be a contributing member to your team. Spot targets near objectives, snipe enemies that are actually keeping your team from victory, and use your gadgets to target vehicles and ruin their day. Just don’t sit on a hill and waste everyone’s time.

Other BF4 Guides:

Assault Class Guide

Engineer Class Guide

Support Class Guide

General Tips & Tricks

Enjoy random thoughts about the latest games, the Sega Saturn, or the occasional movie review? Follow me @JoeDonuts!

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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