Battlefield 2142: Micro-Teamplay

Do you like playing first person shooters? Do you like playing teamplay modes? Capture the Flag, Team Fortress, Counterstrike? I do, and I will try to tell you why Battlefield 2142 lowers the teamplay entry level to everybody, even the teamplay haters.

FPS Teamplay

It is great to play with a good team. All work together, sub teams work together on different tasks to win. Protecting a base, protecting vital supply routes, trying to sneak into the enemy base. Playing in small sub-teams, two players running into a room, fight with the enemy there, the third player coming after them, gaining advantage from their heroic rush. Respawn together, work together.

Do you know why so many people dislike team play? My guess: It’s because of the high initial difficulty to work in a team. At the beginning there was no team speak. So you had everybody playing LAN parties, shouting around “help me, get him, give me backup, while i … you try to …”. Coordination of the teamplay is a hard task. It is still difficult if you know the game you play, but much harder when your new to it. You need to know the hotspots of a map, respawn points, refill routes through the maps – Tactics. Most often the “small” level design requires you to work with many people, some need to lead or everything ends in chaos.
So people get together as clans, get known of each other in private and then train together. And after some time, they will have great fun in good teamplay matches. Understandably many people would love to have good teamplay, but dislike these complications. It’s not that most people are lazy, but they want some easy accessible fun from an action game.

Battlefield 2142

Now, Battlefield 2142 is different. It’s outdoor, which means simply bigger level design. And this truly matters. Only in a bigger outdoor scenario you can add vehicles, airships and turrets. This, in turn, makes all the difference.

I’ll try to explain what i mean on the example of the new Titan game mode of Battlefield 2142. Take a look at the picture above. It displays the Titan, a huge floating castle in the air (as seen from ground). Two fractions (Asia vs. Europe) battle each other, and in every map there are two Titans, one from each fraction. To win a battle, you’ve got to destroy the enemies Titan. Understandably the Titan wouldn’t be a good fortress without a shield. So to destroy it, you first need to shoot at it with big rockets, launched from silos (see the next picture, below). Capture silos and they automatically shoot at the enemy Titan. The whole conflict happens when the enemy captures your silos and the rockets begin shooting at your Titan. This results in endless fights around the silos. When a Titan’s shield is gone, the silos keep shooting and the Titan and damage it even further. But of course there is a faster way: when the shield is down, you can fly up to the enemies titan, land there and destroy it’s power core. Sadly your enemy knows this little trick, too. So you’ll end battling and protecting the Titans from the inside, as if you where playing a good old indoor fps (see first picture, at top of this article).


So why is the teamplay better with vehicles? Aren’t they like guns, just bigger? No. They are more, because more than one player can sit inside a vehicle (ground or air) at once. And like in reality, there are various tasks in a vehicle. Of course no dull machinists tasks, we are playing games for fun, remember.
Take a look at the nice vehicle list of Battlefield 2142 below. I mixed the fractions, but basically they have nearly the same vehicles – but with different looks. Already the simple jeep has two seats. It is just a cool “leg” extension. Take a seat and move really fast from A to B without getting exhausted. But wait, it features a gun mounted to its head that needs to be controlled by a second player. No kidding, one can either drive or shoot with this speedy thing, not both. So what happens? whenever you respawn near the car-respawn point, you could drive as fast as possible to the hot fighting spots at the front, but you don’t. You wait a few second until the next guy respawns and share the jeep with you. In 64 player maps, you don’t wait, someone already waits for you.


So the other player takes control of the turret and you drive, or vice versa. Here is where the intuitive micro-teamplay starts: someone took a Jeep, waited, was nervous and drove off before you respawned? You see him leave from behind? Shoot at him (if teamkill is disabled, of course) and he will stop, turn around to look who is shooting, see you, drive to you, pick you up to be his gunner. You are glad to get a ride and he is glad to have a gunner. It’s teamplay, it’s fun. You don’t even think about it or need to learn it, everyone does it intuitively. Shoot at him, get his attention. He will not get mad at you, but feel better.

You are new to the game? you don’t know where to drive? You are unsure where the hotspots on the map are? never mind, the gunner will shoot at the ground in front of you to display you where he wants you to go. Afraid to take a wrong path? Remember, he can’t drive, only shoot, but he will tell you.


So far for the Jeep. Let us take a look at the more interesting vehicles: the aircrafts. Both fractions have some kind of helicopter which is harder to steer than anything else in the game, but still easy enough to be fun. The smaller gunships have places for 2 players: one pilot which has o a fixed gun at the front of the gunship, and one gunner at a turret. Here micro-teamplay is created by the fact that the gun turret doesn’t have full 360° freedom of movement. So the pilot needs to fly in a way that the gun turret can also attack enemies. For example, if you have 2 enemies – don’t attack them like a plane flying over them, but hover between them, leaving one in the front for the pilot-guns and the one in the back for the turret.


More intuitive micro-teamplay comes with the walkers. They have a cool waking motion, big guns and armored as hell. You even don’t need a gunner, because you can walk like you are used to (WASD) and target & shoot (Mouse) at the same time. Great for ego trips? No, wait until you’ve got a few infantrymen around you. No match to you? Wrong, they are small, quicker than you and move very near to your feet – below your horizon. You won’t get them with your big guns. You you need to fill the second seat, a small turret. It is weaker than your big guns, but way more flexible and perfect to keep infantry at bay.

Further Strategies

Last but not least, this micro-teamplay blends into simple tactics. For example: having more soldiers in a vehicle makes it stronger, but also increases the risk – kill a transporter with up to 8 soldiers and you might ruin the day for the enemy.

By the way, the transporters are interesting, as well: 1 pilot, 2 turrets and the others can shoot their hand weapons through the open doors while flying. When over the hotspot zone, simply let all soldiers jump out – everyone has a parachute, and will drop safely.

Or take the troop transporters: 1 driver with cannon, up to 7 further soldiers in the turrets. 6 of them are special “escape” pods, that can shoot out of the vehicle towards a target. for example from the ground upwards onto the enemies titan. or from behind a building over it into the action.

One last example for intuitive and fun micro-teamplay I want to give is patrolling. Take a look at the map of the map of the SIDI level. It is also available in the demo version, if you want to give it a try. In the center of the level is some kind of power reactor (gameplay irrelevant, just Look’n'Feel) and around it are 5 nearly symmetrically placed silos. the titans are in the north and south – outside the part visible in the picture below.

Patrolling is typically done with ground vehicles: take a walker and start at the silos to the left, walk from there to the silo in the center of the map, advance to the silo in the right, turn around and do the same in reverse. When you get into the walker, typically no other players are around. So you do not wait for somebody but start your patrol to help your side to keep control over the silos. The first player that comes around, gets picked up as a gunner and you continue the patrol. Now, because there are two guys in the walker, the patrol works twice as good. Two guns, two pairs of Eyes that can look in independent directions to spot enemies. Even if someone needs to get out of the walker to do something special, the thing will not stand there but the other one can take the pilot seat. It’s quite clever and well-working teamplay. It’s micro-teamplay.

Micro-teamplay is fun and does not remove the possibilities for true, trained, full “strategic” teamplay.

Battlefield 2142

Daniel Renkel

Daniel 'sirleto' Renkel is a true indie game developer (at heart ;) and a part time simulation engineer (space- & aircrafts). He's studied computer science at the university of Darmstadt, Germany and has a background of 8 years as game developer (assistant projectmanager, game designer, associate producer and technical artist). He worked on a whole number of PC and console games including the Aquanox series. Visit for more information about this current android mobile phone games.

3 responses to “Battlefield 2142: Micro-Teamplay”

  1. Krystian Majewski

    I was wondedering: there were two versions of Battlefield before this one. Why did you focus on the most recent version? Wasn’t micro-teamplay also present in the previous versions?
    Also, I wonder if there are ways to afford micro-teamplay other then with vehicles…

  2. Daniel 'sirleto' Renkel

    a) this is why i had () brackets arround all 2142 parts ;)

    b) i wanted to give an example that is easy to understand – and this came to my mind first. all other parts of “micro teamplay” are more feeling i’ve got. they aren’t that easy for me to write down.

    btw: thanks for pointing out all spelling mistakes, all grammatical missconstructions. also thanks for correcting the whole text by adding Uppercases To The Correct Places and removing some of my way slang sentences. and no, i’m not offended.

  3. Fabricio

    hello there. i didn’t know much about the recent development of 2142, but after reading your (indeed nice) article, it sounds in nearly all gameplay aspects similar to its forerunner, battlefield 2. as it seems, they try to push the the micro-teamplay a little further by giving more flaws to a vehilce used by a single person. so far so good. as krystian already mentioned, i’m also wondering if the vehicles (and maybe the titan) are the only game-objects that influence the gameplay and espeacially micro-teamplay. maybe they work a little more on the infantry classes so that players are forced to operate even more together. moreover, i think the key for the success of such games lies in communication. i have also to admit that i started playing the game by knowing some guys who already played it. it really boosts fun when playing a game together with other people you know. moreover it’s cool when it becomes kind of a ritual, but without being in a clan in order to train or something. mh, are there already any web 2.0 gamer-comunities? :)


Game Design Reviews is a Blog used by a group of game designers from Germany to publish and discuss their thoughts on various games. The blog consists entirely of reviews of games. Each review focuses on the important game design ideas and concepts of that particular game. We also run a second, more informal Blog called Game Design Scrapbook.


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