Guide To The UAV

Thanks to Fender @ gamereplays.org

The UAV Drone can be a vital asset to your team during a heated match: it can be used to soften up enemy infantry with the Light Machine Gun, or used to destroy an enemy tank locking down a choke point. Each situation presents itself differently between games; it is up to you, the UAV operator, to determine what your team needs in each scenario. This determination hinges largely on your choice of vehicle specialization upgrade.

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Choose your Speciality

Active Armor Upgrade

Adds more armor to your vehicle. You are able to withstand more damage from enemy fire.

This upgrade takes received damage and multiplies it by x0.75, reducing damage by one quarter. In most cases, this will allow the UAV to take two to three more bullets from a specific weapons before it is destroyed. This can be beneficial in limited instances, but for the most part, there are better upgrades to take.

Improved Warfare Package

With hardened steel warheads and quick burn explosive compounds, this upgrade substantially increases the effectiveness of the vehicle’s primary weapons. In turn it allows a vehicle to provide a considerable Force Multiplier to mission requirements.

This upgrade takes the damage of the Hellfire Missile strike and multiplies it by x1.25, increasing damage by one quarter. This will take the lethal blast radius of the missile from 1.5m to about 2m. Also, it increases the base damage of the missile from 400 to 500. On a designated “tank busting” mission, this is not a bad upgrade to have, and can reduce the number of total missiles needed to destroy a tank by 1. A good choice if you plan to target a single Tank.

Quick Reload Package

These enhanced ammunition racks diminish the time needed to reload the vehicle’s primary weapons. It reduces the vulnerability to enemy attacks during reload stops.

This upgrade takes the reload time of the UAV’s Hellfire Missile and multiplies it by x0.75, reducing the reload time by one quarter (can you tell DICE likes nice, even fractions?) With a default reload time of 25 seconds, this upgrade will allow you to fire off a second missile in around 19 seconds, saving about 6 seconds off the reload. Another good choice for a “tank busting” mission, if you anticipate multiple targets.

Hypothetically speaking, going against someone without the Quick Reload Package, in the time it takes to fire three missiles without it, you will have been able to fire 4. Which could mean the difference between a dead tank and one that is driving away.

Smoke Countermeasure Package

A smoke grenade system consisting of 6 launchers. When fired it generates a 360 degree smoke screen around the vehicle. It obscures equipment and personnel from aimed fire.

This upgrade installs smoke launchers on the UAV that can be deployed every 20 seconds. The only real use for this can come if you plan on being a real team player, and laying down screens for your teammates trying to close in on an objective. Other than that, take an upgrade a bit more offensively minded.

Alternate Fire Package

A weapons package that upgrades the targeting systems of vehicles and helicopters. It extends the effective range and accuracy of mounted weapons.

A popular choice for infantry engagements. This upgrade installs a Light Machine Gun on the UAV that deals 10 base damage over all ranges, meaning it takes 10 bullets to kill an enemy. You need to be somewhat closer to the enemy for this to be extremely effective, but taking pot shots at spotted enemies from across the map may yield favorable results as well. Spam and strafe is the name of the game with this upgrade. Fire for as long as you can and get out of dodge. Because you have to be relatively close to the enemy to be an effective tool, you are at a high risk of being destroyed, so fly fast and hard, and keep the trigger down.

High Power Optics

A High Power Optics Package that provides an armored driver the ability to engage and destroy targets from greater range. It effectively provides stand-off distance while still accurate fire. Great for long distance engagements/

This upgrade puts an enhanced set of optics on your UAV, allowing you to switch between the standard view, and a a zoomed view. This is a great upgrade for really keeping your distance, but continuing to place accurate strikes. One map in particular this is great for is Atacama Desert. You can be clear across the map hovering with the UAV and land an dead-on bulls eye on an enemy Tank waiting to ambush at the top of a hill.

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Take a look at the screenshot at the top of the guide. These were taken from the same place, only this one is zoomed in. You can be so far out that no one can see you without a scope, while still calling in accurate strikes and spots.

Tank Busting

For vehicle-heavy maps like Arica Harbor, Panama Canal and Atacama Desert, the primary responsibility of the UAV operator should be destroying enemy armor. Because even a single armor piece can lock down a chokepoint, being able to quickly and efficiently eliminate Tanks can be the difference in the game. The two upgrades you want to look at are the Quick Reload and Improved Warhead Packages; either of these is a solid choice for destroying armor. The former is good if you do not anticipate much help from fellow Engineers, while the latter is good if you feel there are enough rockets being put down range that your Hellfire missile will just finish them off.

Arica Harbor’s UAV station is only available to the attacking team, so upon entering the match, priority number one should be placing a missile on a Tank. Keep your distance, but be sure to connect on your first strike and stick with that Tank until it is destroyed. While your missile is reloading try to duck back behind a hill to avoid small arms fire, and when you’re ready to fire again pop back up again and fire away.

Panama Canal is a Conquest map, so it is wide open to either team. Sniper fire coming from the US Base makes it somewhat vulnerable too, so having some teammates with you on the roof of C for cover can help. Firstly, when entering the station, fly directly to the most highly congested area to locate and spot any enemy armor. Be sure to quickly but accurately call in your Hellfire missile so that any Engineers can finish it off, if necessary.

Atacama Desert’s UAV station is almost a death trap. It is wide open, so having a teammate or two to cover you is extremely important, if you expect to last. Enemy helicopters can easily destroy your station, so if you can, try to catch the pilot sleeping and pull off a kill while it’s slowly hovering. Otherwise, do the best you can in laying down Hellfire strikes on enemy armor most likely firing artillery style from B to either A or C.

Infantry Softening

For other maps with little to no armor, such as White Pass , Nelson Bay and Laguna Innocentes, UAV operators should be more focused on an anti-infantry role where you’ll often find large amount of foot mobiles in a confined area. On maps such as this, in addition to softening and eliminating infantry, it becomes crucial to spam the Spotting button to highlight enemies for your teammates on the ground. Use the UAV for aerial reconnaissance to call out enemy positions and entrenched locations. The upgrades you want to look at here are the Active Armor Upgrade or the Alternative Fire Package. The former can give you a bit more leeway when getting into a hairy situation hovering above an enemy base and will give more protection from small arms fire, usually allowing enough time to quickly exit the area and search for repairs. The latter is probably the best choice, because it mounts a Light Machine Gun on the underside of the UAV, which gives you even more firepower when coupled with the Hellfire Strike.

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When providing this kind of anti-personnel support, remember – spot spot spot!


Map Locations

White Pass is very similar to Atacama Desert, in that it is a Conquest map with the UAV station wide open at B, which again calls for plenty of cover from your teammates if you expect to be effective. Because there are only three flags, having control of B is a must, because of the close proximity of the station to the flag. When you enter the station, head directly for the enemy flag (either A or C) and begin laying down LMG fire and spotting all enemy locations. This is a great area for spawn trapping and containment; just make sure they don’t begin squeaking out into the woods around behind B.

Nelson Bay has the UAV station just on the attacker’s side, so teammate assistance is unnecessary. Locate emplaced MG nests and call in a Hellfire strike. Nelson Bay is notorious for advantageous MG locations that can lock down a large portion of the map, in particular the one located up the small staircase near B on the second stage. Upon destroying this MG, fly back near the back tree line and start spotting for enemies. Light them up and spam your LMG.

Laguna Innocentes is also a Rush map, so its UAV station is just for the attacking side again. Other than the third and final stage, the first and second stages have a fairly secure location (but still can still be destroyed with Mortars or sniper fire). Because it’s such a small map, you can really wreak havoc with your LMG; just be sure to keep the enemy off the MG emplacements on all three stages – not only for your safety, but also the safety for your Blackhawk helicopters.

Other Tricks

Containment

One role the UAV can provide is one of containment. You can easily make the enemy team feel “trapped” inside their base or flag, simply by laying down a constant LMG barrage and moving swiftly around the map. You don’t even need to kill a lot of enemies, if you can just a hit and run, hit and run; constantly making contact and ducking away. You can really confuse and disorient the enemy into not knowing exactly which way is safe and which way is not. This will give your teammates on the ground time to close in and really begin corralling the enemy and forcing them farther and farther back. And it can all get started with a pesky little UAV.

Suicide Bombing

Rigging the UAV with C4 charges and flying it down to an M-COM station is becoming a popular trend, and like it or not, it is effective and is a strategy that probably isn’t going away. It takes 12 packs of C4 to blow up an M-COM, so get a couple of your buddies, have them throw 6 packs each on the UAV, fly it down and into an M-COM and tell them when to blow it. Next please!

When all else fails…

Just run them over. It’s sometimes tricky to do, but there’s nothing more embarrassing than being chopped in half by the propeller blades of a remote controlled helicopter. This is most easily done on unsuspecting Recon snipers who are too busy staring down their scope to notice the sound of the UAV growing closer and closer behind them. Take it as low to the ground as you can, coming up from behind and go slow. Try not to get in front of them, they may finally open their eyes and quickly destroy it.

Conclusion

Just like everything else in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, the UAV has a role to fill. Whether it’s tank busting on vehicle heavy maps, or infantry softening on smaller maps, picking a specialization to fit the bill is key to your success as a UAV operator. Your teammate depend on you for spotting out lurking bad guys, and wrecking the strong points in the enemies defenses. Go with the flow of the game, and keep your head down while reloading. When your UAV is inevitably destroyed, be sure to join your teammates down at the other end. They’ll thank you for it.

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