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While playing the Battlefield 1 open beta, I was once again reminded it’s hard to stay alive in a game full of die-hard players. I lasted only minutes in the Sinai Desert, the new multiplayer map that Electronic Arts is opening up to all players today. But that’s only because I spent a lot of time running or riding into the action.

In those rare moments when I was in combat with other players, I only survived for seconds. Here’s a few tips that I learned during my short encounters with the enemy so far. Check out the video of gameplay below. You can see that I rarely execute on my own advice. But hey, remember the old saying. Old people for counsel, young people for war. I played the open beta on Origin on the Windows PC.

  1. Find yourself a ride. Get into a plane. Find a horse. Board a transport. Find a machine gun truck. Or climb aboard a tank. All of these transport systems make you more mobile as a soldier so that you can move to the places of battle and capture flags. They also give you protection, because they’re armored, for the most part. And you can cause a lot more damage if you’re in a vehicle. And sometimes just park a vehicle and operate its gun.
  2. Work with other players. While you’re in the tank, stop and get some passengers who can shoot the guns. Or if you are shooting the gun, make sure you’ve got a good driver. Inevitably, your driver will wind up driving your tank into a bunch of buildings or into a giant ditch. At that point, you’ve got to abandon the tank and try to get to cover.
  3. Use cover. Climb atop buildings to get a better field of view. Or hide around corners. Don’t be impatient by running out into the open. Someone will pick you off. If there’s a front line to the battle, try to figure out where it is. You’ll be less likely to get shot in the back.
  4. Don’t forget to use your bayonet charge. When the enemy is close, you can go into close combat. This melee attack is hard to stop.
  5. Shoot when you’ve got a target. If you shoot too soon, someone will see your tracers and spot you. Then you’ll draw return fire.
  6. Take time to aim. Instead of spraying gunfire at a target, take careful aim and get a confirmed kill. Sometimes this means you have to stand still for a while. But if you’re in cover, this won’t be as big a  problem.
  7. Use destruction to your advantage. If you’re in a tank and you see an enemy on top of a building, shoot the cannon at the building to knock it down. The Frostbite engine is made for destructible environments, so make use of them.
  8. If you must make a run for a victory point, and there’s no vehicle available, use the dunes to your advantage. Try to run in between the dunes so that you don’t present your silhouette as a huge target for a sniper.
  9. Try to stay aware of the entire battle. If you are stuck in a tank, your field of view as a gunner is very limited. If you are a machine gunner on top of a building, you might have a very wide field of view. Take advantage of it.
  10. If you find a good driver or pilot, stick with that person. You can do massive damage as a two-person team, moving into the battle at high speed and taking out the players who are trying to make it on their own. Switch guns often from one side to another.

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