Learn How to Fly in Battlefield 3

Unless you have experience with flying in shooters or you’re a fan of flight simulators, you’re probably the person gamers see flying in a ridiculous pattern then crashing shortly after takeoff.  We all want to fly jets or helicopters in Battlefield 3, but it’s definitely no walk in the park.

While I personally enjoy watching someone crash and burn in a jet or helicopter, we’re here today to help you with your flying dilemma.  Below, we’ve included a few tips and tutorials to help make you a better pilot in Battlefield 3 so that you can dominate the skies.

The above video is by YouTube user 

Understand flying terminology & controls – Chances are that when you first hopped into an air vehicle, you ignored the words that popped up on your screen.  Don’t worry, most gamers did as well.  While a few of the terms are self-explanatory, we’ve two terms below that are the most confusing, typically.

Pitch: Pitch can be a little confusing depending on what vehicle you’re in.  Pitch is essentially where the nose of your plane is pointing.  In a helicopter, pitching down has you moving forward while pitching up has you moving backwards.  Put yourself in a jet, and the opposite holds true.

Yaw:  Think of “Yaw” as another way to say “turning”.  You can use this to turn the vehicle in smaller directions to help adjust your flight pattern.

Controls to remember: Your left analog stick (LS) controls Yaw, your right analog stick (RS) controls pitch & roll.  The left trigger (LT on 360, L2 on PS3) will allow you to dispatch flares.  The right trigger (RT on 360, R2 on PS3) will be your throttle.


Okay, you’re in a helicopter. Now what? First, you’ll want to apply a little throttle to your vehicle to begin lifting off the ground.  To move forward, you’ll want to pitch down.  Keep in mind that a helicopter is a slower moving vehicle, and is great for staying stationary in the air to provide support fire.  Flying the helicopter like something out of a movie will typically end up with no support fire and a crashed vehicle.

Before you’re directly in battle, you’ll want to experiment to find the “sweet spot” for the helicopter.  Mashing the throttle is only going to cause you to ascend, and not applying enough pressure will send you to a fiery death below.  Finding the “sweet spot” allows you to keep a steady height above the battle, and reign down terror on your enemies.


Planes are going to need quite a bit of speed, and unlike helicopters, are not going to be an aircraft you’ll want to try and have as stationary in the air.  When taking off, you’ll typically be on a long stretch of road.  Apply a massive amount of throttle, and lift up on your stick (or down if you’re inverted) to get your aircraft into the air.

One of the largest mistakes made when attempting to turn a plane is that lift isn’t applied.  When turning a plane, since it’s a heavier vehicle, it’s typically going to lose some altitude.  You’ll constantly see most individuals crash when attempting to turn.  Be sure to apply lift while turning, essentially climbing as you turn your vehicle.  If you’re trying to be fancy and make a quicker turn, you may need to find that “sweet spot” on the throttle as well.

If you’re ever in serious trouble and set to more than likely crash, never be afraid to eject yourself out of the vehicle.  Once you’ve ejected, be sure to mass the parachute button (A on 360, and X on PS3) as you descend to the ground.

Keep in mind that you only have access to the basic functions of the aircraft when you initially start using them.  By using them enough, earning kills and various XP, you’ll soon unlock rockets and other features.  When using flares, be sure to not use the flares until you are fully locked on to in your vehicle.  Deploying them early can still lead to your demise.

If trouble with seeing enemies, you can also switch to the third-person view.  While we’ll make fun of you for resorting to that mode, it’s still great for beginners to use to locate enemies initially.

What’s your opinion on flying aircrafts in Battlefield 3?  Have you had much success or do you have a tip that we didn’t include above?  Be sure to let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below, or sound off in our forums!

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