Battleblog #11: Every Battlefield 3 multiplayer game mode explained

In Battlefield 3, all maps adapt to the five multiplayer game modes available at launch. Read on for the full breakdown of every multiplayer mode in the game, plus details on how you can tweak each match to suit your personal tastes even further.

Battlefield 3 multiplayer action on the Caspian Border map.

Long standing classic Battlefield game modes Conquest and Rush are back in Battlefield 3, together with interesting new additions to make this our broadest and deepest Battlefield yet. From the close quarters infantry combat of Team Deathmatch and Squad Deathmatch to objective driven all-out vehicle warfare – Battlefield 3 has it all. All of the 9 huge multiplayer maps in Battlefield 3 adapt to all 5 game modes, effectively giving you 45 distinctly different multiplayer experiences to choose between. Without further ado, here are the five available multiplayer modes at launch in detail. What they are, what their respective goals are, and how they play.

Team Deathmatch
On all 9 maps
Players: 24 (12 vs. 12)
Focus: Team Based Infantry Combat
Goal: Eliminate a set number of enemy combatants
Winning the game: The team that reaches the set kill number first is declared the winner

Team Deathmatch is of the true classics when it comes to multiplayer game modes, and a game mode that makes its first appearance in a Battlefield game since the original Battlefield 1942. In Team Deathmatch, two teams of 12 players each duke it out on tight knit maps with a distinct infantry focus – there are no vehicles available in Team Deathmatch. For that quick instant action fix, this is the perfect game mode. For players new to Battlefield, this is a good place to start. Once you get the hang of the infantry gameplay, you can move on to deeper modes that include the signature vehicle warfare for which Battlefield is known and loved.

Squad Deathmatch
On all 9 maps
Players: 16 (4 squads of 4)
Focus: Squad Based Infantry Combat
Goal: Eliminate a set number of enemy combatants
Winning the game: The squad that reaches the set kill number first is declared the winner

Squad Deathmatch is a larger and more dynamic variety of deathmatch that also features the inclusion of an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). The IFV can help break a deadlock, as long as you keep it alive with solid Engineer gameplay. The 4 squad setup means that there is a constant battle throughout the game to gain and maintain the lead. Sticking together, keeping your squad healed up, supplied, and repaired are the keys to victory. The squad that can combine the potent Battlefield mix of team play and combat prowess will be proven the winner.

On all 9 maps
Players: 24/32 (Console/PC)
Focus: Objective Based All-out Warfare
Goal: Attack/defend M-COM stations
Winning the game: Destroy all M-COM stations/Deplete the attacker’s tickets (Attackers/Defenders)

First introduced in Battlefield: Bad Company, Rush has now made its way to the heart of the Battlefield series in Battlefield 3. An objective based mode, the attackers have to arm and detonate pairs of M-COM stations in each area of the map to unlock the next area and the next pair of M-COM stations. While defenders have an unlimited amount of spawn tickets, attackers only get new tickets every time they destroy a pair of M-COMs. If all M-COM stations on the entire map are destroyed, the attackers are declared the winning team. If the defenders manage to deplete the attacker’s tickets to zero (by killing them), the defenders are declared the winners.

As an all-out warfare mode, Rush features a large variety of vehicle setups tuned specifically to that map’s landscape and features. Players can find all types of vehicles on Rush maps, including transport vehicles, armored vehicles, helicopters, and of course, jets. Rush offers a compelling objective based all-out warfare game mode for Battlefield veterans.

If you are familiar with this game mode from Battlefield: Bad Company 2, you might want to know we are refining it for Battlefield 3 in a number of ways, based on player feedback. Some of the gameplay tweaks we are bringing to Rush are:
* You cannot use explosives or shoot at the M-COM to take it out. Only arm and disarm.
* If the attacking team arms the M-COM but runs out of tickets, the match will continue until the M-COM detonates or defenders disarm it
* If the defenders start disarming an M-COM just before it’s about to blow, the explosion is prevented until the disarm is accomplished. If the defender gets killed during the disarm process, the M-COM will instantly blow

Squad Rush
On all 9 maps
Players: 8 (4 vs. 4)
Focus: Squad Based Infantry Combat
Goal: Attack/defend M-COM stations
Winning the game: Destroy all M-COM stations/Deplete the attacker’s tickets (Attackers/Defenders)

Squad Rush is the ultimate test to show which squad is the best of the best. Squad Rush is an extremely tight duel between two squads that borrows the main rules from normal Rush, but in a much more intimate setting. In Squad Rush there are only 2 bases with 1 M-COM station per base, meaning that every M-COM taken or defended in Squad Rush is vital to the victory or defeat of the game. There are no vehicles in Squad Rush, so it’s all down to your infantry fighting skills.

To be successful it’s key that you and your squad mates customize your soldiers to complement each other on the battlefield, in order to keep reviving fallen mates, provide ammo, and perform other essential duties. Squad Rush is often favored by players who know each other’s play styles intimately and want to show their skills in the most personal of combat settings.

On all 9 maps
Players: 24/32 or 64 (Console/PC)
Focus: Objective Based All-out Warfare
Goal: Capture and Hold Flags
Winning the game: Deplete opposing team’s tickets

Conquest is without a doubt the most classic of Battlefield game modes. Introduced in Battlefield 1942, Conquest has defined the entire Battlefield series (and influenced a lot of other games out there) and encompasses everything that makes Battlefield great. Set over a series of large-scale maps, Conquest is the game mode best suited for the experience of all-out vehicle warfare. In Conquest, two teams fight for control of a number of flags by being the dominant force in the vicinity of each base. Capture and keep control of a majority of the flags and the enemy team will bleed tickets. Killing enemies will also reduce their ticket count, and the first team to run out of tickets loses.

Conquest is a strategic and tactical game that often asks you to make important decisions on whether to attack an enemy base or defend one of your own. Your forces will rarely be enough to capture and hold every base on the map, so in-game communication and quick thinking is necessary to be victorious. Of all of the game modes we have invented here at DICE, Conquest will always have a special place in our hearts.

Tweak your game with Hardcore and Infantry Only settings

Not a fan of vehicles? No problem — just click the “Infantry Only” box in your server browser when searching for a server game where no attack vehicles will spawn in, only transports. This is a great way to get a feel for the game or the map before you go all-out warfare.

Want a more lethal and tactical game mode where the risk and reward is even higher? With the Hardcore Mode setting, we are leaving you on the battlefield without much external help from the game interface. This game mode modifier will test the limits of your skills.

You can flick the Hardcore switch for any of the regular game modes. Doing so tends to turn matches into more deliberate and tactical affairs, since the penalty for being careless is higher. A lot of players prefer Hardcore Mode since it means that flanking and ambushing pays off to a higher degree, or because of the increased sense of immersion and authenticity that comes with removing user interface elements.

There is something for everyone in Battlefield 3′s adaptable array of multiplayer modes, maps, and modifiers. Add our many customization options for vehicles, weapons and classes, and you can see why we call this our biggest and deepest Battlefield yet.

Stay tuned for Battleblog #11 soon
Did you miss the previous stories in the series?

Battleblog #1: Lars Gustavsson on DICE’s new multiplayer philosophy in Battlefield 3

Battleblog #2: With a bit of class

Battleblog #3: With an army by your side

Battleblog #4: Up close and personal

Battleblog #5: Years’ worth of unlocks and rewards in Battlefield 3

Battleblog #6: Building Battlefield 3 from the gun out

Battleblog #7: Battlefield 3 introduces themed co-op campaign

Battleblog #8: Build your weapon of choice

Battleblog #9: Online vehicle warfare refined

Battleblog #10: Crafting a captivating story grounded in authenticity

For more information on Battlefield 3, visit the Official Site.
To learn about the Frostbite 2 game engine, visit the
Frostbite 2 section on the Battlefield 3 site.
For the latest news on everything Battlefield, follow us on
Twitter and our Facebook page.

This game is not affiliated with weapon/vehicle manufacturers.

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  • trey629 09.27.11 at 04:40

    they should have onslaught mode again but make it better like fighting waves of enemys like in gears of war.

  • trey629 09.26.11 at 20:40

    they should have onslaught mode again but make it better like fighting waves of enemys like in gears of war.

  • matipab 09.26.11 at 08:57

    EA, I can’t fucking believe you. 64 players only for PC? Unlike other developers you refuse to use all of the unexploited potential left in the consoles (More specifically, the PS3) you will lose reputation amongst console gamers by abonding them and only taking care of the whining PC players. Also, you refuse to give the PS3 players the epic experience that you offer with 64 players.
    I shall terminate my complaint by enphasizing this quote which I shall believe it is the one that answer a lot of questions.
    “Holocaust? Where did they come up with this?”

    • xFartikus97 04.07.12 at 04:09

      Ok first of all u dont know wat ur talking about. Second of all if u didnt know consoles cant handle that kind off space. If they add 64 players the game would be to slow and wouldn’t be any fun.

  • 604hotmix 09.26.11 at 05:20

    You should have some special 80 player maps, where its all out dedicated EA Servers.
    I am a Veteran, and one of the best players in the game (604hotmix) is my screen name. In addition, if its only an Infantry focused map then it should work, and not to much technical issues should arise.

    EA please do that just for one map, you would blow the world up with this type of atmosphere for not only the gamer but for the sake of saying “I have done it, I have made one of the biggest multiplayer maps the world has ever seen!”

    Just an idea.

    To bad I was in Toronto for work when you sent me the Alpha Best Test, I am so mad I missed owning noobs :(.

  • realcrazy11 09.23.11 at 22:29

    64 player is new world!! ang ang ang

  • BlackEngle7 09.23.11 at 06:49

    Hey I want to have more players online on consoles its more fun with more players on it or it will be like BFBC2 but just better picture please put more players on it :(

  • heribertico1 09.23.11 at 03:08

    please dice answer this question for me. please ! why is the 64 conquest multiplayer gameplay only for PC

  • Gurumakio 09.22.11 at 23:04

    Still wish Commander was going to be available.

  • 1anton123 09.22.11 at 14:31

    they forget dinosaur mode.. or maybe because dino mode isnt multiplayer but co-op they got it secret :)

  • bmwgmr7 09.22.11 at 10:55

    Crucial mistake not allowing players to use explosives to blow up M-COM stations. Shooting at it I can understand, but if an army soldier runs into a building and lays C4 all over an M-COM station, it WILL blow up. I hope there are still M-COM stations inside of buildings, that way you can plant C4 all around the building and collapse it on top of the station, blowing it up.

  • 1anton123 09.22.11 at 06:34

    yeah.. they said rush would have no jets but only conquest but here in the text it says and of course jets..

  • vincent23569 09.22.11 at 00:41

    i wonder if you can have private match with just 2 people in it

  • 638917 09.21.11 at 15:52

    cant wait if your getting the game on xbo 360 battlefield 3 ten add me gamertag xbox live: soldierlyDAVEZ

  • Detachment88 09.21.11 at 14:22

    Conquest (also in fans’ hearts) will forever be in Battlefield indeed.

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