The Road to Battlefield 4: Field Upgrades Revisited

We are very happy to see the amount of engagement our blog post ”The Road to Battlefield 4: Tweaked to the Core” created.

As you may already have seen, there’s much chatter around the Internet, and we’ve seen fans wanting to hear more about how especially some of the Field Upgrades work. So, we asked Alan Kertz, our Core Gameplay Designer, to explain the Armor, Reduced Fall, Stealth and Quick Unspot Field Upgrades in more detail. You can find his answers below.

Unlike previous versions of Body Armor in Bad Company, this Field Upgrade in Battlefield 4 is more similar to the more limited setups in BF2 and BF2142. It does not increase your overall health, instead it makes the small upper chest hit box more resilient to damage, equal to the rest of the body. In practice, this means that snipers can’t 1HK your upper chest at point blank ranges. It also provides some small protection from shotgun burst damage, though your head, legs, arms, and stomach remain unprotected. At medium and longer ranges, the armor has no effect on how many bullets it takes to kill a player. Essentially, Body Armor is for countering CQB sniper rifles, and not much else.

Reduced Fall
Small falls will not cause damage, however, the lethal fall distance remains the same. For example, without Reduced Fall jumping from the 2nd story of a building would cause 25 damage, and jumping from the 3rd story might cause 50 damage. With Reduced Fall the damage from the 2nd floor jump is eliminated, but jumping from the 3rd story will still cause 50 damage.

Stealth and Quick Unspot
These are both minor adjustments to the spotting system. Players are spotted for about 7 seconds by default, the Quick Unspot reduces this to 5 seconds. It’s important to note it doesn’t otherwise change any spotting behavior, for example if you track a spotted player he will stay spotted even with Quick Unspot equipped. Stealth simply adjusts the speed threshold for detection in Motion Sensors. A basic player can avoid being spotted by a Motion Sensor if they crouch or prone while moving. Stealth allows you to move at normal speed, however all players will be spotted by Motion Sensors at Sprint speed. Stealth is only available to the Recon kit, and must be earned through squad play. Both of these are good tools to play in a stealthier manner, but they hardly make a player invisible.

Stay tuned for more in-depth gameplay details as we walk The Road to Battlefield 4.

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  • NationalSalmon3 10.20.13 at 06:08

    DICE you need to take in consideration that some of the field upgrades give no benefit to hardcore no-map players and make a different progression for this mode. If you don’t you basically are wasting a spot in the progression. Cough cough Stealth and Quick Unspot

    Armor- Why would you make the armor less effective to a long range sniper. The logic you are using does not make sense. Why would I want more protection from a sniper rifle up close when chances are the snipers in the game are going to be at a distance?

    Reduced Fall- I am so glad this was added (I would always make jokes when I died saying I should have equipped squad ankles lol smh), I cant tell you how many times though that I have died playing hardcore from a 2inch drop no its not a typo 2 inches! That is my most hated peeve in BF3 and you never fixed it. I mean damn I have to have at least 1000 deaths just from falling 2 feet and its so damn annoying. I really hope you fixed this glitch in BF4.

    • Paradox310 10.26.13 at 23:20

      Gee, atleast on consoles, dieing from a 2″ fall has never happened to me, really. I’ve personally seen ( in real life) a perfectly healthy human being (wearing absolutely no gear) step down off a 4″ curb and brutally shatter their ankle so, what makes you so special? You should be ashamed, as any true fan of the franchise would embrace the fact that there is such great attention to detail.
      ‘Reduced Fall Damage’ does nothing but an injustice to those that actually care to take the time to use stairs. The Shadow, Sprint, and Reduced Fall specializations are the worst, half-cocked ideas to ever come out of Sweden…

  • KuzuRanger 09.22.13 at 04:09

    Listen. I love the idea behind how Field Upgrades work; team cooperation unlocks more upgrades. But the way they were represented in the Alpha and explained in LevelCap’s video is not optimal. We are in fact not capable of tailoring the upgrades to how we want them. Each class can choose from 2 paths which in essence determine which gadgets you must choose or else completely waste the upgrades. Or choose the 3 general paths which again do not let you mix and match to your preferences. I thought this was meant to give us more options but what is does in fact is limits how we can play based on those choices.

    For example if I wanted to be Support with ammo boxes and mortar, I would probably choose Indirect Fire path. Ammo box, Ammo 50%+, Launcher ammo and Vehicle repair. OK well that is already assuming I want a Starburst or launcher.. but what if I don’t? I have no way to pick another upgrade. What if I don’t play on playing in vehicles? Then that’s another upgrade gone to waste. These choices are not related to how we want to play the game.

    I sincerely hope for the retail version of the game that these choices are not tied down to pre-determined paths. Or if so, allow some additional customization WITHIN those paths so we don’t have to either A) waste upgrades or B)stick to the same suggested gadgets in order to take advantage of the upgrades.

  • xNightmar3s 09.05.13 at 18:03

    The upgrade path “shadow seems nice, but to op for universal, it will most likely be the most used if it comes out as it is.

  • THINK-_-GREEN 08.20.13 at 23:09

    I think the hunter loadout is the most “teamplay” one, and wouldn’t it be better to make the specializations into categories from level 1 to level 4 and allow you to “customize your path” but with some restrictions, for example, level 1 could include simple upgrades like sprint, ammo, grenades, ect, while level 4 could host some of the more desired ones such as advance spot, stealth, quick unspot, ect

  • Pavanjit_1 08.20.13 at 18:01

    dice i love your new map for bf4 paracel storm cant wait

  • FusionWhite01 08.20.13 at 00:40

    These upgrades are so situational as to be almost useless. Armor applies to a small number of weapons, at only a certain range and is good for “not much else”. Wow, that sounds virtually worthless. The same with stealth. Its an upgrade for one class, that sort of counters one ability that the same class has. I dont understand the design decision to make upgrades so specific as to provide advantages only in relatively rare situations.

    Is anyone going to change their playstyle by having these upgrades? Somehow I doubt it. And isnt picking upgrades to play your own unique way the goal of customization.

  • tG_ChinaRep 08.19.13 at 21:25

    so they say for armour it reduces the damage multiplier to the same as the rest of the body. does that mean the damage multiplier to the upper chest is now for all guns or will this only have any impact if you’re using a bolt action sniper, shotgun with slugs, or magnum/rex?

  • AN AXE WOUND 08.19.13 at 16:33

    Thanks for clearing up the info on field upgrades. One thing I don’t get though that involves class balance, is why the support class gets C4 again. I’m sorry but it’s just a move I don’t agree with, especially since Battlefield has always revolved around team work. I think that if you guys kept C4 restricted to the recon class it would be much better, not only would it be possible to turn the class into a more aggressive role with the addition of carbines as all kit guns (more akin to the spec ops class from BF2) along side DMRs and shotguns but it would also push the team work aspect of the game more. If it was just recon that got C4 that class would probably have to use their C4 more sparingly considering they’d have to look for a support guy to refill their C4. With the support class getting C4 again it might turn into BF3 again, where support players just constantly camp on the more CQB maps and chuck C4 on choke points. Not only that but it’s kind of annoying when support players constantly sit on ammo bags and load a m-com with C4 waiting for people to disarm/arm it and you have no way of destroying it cause you’re out of grenades/rockets/explosives. Anyways, sorry for the long rant just wanted to put that out there (hopefully someone reads it) and I’m definitely still looking forward to BF4. Can’t wait to play it on next-gen, and keep up the good work on making hectic and awesome games.

    • NinjaQuick 08.19.13 at 22:40

      Solution: Stop playing modes that aren’t Battlefield.

      Play Conquest. DICE makes Conquest the core of their balance efforts, so if you don’t like it don’t play it. Simple as that.

      • AN AXE WOUND 08.20.13 at 02:05

        Except that I do play Conquest, it’s actually my most played game type. I’m sorry if I want a little bit of variety every once in a while. I also don’t see why I shouldn’t play one game type because I don’t like the way people play a particular class. C4 wasn’t an issue in Bad Company because snipers couldn’t just spam them over and over. Besides, who are you to tell me what to do? I paid for the damn game, I’ll do as I please with it.

    • CrimsonVolver 08.19.13 at 22:46

      I agree, c4 should not be in two classes; one or the other. Conversely I have suggested that sniper class have a trip wire set up with flash bang or concussion grenades. In other words, something that is still within idea of steslth, as snipers like to be hidden, and c4 would expose them more. Trip wire with concussion would alert the player, who could if successful, move in to the stunned player and assassinate them quietly. Just a thought.

    • TargetRaider 08.20.13 at 14:57

      You have a point in this, i also think c4 should be in one class. but if the recon class would have c4 the support class would get way too weak. if that would be the case than what i mean is despite that all classes can shoot the assault can heal and revive, the engineer can destroy and repair armor, the recon can spot soldiers and armor, put claymores and destroy tanks and other things with c4. the support would just have the option to place ammo and give suppressive fire, which would not be very aggressive anymore. Ok the support is getting the xm25 but i am not sure if that could replace the c4 feature and i am not sure as well if i am so happy with the decision because i am not that a fan of grenade launchers but i am definitely going to use it on support because it’s my main class :)
      if the support would not get c4 then it should get another feature to get it back in the game

  • Cogneter 08.19.13 at 11:36

    The way you describe it, the Armor specialization seems to have a very limited use. I don’t think you should be adding a speed reduction as well, otherwise I can see players avoiding the career paths which include Armor (I know I would).

    This still leaves the issue with two classes having access to C4 and Claymores though.

  • II_OZWolf117_II 08.19.13 at 06:50

    Nice explanations DICE. All sounds reasonable. Only thing is – I too am still concerned about two classes with C4. I thought giving C4 back to Recon was a clever move to give Recon another option other than camping and got the support class back to the role they were supposed to be doing. Can’t see why support needs it again as well…

  • WandererBR 08.19.13 at 06:03

    I was kind of worried, but I guess I can live with that.
    Now we just have to make C4/Claymores exclusives to one class again or rebrand the franchise C4Field.

    • Jah_Warriah 08.19.13 at 06:52

      sniper has the c4

    • Erebus_Rox 08.19.13 at 11:11

      Yeah… now Recons can place their radio beacon, spawn front it and make a nice C4 rain before landing at the crane, antenna, etc.

  • H1LLSV3GAS 08.19.13 at 00:12

    This sounds really good. I was a tiny bit worried, but this clears things up. Battlefield 4 will be great. I have no doubts that DICE will pull through.

    • Zencowboy007 08.19.13 at 03:26

      Yep, thanks DICE for the communication and clairity:-) Looking Highly forward to another great game!

  • kaylord 08.18.13 at 23:50

    Thanks dice

  • Hulk4D 08.18.13 at 23:44

    Thank you for clearing up. Sounds awesome.

  • Purnello9 08.18.13 at 23:21

    PLEASE don’t go overboard tweaking the weapons like u did with the mortar in WAR for crying out loud, no such thing as a weapon being overpowered!!..they need to stop crying and pull their panties up..

  • ZeroSigma 08.18.13 at 22:20

    I can understand that the armor will help for short range high calibre rounds but what about long range “mid-low” calibre like assault rifles, smgs and pistols, if you ware armor it would make sense that at long range it will absorb damage as the bullet has lost some of its punch. This will make it an excellent option for people on open engagement to prevent them from being easily picked of at a distance by ARs and SMGs but still leave them open to sniper fire.

  • schnags 08.18.13 at 21:56

    OK I was skeptical about the quick unspot and reduced fall. thanks for the explanmatin

  • countryboy1880 08.18.13 at 21:29

    I think the transport helicopters should have mini guns for the driver to use. Because if you flying alone you don’t have any type of defense

    • BagFullOfSharts 08.18.13 at 21:37

      That’s the point. It’s for transporting troops, not to taxi you to some sniping spot or to take one man joyrides in.

    • Zencowboy007 08.19.13 at 03:29


  • Theseuskhan 08.18.13 at 21:12

    Just have one game mode : Hardcore . Put HP at 100% but keep every HC element the same. BF would go back to being a high skill game where players don’t just shoot at pink Doritos. – that aside nyway,

    Jet’s and other air vehicles shld only be able to spot vechiles with 3d. The main problem foot soilders have with jets is shoot a pink doritoe player with a massive bullet is not hard.

    Nyway always HC i know, that epic game mode of glorias triumph. Cannot wait for game nyway

  • almostrodney 08.18.13 at 20:57

    THIS is the reason I’m getting battlefield 4 instead of cod ghosts.

  • Denoxster 08.18.13 at 20:43

    What about spawn on team leader only? This feature is the worst than anything else.

  • IITHEPATRIOTII 08.18.13 at 19:17

    Awesome stuff DICE, now I feel better about the Armor Spec.

    • [DICE] H Brun 08.18.13 at 20:47

      Thanks! Let us know if you have more questions for us.

  • SkyyJuice 08.18.13 at 19:16

    Forget this dino CoD based thing and lets put our energy into a more constructive and technical game for much better gameplay, do i hear a hoorah trooper !

  • Skyed 08.18.13 at 17:29

    So I hear dino mode will come with DLC?

    • TacoSRY 08.18.13 at 17:47

      Dear god! Shut the hell up with this dino crap. Are you 12 or something?

      • FlyingNinja69 08.19.13 at 01:11


    • PonyForever 08.18.13 at 21:05

      Interesting, where did you hear that?

  • Bush_Killa-73 08.18.13 at 16:59

    Is 7 seconds to 5 enough to even make it worthwhile for quick un-spot?

    Otherwise good stuff all round & thanks for the clarification.

  • Lt_BAD-DOG 08.18.13 at 16:34

    Phew, thankfully BODY ARMOR probably wont be overused.

  • busewils 08.18.13 at 15:25


  • killar7v2 08.18.13 at 15:23


    • Kaappi_Jugent 08.18.13 at 15:39

      please you dino fans, there is games like dino d-day etc for you guys so perhaps you just STFU AND LET GAME CREATORS CREATE A GOOD GAME