One of the most anticipated games of the year has to have been Battlefield 4 on PC and next-gen consoles. Whether you played a Battlefield game before or not, the chances are that you at least had your eye on this game. If you're new to the series or even new to the genre, this guide should up your game at least a little bit. You won't be great or even good at Battlefield overnight, but a few relatively simple changes will help you step up your game. Here's a list (in no particular order) of things you can do:
1.) Spot enemies: I said this list is in a random order, but I think this is the most basic and important thing you can do to help you and your team out. This includes spotting enemies on the ground, and especially those in vehicles (air vehicles, most specifically). When a team mate is in a jet and there's a bad guy up there with him, and he can't see him, there's nothing that feels more hopeless as a pilot. It's also crucial that you spot those who are in tanks, because you don't want to have, for instance, a group of four guys in a Jeep haul into the objective on Rush just to get taken out by a single tank shell. Spotting is probably easiest to do with a sniper, as the scope can see more of the map. A quick note, the back/select button was used to spot enemies in Battlefield 3, but DICE has changed that to the RB/R1 button. It took some getting used to, but it makes a lot more sense, and keeps your left thumb on the stick.
2.) Learn the maps: This is probably another common sense sort of thing. To get around a map effectively, you need to learn every area of the map, including its choke points. Most maps have very obvious/popular locations where people love to camp (usually with a sniper). If you get a good idea of where all of these places are, you can help your team out just by going there and spotting enemies -- even if you ultimately die.
3.) Leave the vehicles to the pros: This sounds really dickish, but now that DICE has implemented a training mode (I forget exactly what it's called) for people to learn how to arch shots from a tank and shoot fake enemies from a helicopter or a jet, the vehicles really should be used only by skilled teammates, assuming you want to win the game. A lot of people dislike when others use a jet as a transport vehicle to get to an objective, but I don't have a problem with that at all, since you're still helping out your team... AND the jets respawn rather quickly anyway. But, don't hop into a helicopter with a group of teammates and just crash fifteen seconds after you're off the ground.
4.) Have variety in your squad: Basically, have one of each class, and a duplicate of one (if you have a five man squad). I recommend this mostly on maps where there are vehicles. This is also important to do so that you can have a repair man (Engineer), a medic (Assault), ammo supplier (Support), and spawn beacon guy-er (Recon). The only time you don't really need squad variety is when you're playing on Operation Locker (or any future map without vehicles). In that case, if you're playing as the attacking team, it'd probably be in your team's best interest to have everybody play as Assault so you can constantly revive your teammates and give them health. Having a single squad mate play as Recon so you can have a spawn beacon isn't a bad idea either.
5.) Use team work: This pretty much goes hand-in-hand with number four. If you're playing alone, this may be a lot harder to accomplish -- especially if you're playing without a headset. Any Battlefield player knows how ridiculous it is, for instance, to be empty on ammo, and having a teammate who won't acknowledge the fact that you desperately need it. Team work is also important in having that squad variety I was just talking about. Without a headset, the only way to have variety is just by changing your own class. If you have a squad full of snipers who won't change what their doing, it's up to you. On the plus side, you could always switch squads, and hopefully find one that knows what they're doing. Using team work includes pretty much everything I've mentioned: Spotting enemies, not being wasteful with vehicles, etc.
6.) Change your button layout: I don't know about you, but I was instantly stressed by Battlefield 4's new control scheme, but destressed just as quickly when I learned it could be changed. The main annoyance I had was with the vehicles (I changed it to Veteran mode), but that recommendation is really about personal preference. One that I do think should be changed, and it'll help you in the long run, are the Soldier Sticks. Change them so your right stick is for crouching/proning, and B/O is for knifing. While this won't let you panic knife any more, the benefit of being able to more quickly prone is higher. It will take a few hours of playing the game to get used to, and you'll make a lot of dumb mistakes during that time, but it'll become second nature and you'll more than likely be happy with the control scheme.
7.) Play different game modes: This is mostly recommended for people who play a game mode like Team Deathmatch... when you're playing TDM, you're really missing out on the Battlefield experience. While it can be fun in short bursts, your Battlefield IQ won't go up very high if it's all you play. Getting an idea of what route to take on the water to plant a bomb in Obliteration on Paracel storm, or learning a good "camping spot" to post up and defend an objective on Rush can't be experienced in a single game mode. To learn maps better (different areas of them) and find out how to effectively attack and defend on certain maps, you need to switch it up!
Like the following comment or not, Battlefield is a more cerebral game than your typical shooter (Ahem, Call of Duty). Unlike that game, you need to have significant amounts of team work, and you can't do everything yourself to stay alive. Since Battlefield requires more thought, it is more difficult and can be quite frustrating at times. Once you learn some of the basics of improving your skills, you'll find the game to be even more fun than you could possibly imagine.