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I can't quite get the hang of this. I've been in a few maps where a pro was just demolishing everything like this. I'm asking for specific instructions with an xbox 360 controller.

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+1 I've come to the conclusion that I must lack the part of the brain responsible for piloting helicopters in Battlefield games. Any of them. –  ZoogieZork Jul 19 '10 at 17:43
    
It's really easy to do with a joystick, and that's why you don't try to play flight sims, first person shooters or real-time strategies on a console, because console controllers suck compared to a mouse, keyboard and joystick for these sorts of games. –  Neil Jul 19 '10 at 18:22
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@Neil: That's beside the point. The fact is that it apparently is pretty easy for some to do on xbox. It sucks to end up on a map where your base is just getting kerplowned by someone who is quite good at it. I want a piece of this action. –  hobodave Jul 19 '10 at 18:31
    
It may pay to include console controller/xbox reference in the name to avoid PC-related answers. –  Dmitry Selitskiy Jul 22 '10 at 1:08
    
@Dmitry S Tagged xbox-360. –  Präriewolf Jul 28 '10 at 14:45

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

To circle strafe with a helicopter in any game you have to understand some things about helicopter controls.

There are three main controls, the cyclic, the collective, and the pedals.

  • The cyclic tilts the helicopter to the right, left, forward, and backward. (Like leaning in a direction.)
  • The collective makes the helicopter go up and down. (Like climbing or squatting)
  • The pedals rotate\turn the helicopter to the right or left. (like turning your head)

To circle strafe (or orbit while facing the target) you will need to tilt the helicopter to the right with the cyclic, while using the pedals to keep the helicopter pointed at what your circling.

To orbit to the right you would tilt the cyclic right, while turning the pedals left. In human terms, you walk leaning to the right(cyclic), and then keep your torso turned to toward what you are circling (pedals).

I'll try to translate to controller controls later.

Update for Comments: If the bird just spins like a top and falls to the ground then you are using to much pedal, and need to tap it less often. More likely you are loosing altitude as you strafe pointing at the target. This is normal helicopter behavior; I'll explain.

When a helicopter tilts in a direction, some of the force used to lift the helicopter is taken away to be used to shift the helicopter. This means you also have to increase the collective, or make the helicopter go slightly up while you execute the maneuver.

In most games there is a balance point of strafe and lift. This means you tilt(cyclic) the bird enough that full throttle (collective) keeps you at the same altitude. After that it's just a matter of rotating the bird (pedals) to keep it pointed where you want it.

Sorry, I haven't been able to translate to xbox controls yet.

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I've tried it as you described and it just spirals into the ground. –  hobodave Jul 21 '10 at 2:16
    
Does it circle into the ground pointing at the target, or just spin in circles into the ground? –  Präriewolf Jul 21 '10 at 12:25

The chopper right/left movement controls are relative to the direction you're facing. So the simplest way to circle-strafe with it is to keep tapping one of the controls lightly while you rotate your view slightly to keep the desired target locked.

So, for example, if you want to strafe counter-clockwise around something, center it in your targeting reticule. Then tap the key to strafe right ('D' by default) while using the mouse to keep the target in the reticule. Keep repeating those little adjustments and you'll circle around the target.

I confess I'm not very good at it, but that is how it's done.

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Not at all what I'm looking for. The tags as well as the body indicate xbox-360 controller. I understand the concept behind strafing. Your answer is generic and not very helpful. –  hobodave Jul 20 '10 at 19:21
    
Now that I re-read your question more closely I see that you're right. I guess I read only the title and didn't catch the details. Sorry about that. –  Phileosophos Jul 23 '10 at 18:06

This video seems to have some good tips, and shows the controller actions and results on screen. It's PS3, but hopefully the controls are pretty similar, since it's mostly stick action.

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