I've recently unlocked the Mortar for the Support kit which I've been wanting to get my hands on to take out pesky snipers. I've managed to get a couple of kills before someone hunts me down and shoots me in the back or I get killed by an enemy mortar. I also have difficulty hitting moving people as the shell takes around 8-12 seconds to impact the ground. I use it extensively in Rush around the MCOMs - both attacking and defending - by firing in the general area of the MCOM and I end up with a couple of kills or kill assists.

It it a good idea to stay in one spot, or fire a couple of shells, move, fire a couple more, move again, etc?

How do I switch between smoke/explosive shells? Or is it an unlock for the mortar?

Is there any point in using it against heavy vehicles (i.e. Tanks, AA, etc?) or should I just use it against infantry and for taking out enemy explosive?

3 Answers 3


General stuff

The biggest disadvantage with mortars is that you show up on the enemy map as soon as you fire a shot. put it up, even before you fire your first shot.

Assuming the enemy team doesn't have mortars, you can fire a few shots before they hunt you down. But as soon as one of them also switches to mortar it is dangerous to fire more than 2 shots, sometimes even one is the maximum before they counter-mortar you.

Also, if you shot, move, shot, move, and so on, they will be more alert and just wait for you to put up your mortar somewhere. If you do something else in the meantime and set up a mortar after a break of a minute or so, you may be able to fire a few more shots before they are on to you again.


You switch between normal shells and smoke using 1 and 2 on PC and Left and Right on dpad. Smoke doesn't need to be unlocked.


You should only use the mortar against vehicles if they are not moving, or only moving in a confined space. For example, on Rush maps when they are defending/attacking an MCOM and only move back and forth a few meters, mortars can be useful.

Take on for the team

If you are a team player and don't care about dying often, spamming the MCOM with a mortar can decide over win or lose, so this is really one of the good uses for the mortar. You don't lose points when dying, but the smoke you deploy on the MCOM or the enemies you kill that are defusing or arming it can make a difference.

  • eep. I didn't realise you show up as soon as you put the mortar down, I was under the impression it was only when you fire a shot.
    – tombull89
    Apr 15, 2013 at 10:29
  • 1
    You only show up when you fire. You only show up on the map if you are spotted by a player, mav or soflam etc.
    – user28015
    Apr 15, 2013 at 11:23
  • @user28015 Thanks for the correction, either they changed it, or I've been mistaken the whole time. But good to know, I've changed the answer
    – Sentry
    Apr 15, 2013 at 12:34
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    I bought BF3 like 4 weeks ago and I only see enemy mortar on the map when it fires unless spotted. So thanks for editing.
    – user28015
    Apr 15, 2013 at 12:35

The mortar is most effective against:

  • enemy mortar campers (it's the only one in this list which actually gives you guaranteed kill)
  • camping snipers
  • camping vehicles (it's hard to hit moving ones)
  • cleaning up explosives

Overall, mortar is overrated and has been nerfed by reducing rate of fire significantly (reload time went up from 3.5s to 4.8s with 1.04 patch). Because of the increased delay you need to fire each consecutive round, if you want to say alive, you have to setup, quickly fire one shell, and move. Otherwise someone on opposing team will just counter-mortar you.

Is there any point in using it against heavy vehicles

Yes, you only need 2-3 direct hits to disable them. You rarely will get any kills though, as you can't fire consecutive rounds fast enough, so by the time you'll get next one out, it's either moved, repaired or abandoned.

  • also, you'll have an easier time using it on rush since the flanking options are more limited than the other game modes. Apr 15, 2013 at 12:55
  • @HugoTrudel: Since patch that came out in April 2012, you cannot deploy mortar in your own base. In other words, you can only deploy mortars in zones, where enemy can flank you.
    – vartec
    Apr 15, 2013 at 13:23
  • i know, that's why I said more limited. On most rush map, 15 out of 16 opponent players will be in front of you with the 1 trying to flank. Compared to CTF, Conquest, Conquest Assault and TDM, rush has way less opening for flanks. Apr 16, 2013 at 12:33

Silent mortar, use As val with silencer as your primary weapon, you then do not show up on enemy mini map, some servers don't allow it some do, it's handy when you're team is under pressure from snipers, but once you hear an enemy mav, move.

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