Tanks have always been a problem in the Battlefield series, but the old armored vehicles of WW1 present their own unique challenges. Slower than usual, these lumbering weapons of war are especially tough to take down. Due to the lack of anti-tank weaponry of the time, you’ll mostly have to rely on mines, grenade bundles, and bombs instead of the usual rocket launchers — though there is one limited rocket gun.
This time around, tanks can “heal” like soldiers, making on-the-fly repairs while fighting. You’ll have to hammer tanks especially hard in Battlefield 1 — defeating a landship isn’t going to be easy solo, so we’ve put together our top 10 tips to help you deal with tanks in the Great War.
More Battlefield 1 collectibles, secrets, and extra info:
- Battlefield 1: Complete Achievements / Trophies Guide
- Battlefield 1: How to Get the Cavalry Kit | Map Location Guide
- Battlefield 1: Elite Classes & Kit Locations Guide
- Battlefield 1: How to Improve PC Performance | FPS Stuttering Fixes
- Battlefield 1 Weapons | Full List
- Battlefield 1 Vehicles | Full List
- Battlefield 1 Maps | Full List
- Battlefield 1 Classes | Full List
Anti-Tank Strategy Guide
There are three types of tanks in Battlefield 1; the light tank, the heavy tank, and the landship. Each are heavily armored (regular bullets just bounce right off) and come with a variety of gadgets or variants.
No matter what type of tank you’re dealing with, these tips should help you prepare against (and maybe even destroy) one of theses steel beasts.
#1: Assaults are Anti-Tank Infantry
The Assault infantry class comes standard with all the basic AT gear you’ll need to overwhelm tanks. One Assault class usually isn’t enough to handle a tank, especially if it’s a heavy or landship, but their compliment of gadgets can cripple, or completely wreck a tank. If there’s two or three Assaults attacking at once — even better.
- Dynamite: The first AT weapon available to an Assault. Very short range. If you must use this, use it only if a tank hasn’t yet noticed you.
- Anti-Tank Grenade: A large grenade bundle that’s a basic tool for any Assault. Throw it over buildings or walls to hurt / disable tanks.
- Anti-Tank Mine: A very powerful weapon against tanks, but tricky to use in very large, open maps. This particular gadget is especially useful for ambushes — a properly placed mine can ruin the tracks of a tank, disabling its movement and turning large tanks into sitting ducks.
- AT Rocket Gun: This specialized weapon is a primitive version of the rocket launcher. Not as powerful as mines or grenade, but with a much greater range. This gun can be fired only when you’re prone, or if mounted in a window or on a low wall.
The AT Rocket Gun is your best basic weapon for AT tactics. Once you unlock it, try to keep one in your inventory. It’s powerful, accurate, and can be fired from a safe range. It takes some prep time to fire, but the added range (and ambush capabilities) make it a safe bet for any regular Assault player.
#2: Never Attack Alone
Unless you’re dealing with a light tank, it isn’t worth it to attack a tank alone. Both the heavy and landship tanks can repair themselves automatically. Wait until you have another class to back you up — simply attacking from multiple angles, with multiple players, will greatly increase your chances of success.
- Even if you’re not working with another Assault, other classes can chip in. Regular grenades can still harm tanks, and other specialty classes like the Cavalry come equipped standard with AT grenades.
Using AT Rocket Guns from afar is a good way to ambush a tank straight away, before teammates with AT Grenades or other weapons can move in for the kill. There’s a reason why this tactic works — a new feature of Battlefield 1 is localized damage.
#3: Disable the Tracks / Guns First
One benefit of AT Rocket Guns is that you can accurately target the cannons / gun mounts on a tank. Tanks typically have extra seats for allied players to use, giving them extra capability and lots of coverage. The more parts of a tank you destroy, the better you’ll be able to finish them off.
- That’s where AT mines come into play. One or two properly placed AT mines can put a tank at a huge disadvantage, but placing them where a tank won’t see can be tricky.
When planning an ambush, focus on the treads / guns first. If you can remove some of the threat, allies can more easily swoop in with AT grenades or AT mines to finish an annoying tank off for good.
#4: The Hotfoot AT Mine Strategy
Tanks, with their limited visibility, often develop tunnel-vision when they’re in combat. Players can only focus on so much, and even a minor distraction can give your allies an opening to hotfoot an enemy tank.
- When a friend / ally shoots at an enemy tank, move in for the kill. Drop an AT Mine behind / in front of the tank so that they’ll drive right over it the moment they move.
- Even shooting at a tank with a regular gun, or throwing a basic grenade will often get a tank’s attention. They’ll look for an easy kill — meanwhile, an ally can drop a deadly surprise right next to a stationary tank.
This can work just as well in an ambush. Wait for a tank to drive through a narrow passage and drop the AT mine behind — during an ambush, tanks will often retreat the way they came, thinking the area is clear.
#5: Sustain the Attack
As mentioned above, tanks can self-repair. That isn’t the only trick they have up their sleeve — some tanks can launch chemical gas attacks, or pop smoke to block vision. Most of these strategies will only help tanks escape from other tanks — a swarm of Assaults can easily pierce a veil of smoke, after all.
- All of these abilities are designed to help tanks escape so they can self-repair. That’s why it’s futile to harass a tank over long periods of time — they’ll always recover, and you’ll never do enough damage solo.
Always push the attack, and be prepared with more than one friend when dealing with tanks. Remember, Assaults (and other tanks) aren’t the only classes that can help.
#6: Alternative AT Classes
Pilots and tankers can go toe-to-toe with tanks using their array of cannons / bombs, but there are infantry classes with gadgets that can help dismantle a tough tank.
- Scout: The Scout class can use a gadget called “K Bullets” — a special ammunition that pierces armor. While not as powerful as other AT weaponry, it can help disable tank guns / treads.
- Cavalry: This special class comes standard with AT Grenades. With their horse, they can swiftly close the gap with a tank and pelt the armored monstrosity with explosives. It can be dangerous, but if you see someone riding horseback, you can know they’re armed and ready.
- Tank Hunter: The Elite Class kit is located on every map, and will equip the lucky soldier with a powerful Tankgewehr M1918. The AT Rifle is the longest-range anti-vehicle rifle carried by infantry, and makes a great weapon to continuously harass a tank from far away. Perfect for disabling tanks, or totally destroying light tanks.
- Support: The Support Class’ Limpet Mines are a sticky solution to the tank problem. Limpet Mines stick to surfaces, making them much more useful than dynamite when dealing with tanks, but just as short range.
Infantry are equipped with more methods than ever when it comes to dealing with tanks, and using the defensive positions built into every map can make your job much easier.
#7: Use Stationary Weapons & Trenches
Machine gun turrets and mortars can chip away at a heavy tank’s total health, or completely destroy a light tank. These natural tools are available for both teams, and the extra firepower means even classes without AT kits can help in a tank battle. Even a little aid can make all the difference.
Trenches can also help box-in many types of tank. The Landship is the only tank type that can naturally cross trench lines — light or heavy tanks can get trapped easily. Ducking into a trench can lead tanks into a dead-end scenario, and a trapped tank is a useless tank.
#8: Coordinate with Tankers
Infantry are capable of handling tanks, but tanks can really get the job done. Certain tank variants can demolish enemy vehicles with ease, and using these class bonuses makes life on the ground so much easier. Here are the best AT vehicle variants.
- Heavy Breakthrough A7V: Instead of wall-to-wall MGs or Flamethrowers, this heavy tank features 20mm auto-cannons (x2) to make mincemeat out of enemy vehicles.
- Tank Hunter Landship: All three guns, used in conjunction, can wreck any other tank — if you can properly orient. The Tank Hunter is equipped with the powerful 13.2 Tankgewehr M1918 for long-range hunting, and two cannons for two passengers.
The light tank’s one bonus is its faster land speed and the 180 degree turret, giving it added functionality solo. Still, all of these tanks require extra teammates to man the passenger guns, or infantry on the ground to distract or help disable enemy vehicles.
#9: Coordinate with Pilots, Too
Tankers aren’t the only glamorous vehicle-operators in the war zone. Some planes are kitted-out to destroy tanks. Working together with a pilot isn’t so easy — you’ll need an organized squad and lots of communication, but bombers (and other types of biplane) can completely own the battlefield under the right circumstances.
- Barrage Bomber: Although slow, the Bomber class of biplane can do just what the name implies — drop a barrage of bombs that will put some major hurt on tanks or behemoths. The HE bombs are especially powerful at knocking out armored vehicles.
- Tank Hunter Attack Plane: Another plane armed with bombs, but equipped to deal with tanks using the nose-mounted 57mm cannon. This tank hunter can disable or destroy tanks by peppering the area with shells, each in a 5-round magazine before requiring a reload.
These planes are vulnerable to AA trucks or fighters, but don’t have much to worry about when it comes to tank. Their speed and maneuverability makes planes both a useful tool, and a hindrance in the wrong hands. If you’ve got a skilled pilot, hold onto them and never let them go.
#10: If All Else Fails, Use the Behemoth
The unstoppable Behemoths of Battlefield 1 are the last ditch effort your team needs to narrowly avoid defeat — or just get some revenge on the enemy.
If you have access to a Behemoth, use it to dismantle, destroy, and completely demolish every last tank on the map. Nothing can compare to the destructive power of the Behemoth, and they come in three distinct flavors.
- Armored Train: The Armored Train is a ponderous vehicle locked onto a pre-determined path, but mounted with multiple AT guns. Focus on the 57 mm cannon (Seat 2), and the 20 mm autocannon (Seat 6) to destroy land-based vehicles.
- Airship L30: Even stronger than the Armored Train, this massive flying machine gets a good view of the warzone where it can rain down bombs and shells. The Bomb Salvo (Seat 1) can only destroy what’s directly beneath the Zeppelin, but the three 20mm autocannons (Seats 2, 3, 5) can crush vehicles below with enough focused firepower.
- Dreadnaught: Usually stationed far away from combat, you’ll use powerful artillery guns to drop shells onto the enemy. With only four seats, the first two (Seats 1, 2) are reserved for the main artillery cannons. Each can fire four explosive shells, and there’s nothing else that can compare in terms of power.
That’s everything we’ve got from our beta and early-access experiences. Got your own tank-hunting tricks? Let us know in the comments section, we’re always looking for new strategies.