Battlefield 1942 FAQ

This is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page for this (now free!) game, for hitting the main problems people first have in playing. Write me at [email protected] if you have additions and corrections. If for some reason you want the original FAQ from 2004, it's here.

If you just got the game, here's the one-minute guide to getting going: Get a joystick and set it up if you want to fly. Find a multiplayer game to play - the single-player game is maybe useful for getting used to controls, but is otherwise Not Fun.

Controls: left-click the mouse to fire, right-click to zoom the view or use alternate ability. WASD moves, R reloads, Z goes prone, Ctrl crouches, E to enter/exit vehicles, 1-6 to change positions in a vehicle, 9 to open your parachute, hold down Up-Arrow to open the landing craft door, G to change kits with a dead guy, "Enter" to choose a new class or to change sides, N to change the zoom on the minimap, M for the map, Tab to see current scores, L for team chat, K for chat to everyone, and Escape to go to the main menu. You can remap most of these keys, of course, and I recommend remapping T for tooltips (i.e., help) so it doesn't get in your way. F1-F8 are the radio buttons which send messages to your team; each radio message is sent by pressing a sequence of two of these.

Manners: don't shoot at teammates, don't drive artillery away if someone is in the gunner's seat, don't drive a tank to get to a plane, and do respond to requests for a ride.

I have also made a page of popular links. Lots of those are dead, but my own links are awesome, of course:

There are a few things you should do, at a minimum, before playing for any amount of time:

  1. Change the language to English.
  2. Reassign the Tooltips key.
  3. Set yourself as a buddy so you can easily see who you kill.
  4. Start up the game without all the videos.
  5. If you have a joystick, set it up properly.

Get past the table of contents by clicking here - you won't regret it. See the original FAQ for some ancient troubleshooting advice.


1. - Game Setup
1.01 - How can I hear English?
1.02 - How can I stop the tooltips messing me up?
1.03 - How can I easily tell when I kill someone?
1.04 - How can I turn off the movies when the game starts up?
1.05 - Can I use a joystick to fly?

2. - Game Mechanics
2.01 - How do I use the game browser filters?
2.02 - How do I open the landing craft's door?
2.03 - How do I change positions when in a vehicle?
2.04 - Where are the submarines/the bombers?
2.05 - How do I use my parachute?
2.06 - How do I use artillery?
2.07 - How do I use a submarine?
2.08 - How do I change sides?
2.09 - What do the ratings mean at the end of a battle?
2.10 - Quick, what are the radio buttons?
2.11 - How do I vote to kick a player out of a game?
2.12 - Can I set up macros for keyboard commands?

3. - Tactics
3.01 - Why did I get run over?
3.02 - How do I hit anything with my gun?
3.03 - How do I harm a tank while I'm an infantryman?
3.04 - How do I hit something with my bombs?
3.05 - How do I hit something with an anti-aircraft gun?
3.06 - Are there maps of the battlefields that I can study?

4. - Miscellaneous
4.01 - How do I make a screenshot during a BF 1942 session?
4.02 - How do I make a movie of a BF 1942 session?
4.03 - How do I enter cheat codes and other game commands?
4.04 - How many frames per second am I running at?

5. - Glossary


1. - Game Setup After installing, here are some setup tips that will improve your life.

1.01 - How can I hear English? First, by default the language of the soldiers is German, Russian, Japanese, etc. - good luck with that. If you want to have a clue what's going on, use English. On the main startup page, select OPTIONS, then SOUND, then in the lower-right-hand corner of the sound dialog click the right-arrow to go to the second page. Click on the box next to ENGLISH DIALOG. Make sure to now click SAVE.

1.02 - How can I stop the tooltips messing me up? This ever happen? In the heat of battle you try to reload ("R") and hit "T" instead, then have to waste some time having to toggle the tool tips off again. Instead, you could just turn off this Tooltips feature entirely.

Go to OPTIONS, CONTROLS, select the COMMON tab (the default page), go to page 2 (click the arrow in the lower-right corner of this page), click on the "T" to the right of "TOGGLE TOOLTIP" (and don't move the mouse after that), then hit the "=" key. Make sure to then click SAVE.

1.03 - How can I easily tell when I kill someone? Best Buddy: You can add yourself to your buddy list to better see when you kill someone - your kills show up in green. You need to add yourself only once and it then works forever.

To do this you must actually be playing in a game. First, hold down Tab while playing. You'll see a number like "<17>" next to your name. Now type the following:

    ~ab 17
    ~
or whatever your number is. You should see the overlay console appear at the top of the screen when you hit "~". After typing this and hitting return, hit "~" again to close the console. Done!

1.04 - How can I turn off the movies when the game starts up? Do the following:

  1. Right-Click your BF1942 shortcut on your desktop and choose "Properties" from the menu.
  2. In the "Target" area (after "...bf1942.exe") add: +restart 1
When done, the line should look something like this:
Target:  "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942\BF1942.exe" +restart 1
You could also delete or rename the movies in the "Movies" subdirectory, but the method above is cleaner and easily reversible.

1.05 - Can I use a joystick to fly?

First, the game will only detect a joystick if it's configured with controller ID #1. In the Control Panel, Gaming Options, look at "Controller IDs".

To set up a joystick, in the game go to "Options | Controls" and find the Air command listing. Now click on the right-hand box next to "pitch up", for example, and move your joystick back; "pitch down" will automatically get set to the opposite. Do the same for roll, moving left and right; rudder, rotating the stick (if you have one that supports this); throttle, moving the throttle control in the correct direction; and, finally, set your fire and bomb buttons. After all this, the display should look something like this:

SPEED UP: JOYSTICK AXIS 3- 
SLOW DOWN / REVERSE SPEED: JOYSTICK AXIS 3+ 

RUDDER LEFT: JOYSTICK AXIS 2+ 
RUDDER RIGHT: JOYSTICK AXIS 2- 

PITCH UP: JOYSTICK AXIS 1- 
PITCH DOWN: JOYSTICK AXIS 1+ 

ROLL LEFT: JOYSTICK AXIS 0- 
ROLL RIGHT JOYSTICK AXIS 0+ 

FIRE: JOYSTICK 1 
ALT FIRE: JOYSTICK 3
Another useful thing to do is to set various views for the joystick's hat control (a mini-joystick above the fire button). Go to "Options | Controls | Common" and set (as you wish) such things as the Inside, Chase Rear, Chase Front, and Toggle Camera View (on page 2) alternate keys as hat controls. This is handy for practice and in the game, as you can then quickly switch views to see how your bombing run went. If you want to get rid of the alternate key for a command, select the key's box and then press the Escape key.

Finally, make sure to click on "Save".

Also, if you just bought the joystick, make sure to go to the Control Panel in Windows and calibrate it. If you're buying a joystick just to play this game, don't bother with a force-feedback or other high-end controller, a cheap one is good.

If you can't set up your joystick using "Options | Controls" you could try setting it up by modifying the Air.con file. The Air.con can be found at "\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 1942\Settings\Profiles\playername\Controls".

While we're on the topic, a little-known command while flying is "mouselook". By holding the left-shift key down, you can move the mouse (with your third hand) and look around while flying.

The single-player demo has bugs that won't allow some joystick bindings; buy the game.

2. - Game Mechanics

An excellent way to test and practice at just about everything is to create a local game with only you (or you and a friend) in it. You can then wander around and try things out. Also, check the Tactics Section for many sites with tips and explanations for new players.

2.01 - How do I use the game browser filters?

First, go to MULTIPLAYER and then INTERNET. Click UPDATE and wait a minute. You can then click on PING at the top of this column on the "INTERNET GAME" display on the left. You might have to click this twice; you want to see numbers going from smallest (e.g. 47) on up. This will show you games near you - a lower ping (the round-trip message speed in milliseconds) is better. Click on the box next to POPULATED ONLY under the "CUSTOM FILTER" heading on the right to find games with people in them.

If you want to get fancier, read on. Where it says "INTERNET GAME" on the left, look two lines down to where it says "FILTER". The empty boxes to the right are where you can type in conditions to see games and servers you want. For the "SERVER" box, if you fill in "EA" you'll then show only servers that start with "EA". Fill in "10" for "PLAYERS" and only games that have 10 or more players currently in them will be shown. Fill in "150" for "PING" and you'll get games with a ping of 150 or less. Fill in "CON" for "GAME TYPE" and you'll get only Conquest games.

What do all the icons mean to the left of each server? Click on the "?" in the upper right corner of the main "INTERNET GAME" window and you'll see what the various icons mean.

2.02 - How do I open the landing craft's door?

Up-arrow. Hold it down and you'll see it open. You need to be in the craft (type "E") and be the driver (type "1"). You can (and usually should; the door just protects you from gunfire) open the door before landing; the boat will not capsize if you do.

2.03 - How do I change positions when in a vehicle?

Enter the vehicle by facing it and pressing "E". Once you're inside, press the keys 1 through (up to) 6 to see the other locations you can occupy inside the vehicle (and remember this works for ships and planes, too). If someone is there first, you cannot take their position. That said, you can sometimes kick computer players out of the driver's seat by pressing 1 repeatedly when in the vehicle. Note that you cannot fire as a passenger in the jeep, but can if you jump into the jeep but don't "E" enter it (it can be tough to stay inside, though; depends on the driver).

By the way, if someone's in an artillery vehicle in the gunner's position, he's probably shooting, so don't drive the vehicle, please.

2.04 - Where are the submarines/the bombers?

The submarines are on only the Midway and Guadalcanal maps, and only in multiplayer games. The Allies have a bomber in El Alamein, Gazala (NW corner), Bocage, and Operation Market Garden, in any game. To see what weapons are on which maps, check the chart on the Annotated Maps page.

2.05 - How do I use my parachute?

You eject from the plane with "E", then hit "9" to open your chute. Sometimes you have to hit "9" twice - keep hitting "9" rapidly until you see the parachute icon appear on the right side of your screen. You can open the chute as close as a foot above the ground, which saves you the long, vulnerable ride down to the ground. It's even possible to use the chute if you jump from a guard tower, windmill, bridge, etc., if you're extremely fast at hitting "9". While you are dropping, either with the chute closed or open, you can change your facing and use your weapon (and drop mines and expacks, etc.). Changing your facing does affect which direction you go as you drop, though in a not entirely obvious fashion: you tend to have to turn further than the direction you need to go.

2.06 - How do I use artillery?

A scout uses his binoculars on a target, and if you're in an artillery piece (coastal gun, or self-propelled) you'll see a little rocket icon over your defensive strength. The icon will last 120 seconds or until the scout is killed, whichever comes first. Right-click your mouse and you get a circle around the scout's view (the overhead map will show you where the scout is looking from and at). You are the little tank-looking icon on this circle - as you rotate left and right this icon rotates, too. Aim its muzzle at the center of the view (and note how the yellow bar on the horizontal axis moves). If you can't line it up, it means you'll need to get in the driver's seat and rotate the artillery piece a bit. Now give some altitude by going up and down (and note how the yellow bar on the vertical axis moves). Fire with a mouse left-click, and you'll see your shot travel and hit the landscape from the view of the scout. If your shot went short, raise the altitude of your next shot, or vice versa (you'll see a ghost of your previous altitude on the bar).

As a scout, please don't keep spotting new locations every few seconds - this drives artillerymen crazy (it kicks them out of their view of the battlefield) and is pointless. Just spot once and stay alive for two minutes. If you are an artilleryman and need something to shoot at, hit F2 F6, which sends the message "Artillery ready for barrage".

2.07 - How do I use a submarine?

The quick answer: get in the submarine at its conning tower by typing "E". "W/S/A/D" drives the sub. Up-arrow (go figure) submerges the sub, down-arrow raises it to the surface. You set the depth you want on the right gauge in the middle, the left gauge shows your current depth. At 1.0' to 1.5' you are submerged and mostly hidden, but also go slower. Point the submarine at the target (just looking at the target with your periscope won't do it) and launch torpedoes as you wish; best is to lead the target (if moving) and also fire at its side (duh). Go much deeper and you start using up limited oxygen, and won't be able to fire (you get an overhead map display instead). Go very deep, into the red zone, and you get to reenact "the hull kenna take this pressure, captain," seen in every submarine movie ever made. The only difference is that you'll probably die.

2.08 - How do I change sides?

Most people stick it out with the side they start on, but if you want to change after dying, just click on the appropriate "Axis/Allies" text tab that is at the top of the 5 classes selector.

2.09 - What do the ratings mean at the end of a battle?

Remember, statistics are for the losing team. You pegged 12 guys with your sniper rifle and never died, but you never grabbed the control point next to you and so your team lost 30 tickets when the enemy controlled them all. Oops. Anyway, the "trophies" column number is the number of kills, plus two points per control point you convert or flag you capture, minus two points for each team kill or suicide; the "shocked man" is the number you killed; the "skull" is how many times you died. Negative scores mean you killed people on your side. The "ping" column is simply that, what your ping (round-trip message speed in milliseconds) was during the game. The ratings are sorted first by the number of hits, and ties are broken by the number of kills. The gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded to the top three players overall (based on your "trophies" score). These awards are purely for bragging rights, and within the same battle scenario on the same server these medals are carried over into the next round. This is why you will see someone with more than one medal next to his name. At the end of a game the top ten players have a rating number to the left of their names, the rest have a skull. Note that, during play, if you check the stats (using the Tab key), you'll see to the left of each name either a skull, meaning they're currently dead, or an icon showing what class they are.

2.10 - Quick, what are the radio buttons?

Someday I'll know all the radio commands by heart. Until that day, I'm putting this here, where I can find it and print it out or put it on a second monitor. Here are some of the critical ones:

Quick commands (hit the key twice):
F1 F1 - Roger
F2 F2 - Requesting reinforcements!
F3 F3 - Unit spotted!
F4 F4 - Defend/Attack closest control point!
F5 F5 - Roger
F6 F6 - Take cover!
F7 F7 - Go! Go! Go!

Other important commands (to me):
F1 F2 - Negative
F2 F1 - Requesting pickup
F2 F6 - Artillery ready for barrage (so wake up, scouts)
F3 F1 - Armor spotted!
F5 F6 - Negative
F6 F5 - Medic! (or, if in a vehicle, Need repairs!)
F7 F5 - if in a vehicle, Get in!

Note that you can use the chat commands ("L" for team-only, "K" for everyone) even when you're dead.

Also note that when a scout uses his binoculars (by right-clicking when he's viewing through them), he sends an "I have a target for artillery" type of message. Scouts: do spotting once and wait two minutes - respotting again and again kicks the artilleryman out of his view of the battlefield.

There are plenty of others, but those are the ones I personally care about. Here's the entire list (F8 cancels any message begun):

CONFIRM
F1 F1 - Roger
F1 F2 - Negative

REQUEST
F2 F1 - Requesting pickup
F2 F2 - Requesting reinforcements
F2 F3 - Requesting anti-tank support
F2 F4 - Requesting naval support
F2 F5 - Requesting air support
F2 F6 - Artillery ready for barrage (so wake up, scouts)
F2 F7 - Requesting armored personnel carrier support

SPOTTED
F3 F1 - Armor spotted!
F3 F2 - Infantry spotted!
F3 F3 - Unit spotted!
F3 F4 - Ship spotted!
F3 F5 - Submarine spotted!
F3 F6 - Airplane spotted!
F3 F7 - Scout spotted!

DEFEND/ATTACK
F4 xx - Defend/Attack specific control point (game dependent)
F4 F4 - Defend/Attack closest control point!

CONFIRM
F5 F3 - Defending
F5 F4 - Attacking
F5 F5 - Roger
F5 F6 - Negative

ALARMS
F6 F1 - Wait
F6 F2 - Fire
F6 F3 - Hold fire
F6 F4 - Fire in the hole
F6 F5 - Medic! (or, if in a vehicle: Need repairs!)
F6 F6 - Take cover! (or, if in a plane: Watch your six!)
F6 F7 - Bail out!

TACTICS
F7 F1 - Cover me
F7 F2 - Hold this position
F7 F3 - Go for the enemy flag
F7 F4 - Fall back
F7 F5 - Stick together (or, if in a vehicle: Get in!)
F7 F6 - Follow me
F7 F7 - Go! Go! Go!

The last three sets (F5 through F7) of phrases are vocal, the rest go over the radio. Vocal phrases are heard only by nearby combatants; if close enough, enemies can hear them, too, unlike radio phrases.

Note that if you go into the game's sound options, page 2, you can hear all announcements in English. Also, if you miss an announcement or want to see previous kills, you can bring up the console with the tilde "~" key, and use the "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys to scroll through the messages.

There is currently no way in the game to define your own key combinations to send a text message. However, there are some possible solutions: see question 2.12.

There are few servers explicitly supporting voice communication. They'll usually say what free voice software they're using to connect. If you want to talk with other players, you'll need to get and set up Mumble, Ventrilo, Teamspeak.

Finally, occasionally some dangfool player will repeat some message again and again. To filter out such chatter, type in the console command "~ignore 21" (or whatever his player number is, which you can find by holding down the Tab key) and you will turn him off.

2.11 - How do I vote to kick a player out of a game?

EA/DICE has finally answered our prayers and in version 1.6 added a reasonable kick player interface to the scoreboard page, which also allows you to vote for a different map (or to restart the current map) and to add buddies. To take a quick look at the scoreboard, hit "Tab". If you want to vote on a player, etc., click your right mouse button - this gives you a cursor. Now click on "Lock" in the lower right corner. The scoreboard will now not disappear when you let go of the Tab key. Another way to bring up the scoreboard is to go to the spawn screen by hitting "Enter", then click on the "Scoreboard" button.

Some servers punish teamkills when they happen. That is, if someone does a teamkill, they'll be punished by having their respawn time increased. As a victim of a teamkill, you can decide whether the teamkill was deliberate and should be punished.

As a player, checking the console "admin.TKPunishMode" setting will let you know if a game is set up to punish or forgive a team-kill by default. That is, if this is set to "1", it means that when someone on your team kills you, they are punished for it by default. You can forgive them by typing the console command ftk. Alternately, if the punish mode is off, you can punish a player with ptk. To be honest, I doubt anyone in the world actually uses "forgive" or "punish", but I think it is at least worth documenting how to do it.

2.12 - Can I set up macros for keyboard commands?

Instead of typing "~game.votekickteamplayer 28" in the console (to kick a player), you'd like to do this a lot quicker. In the game file Mods\bf1942\Settings\AliasedCommands.con there are a bunch of console commands that now have shortcuts. For example, there's a line:

    alias kt game.votekickteamplayer
So now you can just type "kt 28" and hit Enter in the console and it will do the same thing. The console, by the way, is the thing that comes up if you hit the tilde "~" key (above the Tab key, and you don't need to hit the shift key). Hit the tilde again to turn it off.

Look at AliasedCommands.con for many more shortcuts. You can also add your own aliases, just add a line in AliasedCommands.con before you start to play. You can avoid typing in command numbers by putting the whole phrase inside double apostrophes, e.g.

    alias mc "chat.setChatHistory 5 2 5"
sets the chat display how you prefer by just typing "mc".

Unfortunately, you can't put multiple commands into a single alias. There's also no way to make this aliasing work for messages you'd like to type quickly to just your team.

3. - Tactics

There are many myths out there, here are some facts: machine guns and aircraft guns do not damage tanks at all (though they do damage halftracks and self-propelled artillery). The air vents on the rear of the Tiger are not more vulnerable than any other spot on its rear. Vehicles take the same amount of damage from weapons whether or not there's an enemy inside them. Machine guns and soldier's weapons do no damage to ships and subs. The less angled a shot is to the surface it hits, the more damage it does.

For many more tips, start with my own tips and tactics page (that'll keep you busy a minute or two), my weapons effects page, and Trevor Larkum's tank guide. Or just learn by dying, I mean, doing.

3.01 - Why did I get run over?

Because people drive like maniacs when they get in jeeps. Roads are for vehicles, you should stay off the roads if you're on foot; use the nearby cover off the road (if any), it's safer and you move just as fast.

3.02 - How do I hit anything with my gun?

You shoot your opponent with 20 shots, he turns around and kills you with one. What happened? It could be lag, or maybe he's just lucky. More likely it's one of a few things: he's not moving, he's prone or crouching, he waits a second before firing, he leads his target and aims well, or he squeezes off single shots instead of a burst. These are a few factors that improve accuracy. Aim for where your opponent will be in a fifth or tenth of a second, not where he is. For long-distance targets, a quick mouse tap shoots a single shot of the assault rifle, and such shots are usually much more accurate; feel free to tap off a few. The engineer's rifle always has the same accuracy, even when you are moving (it's essentially the sniper's rifle without the scope). To tell how good your accuracy is at the moment, look at the cross-hair targetting. If the yellow lines almost meet at the center, you'll have an accurate shot; as they pull back outwards, your shot is less accurate. The sniper rifle can take a person out in two shots, or one if the shooter does a head-shot (usually hard). If you're a sniper, hold down the mouse button after the shot to stay zoomed in and see how the shot went.

On the flip side, if you do not want to get hit, keep moving like a caffeinated monkey. Aside from the fact that snipers love stationary or predictable targets, there is also the lag factor. Say players Abel and Baker are in two adjacent rooms but can't see each other. Abel rushes into Baker's room, Baker sits there. Abel immediately sees where Baker is, as Baker's old position is the same as his new position, so shooting bullets at it will be quite effective. Baker does not see Abel until he gets an update of Abel's new position, at which point Baker's usually dead.

3.03 - How do I harm a tank while I'm an infantryman?

Many ways are possible. First thing is to shoot the machine-gunner in the turret, if there is one, as he has little protection. Now the tank has only one pair of eyes looking for you. A standard tank-killing method is to toss a grenade or two underneath the tank (preferably from behind, so that you might live to tell the tale). With the 1.2 patch grenades are less effective against tanks, but still do some damage: 6 or 7 thrown next to any tank blow it up. An anti-tank weapon is an obvious choice, if you have one (and recall that if someone else with one dies nearby, you can exchange kits and so pick up their weapon by going to them and hitting the "G" key). You want to use anti-tank weapons against the sides or rear of the tank, if possible. From a little testing (and even more testing), I've found hitting rear/sides/front to be about 12/4/3 in the amount of damage done to medium tanks and 4/2/1.5 to heavy tanks, where 12 is a kill. The lower parts of tanks are usually more vulnerable, and you want your shot to hit the surface of the tank as dead-on (not angled) as possible.

If you are an engineer, hiding or tossing mines or detonation packs can do the job. A classic (but hard) trick is to put a number of exppacks in a jeep, drive hell-for-leather at the enemy tank, jump out at the last second and detonate the explosives. Simply crashing a jeep into a tank does lots of damage anyway. Anti-aircraft guns do a good job on tanks, so shoot them when you can.

In general, keep moving: if the turret is pointing at you, you're probably dead soon, so run up close to the tank and circle it, moving away from the gun's direction. Also consider crouching (Control key) or even lying down, as the tank's machinegun can only point so far down.

One last tip (since it's poorly documented): when using grenades, if you right-click you'll drop the grenade at your feet (or out the window). If you right-click and hold, the longer you hold the farther you'll throw, up to the normal throwing range of just using a left-click.

3.04 - How do I hit something with my bombs?

First, you definitely want to fly while using the "free view"; hit the F9 key to make your cockpit get out of the way while flying. An easy way to make a bomb hit the intended target is to dive bomb, i.e. approach from great height, tilt the airplane's nose down, aim at the target, dive until you're close to the ground, then release the bombs. Instantly pull up and press F11 and you will have a good view of the results. Press F9 to switch back to cockpit view, and F9 once more to have a free view. Better yet, if your joystick has a hat control or extra buttons, set these to change the view. The most common mistake is dropping too late. You can also do safer, but harder, "hug the ground" flyovers, but it's definitely something you'll need to practice to learn when to drop your bombs. Another method of learning to bomb is to use the third-person view while bombing, in order to be able to see and understand how the bombs arc and fall.

By the way, if you notice an explosion immediately after dropping a bomb, or (with friendly fire on) you blow up right when you drop a bomb, it means that you caught up to your bomb and detonated it. When you drop a bomb you should continue to go straight or pull up; pushing your joystick down after dropping causes the problem.

Torpedo planes are trickier still. You can drop the torpedoes directly on to the target, but it is often better to drop the torpedo in the water and let it travel to the ship. See the weapons damage page for a comparison. To have a torpedo hit from the water, you must fly very close to the water and drop it towards the ship. It also helps to cut back on the throttle and slow way down, and to release well before you get to the target. The torpedo travels straight forever, so in theory you could drop the torpedo from very far away.

3.05 - How do I hit something with an anti-aircraft gun?

Note that when you shoot, a puff of smoke appears a little later. That's where your explosion takes place. The light grey puffs are misses, the darker puffs of flak are near misses, the black puffs are hits. So, lead the target a bit, shooting where you think he'll be in a second or two. To learn how much to lead, you can fire in one fixed spot where a plane is about to fly and see when you hit.

If firing at a plane, don't stop firing when the plane appears to be crashing, continue firing until it blows up or breaks apart. If you stop firing when the enemy plane appears to have lost control, the pilot could still bail out. By blowing up the plane you reduce the risk of a successful bail-out. Flak guns can also damage ground vehicles and hurt infantry. Your own AA gun can take some damage from your hits if the target is too close to you. On some maps, e.g. Bocage, if your flak gun shoots low enough it can hit your own sandbags and you damage yourself.

3.06 - Are there maps of the battlefields that I can study?

The Annotated Map site has maps noting control points, vehicle starting positions, and medical and ammo supply points. There is also a list of vehicles available.

4. - Miscellaneous

4.01 - How do I make a screenshot during a BF 1942 session?

While playing, hit the "PrtScn" key (typically to the right of the F12 key) while playing. Each time you hit this key, the screenshot is saved in the "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942\ScreenShots" folder as a .tga (Truevision Targa) image. To view these, get some reasonable (free) graphics viewer such as Irfanview.

At least, this used to work. On my system the TGA files all come out black. So, consider two other ways. One is to hit "Print Screen" when you want to save the screen. You can then run Irfanview and paste (control-V) the saved image into that program, then save the screenshot. You only get one saved image this way, though, since you can only paste once.

The second way is to use FRAPS; pushing F10 saves the screenshot, which you'll find in "C:\Program Files\Fraps\Screenshots".

4.02 - How do I make a movie of a BF 1942 session?

FRAPS is free (sorta), simple, and works well.

4.03 - How do I enter cheat codes and other game commands? In single player, only, there are some cheat codes for invincibility, etc. Why are you playing single player, though? See Koroush Ghazi's page for console commands.

4.04 - How many frames per second am I running at?

While playing, hit the tilde "~" key (above your "Tab" key; also, you don't have to hit the shift key) to bring up the console. Then type "fps 1" to have the frames per second displayed; type "fps 0" to disable it. Note that "fps" is a shortcut for the full console command "Console.showfps". You'll see the instantaneous rate and average rate in the upper left corner of your screen (turn off the radio buttons to see the whole display better).

Seeing the number of frames per second is useful: you can try all sorts of different video modes, graphics options, and sound options (the sound sampling rate does matter) and see the effect on your FPS. By the way, MSF is milliseconds per frame, essentially 1000/FPS.

This FPS display is difficult to read, however. A better solution is to use FRAPS, a free utility that will show your FPS in any game. FRAPS can also be used to make movies, as mentioned above.

There is a cap of 99 FPS normally. You can remove this cap by entering the console command "renderer.lockfps 1000", which raises your maximum FPS to 1000 (way beyond human perception). See the next question for ways to raise your actual frame rate.

See Koroush Ghazi's page for many more console commands. Also, with the console up you can see the various commands listed by typing "console." and hit tab twice. Or just hit tab twice with nothing else on the line to see the higher level classes of commands (try it and see).

5. - Glossary

Some quick definitions of abbreviations and terms often encountered:

BF - Battlefield (i.e., this game).
Camper - Someone who stays or waits at a location because of some advantage, e.g. people camp on carriers and hangars waiting for planes to spawn.
CTF - Capture the Flag.
TDM - Team Death Match.
Tickets - In Conquest battles each team starts with a number of tickets, listed in the upper right corner of the screen. Dying costs a ticket, and losing a number of control points causes tickets to be lost over time.
TKer - Team-Killer. Someone who kills his teammates or otherwise plays against his own side. Usually banned from the server if he's caught, or he can be voted off by the other players.

Credits: Thanks to Robert Spelman, Roger Vousden, Jordan Sugarman, Joni Nieminen, Jordi van Kessel, Chris "Mr Jones", Chris "the Bishop" Curran, Hans Petter Egge, eggman|exp, Bubnod, Venom400, Ric Crouch, Carl Catozzi, Oblivious, Minimad, and Dave Fraser for their suggestions, corrections, and additions to this FAQ.

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Eric Haines, a.k.a. [Fredhead] / [email protected]

Last change: November 14, 2012