So what exactly is team play in Battlefield 3?

This is part 3 of a series about teamplay
Read Part 2 – Situational awareness as a primer to teamplay

Teamwork is small scale thing – a squad is a good size, two squads make it difficult to keep track of important things, but at the same time just flooding an enemy position is also teamplay.
Teamplay at a most basic level. An example of team play would be reading the game, seeing what your squad mates are doing and filling in the spot that is vacant, assisting them, or reacting to a situation based on how your nearby team mates are playing. It is not dropping ammo next to a team mate.

Teamplay boils down to small scale tactics.

Examples of teamplay at a basic level

Your squad is in a room with two entrances, defending. You cover two players per entry. An enemy squad tries to push the left hand entrance. As an individual have a number of teamplay options.

1. One player assist on the second entry
2. Two players assist on the second door*
3. One player from the inactive pair pushes out to flank the attackers
4. Both inactive players push to flank
5. More

*2. This changes your options. If you assisted first and your partner also assists you can opt to go back to covering the other door. I would say that also assisting if your partner does first is almost always the wrong teamplay call, it is the greedy call that gets your squad wiped by the guy coming from the entrance you were covering. The good call if you assist first and your opponent assists is for you to go back to covering the second entrance, even if it means not getting kills from that push.

This applies to all the above – as soon as something changes your options adjust. The options you have when two players are covering each entrance are no longer the options you have when one of the above (or other permutations of the above) occur.

Someone on entrance one dies or both die?

A grenade gets thrown in and forces your teammates on the other entrance out of cover?

Someone pushes your entrance and kills your partner?

The list goes on, there is really not much point listing everything because.. there are too many

These options may sound like individual choices, and they are – but they are what make up teamplay. Decisions like this are core to FPS gaming unless you are at the most basic level. You may be quite good and not even realise that you do this, but once you stop and think about it tou will start to take note of things.

Teamplay is not about game mechanics. It is about reacting to the situation to secure the best outcome. It does not need excessive communication, especially in a game like Battlefield 3 where you have a map with your buddies on it. You can see what they are doing and where you need to be.

Read part 4: The death of teamplay