Introduced in Battlefield 3, a Battle Pickup is a firearm (special or not) located at a certain location within a map, differing from the weapons normally chosen by a player depending on their kit. Battle Pickups are reminiscent of Doom and other early FPS games that required players to search for weapons and valuable items.
The Aftermath expansion pack for Battlefield 3 introduced Scavenger mode, where players equipped only with handguns and grenades had to find more powerful weapons—chosen from a preset pool of infantry primary weapons—scattered around the battle area.
Although not referred to as "Battle Pickups", these would lay a foundation for including weapons that are not carried into battle by players.
Battle Pickups are introduced in Battlefield 4. These are weapons that DICE wished to include in the game, but could not suitably balance for multiplayer gameplay. As such, only limited numbers of these weapons are available to all players, and must be picked up from gun cases located somewhere on the map. Battle Pickups are marked with a white weapon case icon via 3D spotting (minimap and first-person view).
The following is a list of available Battle Pickups in Battlefield 4:
- M32 MGL
- M136 CS
- RAWR (Dragon's Teeth)
- XD-1 Accipiter (Final Stand)
- Rorsch MK-1 (Final Stand)
- Icicle (Final Stand)
- M60-ULT (Community Operations)
- Phantom (Final Stand, Community Operations)
Battle Pickups come with a limited supply of ammunition that cannot be replenished from ammo boxes. Players carrying a battle pickup retain all of their kit equipment. However, the battle pickup will be dropped if the player switches to another weapon or gadget. The battle pickup can then be picked up again from the location where it was dropped if it still contains ammo.
After the weapon's ammunition is depleted, or some time has passed after it has been dropped, the Battle Pickup will respawn at its original location. Battle Pickups will not be dropped in water or when entering vehicles. All Battle Pickups in all their variations can be found in front of the firing range on the Test Range. Players with custom Emblems will automatically have them fixed to any weapons once picked up.
Battle Pickups are featured in Battlefield Hardline, functioning in a similar manner akin to Battlefield 4. Weapons such as the RPG-7 have now become Battle Pickups for balancing purposes. Based on the gamemode, they become available to whatever team controls that specific weapon cache. Players can also equip the weapon to a specific vehicle, placing the weapon in the trunk of that vehicle. To obtain it, players must take control of that vehicle and proceed to open its trunk.
A few gadgets, including the Zipline and Defibrillator, are also available as Battle Pickups on several maps to assist players who are not already equipped with them. Ziplines and Grappling Hooks are generally placed within sight of areas that they can be used effectively, like the Zipline on the edge of the rooftop on Bank Job or the Grappling Hook on the washing platform on Downtown.
Available Battle Pickups in Hardline are:
- FIM-92 Stinger
- Grappling Hook
- Nail Gun (CA)
- A 8S with Explosive Bolts (BET)
The Weapon Locker is a variant of the Battle Pickup system, and is only seen in the Crosshair gamemode. Unlike normal Battle Pickups, they are only located on the map by the VIP. It appears as a locked silver-colored hardcase with a weapon inside. It can only be unlocked by the VIP, but once it has been opened, any player may pick up the weapon.
In Battlefield 4, there was a glitch that caused players to constantly drop battle pickups immediately after being picked up. This was later fixed in the September 2014 patch.