There are two types of shell: Airburst which explode mid-air and damages infantry in a wide radius; and HE which damages infantry, buildings, and vehicles in a smaller radius. Both variants now include a pair of Smoke shells to provide cover from a distance, fired by pressing the samebutton assigned to the mortar. The mortar has a maximum range of 100 meters depending on the terrain.
The gadget has five available shells in total before entering a cooldown state. Unlike past variants, individual shells do not resupply, but the entire system does. Players can simply wait for the cooldown to end to resupply the entire batch of shells and the mortar itself, even after abandoning a prior mortar.
While functioning similar to the Battlefield 3 variant, it does feature notable differences. Once placed, the player character will crouch down to man the mortar (this counts as using a vehicle much like emplacements, meaning that the player is now immune to takedowns), while the player will go into a third-person view with the mini map displayed on the left side of the screen where targets may be chosen and ranged. Upon firing, the camera will follow the shell in order to show the player what they hit. The user may continue viewing and attacking the target area by pressing , while shells remain for the task. This feature can be canceled by pressing , allowing the user to retarget.
Placed mortars cannot be picked back up, but are automatically resupplied, and can be re-entered by its owner.
The November 2016 patch added an initial accuracy penalty after planting the mortar, after each shot, and after each targeting adjustment. At full accuracy, the reticle contracts to a red dot with small spread circle. The patch also added a delay before a spawned player may re-use their mortar, a feature introduced in Battlefield 4. The patch also added smoke shells, last seen in Battlefield 3.
- Shortly after release, mortars deployed in Battlefield 1 could be used by other players if the owner left it deployed. This was fixed in the November 2016 patch.
- A player may only have one mortar deployed at a time. After restocking the mortar, redeploying it would inexplicably kill any other player using the old mortar.
- A delay is applied after a player deploys a mortar, preventing deployment of another mortar for about 60 seconds, even if the player is killed during this time.
- The gadget Icon for the Mortar during the Open Beta appears to depict a Stokes mortar.