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The RD-4 Otus (aka recon drone) is a squad leader drone featured in Battlefield 2142 that provides periodic tracking of enemy infantry, using a system similar to the DysTek Pulse Meter. It is available to squads of three players or more (including the squad leader).
The Otus is a lightweight airborne device that automatically follows its user, even from outside a vehicle. The device can be damaged through impacts with other objects or gunfire—such damage can be repaired by an Engineer's Repair Tool. The device can be grounded if struck with EMP, quickly returning to the squad leader when able. The user can retrieve and stow the drone for later use.
At regular intervals, nearby enemies will be marked in the squad's NetBat Helmets. The marks do not follow the enemy's position, limiting the usefulness of the information. The marks are updated after the next automatic scan.
- The genus Otus refers to a certain kind of owl.
- As a non-player surface, other devices can be attached to the drone.
- The drone continues to operate even when the squad leader is critically wounded. It disappears when the squad leader respawns.
- The presence of a drone can alert enemies of the squad leader's location, especially behind low fences or in vegetation.
- The drone can compromise users of active camo, as the drone is not similarly cloaked.
- A bug in the drone following behavior may cause the squad leader to be killed when under a low ceiling or battlewalker. In very rare occasions, the drone can also crush other players.
- Squad leaders can equip multiple drones under certain conditions.
- Prior to a patch, squad leaders could use the drone elevator glitch. Combined with the previous "multi drone" tactic, this allowed squad leaders to place beacons on rooftops.
- In Finnish, "otus" means "creature".