Specializations are a game mechanic introduced into the multiplayer of the Battlefield Series that provide benefits to the player, and allow greater customization and tailor-made combat roles. Specializations have their own unlock progression which is done by either the player's overall performance, performance specific to a kit, or performance specific to a vehicle type.
- Main article: NetBat Helmet#Specializations
Battlefield: Bad Company 2Edit
There are three tiers of specializations available to players: Primary, Secondary, and Vehicle.
All specializations, excluding weapon altering specializations such as a sight or 12-Gauge slugs, are coupled with the player. This means that if the player acquires a stolen kit in the field, the specializations the player spawned with will still be active.
Vehicle specializations will not be combined if there are multiple people in the same vehicle with different specializations. All active specializations will only apply if the driver/pilot has it equipped. All passive specializations will only affect the player with it equipped. Active specializations are activated with the alternate fire button. If two or more players have the same passive specialization, they will not stack and increase the vehicle's armor, damage, etc. even further.
Specializations also appear in Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam, though they lack any "high-tech" specializations to fit with the time era, these being the Sniper Spotting Scope, the 4X Rifle Scope and the Red Dot Sight.
Specializations are revamped in Battlefield 3. Players can choose from a single Personal Specialization and a variety of Vehicle Specializations.
Weapon accessories are now organized separately by weapon and use their own progression. This leaves behind seven or eight personal specializations.
Squad-level versions of personal specializations available after earning individual versions, applying the benefits to the entire squad. On the HUD squad display, an icon shows which squad specialization a player has chosen, if they are using one. It is possible for each player to choose a different squad specialization for a total of four different effects. Otherwise, specializations do not stack.
Specializations in Battlefield 4 are utilized through the Field Upgrade system from Battlefield 2142. There are over 25 different specializations available for use when choosing from the 11 available Upgrade Paths. Each path holds up to four different specializations that are obtained by progress chained by squad-based team work.
Three of these specializations are initially locked. As the squad completes objectives, or the squad is granted a promotion by the commander, the remaining specializations are unlocked and stack. If everyone in the squad is simultaneously either dead or has not deployed, however, then the squad loses one specialization each time that happens. This system replaces the collaborative system in Battlefield 3 and the potential waste if squadmates selected the same specialization. Upstanding upgrades at the end of rounds will be carried over to consecutive matches on that server.
Vehicle specializations follow the same system as in Battlefield 3, but with optics and gadgets in separate slots, and gunner customization for additional vehicle types.
Players are awarded the option of choosing from two specializations upon reaching a certain level of threshold in the reputation system. Threshold levels are obtained by completing team actions but unlike the Field Upgrade system, reputation is dependent on the player itself and not their squad. Once a round has ended, the reputation threshold is reset and does not carry over to the next round.
Specializations return in Battlefield 1 in a manner similar to past installments, featuring both Class and Vehicle Specializations.
Vehicle specializations function similar to past installments. Like weapons, a variety of preset Vehicle Packages are available, altering their role on the battlefield by providing different weaponry, built-in gadgets, optics, and upgrades. Certain vehicles gain the ability to deploy gadgets as well.
Class Specializations was reintroduced as part of the Battlefield 1: In the Name of the Tsar expansion and were added to the Community Test Environment in August 2017. They function similar to Battlefield 3, being active at all times with three specializations able to be active at one time. Players may choose from all class specializations and class-specific specializations.
Unlike prior titles, specializations do not interact with primary or secondary weapon usage or damage. Only two offer a bonus to defense, and only against explosions. Others affect or are affected by other gameplay features such as spotting and movement. Many of the class-specific specializations change or improve how gadgets are used, while the Support specializations focus on suppression and repair.
When the HUD is active, Class Specializations will also show when they are in effect, showing a white square around them with the icon showing in black when activated by their trigger conditions. Timed specializations will show a timer, with a white box filling in like a clock when on cooldown.
In Battlefield 1: Apocalypse expansion, a new group of specializations known as Afflictions were introduced. Rather than confer perks like other specializations, afflictions penalize the player in some way, either by forcing them to adopt a certain playstyle or directly punishing them for their mistakes. Their use is required to complete a number of the "Climbing the Ranks" assignments included in the same expansion.
Specializations return in Battlefield V. Both Primary Weapons and Vehicles have access to an upgrade tree of up to five ranks.
Players unlock the ability to purchase an upgrade by increasing their weapon or vehicle-specific rank to the appropriate level. The upgrade can then be purchased using Company Coins. Aside from the first on a tree, each upgrade requires an upgrade of the previous rank, with some upgrades locking out others after purchase. Upgrades are permanent and cannot be removed or refunded, meaning pursuing other paths requires a new, unedited version of the weapon or vehicle to be purchased from the armory using the "Get One More" function.
The system also means players must re-buy upgrades for the new blank item that were already purchased on a previous item. However, the equipment's specific rank is not reset by doing this. When a choice is given, only one upgrade per rank can be purchased.
Weapon Specialization are oriented around improving the statistics of a weapon, as well as granting new abilities in the form of Weapon Accessories.
As of the Open Beta, all weapon upgrades are the same price and follow a similar path:
- 300cc for Rank 1
- 450cc for Rank 2
- 600cc for Rank 3
- 750cc for Rank 4
- 900cc for Rank 5
The typical paths available are as such:
- Rank 1 and 2 are linear (purchasing Rank 2 requires Rank 1 be purchased beforehand), with only one choice at each rank. Neither upgrade locks out any other upgrade.
- Rank 3 gives the player two choices, a "left" or "right" path. Choosing a specific path will lock out the other side of the tree for Rank 4.
- Rank 5 typically gives three options in the form an extra "middle" option. Only two will be available depending on previous choices. For example, if the "Left" path was followed for Rank 3 and 4, the player can choose either the "Left" or "Middle" option with the "Right" option still locked out.
Vehicles have only four ranks of upgrades, but each upgrade is generally more expensive than Weapon Upgrades at corresponding ranks. As with Weapon Upgrades, these can used to improve the performance of some vehicles, giving them better acceleration, more armour or larger ammunition capacity. They can also unlock new abilities such as countermeasures, sights, weapons and ammunition types, as well as open up new passenger seats and alter their weapons.
As of the Open Beta, Vehicle Upgrades were priced as follows:
- 300cc for Rank 1
- 600cc for Rank 2
- 900cc for Rank 3
- 1200cc for Rank 4
As for upgrade paths, Vehicle Upgrades follow the same formula as Weapons in that choosing a path will lock the other side out, except for "Middle" options. Players must choose a path from the start however, locking out either "Left" or "Right" at Rank 1. "Middle" options are offered at ranks 2 and 4.
- Specializations were originally known as “Upgrades” in early versions of the game. It was later confirmed by DICE that this was only a placeholder name and that its appearance in the Specialization menu was a bug.