A Squad is the second-smallest military unit of organization, consisting of a squad leader and around a dozen soldiers under his command (depending on the country). A squad may further be subdivided into fireteams (the smallest military unit) of about four soldiers each, and a platoon is comprised of several squads.
Squad sizes vary throughout the Battlefield Series.
Players may join a squad upon entering a server or beginning a round. Otherwise, players must be alive to join a squad. Under certain conditions, players may create new squads.
A special set of icons and in-game indicators help squad members identify each other and their objective. Players in one's squad are typically designated green on the minimap, whereas players outside of the squad are typically designated blue. The player earns more points for doing a support action (heal, resupply, repair, etc.) on a squad member than on someone outside the squad.
A player may start a squad at any time (provided a limit on the number of squads hasn't been reached), becoming its squad leader (SL). Squad leaders can invite other players on his team to join the squad, kick members out of the squad (but not out of the game). SLs can also "lock" a squad, preventing others from joining except by invite.
The squad leader receives several unique abilities:
- Issue orders to the squad
- A special spawn point for squad members, depending on the game.
- Earn points related to squad leading
- Use a separate command channel in voice chat
- Use special gadgets available only to squad leaders
In some games, the SL can give their squad a special name. Otherwise, squads are assigned NATO phonetic alphabet letters as their squad designation.
In certain games, squads and their members are shown on the spawn screen, along with the map's spawn points.
Battlefield 2 introduces the squad feature, with up to nine squads of six players each at a time. Squad leaders can request and receive orders from the commander, and can place requests for commander assets on the Commander view. Further, the squad leader serves as a mobile spawn point for his respective squad; otherwise, only the flags are able to be used as spawn points.
Battlefield 2142 improves upon the squad mechanics from BF2 with squad leader gadgets and early access to unlocks via field upgrades.
Battlefield 2142 gives players a special set of useful squad leader gadgets:
- Squad Leader Spawn Beacon for setting a static squad spawn point
- RD-4 Otus recon drone
- SD-8 Accipiter sentry drone
- Reinforcement Prioritization Unit for quicker respawn times.
The squad must be of a certain size in order for the squad leader to use a specific gadget. Any player can still equip a SL gadget, although it cannot be used—this potentially allows a squad leader to use multiple gadgets at once by picking up dropped kits.
As the squad completes objectives, members can earn field upgrades that allow temporary use of any next available unlock. Players can earn as many field upgrades as they have choices for unlocks (up to ten). Field upgrades can be carried across rounds, but are lost when the player leaves the server.
Field upgrade progress is only awarded near objectives with active Attack/Defend orders, or by following "Repair" orders on the team's commander assets. (The "Move Here" order does not award progress.)
Battlefield: Bad CompanyEdit
Battlefield: Bad Company lowered the maximum squad size to four. It also added an HUD element which shows the squad the player belongs to. Additionally, players are notified if they are the last among their squadmates to remain alive.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2Edit
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 retains the lowered squad limit of Bad Company. Unlike other installments, any squad member may issue orders, although the squadleader retains the sole right to lock the squad. The PC version of the game will inform a player if they are the sole survivor among their squad, a feature that was otherwise removed from the game, with the exception of Onslaught.
Bad Company 2 also introduced squad bonuses, a system whereby players are awarded more points for support actions between squadmates than with other allies. This offers incentive for squadmates to stick together.
Four-man squads are retained in Battlefield 3. Like other installments, players can spawn on other squad members so long as they are not dead, climbing a ladder, operating a parachute, in a full vehicle, in a tight area, or too far away from a Rush objective. The squad leader is once again the sole member of the squad that can give orders as well as having the ability to make their squad private or public to others.
A squad leader is identified by a star marker next to their name which can then be seen by everyone in the server. The game also added a squad menu which allows players to create a squad before entering a game. Despite this, squads can still be made when joining a server or in-game.
In addition to squad bonuses, order bonuses have been introduced, awarding squad leaders with points when marked objectives are either attacked or defended.
As with Battlefield 2, on Hardcore squad members can only spawn on the Squad Leader. When playing in Squad Deathmatch, the four available squads can contain additional players, although only three other squadmates will be visible in the HUD. A Squad Wipe bonus is given to a player that kills the last living member of an enemy squad.
Squads return in Battlefield 4, this time with a maximum of five players per squad. Specializations also return, using the Field Upgrade system from Battlefield 2142. Players can choose four soldier specializations, unlocking them in series as they prosecute objectives. Squadmates can have different specializations, but share the same progress. A portion of this progress bar is lost if the squad is wiped. The squad menu featured in the main menu has been removed.
- In early stages of Battlefield 2, squads consisted of 8 players.
- Sometimes the squad system will glitch and players may find themselves in a squad with more than four members. In certain games (such as Battlefield 2142), it is then impossible for the squadmates to join other squads or spawn on their squad leader.
- A glitch in Battlefield 3 has allowed for two squad leaders in a squad with all the leader's benefits.