Suppression is the act of forcing an enemy to break off an attack by using high volumes of gunfire. When the enemy is concerned mainly with their own survival, their combat effectiveness and morale is greatly reduced.
Suppression can be used to fix enemies while nearby teammates go around the side flanking them. In terms of the Four Fs doctrine, this is the second "F" (Find, Fix, Flank, and Finish).
Suppression is a new gameplay element in Battlefield 3. Suppression can be achieved with most weapons, excluding machine guns mounted on light vehicles. Players receiving incoming fire will eventually become suppressed, even if no damage is actually received.
Players can cause suppression by firing near an enemy, or by using a Tactical Flashlight on enemies looking at the player. Users of handguns and vehicle weapons do not suffer any accuracy penalties, although other effects still apply. Occupants of fully enclosed vehicles cannot be suppressed.
While suppressed, a soldier's vision will blur and lose focus, he will call out for help, experience a noticeably large increase of scope sway and hip fire spread, and as of the 1.04 patch (March 2012) a substantial increase in recoil and bullet spread. Suppression cancels any automatic health regeneration, but not recovery due to a nearby medkit.
Suppression can also keep an enemy down long enough to allow teammates a few crucial seconds to perform actions such as reviving a teammate, arming/disarming an M-COM station, and other actions. There is a 50 point suppression bonus should a team mate kill an opponent that the player is suppressing, even if the player was not attempting to suppress the enemy but instead merely shoot them.
It is possible to earn more points for suppression and other assists than you would for the actual kill. Attack an enemy near your deployed MAV or T-UGS, causing at least 40 damage points and suppressing the target, and you can get a maximum of (100+50+10+20) 180 points for the various assists. Being part of a squad and combining your efforts increases the points earned. These 100+ assists are often achieved accidentally when allies converge and concentrate fire.
A similar game mechanic comes in the form of Disability/Fire for vehicles.
- The 1.04 (March 2012) patch greatly increased the suppression effect, as well as the amount of reduction provided by COVR.
- Following complaints from the community, DICE reduced the suppression effect again in the Close Quarters (1.05) patch. It is now midway between the levels seen at release and during 1.04.
Suppression can be seen in Battlefield 4 through player HUD's and "Suppression assist" point rewards. The suppression effect itself seems to be decreased for all weapon types except machine guns and DMRs, which can still suppress the players to the extent seen in Battlefield 3. Suppression has also been decreased at close range, making it more useful for medium to long ranges instead.
Players, when suppressed, will not have an accuracy penalty inflicted upon them. Instead, it has been replaced by noticeable sight and scope sway, allowing players to still shoot at their enemies if they can keep their aim on them. A patch brought back the ability to prevent healing from regeneration and deployed Medkits, but not from First Aid Packs. As of the Battlefield 4: Night Operations patch, suppressed players cannot be spawned upon as well.
Suppression in Battlefield Hardline is similar to how it appears in Battlefield 4. The number of bullets needed (or the amount of suppression inflicted by each bullet) has increased for many weapon types, making it more difficult to suppress opposing players.
Suppression returns in Battlefield 1 as an impediment to aiming and sight. Distance remains a factor, with many weapons unable to inflict suppression at close range, but having greatest effect at long range. Machine guns, self-loading rifles, and explosives remain the primary means of suppressing the enemy.
Suppression mechanics from prior titles are combined. Suppressed players suffer from increased spread, scope sway, impaired healing, and altered vision. The onset of suppression now causes slight flinching as part of scope sway. Scope sway lessens over time when suppression is removed, instead of abruptly stopping as in Battlefield 4, so this gives the illusion that suppression has been greatly increased.