Why Are The Console Controls Different For ‘Battlefield 4’?

By | 3 years ago 

Battlefield 4, powered by the latest version of DICE’s Frostbite game engine, has been in public beta for weeks (impressions video up top) and for console players testing out the PS3/Xbox 360 versions (i.e. the limited versions), there’s been a little confusion for Battlefield veterans over the change in the controller button layouts. Functions have moved around as communication and online-focused features are given more emphasis to prep gamers for the PS4/Xbox One rollout of the game in November.

The design changes have been implemented to improve the overall player experience but the problem for some players is the simple fact that there’s no way console BF4 players can utilize the exact same layout as Battlefield 3.

With the game releasing tomorrow on PC and current-gen systems, GI spoke with DICE’s Battlefield 4 executive producer Patrick Bach, who spoke on the reasons for why the control scheme has changed significant from Battlefield 3 to BF4:

“When we looked at controls in Battlefield 4 we placed the team play aspect of our controls as the highest priority. We wanted players to be familiar with using spotting and the communication rose in multiplayer as well as the engage and tactical visor in single player. To accomplish this we needed a button that allowed players quick access while also enabling the player to still perform all the necessary functions of Battlefield, like shooting, aiming, moving, and melee. We also know that players require consistency, especially players who will want to move from a PS3 to a PS4 or a Xbox 360 to a Xbox One. With this in mind, we moved our teamplay functions to a bumper button, which required us to make additional changes, all to highlight one of Battlefield’s key strengths. It also enabled the use of the communication rose with a controller.”

As for the new left-stick-only controls for the vehicles in Battlefield 4:

“We wanted to have a more intuitive control scheme as the default for Battlefield 4. Since you are moving your character with the analog stick it made sense to have similar controls for vehicles. If you prefer to use the triggers for acceleration and breaking you can change to that layout in the options menu.”

While the acceleration button can be changed, DICE does not let players use the complete Battlefield 3 control scheme on the console versions of Battlefield 4 and there’s no way to customize the layout like PC players can. Bach explains that there are “certification issues” and that it’s “complex” to do so. Prefer or are used to the previous controls? Too bad for non-PC players, but there still is a veteran layout which has most of the same button layouts as BF3.

As for other button changes, like spotting enemies, launching countermeasures, picking up kits, scoreboard or the need to hold down a button to enter/exit a vehicle, it’s all done with the goal to make it less “complicated” and to emphasize the social features on next-gen consoles. It makes sense considering players who purchase Battlefield 4 on current-gen systems can upgrade to the next-gen versions for only $10 and keep their stats.

Check out the latest Battlefield 4 trailers if you missed them. Should next-gen consoles let devs use whatever button layouts they desire, or more importantly, let players decide? Seems to simple to even be an issue these days.

Battlefield 4 releases October 29, 2013 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. PS4 and Xbox One release dates have not been announced.


Find Rob on the Battlefield at @rob_keyes.

Source: Game Informer