Battlefield 3 Armored Kill rush defender tips

BF3 Armored Kill Rush AC-130 Gunship on Bandar Desert

Credit: EA/DICE

There’s little doubt that Rush mode in Armored Kill is imbalanced. Defenders are given fewer ground vehicles than attackers, and the AC-130 has a Low Orbital Death Cannon to easily wipe out defenders, even in cover. Add to that the paradrop ability of the gunship, and defending on rush seems hopeless.

I expect we’ll soon see more balance changes to AK rush. Perhaps a nerf to the AC-130’s cannons, fewer ground vehicles on attacker, or more defensive vehicles and emplacements.

Until then, all hope is not lost for defenders. I’ve been having a decent rate of success as a defender, so long as fast vehicle respawn is off and the ticket count is normal.

What follows is a guide for a shot at winning as a defender on Armored Kill rush.

Working to get a strong squad or two together is the most important step to winning in any game of rush. First off, join a server with your friends and communicate by VOIP. If you’re on PC, use party voice, Mumble, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, etc. to communicate. If you don’t have any friends available, look for a server with VOIP info and join up. If all else fails, move between squads until you find one where teammates respond via squad chat.

Coordinate roles for each player in your squad. When defending, no matter which AK map, players should be in one of two roles: 1) Destroy the AC-130 *or* 2) Defend the MCOM’s from ground vehicles and infantry. Be sure to ask players outside of your squad to help fill a role, and be specific.

For players in the “destroy the AC-130” role:

  • If you’re a pro in the jet, keep the enemy jet out of the air. When it’s down, focus on the AC-130 (and lastly the attack chopper if there’s one on the map). If you’re not amazing in the jet, leave it for a better pilot.
  • Spawn as engineer with IGLA (anti-air) equipped. Also select the SQD EXPL (Squad Explosives) perk for more rockets. Get familiar with the AC-130’s preset flight path, and stay near the path so your IGLA is in locking range. Always focus on the AC-130 if it’s in the sky. When it’s down, look for attack helicopters, jets, or nearby infantry to hit while you wait for the gunship to respawn.

For players in the “defend the MCOM’s” role:

  • Spawn as support with C4 equipped. Equip SQD EXPL if someone in your squad hasn’t already. Alternatively, you can spawn as engineer with RPG, but C4 will be most versatile here.
  • Pick an MCOM and stick close to it. If teammates seem to be sticking around one MCOM, go to the other. Let your squadmates know which MCOM you’re at, and stay with it.
  • Lay C4 near the MCOM while you’re waiting for attackers to show up. Drop ammo to reload your C4 and your squadmates’ IGLA. Get ready to detonate the C4 when enemies come near.
  • Find areas with good cover near the MCOM, such as inside of metal shipping containers or behind buildings. This will keep you out of sight from the AC-130’s thermal optics as well as enemies advancing on the MCOM.
  • When you see infantry, you should be hidden well enough that you see them first. Spot them for your teammates, then engage. The maps are wide open, so it’s tough for a large group of infantry to get to an MCOM. You should have the upper hand and be able to win most 1-on-1 infantry encounters.
  • When you see a vehicle, use the heavy amount of cover near the MCOM to sneak around. Watch the turret for a better idea when the driver’s looking away from you. When you see an opportunity, hit the vehicle with C4. Tank destroyers and mobile artillery should take two bricks of C4, AMTRACs will take four bricks at full health.
  • If an enemy arms the MCOM, clear the area as quickly as you can and disarm.
  • Remember to not stray far from the MCOM. If you die, get back to the MCOM you’re covering as fast as you can.

What not to do when defending on Armored Kill rush:

  • Don’t snipe. Ever. It’s called “Armored Kill,” and sniper weapons are useless against armor. The SOFLAM is not effective enough on the AK maps if left to auto-aim. Rather than aiming the SOFLAM and relying on a teammate with Javelin, you could be destroying vehicles on your own with a different class. Unless you really have a tough time destroying vehicles, stick with support or engineer.
  • Don’t bother with the Assault class – it has little defense against vehicles. Sure, there will be plenty of dead teammates to revive, but tickets don’t matter on defense. You’ll soon be caught with your paddles out or struck down by the gunship while running to a fallen teammate.
  • Don’t push up past the MCOM’s or defend from far behind. There are too many places for attackers to flank where you won’t see them, including paradropping from the AC-130.
  • Don’t run after an attacker at the expense of leaving an MCOM unguarded. That attacker only becomes a serious threat once they get near an MCOM.
  • Don’t use the tank destroyer unless you stay close to an MCOM and are very effective at using cover to keep yourself alive. The gunship will have it out for you along with any vehicle approaching the MCOM.

Remember, you can only lose at rush defense if all 8 MCOM’s are destroyed. If you manage to hold out at just one of them, you win. It’s not easy, but if you follow these tips you’ll have a good shot a very rewarding win on defense.


  1. Yea i like this. Guarantees action and kills, which can’t be said for the “run around aimlessly” strategy I previously employed on these maps.

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