Pros and Cons of the BF4 Test Range

Battlefield 4′s Test Range is an interesting new feature to the game. The theory behind this addition to the series is for players unfamiliar with Battlefield to have a place to try out weapons and vehicles outside of the hectic–and hostile–multiplayer experience. In some ways this idea plays out exactly as intended. In others, the mode falls short of expectations. Here are the Pros and Cons of the new BF4 Test Range:

PROS

Firing range:

There is a shooting range complete with ammo. This portion of the training ground provides both still and moving targets at various distances, and can be quite useful for testing out your infantry weapons.

Environment:

The waves are gently rolling, enough to practice what it’s like to try to shoot in the changing weather conditions. This makes perfect sense for those who want to try out the boats in the types of conditions that may be experienced in multiplayer. There are plenty of winding paths to practice vehicle handling.

Vehicle targets:

There are both “enemy” vehicles for you to practice destroying, as well as vehicles for you to control yourself. Except for the AC-130, they are all stationary. But it does help a little with target practice and determining hit damage.

 Destructibility:

The buildings and structures are destructible, at least to some extent. It’s worth noting, as it wouldn’t be Battlefield without this touch.

CONS

Limited weapons:

This is the single–and rather glaring–downside of the Test Range. You can only use the guns you have already unlocked by playing multiplayer. Quite a drawback, if the whole idea behind the Test Range is for new players to be able to get used to things.

Yes, you can unlock a gun, quit multiplayer, go into the range and try it out. I don’t see the harm, though, in the guns having already been unlocked in the range. This would have given players the chance to know what guns and weapons to strive towards unlocking. Since they neglected to include all of the weapons, your current best bet in trying them out is playing through the single-player campaign. Hmmm…maybe this was the plan all along?

ABOUT THE MAP

The shooting range is about halfway between the US deployment point and A. It includes the targets and the following stationary weapons. There are boats for you to test these out on:

Stationary Weapons:

  • .50 CAL
  • M220 LOW LAUNCHER

 

TestRangeFriends

Make new friends on the Test Range! 

 The map itself is set up as if it were a game of Conquest, with each “base” housing different types of vehicles for you to try. If you spawn at the bases, here are the vehicles you’ll find:

A

 Land Vehicles:

  •  LAV-AD
  • M1 ABRAMS
  • LAV-25
  • QUAD BIKE
  • M1161 ITV
  • MRAP
  • M142
  • AAV-7A1 AMTRAC

B

Air Vehicles:

  • AH-6J LITTLE BIRD
  • AH-1Z VIPER
  • UH-1Y VENOM

C

Sea Vehicles:

  • RCB
  • RHIB BOAT
  • PWC

You can also deploy into additional air vehicles by clicking on them from the top-down deployment screen. These vehicles are not located on the map after deployment:

  • A10 WARTHOG
  • F35

The environment in the new Test Range provides a nice set-up to try things out. The stage is set on a small island, similar to the popular map Paracel Storm. In general, this allows players to test out guns–as well as many land, air and sea vehicles.

All in all, I find the test range to be a nice addition to the series. But it doesn’t do anything that a mode like Onslaught would not have done, and have done better. Especially in terms of introducing players to the Battlefield. I didn’t list this as a con above, but I do think that bots and squad play ability would have been a more fun and effective way to bring the Battlefield experience to new players.

What do you think about the Test Range in Battlefield 4? How would you improve this feature? Let us know in the comments below!