I tried making this a guide but the guide editor was not working at all
Try your best to keep the helicopter straight and level. Turn using the A and D keys instead of moving the mouse right/left as that makes the helicopter go sideways (very bad). Tilt the helicopter forward by moving the mouse up only slightly and move the mouse slightly back to slow down/stop. Slight mouse movements enable you to maintain control over the helicopter as you fly it around. Tiling the helicopter too far in any one direction will cause it to stall and fall out of the sky. The key to being a great helicopter crew is good solid TEAMWORK. If you get locked on you can press X after the long beep (means the missile is launched) to drop IR flares if you have them unlocked to thwart the incoming threat. Don't be afraid to retreat to your base to have your helicopter repair itself.
When taking off just press and hold W and gently move the mouse forward to get off the ground. Do not move the mouse backward, you are flying a helicopter not a plane.
When landing hold S and gently move the mouse backward a bit to stop your forward momentum then slow down with S until you reach the ground. The key here is to reach the ground slowly and gently so you can capture the point, evacuate the helicopter or repair it instead of crashing into the ground.
Avoid target locks by flying lower and behind trees and rocks to break the locks on stingers and other SAMs. Be aware that your helicopter is pretty long and your tail rotor can get caught in the trees pretty easily so be careful. After a while you will unlock heat seekers for your helicopters. Switch to them by pressing the 2 key and you will be able to lock onto airborne targets (even jets!) and take them out. When you are locked on fire ONE missile and see if the enemy pops their flares then fire the other one and disable the enemy aircraft.
When things don't go as planned
Play as an engineer and learn how to land your bird under duress. Bailing out of your helicopter at the first sign of trouble doesn't really help you or your team out that much. Your helicopter is disabled and loses maneuverability when it dips below 50%. It's still entirely possible to land and fix a damaged helicopter. This allows you to get back into the fight much faster then waiting for a new one to spawn, plus you'll feel like a badass when you finally pull it off.
Play your role
You're the pilot, be the pilot. When you land your chopper if you need repairs and no one in your chopper or a nearby team or squadmate can repair you, be prepared to do so. However, unless you landed outside the capture zone of a flag (and you shouldn't have btw) get back in the pilot seat. when the flag is taken let your passengers (who want to) get back in the chopper and take off. Always be moving.
If you are in an attack helicopter make sure you have a gunner in the second seat before you take off because they will be doing the vast majority of your shooting. Spot targets for your gunner and your team by pressing the Q key and you will get bonus points. Your gunner should also be spotting targets so that you know where to fly and where to point the nose of the helicopter. The rockets are somewhat useful but they aren't guided and you should be busy trying not to crash the helicopter to use them anyway. If your gunner is shooting at a tank with the machine gun remind them to switch to guided or TV missiles(If unlocked) by pressing the 2 key as those are a lot more effective against armor and vehicles but flying TV missiles well takes a lot of practice.
If your gunner is having a hard time getting their targets on the first pass move the mouse forward and slightly to one side and hold down either A or D depending on which way you moved the mouse (same direction so moving left you would hold down A) and swing the chopper back around move the mouse backwards and straighten the helicopter. This maneuver takes a bit of practice but its very useful. Don't keep the nose down for too long as you will stall, lose altitude and crash.
Being a good gunner
Shoot what your pilot spots if they are spotting targets, if they aren't you should remind them to spot your targets as they have a lot wider field of view than you do. Use your guided or TV missiles (if unlocked) to take out armor. Use the right mouse button to switch imaging or zoom modes on your turret for a better view if either is unlocked.
Scout helicopters are different from attack helicopters in that they can hold more people and are a bit weaker but are still very useful for your team. Having an engineer on your crew is a great idea since they can fire rockets at enemy armor and repair the helicopter when things go south as long as they are in seat 3 or 4. Your helicopter should have at least 3 people in it before leaving the aircraft carrier but if you have only two thats fine too as you can pick up squad members and teammates along the way. Never take off alone in a scout helicopter as fully loaded scout helicopters capture flags a lot faster.
Being a good passenger
If you are an engineer you should press F2 or F3 to change to the second or third seat so you can repair the helicopter using your repair tool. Make sure you have a non homing rocket launcher(RPG-7 or SMAW) or a rocket launcher that locks on to ground targets(Javelin) or you are going to have a short trip and very angry squadmates.
If you have an engineer aboard your helicopter they can use their rocket launcher to take out enemy tanks and other vehicles. Fly in nice and close and hover (Tap W) and make sure you stay nice and still so that your passenger can take the tank out. This leaves you EXTREMELY vulnerable so only attempt this if your target is preoccupied.
When you are playing conquest mode you should try piling into a scout helicopter with your squad/teammates. You can effectively capture flags by either landing or circling the flag pretty close to the ground. Keep the helicopter level and let your passengers take care of enemies. If you see anyone incoming spot them for your passengers and turn the helicopter(using A and D) so the sides are pointed towards the threat. Try not to move the mouse too much because it can make it difficult for your passengers to aim.
Heavy (Transport) Helicopters
This chopper has more momentum than the attack or scout helicopter, so remember to account for that in turning radius and when dropping altitude as your bird will want to drop farther than you might want it to. As the pilot, you have no weapons but flares, so be mindful of this. It works great to have a full chopper hover or land over a capture point but sometimes you have to clear out the enemy first. You don't want to go in pointing yourself straight at the bad dudes, you want to present firing angles for your gunners, which often means circling a point killing dudes before landing on a point, or going between two sets of bad dudes if your gunners will have the sight lines. Also, because this chopper is bigger, stay inside when flying it. Nothing is worse than getting in a full transport chopper and having the pilot bail out at the first sense of danger. That might give you some suicides or deaths if you lose control or get hit by a tank shell (by far the worst enemy to the transport chopper) but usually your dudes in the chopper can get out, and only you will die. this is in contrast to you getting out surviving and killing your team back in the chopper. this applies to the other choppers as well, but its worst in the transport chopper.
The transport chopper is bigger and slower so tanks are a problem. You'll want to fly low because it helps with radar guided missiles but if you get too low and close to a tank you'll become an easy target for the main cannon. Fortunately, tank cannons don't blow up your chopper but they will flip your chopper into a stall, and you will crash immediately. Just be aware of enemy armor and their range and place relative to you. Use buildings as cover and tactically raise your altitude when needed.
For a while, do not touch the strafing controls. Because, as previously stated, you will stall and die. However, once you get a better handle on your throttle ("elevator" in helo terms (?)) you can also begin to get a handle on strategic strafing. This serves two purposes. First, when you always rudder turn, there's some forward drift which means you need to leave space on the outside of your turn. This means doing things like cutting between large buildings or towers as cover is pretty hard to do at speed because you might get your tail rotor caught on the outside objects. if however, you use a little bit of strafing you can cut down your turning radius and make much smaller turns, which gives you more cover, which is good. For example, on a left turn, if you bank left going into the turn (you have to keep up your throttle so you don't lose altitude) a little as you rudder left, You slow down your forward momentum, transferring it more to the left (then forward once you've ruddered to the left and leveled out again) motion. Secondly, the strafing/banking motion is great for cutting altitude. Sometimes you might find yourself a little higher than you should be, either because you had to get away and the only 'away' was up or because you just weren't paying attention. Then all of the sudden, boom, there's a lock and a helo in your face or a guy on the ground who has a great angle on you. Sure, you can tip forward, losing your momentum but draining altitude, or you can bank hard (harder than for the turn maneuver above) enough that your rotors stop providing lift and you drop like a rock. If you level out almost immediately you'll take a huge altitude plunge but still move forward. This is great because you'll likely either lose your lock or extend the time it takes for the dude to get a full lock. Combine this with a sudden turn like I described above, or a sudden lift again, then sudden drop and you might get away without firing a flare. This also extends the usefulness of your flares because you force your attacker to take less shots at you.
Console / Controller Usage
While this guide was collaborated with the PC in mind there is still much to be learned from this guide. Use this conversion table to help you make sense of the tips above.
|Function||PC Button||Xbox 360 Button||PS3 Button|
|Pitch||Mouse Up/Down||RS Up/Down||RS Up/Down|
Armor: Tanks / Armored Personnel Carriers / Anything heavier than a humvee.
IR Flares: Guided missile countermeasures.
Lock: Happens when a guided missile targets your aircraft. Rapid short beeping means someone is attempting to target you either from the air or on the ground do not launch your IR flares. A single long tone indicates the lock is successful and you should now launch your countermeasures.
Nose: The front of the aircraft.
Pitch: The forward/backward tilt of your aircraft.
Roll: The left/right tilt of your aircraft.
Rotor: The part of a helicopter that spins. They are horizontal on the top of the aircraft to generate lift and vertically on the tail for stability.
Stall: a reduction in lift causing your helicopter to fall out of the sky like a rock.
Tail: The rear of the aircraft.
Yaw: The left/right rotation of the aircraft.