Not long after Battlefield 1 came out, DICE rolled out the first major server update on Nov 16th. Among other things, “hardcore” game modes are now supported (e.g. minimum HUD, no more 3D spotting, etc). Unlike previous hardcore modes in Battlefield 4 and earlier, the revamped hardcore mode in Battlefield 1 axed the permanent friendly markers. This lack of friendly markers, combined with the absence of 3D spotting, makes the hardcore mode extremely frustrating to play. Newbie players now often score more team kills than enemy kills, as evident here, here and here.
To avoid committing friendly fires, players now need to learn to tell friends from foes, based on mere fleeting glimpses. This is a herculean task, as most soldiers look alike on the screen, in tiny images and mostly shown in suboptimal lighting conditions. It does not help that online resources showing soldiers from all combat classes and all countries are nowhere to be found. I’ve been waiting for more than a week now, but no such resources have spontaneously spawned. So I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first soldier uniform diagram for Battlefield 1!
At the time of this writing, there are six factions in Battlefield 1: USA, Britain, Italy, Germany, Ottoman and Austria-Hungary. These are divided into two sides: the Allies (USA, Britain, Italy) and the Central Powers (Germany, Ottoman, Austria-Hungary). Any given battle in the game pits one faction from the Allies against another faction from the Central Powers. In most cases the US play the Germans, the British fight the Ottomans, and the Italians battle Austro-Hungarians. Thus the arrangement of the factions on the diagram, to allow you to learn to distinguish soldiers on the left from those on the right. Note that exceptions exist – the British also play against the Germans in some battles.
Looking at the diagram, you’ll notice that it is relatively easy to tell Germans from American and British soldiers. Germans are dark green, while the latter are coffee-colored. It is a bit harder to tell Britain from Ottoman, under certain conditions and when a soldier is far away, because both uniforms are only different shades of the same hue. Battles involving the Italians vs the Austro-Hungarians are the toughest, pitting dark green against even darker green.
The four classes of foot soldiers are Assault, Medic, Support and Scout. They appear to be all individually-designed. Soldiers of the same class from different factions look very different, with a tiny exception for some assault uniforms. In addition, within the same faction, all soldier uniforms sport the same hue and shade.
Unlike foot soldiers, vehicle soldiers look like they were all stamped from the same molds, using different inks. There are only three molds: airplane pilot, tank driver, and horseman. Vehicle soldiers from a given faction in general are stamped using roughly the same color as foot soldiers from the same faction. But contradictions abound. For instance, the pilot uniform is colored glaringly different from most foot soldiers. The breastplate on the horseman makes him look the same across factions at a glance. If a vehicle soldier dismounts, and starts to do close quarter combat, a lot of players are going to be very confused.