Battlefield 3 is not your usual first person shooter game. There are plenty of customization options for weapons, there are four distinct class kits, a number of different vehicles, maps, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Knowing all of it takes some experience, which can usually only be gained by playing the game. A lot.

However recently several strategy guides have popped up for Battlefield which can take your knowledge and understanding of the game to a whole new level. And no, I don’t mean advancing from Private to General, even though that’s covered as well. There are some fansites out there that do provide some free guides and information on BF3 but none of them really go into much detail, so your best bet truly is with one of these premium, high-quality strategy guides.

Fortunately there are a few different ones to choose from. I’ve found three so far: the official strategy guide by PrimaGames, and two unofficial guides, named Relik’s and Stark’s guides. By reading some reviews I found that the unofficial ones are in fact much better and more useful than the official one. A lot of players pick up those official guides at Gamestop and other retail stores, so if you’re one of them, too bad for you: you should of spent your money on the unofficial guides. And here’s why…

Relik’s and Starks guides contain tips that the official game guide will never contain. While all the tricks they have is perfectly legal to use, those kind of tips are in a gray area and it takes quite some time to figure out on your own: knowing hidden locations on maps where you can gain an advantage and having a detailed breakdown of game mechanics and other elements (weapons, attachments, …) is really amazing to have. Not to mention the fact that these unofficial BF3 strategy guides are frequently updated with new tips, which are always free to download. A paperback edition of PrimaGuide will most definitely not be updated with any new maps, tips, tricks, tactics, strategies, and whatever else you can find in these guides.

Basically, if you still haven’t I strongly suggest you pick up either Relik or Stark guide, both of which can be found on leveling-guides.com & strategy-guides.org. Apparently Relik is a bit better, but they do seem to be very close in quality despite. Whether or not you really need them is up to you, but considering how 90% or more of players I’ve seen so far play, I would strongly suggest you get it. They really won’t break your budget, and if you like the game, do yourself a favor and learn to play it properly. The other 63 players on your team will thank you for it.