I want to jam my syringe into your face to bring you back to life, just like Hawkeye always did in MASH after shouting his signature line, “Let’s jam some syringes into these boys to bring them back to life!” This is a medic’s duty. But in Battlefield 1, it isn’t so simple. Battlefield 1 has a medic problem.
Sometimes I heroically crawl beneath gunfire to reach a downed squadmate, ready to plunge a new soul into their organs, but milliseconds before I can administer care they give up and ascend to the deployment screen. I’m left lying in the mud alone, pointing a syringe at a hillside of snipers.
Other times I see one of my teammate’s skull icons and sprint over to save the day, only for both of us to explode. This teammate, who held out for medical help 12 feet from the barrel of a tank, is probably also the same person complaining in the chat that medics aren’t reviving. It was my mistake, too, though: I should have let him bleed out.
To end these painful scenarios, here are three simple rules for all of us to follow:
- Medics should always revive teammates when they can safely reach them.
- Teammates should wait for a medic if one is nearby. Don’t assume they aren’t coming if they take their time.
- If you die in an obviously deadly location, force respawn.
To reiterate: If you can see machinegun fire over your body, don't tempt a medic into the danger zone. If not, stay put! Enjoy your dirt nap and wait for help. Give us a chance to inject you with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, or whatever is in our syringes—it is our duty and it makes us so happy.
Here are some visual examples to help everyone be better medics and better to their medics.
When medics get it wrong
A , but all too common: this medic has chosen crawling over administering aid. We’ve all seen it in the real world, such as when I visited the hospital for migraine treatment and my doctor crawled under the examination table, around the room, back out the door, and then sent a nurse to discharge me. What a dunce!
When everyone gets it wrong
All of my rules . First, a soldier goes down and waits for medical care in the middle of a firefight. Then, just before this big-hearted medic tries to help, the soldier pops out of existence and leaves his savior to die alone. Yet I can’t put all this on the soldier: The medic in this case should have stayed in the tank, where it is cozy and safe. You can’t save them all, and had the revival been successful both of them would have died anyway.
How to be the best medic you can be
Being a great medic is about situational awareness and caution. Even though the medic guns are great, your main job is to stay alive and revive. That’s a catchy rhyme and so it must be true.
If a teammate goes down, someone put them down, and so before rushing in to revive it behooves my fellow healthcare practitioners to keep their weapon equipped and identify the source of the bullets. If you can take out the source, excellent, if not, make sure the soldier you're reviving is in cover, or wait for the enemy to become engaged with your other squadmates before going in for the revive. (I like to use gas grenades—I don’t get many kills with them, but they’re great for distracting enemies.) Once your pal is alive, toss out a health pack (I prefer a crate) and provide cover fire while your resurrected pal reorients.
Above: Evan plays a quality medic game.
If your team is capturing a point, consider forgoing some points for yourself by staying just off to the side, out of the capture range. If a small group of enemies tries to prevent the capture, there’s a decent chance they’ll miss you while focusing on your cohorts. Either your teammates will beat them and you can run in to heal, or they'll start to fall, and you can sneak in to syringe them and keep the battle going.
As a general rule, stay behind your squad and not in front—let them absorb bullets while you engage from medium range, observing the whole battle so you can identify the best moments to rush in with your syringe.
You’ll only be as good as your squad, though. If they aren’t sticking together and engaging as a group, or aren’t waiting for revives, medics are going to have a hard time. I’ll often switch squads if that’s the case, looking for groups with no medics and one or fewer scouts. (I don’t have a problem with scouts, but sitting on a rock with a bunch of snipers isn’t the best use of a medic’s abilities.)
My final rule is to know when to give up. Some squads and teams just don’t want to be healed and revived. “You, noble doctor, are of no use to me, a strong fighter who enjoys dying very much,” they’ll say. There’s no point to having an unfun match with these sorts of players. Grab a tank, switch to support, or join the snipers on the hill if you must.
Above: Now That's What I Call Medical Attention