Battlefield 2042: How to fly helicopters

Battlefield 2042
Battlefield 2042 (Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Out of the full Battlefield 2042 vehicle list, helicopters are arguably the most effective. Not only can they provide close air support with miniguns, rockets, and grenade launchers, but they can also rapidly transport soldiers around the map for strategic deployment. With some good helicopter pilots on their side, any team will have a strong advantage, and the fact that flying helicopters is so rewarding is part of what makes Battlefield games some of the best Xbox shooters available.

However, piloting helicopters has never been easy in Battlefield, and that hasn't changed in Battlefield 2042. Thankfully, we've been practicing in the Battlefield 2042 beta and have managed to master the controls. If you're struggling to fly helicopters effectively, here's a detailed guide on everything you need to know about flying helicopters, including controls, maneuvers, and general tips and tricks for being an effective pilot.

Battlefield 2042 helicopter controls

It's important to review Battlefield 2042's helicopter controls before attempting to use one in battle. Here's the full list of controls for helicopters:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Switch SeatsF1-F8ACross
Throttle UpWLeft stick upLeft stick up
Throttle DownSLeft stick downLeft stick down
Yaw RightDLeft Stick RightLeft stick right
Yaw LeftALeft Stick LeftLeft stick left
Pitch DownMouse move upRight stick upRight stick up
Pitch UpMouse move downRight stick downRight stick down
Roll RightMouse move rightRight stick rightRight stick right
Roll LeftMouse move leftRight stick leftRight stick left
Toggle CameraCPress right stickPress right stick
Rear CameraPress MMBD-Pad downD-Pad down
FreelookHold RMB + Move mouseHold LT + move right stickHold L2 + move right Stick
Switch WeaponFYTriangle

Battlefield 2042 helicopters: Taking off and hovering

Source: Windows Central Taking off and hovering. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

First, let's go over how to take off and hover in place. Use W on PC or move the left stick up on console to fly directly upwards, which is also known as throttling up, to take off from the ground. You can continue throttling up to go higher, or you can press S on PC or move the left stick down on console to go down.

To hover in the air, the blades of your helicopter need to be level with the ground. By default, your blades will be level when you spawn, but if you need to adjust, you can do so by moving your mouse or right stick to the left and right (more on these controls later). Note that when flying helicopters in first-person mode, the visible line on the HUD will indicate the angle of your blades.

Battlefield 2042 helicopters: Moving forwards and backwards

Source: Windows Central Pitching the helicopter forwards. (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Now that you know how to take off and hover, the next step is moving forwards and backwards by pitching your helicopter. To do this, move your mouse up on PC or your right stick up on console to go forwards, and move your mouse or right stick down to go backwards. The farther you move up or down, the faster your helicopter will move.

However, moving forwards to backwards too sharply can result in your helicopter flipping upside down, which will likely result in you losing control of the aircraft and crashing. Make sure you're careful.

Battlefield 2042 helicopters: Turning

Battlefield 2042 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Battlefield 2042 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Yawing (top) and rolling (bottom).

You've mastered taking off, hovering, and moving forwards and backwards, so now it's time to learn how to turn. Using A and D on PC or moving the left stick left and right on console will turn your helicopter left and right, respectively. This process is known as yawing.

Yawing is an important part of making turns while flying, but on its own, yawing is slow and doesn't help you evade enemy fire. For truly effective flying, you'll also need to incorporate rolling into your turns. By moving your mouse or your right stick to the left and right, you can roll the helicopter When you roll in the same direction you're yawing, you perform a banking turn. This maneuver allows you to make sharp turns, and it also makes your helicopter much harder to hit.

Battlefield 2042 helicopters: Landing

If you want to safely land your helicopter to get out of the aircraft or pick up troops to transport, you can do so by flying to where you want to land, leveling your aircraft with the ground by using the rolling controls, and throttling down until you touch down. Don't throttle down too fast since you'll likely crash if you hit the ground at high speeds, so touch the helicopter down gently. Also, you need to make sure you land the aircraft on a flat surface.

Battlefield 2042 helicopters: General tips

Source: Electronic Arts (Image credit: Source: Electronic Arts)

Now that you've learned how to fly helicopters, here are some general tips, tricks, and pieces of information that will help you be more effective in combat.

  • Every helicopter flies differently. Scout helicopters are the most nimble, attack helicopters have medium maneuverability, and transport helicopters are the least agile of the three.
  • Each helicopter type also has different durability and armaments. Scout helicopters are fragile and have miniguns and rockets, attack helicopters have a decent amount of armor and have rockets and anti-aircraft missiles, and transport helicopters are heavily-armored and have miniguns and grenade launchers that can only be used by passengers.
  • When using scout or attack helicopters, play aggressively and perform lots of banking turns so that enemies have a hard time damaging you.
  • When using transport helicopters, it's important to fly steady so that your passengers on the guns can hit targets accurately. Make turns slowly and never roll sharply. Land to deploy troops when it's safe.
  • Scout and attack helicopters are strong against enemy tanks. Fly relatively high so that you make sure the tank can't hit you with its main cannon, then pepper it with volleys of rockets to deal heavy damage.
  • If you see an enemy anti-aircraft vehicle, try to stay away from it so that it has a harder time shooting you with its anti-aircraft machine guns.
  • When you get a warning that someone is getting a missile lock on you, don't deploy your countermeasure flares until you hear the solid beeping sound that signifies an incoming projectile. This way, you'll make sure your flares successfully countered something and that you weren't baited into deploying them early.
  • Helicopters regenerate health slowly after not taking damage for a short period. If you're getting attacked with lots of anti-aircraft fire, go to a lower altitude and fly behind cover to make yourself harder to target so your auto-repairs can kick in.
Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.