The cover and suppression system is designed to make combat more tactical and encourage more teamwork in general.
When a player is behind cover, they will receive a chance to mitigate incoming gunfire and their aim will also steady much faster than if they were out in the open. Players can also be suppressed by nearby gunfire, which will negate the bonuses given by cover and will also make steadying aim slower for players that are out of cover.
Players can enter cover by standing next to tall structures or crouching behind low structures in the environment. Pretty much any physical obstacle in the game can provide cover, vehicles, fences, trenches, walls, sandbags, inside a foxhole, on the side of a foxhole, buildings, etc. Using the cover only requires that you stay very close to the structure and that you face towards it (or at least not turn your back to it).
The cover system has 3 levels . Which level you get depends on the distance between you and your cover structure and the angle between the structure and where you're facing. If you're not hugging the covering element your cover level will lower very fast. If you are aiming at more than a 90 degree angle from your covering structure you won't get the highest cover level, and the level will lower quickly after the 90 degree mark. Having your back to the covering element will completely remove your cover. Standing when next to a crouch-height structure will provide zero cover.
The higher the cover level the bigger the buffs provided by the cover, and the increase isn't linear, so you should always strive to be in full-shield cover.
Cover provides two buffs:
- Hit mitigation: A percentage of shots will be absorbed. Single shot weapons are impacted far less by hit mitigation than automatic weapons.
- Aim stability: Stability is regained faster. This is especially useful for automatic weapons and high-recoil weapons. Being crouched in full cover gives you the same stability as when prone without cover.
- Using cover is extremely beneficial to automatic weapons such as the SMG. It gives you the aim stability needed to fire the long accurate bursts you need to kill effectively without sacrificing mobility that going prone does. Being crouched in full cover allows you to empty an entire magazine without losing accuracy.
- High recoil weapons like the sniper rifle or the anti tank rifle also benefit a great deal from cover. The higher stability regain allows you to use the weapons at a high fire rate while just crouched without sacrificing accuracy. The sniper rifle's accurate fire rate is at its maximum when using full cover while prone.
- In the absence of foxholes and sandbags, building corners offer good cover allowing you to quickly peek around the corner and fire repeatedly and accurately without exposing yourself too much.
- To maximize your cover level without having to think too much about it, just remember to hug your cover structure, crouch if necessary, and minimize the angle between the cover and where you're aiming.
- When getting into cover, the shield icon takes a second to appear, this delay isn't just visual you are only getting the cover buffs after roughly one second.
- Standing in full cover gives enough aim stability to fire all semi-auto weapons (except the sniper) at their maximum fire rate without losing accuracy. Being crouched in full cover gives enough aim stability to fire all automatic weapons without losing accuracy.
Players are suppressed when they are near gun fire (not explosions). Suppression is represented by this icon if you don't have cover, or by your Cover shield becoming red depending on how suppressed you are. Suppression does two things,
- Reduces the effectiveness of the bonuses from Cover, up to making it so that Cover does not help you.
- Reduces the Aim Stability gain rate, making it harder for you to shoot.
In practice this means that suppressing an enemy position reduces both the accuracy and amount of incoming fire.
The AI of certain defenses such as Rifle Pillboxes can be temporarily suppressed if a high volume of bullets is fired at them. Garrisoned Houses and AT Gun Garrisons are immune to it. A defense with suppressed AI will have its flag blink white. A player garrisoned inside a suppressed defense cannot shoot back.