A Homing Pigeon is a variety of domestic pigeon that is selectively bred for its ability to find its way home over extremely long distances. Due to their homing ability, speed, and altitude, pigeons have long played an important role in war as military messengers. During World War I and World War II, carrier pigeons were used to transport messages back to their home coop behind the lines, leading to them to also be known as War Pigeons. As a result, enemy soldiers often tried to shoot down pigeons, knowing that they were carrying important messages.
Carrier Pigeons are featured in Battlefield 1.
A Carrier Pigeon plays a key role in the singleplayer mission Through Mud and Blood. When Daniel Edwards and his crew become stuck in mud during the mission, and are surrounded by enemies who attempt to break into the stranded tank. Left with no other options, Townsend orders Edwards to release the carrier pigeon in order to call for help. From here the player takes control of the pigeon and maneuvers it to friendly forces. The message that Townsend sends is: "FIRE MISSION URGENT! OVERRUN! GRID 317241 ELE 60"
The Carrier Pigeon plays a key role in the War Pigeons gamemode. In this gamemode a Pigeon Coop is randomly placed around a map and must be located in order to secure a pigeon. The player must then write a message and send it off in order to call for artillery support. Similar to real pigeons of the war, enemies are encouraged to shoot and kill pigeons once released in order to prevent the team from scoring and launching an artillery strike.
The St Chamond tank in the Battlefield 1: They Shall Not Pass expansion also utilizes the Carrier Pigeon as a specialization for the Field Assault Package. This allows the player to release a Carrier Pigeon to call for an artillery strike on the player's location. Five seconds after the pigeon's release, a fire mission of around eight airburst shells will land near the tank. The strike causes severe damage to the surrounding area, but also minor damage (no more than 20% damage) to the tank itself. This makes the ability extremely useful as a last-ditch effort when the tank is about to be destroyed or as a viable tactic for clearing out objectives. Damage against infantry is not assured, since they may be able to find hiding places within the strike area. The tank cannot be operated by the driver from the moment the pigeon is released to the completion of the strike. Passengers may continue to fire their machine guns. The ability has a cooldown period of 35 seconds.
- After successfully decrypting nine secret morse codes on multiplayer maps, "A Beginning" dog tag is obtained after a Carrier Pigeon flys into the player to release the dog tag.
- A cut gadget, the Camera Pigeon was also set to be introduced in the Battlefield 1: Apocalypse expansion but only saw testing in the Community Test Environment.