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Friendly fire is a term applied to any deployment of a weapon or weapon system that (usually unintentionally) harms friendly or allied forces. More than one person has drawn attention to the irony of this term by pointing out that firing upon anyone, allied or not, is generally considered a pointedly unfriendly act. Casualties caused by friendly fire are sometimes referred to as blue on blue casualties, due to the common practice of representing friendly forces with blue symbols and enemy forces with red symbols.
Battlefield 1942 & Battlefield Vietnam
Friendly fire is a prominent part of Battlefield 1942 (and its expansions) and Battlefield Vietnam. In the singleplayer mode, friendly fire is always active. A player can kill any friendly target just as easily as they can kill an enemy target. In online servers, many will have friendly fire turned off, but for those who have it on, it may result in a kick or banishment from the server, especially if done extensively. A team kill will subtract two points/one kill from the player's point and kill counts respectively.
Friendly fire in Battlefield 2 works slightly different than the previous games. A player will get a -2 point penalty to his/her teamwork point count for sufficiently harming a teammate, a -1 penalty for damaging a friendly occupied vehicle and a -4 point penalty for actually killing a friendly soldier. On multiplayer servers, the administrator(s) can set a fixed amount of teamkills a player can commit, after which he/she will be kicked or possibly banned from that server.
A mechanic was added to online gameplay, which allows players to choose between forgiving a teammate who killed him/her, in case the incident was clearly an accident, or punishing the teamkiller. When a teamkill is forgiven, it does not count towards the limit of teamkills one can commit.
In Battlefield 2142, players are penalized -2 points for friendly damage, -4 points for a team kill, and -1 point for damage to a friendly vehicle or device (e.g. Sentry Guns). A "forgive" mechanic—introduced in Battlefield 2—allows teamkilled players to reduce the penalty for their teamkiller, acknowledging that the event was probably accidental. Despite this, certain servers still maintain a count of how many times a player has killed teammates, and apply kick/ban rules set by its admins.
Friendly fire can be set on or off, or in various percentages in between. In addition to 'regular' friendly fire in Battlefield 2142, a separate "Mine Friendly Fire" system allows friendly fire to be disabled for mines, which is akin to outfitting real-world devices with Identity Friend-Foe (IFF). In this way, explosives will only damage enemies, though exploding vehicles will still harm any player. While setting "friendly fire off" can reduce intentional teamkills by malicious players, it also inadvertently allows Recon soldiers to use their RDX DemoPaks to directly attack nearby enemies, and to "RDX jump" to rooftops and over walls.
A game design flaw sometimes causes players to be clipped from an air transport they are attempting to eject from, crediting the pilot with a teamkill.
A flaw in Titan FF-off behavior causes Squad Leader Spawn Beacons laid on Titan decks to be impervious to almost any attack. The only remedies against this are to lay other devices on top of the beacon (e.g. Ammo or Medic Hubs), or for the Commander to use a Supply Drop to crush the beacon. The latter is made difficult by the design of the commander's satellite view, which often causes supply drops meant for a Titan deck to miss their target, as well as the drop's tendency to drift north.
Battlefield: Bad Company
In Battlefield: Bad Company, friendly fire plays its role. Generally, any attack on a friendly target will do half the damage that it will normally do on an enemy. Usually, when a player attacks another, the in-game character will announce that the player should cease firing or be careful where they fire. It will result in a -15 points for friendly damage and -30 points for a team kill, as well as add a team kill to the players stats. There is no kick/ban system, so team killing can become a large nuisance. Accidental kills can also be frequent, especially when using a high speed or large vehicle, a player can easily get a roadkill on a friendly target.
Friendly fire is disabled for Battlefield Heroes, preventing most teamkill scenarios. However, empty moving vehicles can still harm anyone, potentially allowing a player to intentionally kill a teammate by driving a car at them or using the Soldier's Blasting Strike.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
On the Xbox and PS3 platforms, friendly fire has no effect in the regular modes of the game. Shooting a friendly target will cause the character to flinch and complain but not suffer damage. However, it is possible to get friendly-fire kills with Destruction 2.0. If the player destroys a building and a friendly soldier is caught within the collapsing structure, the friendly player's death will be counted as a team kill, along with the subtraction of points associated with team killing.
Hardcore mode features the full effects of friendly fire. All weapons will damage friendly and enemy targets equally; players must be careful about whom they shoot, where they deploy explosives, and where they're driving.
On the PC platform, the effects of friendly fire can be enabled by the individual server administrator. Team kills will garner the offending party a penalty of 100 points. Most servers keep the effects of friendly fire disabled.
Friendly fire returns again in Battlefield 3.
In singleplayer, the player's teammates are invincible, but dealing friendly damage will cause the message "FRIENDLY FIRE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED!" to appear. If the player causes too much friendly fire in a short period of time, the player will fail the mission.
In co-op, friendly fire is deactivated on Easy, but activated on Normal and Hard. In multiplayer, friendly fire is only enabled in Hardcore. However, the above message may appear if a teammate dies after stealing an enemy vehicle that the player disabled.
The player can also kill a teammate in normal multiplayer by destroying collapsible structures with teammates in them, causing it to collapse on them and kill them. This counts as a teamkill. The player can also kill their teammates by blowing up explosive canisters, killing any teammates caught in the blast radius. Strangely, this will not be counted as a teamkill.