— Battlelog description
In the mission "Operation Guillotine", Blackburn must carry a mortar into position to prepare an illumination round. The team is able to illuminate their target area for the US Marine group Haymaker. Blackburn does not use the mortar himself—he lays it down for another teammate to use while he participates in the frontline assault.
The M224 Mortar in Battlefield 3 is assigned to the Support kit. It is unlocked at 40000 support score. It is a manually used weapon, and is totally different from the Mortar strike of the Bad Company series, and the SOFLAM of the Recon kit. It occupies the Gadget 2 slot with the other Support-kit explosives.
When deployed, the minimap expands and displays a targeting reticle. The mortar operator must either guess where the enemy is, or rely on spotting to place enemies on the mini-map. Additionally, one must compensate for the time it takes for the round to reach the target.
The M224 has a limited range and cannot be targeted within 50 meters of the user. Much like a bipod on most weapons, the mortar can only be aimed within a 180 degree arc. Although the mortar is fired at an angle, it will always descend at a 90 degree angle.
The user carries an unlimited supply of ammo. The player can switch between firing 60mm HEDP and Smoke shells. The user can only launch one shell every six seconds, regardless of which type was last used. The shells inflict significant damage, but can only one-hit kill with direct impact. Enemies manning their own mortars will also die in one hit.
Mortar users are marked with a special spotting icon every time they fire their weapon, in addition to regular spotting. This means that the mortar user is very susceptible to getting killed by: vehicles and enemies bearing Guided Weaponry and Javelins, flanking enemies, enemy vehicles, and especially, other hostile mortars. Check the map for enemy mortars before setting up, and try not to stay in one place for too long. The biggest threat to a mortar user is an enemy mortar user.
One possible way to use the mortar is to eliminate a sniper encountered at long range by getting behind cover and returning fire from (relative) safety. If the sniper is just out of the mortar's range, a smoke shell can be used to temporarily obscure the view in front of the sniper to make a quick getaway, or to confound their aim. Additionally, defensive infantry strong points (or campers for a better word), can very likely be forced to disperse with a single mortar shell, as a second one is usually lethal. This can give the Mortar a great tactical value on Rush game modes for the attacking team, giving the ability to soften up choke points with ease. Enemy anti-tank mines in the open can also be cleared from a safe distance.
The mortar shells have an unusual flight path, erupting straight from the tube (about 70° vertical), then falling straight down on the target. Thus, they can attack enemies standing beside tall buildings. The shells also take longer to travel the further away the enemy.
If the minimap and/or minimap spotting are disabled, such as with Hardcore, the player must rely on other teammate's observations and estimate corrections. A single dot on the HUD is the player's only indication of trajectory—it does not indicate the target, but rather how the tube is aimed.
- Load mortar tube (launch occurs a second later)
- Select 60mm HEDP shell
- Select 60mm Smoke shell
- Toggle ammo selection
1.04 (March 2012)
Before the 1.04 Patch, anyone using the M224 Mortar could simply use it from their home base, making it near-impossible to kill the user. The only reliable way to kill them was using another mortar, though it was risky if the enemy noticed them using it. After the 1.04 Patch, M224 Mortars can now only be used in areas where both teams are allowed to traverse, making it easier to kill the operator.
The patch also made the mortar less precise by zooming out the targeting minimap and increasing the delay between fired rounds, making the mortar less effective as a lethal weapon and giving it more of a support role.
Due to a bug, the Mortar could not be placed anywhere on Grand Bazaar after the patch.
1.05 (June 2012)
The bug that didn't allow the player to place the Mortar anywhere on Grand Bazaar was fixed, or so they thought, as the bug seems to be around still on certain servers.
1.06 (September 2012)
Prior to the patch, the two shell types had separate fire rates, so by alternating smoke and high-explosive rounds, the player could double the number of shells they put out, even though only half of them are explosive.
The same reload timer now applies to the HEDP and Smoke rounds. Players can still instantly switch between the two, but cannot fire either within six seconds of the previous shell.
The patch also prevents Canister Shells and regular HEAT shells from being fired quickly from tank cannons, a similar bug. The damage was reduced significantly as only a direct hit will kill. It can take up to four shells from splash damage alone.
— Battlelog description
The M224 Mortar is a weapon featured in Battlefield 4 for the Support class. Unlike other variations where it was manned directly, it is now rigged for remote control. It can be placed in a location chosen by the player and uses a remote aiming console to fire. Players must wait 45 seconds after spawn or re spawn to deploy the mortar, and also must wait 45 seconds if they pick up the mortar to reposition it. It is similar in use to the M142 HIMARS, which also features a console that also displays positions of impacting rounds, and the accuracy level via reticle. Note that there is no delay when using the M142 HIMARS.
It has limited ammo—five rounds—but regenerates a shell every so often like vehicles. Mortars are now capable of firing significantly faster at the expense of accuracy, as well as dealing overall increased damage. It has a very long resupply time, preventing it from being immediately replaced if destroyed. Like other soldier equipment, the Mortar can be destroyed by enemy fire or MAV.
A mortar shell will travel in a single parabolic arc in Battlefield 4, and may hit obstructions before reaching its intended target. The targeting system calculates a trajectory for the targeted position at ground level, making it difficult to use against players in elevated positions. It is possible to kill oneself when operating the mortar.
Unlike Battlefield 3, the mortar no longer has alternate ammunition types.
The mortar's position will persist through death, meaning that players can access the mortar via the remote, even after respawning, although there will still be a penalty of 45 second delay before it becomes available.
- In earlier patches, it was possible to regenerate all ammunition by retrieving the mortar and placing it back down.
- The mortar is still considered a vehicle, potentially awarding players Anti-Vehicle ribbons for their destruction. Destroying a mortar awards an "Enemy Equipment Destroyed" bonus, as with other gadgets.