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The minimap's view is centered on the player, and is oriented the same direction the player faces (though some games have an option to prevent minimap rotation).
On PC versions of Battlefield games, thekey is used to change the minimap's zoom level, and the key is used to view a larger version of the map as an overlay.
Along with other HUD elements, the minimap is not visible when playing in Hardcore mode.
Unfortunately, there is no minimap size between large and small.
Various icons are visible on the map:
- Ground forces (with arrow showing current heading)
- Control points
- Spawn points
- Certain gadgets such as Sentry Guns, Motion Sensors, or Radio Beacons
- Explosives such as mines and C4
In general, blue icons identify friendly forces and objectives, green icons identify squadmates, red/orange icons identify spotted enemy forces and objectives, and white/gray icons identify empty or neutral vehicles or locations. The player's own icon is orange. In general, team and squad mates are always displayed on the minimap, given they are alive and within range on the map. Enemies will appear for a short time on the map when firing unsuppressed weapons, as well as when they are spotted. Enemies can also be displayed on the map if a Commander deploys a UAV or Infantry Scan. The same goes for friendly and enemy vehicles; friendly occupied vehicles will always be displayed, enemy occupied vehicles will only be shown if firing or spotted, or if a Commander deploys a Vehicle Scan. Neutral vehicles and objectives will also always be displayed on the map, given they are in range of it.
In Battlefield 3, squad leaders have a star icon beside their personal icon and beside any icons for active gadgets they have deployed.
In Battlefield 4, squad leaders have a star as their icon.
The console Battlefield games before Battlefield 4 could not use a large map overlay, having to access the pause menu for a full map. The map overlay was included in Battlefield 4 on all platforms.
- The minimap of Battlefield 3 reacts to weapon recoil. This is especially noticeable when looking straight up, where firing a weapon can cause the minimap to rotate 180 degrees around and vibrate rapidly.
- In the last-generation versions of Battlefield 4, the minimap and the "big map" seen when holding down the start button in a match is not accurate to the in-game maps themselves. Both types of map use the next-generation versions, and as such, they depict extra buildings and foliage not seen on the last-gen versions of the game, thus being slightly misleading.