A Compound Bow is a modern bow and arrow system. It differs from traditional longbows and recurve bows in that it uses a levering system of pulleys and cables to bend the limbs. Compound bows also have much stiffer limbs, and coupled with a pulley system, are much more energy-efficient compared to other bows.
— In-game description
The Phantom is permanently equipped with its fiber optic sights in its Optic slot and a counterbalance Stabilizer in the Accessory slot. The weapon's third slot is for the equipped arrow type.
The bow's sights have three distance pins with green, yellow, and red tritium tips. Exact distance values for the sight pins depend on the arrow type being used, but in general the green pin is used for closer ranges, yellow for medium ones, and red for longer range shots.
Due to it being a bow, the Phantom's method of fire is slightly different than the other firearms available in-game. Whenis used without aiming, the player's soldier will quickly bring the bow up, draw the arrow back, and immediately let it loose. This method of fire is very inaccurate, delayed, and the arrows will deviate partially off target. Alternatively, if is used, the soldier will bring the bow up, pull the arrow back, and aim through the weapon's sights. The arrow will only be released when is pressed, and the arrow will accurately fly according to the weapon sights. Because of this, aiming the arrow before firing it is highly recommended due to the significant increase in accuracy; the normal primary fire should generally avoided unless a target approaches the player at very close range.
Notably, the Phantom acts like a Suppressed weapon and will not make the user appear on the minimap when fired. This makes it a useful tool for stealth minded players, especially if combined with the Shadow or Spec Ops upgrade paths, as they aid in the player being mobile and undetected with the STEALTH specialization.
While the Phantom is very effective in close quarters because of its high damage output with most of its arrow types, it can be difficult to use at longer ranges, despite its high accuracy, for a couple of reasons. All arrow types travel at the relatively low velocity of 350 meters a second, (for comparison, most DMRs have a bullet velocity of about 600 m/s), giving them a long time to target; the Phantom cannot equip any other optics except for its default fiber optic sights, which have no magnification and require adjustment for ranged shots; and the bow's reload animation obscures the center of the screen, which makes it difficult to tell where the arrow landed and adjust the next shot accordingly.
These factors make the Phantom less suited to ranged combat than Sniper Rifles or Designated Marksman Rifles, and is most effective at the same short and medium ranges that the Carbines it is categorized with are, although its slow reload and hipfire delay need to be kept in mind at close ranges.
- Main article: Arrow Types
Similar to Shotguns, the Phantom is able to equip different ammo types that alter its function and damage. The Phantom has four arrow types available for use: the Broadhead Tip, Bulletpoint, Explosive Tip, and Poison Tip arrows, all of which are unlocked by default. All of the arrows, excluding the Poison Tipped arrow, are capable of an instant kill with a headshot at any distance; otherwise they function differently and have different damage values and ranges. Careful aim with the Broadhead or Bulletpoint arrows at short ranges makes the Phantom an effective weapon against single enemies, while the Explosive and Poison tips turn the Phantom into more of a supportive weapon that can harass groups of enemies.
There are currently two methods of unlocking the Phantom. The newest and easiest method, added with Community Operations, involves the community designed level Operation Outbreak. The original, lengthy method added with Final Stand involves accessing a secret room on Hangar 21 and completing all Phantom assignments.
On Operation Outbreak, the Phantom can be unlocked by going between the Ghost Town and Plantation flags on Conquest Large or Small (roughly 180 meters from the Plantation and 104 meters from the Ghost Town). It will be located near a weapons cache under a small underpass. A grey weapons crate is located on-top of a green crate facing the Ghost Town; meleeing this crate will result in a bright white light similar to a Flashbang grenade, and inside of the box is the Phantom Bow. The bow can be picked up and used like a Battle Pickup, and is equipped with Poison Arrows. Picking up the bow from the crate will permanently unlock the weapon in the player's inventory after the player dies or respawns. This method of unlocking the Phantom does not unlock the Phantom Operative assignment.
The original way to unlock the Phantom, as well as the only way to unlock the Phantom Operative assignment, involves the player accessing the "Phantom room" on Hangar 21. In order to do this, the player must be a Premium member and have completed all previous Phantom assignments.
Once these are fulfilled, the player and three other players must then equip the Phantom camouflage on their soldiers and weapons, along with the Phantom dog tag and one of the secret four Final Stand dog tags from each map (each participating player must be wearing a different Final Stand dogtag).
This will allow the players to activate the elevator on Hangar 21 that will take them to the "Phantom room." The elevator is a deactivated lift at the back of the map above the access tunnel where the jeep spawns. Once located, the players must enter the elevator to power it up. The elevator has to be activated by at least four players, who wear different Premium dogtag from four Final Stand maps. If the players do not meet the aforementioned requirements, they can join the elevator ride, but they will be instantly killed in action after the elevator light goes off, the elevator ride will be long as it will check the three required items (Phantom dogtag, Phantom soldier camo and Phantom weapon camo), and killing the player that does not have all of them.
If the players are successful and the elevator activates, it will then transport the group to the entrance of the "Phantom room." Here, a forcefield is in-place that restricts access to the bow, which is floating in the middle of the room. To disable it, the players must enter the following code into the keypad to right of the forcefield: 1290 429 397648 970. This will disable it, and the players will be able to enter the room and take the Phantom, which will unlock the bow for each player that picks it up.
To unlock the Phantom Operative assignment, the player will have to find a tall computer unit within the Phantom room with a stack of papers on top of the unit, which is along the right-hand wall. Climbing onto the file cabinet next to it will allow the player to get on top of the unit and interact with the papers, which then unlocks the assignment. An audible sound, identical to the one heard when obtaining one of the Final Stand Premium dog tag can be heard when the Phantom Operative assignment is unlocked.
- Excluding the Zip Line crossbow from Battlefield 2: Special Forces, the Phantom is the second archery weapon in the series, the other being the XBOW from Battlefield 3: Aftermath.
- The Phantom appears to be based on a couple different bows in its design:
- The Phantom is referred to as Spyderhunter and Spyder in the game files, possibly in reference to the Hoyt Spyder.
- The Phantom's in-game model is styled very similarly to the Bear Arena 34 Blackout, particluarly with its limbs, grip, and its pulley cams.
- Those who equip the Phantom Operative dog-tag instead of the Final Stand map dog-tags can access the Phantom Room, but still need to be with at least three other players that meet the requirements.
- The Phantom is categorized as a Carbine in the loadout menu, but does not count towards Carbine points in the end of round screen.
- Like other weapons, players who have not unlocked the bow are still able to utilize it in the Gun Master gamemode.