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Spectator Mode is a feature in the Battlefield Series where a player can observe a match in a multiplayer server but cannot participate in the action. Spectators can view the match through a camera using a variety of angles available to and controlled by the player.

Battlefield Vietnam[]

Introduced in Patch 1.2, Spectator Mode must be enabled by the server creator through the separate "Run dedicated server" program. It cannot be enabled when creating a server in-game.

A player can become spectator by pressing the "Spectator" button on the kit selection interface. Likewise, an existing spectator can enter combat by choosing a faction. If a player chooses to become spectator, he will lose all his current score, and will need to wait a certain time before rejoining combat. This time is 120 seconds by default, but can be changed by server settings.

Spectators appear on the scoreboard in a separate column, but do not show on the minimap or in combat. They can be added to buddy lists just like other players. Spectators have full voting privileges if the server allows spectator voting. Spectators can view the scoreboard and minimap, but not the spawn interface.

Spectators have full information on the health of all players and their vehicles, as well as any warnings regarding potential control point changes, regardless of team and even if this option is turned off for players. If the spectator is near a control point, the progress for its change of possession is also shown.

Four camera types are available to spectators, each mapped to a function key:

  • F9 Free Camera;
  • F10 Team 1 Chase, cycling through players on the NVA team;
  • F11 Team 2 Chase, cycling through players on the US team;
  • F12 Control Point, cycling through control points.

Additionally, Space can be used to cycle through camera types. C can be used to cycle forward to the next player or control point, and X to cycle backwards. Free Camera cannot be used in tunnels (relevant to Operation Cedar Falls and Saigon - 1968), only the Chase and Control Point cameras are allowed.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2[]

Spectator Mode was not available in any Frostbite-powered game in the series until Battlefield 4. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 does introduce the killcam.


The killcam allows players to spectate the enemy player that killed them, from the front. The enemy's equipment and stats are displayed, including a record of the player's own kills and deaths to the specific enemy.

The killed player can relay the enemy's position to surviving teammates via chat.

Killcam is disabled on Hardcore servers, and some custom servers.

Spawn preview[]

The spawn point preview allows an inactive player to view the battlefield before spawning, and decide when it is safe to spawn or not.

Battlefield 3[]

Spectator Mode was a cut feature of Battlefield 3, being mentioned numerous times in the game files. The killcam and spawn preview is present, however, with the killcam being a third-person view of the player that killed the player with a display of the enemy player's loadout. The Killcam appears a few seconds after death and lasts for a several seconds before returning to the respawn screen.

Battlefield 4[]

Spectator Mode returned in Battlefield 4, allowing spectators to observe other players in first-person or third-person until their deaths, which automatically switched the view to another player. Spectators can also access a free-cam mode, and a "Tabletop" view that shows a full-size map.

Squad lists for both teams appear on either side, allowing the spectator to switch between them and gauge their performance. Spectators can keybind various views and shortcuts to specific players.

Unfortunately, it is not present on the last-generation ports of the game, those being the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

First-Person View[]

This view allows the spectator to see the gameworld through the viewpoint of a specific player, as if he himself were playing. Anything that would be visible to the player (including HUD) is visible to the spectator, though the spectator gains an advantage in being able to see enemies. This also allows the spectator to see whether the player has line-of-sight to other players or vehicles.

Third-Person View[]

BF4 Spectator 3P

Spectator Mode in Third-Person

This view also tracks a specific player, hovering above and behind, and tracking the player's line of sight. A card along the bottom of the screen shows the players loadout (whether infantry or vehicle) and basic stats (kills/deaths, score).

Tabletop View[]

Tabletop View is a fullscreen map view. While the fullscreen map has been present in most Battlefield games (typically as a "Spawn Menu" on PC, or in the Pause/Back menu on consoles), Battlefield 4 includes improvements to this feature.

The Commander View is very similar, adding those abilities usable by the team's Commander and relevant graphics.

Free Camera[]

BF4 Spectator FreeCam

Spectator Mode in Free Cam

Up to five free cameras can be positioned and maneuvered around the map. They allow the spectator to view any angle, move the camera at different speeds, and switch between areas of interest. By default, the free cameras are placed near objectives or spawn locations.

Battlefield Hardline[]

Spectator is featured Battlefield Hardline and functions in a manner similar to that of Battlefield 4.

Battlefield 1[]

Battlefield 1 features Spectator Mode on all platforms. Similar to past installments, it allows players to follow any individual player or vehicle with a "director camera", allowing players to control its positioning. The "free camera" also returns by allowing players to freely roam the map and create multiple cameras, place them around the map, and switch between them.

Like real-world photography, Spectator Mode features options to customize the camera's field-of-view and depth-of-field settings. It also features filters, such as Noir and the option to hide a player's HUD when viewing from a first person perspective.[1]

Players who do not own expansion packs may join matches on expansion maps in Spectator mode once the respective expansion has released worldwide.

Battlefield V[]

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Battlefield V features Spectator Mode. All major features returned from Battlefield 1 with significant improvements like more flexibility on director camera, improved controller support and minimal design.[2]