Operating Vehicles

General Vehicle Information

  • Light vehicles, trucks and boats & most jeeps (except light armored ones) can be operated by any soldier. Armored vehicles, helicopters and aircraft need specified vehicle kits to operate. Players not using the correct kit will not be able to steer the vehicle or use the weapons. You can't enter or use enemy vehicles. For ground vehicles you then require a Crewman kit. For aircraft & helicopters it’s the Pilot kit. These are either requestable by the vehicle or by a supply crate.
  • External views for vehicles have been removed. But for certain vehicles there are custom cameras like the trucks can watch behind them (C).
  • You can aim down the sights of static and vehicle-mounted MGs by pressing the change camera key(C).
  • Vehicle-mounted automatic weapons often have overheating. Watch the heat-HUD element on the lower right corner.
  • Vehicle-mounted MGs use ammunition belts. They are reloaded automatically but are limited in number.
  • Vehicles can be resupplied & repaired at the supply depot. Or use the repair drop that any logistics truck can drop. Aircraft and Helicopters are automatically repaired and rearmed at their spawn location.
  • Insurgents have suicide vehicles like an orange dumpster truck or small civilian cars packed with C4. You can detonate these with the alternative fire key.
  • When exiting a moving ground vehicle you’ll take damage depending on its speed. You’ll be severely wounded if you exit a burning vehicle.
  • When vehicles take much damage they may become unable to move or traverse their turret until fully repaired.
  • Vehicles that fire wire-guided missiles need to be stationary for about 7 seconds before they can fire their weapon.
  • Switching vehicle-weapons (ammo type) will usually cause a delay before you can fire.
  • You can use Left CTRL+Mouse movement to freelook when operating most vehicles such as helicopters, jets, jeeps, boats and trucks. APCs and IFVs do not have this feature as they use dedicated cameras.
  • On public servers (not in local gamemodes) you can quickly switch to the next available free seat in a vehicle by pressing F8.
  • When in a vehicle, you can see the information on the occupied seats in the bottom left of the the HUD. It shows only important crew seats as squared markers. This includes driver and gunner positions. Passenger seats do not have such markers and are shown as a seperate counter.

    Armored Vehicles

  • Tanks and IFVs have separate driver & gunner seats. To use the gunner's position a driver or cupola gunner must be present. After switching to the gunner seat you must wait 30 seconds before you can aim the cannon.

  • The driver and gunner in a vehicle must be in the same squad.
  • Tank drivers and certain APC/IFVs have a commander view mode which provides a 360° view around the turret. This can be accessed by pressing 2.
  • Drivers and gunners can zoom their view by pressing the pop smoke key (X). Some tank drivers must first change to the commander view.
  • Most tanks and IFVs can use thermal optics in addition to their normal views. You can switch to the thermal mode by using secondary radio menu (T) and selecting “DAY / THERMAL”. Some will also allow you to switch between thermal variations like WHOT/BHOT.

Thermal Vision.

  • Armored vehicles have no warning sound when they are targeted by rocket launchers or when missiles are fired at them.
  • Armored vehicles have realistic materials. This means that front and turret armor is stronger than the one in the rear and top of the vehicle. Sides of vehicles and the tracks usually have the middle ground when it comes to armor strength.
  • Tanks and IFVs usually have up to 4 types of ammunition:
    • Armor-piercing (AP): For attacking enemy armored vehicles.
    • High Explosive (HE) (loaded by pressing 2): Effective against soft targets (jeeps, houses, helicopters, covered infantry, etc.)
    • Anti-tank missiles (loaded by pressing 3): Used against heavy armor.
    • Co-axial MG (fired using the alternate fire key): Used against infantry.
  • Tank drivers or gunners (depending on vehicle) and certain other vehicles can deploy smoke by pressing the alternate fire key.

Tank & IFV gunners deploy it by selecting its weapon slot (usually 3) and pressing the fire key to launch a volley of smoke bombs. Each of them can fire 2 volleys (the gunner has to wait 60s between volleys).

  • For certain vehicles the smoke will be IR-blocking meaning it will also block on thermal vision. For other (older vehicles) you will be able to see through the smoke on thermal vision.

Vehicle deployed smoke.


  • Helicopters have a warm-up time of around 30 seconds. If too much thrust is generated while the rotor blades spin up, the pilot will lose control and crash. To start the helicopter you have to leave the throttle at idle for at least 30 seconds before trying to lift off.
  • Helicopter pilots can look in other directions while flying by pressing the 6, 7, 8 and 9 keys which you can map to a joystick POV HAT Switch. To look forwards again press 1 or select any other weapon your aircraft has.
  • The rudder controls are mostly effective at low speeds. At higher speeds you need to bank the helicopter to turn.
  • Players using the pilot kit cannot occupy any of the passenger seats of an aircraft. This is to stop players using the pilot kit as some kind of SF paratrooper assault kit because it has a parachute. If you have had to bail out of your aircraft and then receive a pickup from another aircraft, ensure you drop your pilot kit before entering the aircraft’s passenger seat otherwise you will be forced out of the helicopter.
  • The pilot of Heavy Attack Helicopters aka Gunships can fire the unguided rockets while the gunner controls the cannon and guided missiles.
  • Gunners in attack helicopters can zoom their weapons camera by pressing the cycle camera key (C) or by pressing the F9 to F11 keys. They can also switch to a thermal imaging mode by using the secondary radio menu (T) and selecting “DAY / THERMAL” to toggle between the two.
  • The attack-helicopter's gunner has 4 different modes to choose from:
  • First-person view in the cockpit
  • Gun-camera which controls the helicopter's gun
  • Laser-guided fire mode (LG) allows a semi-manual targeting mode, where you can click on the target and the missile will guide itself towards it and click again to update the targets location to the missile in flight.
  • Laser-targeted fire mode (LT) (fire-and-forget) locks the missile onto a laser target provided by ground troops or a scout helicopter. The laser targeted mode is the best choice if a spotter can designate the target. It allows minimal exposure of the helicopter. The laser guided mode allows the best tracking of moving targets. However if the target hasn’t been “lazed” correctly or badly, or simply for some reason the missile can’t see the target after launch like if a building gets in the way, the missile may miss.
  • Helicopter crews need to be in the same squad.
  • Helicopters must return to the helipad and land to be rearmed/repaired. On Carriers you can only reload on the “ramp” of the carrier, off the runway, this doesn't include the lifts.
  • To successfully drop supplies from a transport helicopters the pilot needs to conduct the drop from an altitude under 5m / 15 feet by pressing the alternate fire key.
  • Countermeasure flares are limited and need to be rearmed when expended. Every time you deploy flare(X) one flare will be deployed.

Fixed Wing Aircraft

  • Aircraft have a warm-up time of 30 seconds before they can take off from the ground.
  • Jet pilots can look in other directions while flying by pressing the 7, 8 and 9 keys which you can map to a joystick POV HAT Switch. To look forwards again press 1 or select any other weapon your aircraft has.
  • To slowly taxi on the ground keep the throttle neutral and push the stick forward or press the up arrow key, to slowly move in that direction. Pull the stick back or press the down arrow key to reverse. To steer left and right use the rudder controls (A & D).
  • Your maximum altitude is 10km.
  • To take off you need to put the throttle on maximum and then wait a little for the plane to start accelerating. When you are down 2/3 of the runway gently start pulling on the stick and maybe add some afterburner.
  • Most aircraft come equipped with a cannon and several external weapons. The primary fire key will fire the cannon (if your aircraft has one) while the alternate fire key will fire the currently selected weapon such as bombs and missiles.
  • To re-arm and repair you do need to land the aircraft at your airbase and taxi to the “ramp” or on some very few maps, on the runway. It takes quite some time to rearm completely. On Carriers you can only reload on the “ramp” of the carrier, off the runway. This doesn't include the lifts.
  • Most fixed wing aircraft feature ejection seats when you press E. It will automatically deploy the parachute when below 750m.
  • Air-to-ground weapons in single seat aircraft need an established laser lock to hit a target. The recommended procedure for an attack with them is explained below:
    1. Ground troops find a suitable target for an air attack.
    2. The troops contact the pilot either directly through mumble/text chat and/or by placing a CAS marker.
    3. The pilot informs the ground troops of his approach using the “ON THE WAY” command from his main radio menu and/or through mumble/text chat.
    4. As the pilot approaches the target, the ground troops mark the target with a GTLD laser designator, if the laser is slightly off from the target, the missile may miss.
    5. When the target is locked-on the pilot receives a sound cue. He may now release the bomb/missile.
  • Two-seater aircraft allow the weapons systems officer (WSO) to identify and engage targets by himself while using the TV targeting mode. The targeting modes work in the same way as in attack helicopters.
  • The commander can place a laser target from his map. Since this method is not very precise it should only be used to bomb static targets.
  • Aircrafts don't have a nose camera but you can still look back by pressing the cycle camera key (C) or F11 to look back, and F9 or a weapon key to look forwards again.
  • Flares are triggered individually(X) and need to be rearmed after all of them have been dropped. Since the warning sound is only played once the enemy has already locked onto your aircraft for half a second, it is recommended to use them while on an attack run to reduce the chance of the enemy establishing a lock.
  • To land in PR:BF2 you need to plan ahead much longer than in BF2. Here are some tips on how to make your first landings easier:
  • You need to reduce your speed in advance until you can just stay level without falling out of the sky (about 40% power) with the stall airspeed being different for each aircraft. (You can find the stall speed of your aircraft yourself by just going up high and slowing your aircraft down until it starts to lose control and fall, but doing it up high will mean you can regain control by opening up the throttle and pointing your nose down, then just stay above that stall speed while landing, until your wheels hit the ground.)
  • When you are at this speed you should start your approach.
  • Imagine a point on the map by extending the runway by about 1km.
  • Fly to this point and turn towards the runway.
  • When you are about 200m from the runway cut your throttle.
  • Once you have touched the ground pull back on the stick to slow down, the planes all handle individually.

Fire Control Systems

Vehicles in Project Reality use an authentic ballistic system for vehicle projectiles. Depending on the vehicle several variations of Fire Control Systems (FCS) computers can be used by the gunner. In principle, the FCS can calculate required adjustments to fire at the target exactly where you want to. Not only does the firing solution consider the drop of the projectile due to gravity, it also includes friction slowing down projectiles. Further it can account for the offset between the operator camera and barrel, the height difference to the target, banking of the vehicle as well as speed of the vehicle. Just as their real life counterparts, not every vehicle will have the same capabilities for their FCS. This section will delve deeper into some of the use-cases of our FCS implementations.

Ground Vehicles

  • In short, there are 3 types of FCS for ground vehicles:
    • Static sight: You have to rely on range markings in the sight.
    • Adjusting sight: The crosshair moves to show where to aim.
    • Adjusting barrel: The barrel moves to hit where you are aiming.
  • The vehicle gunner‘s view (the sight in the HUD) will greatly vary from vehicle to vehicle depending on their specifications. Some vehicles, mostly older generation ones, but not limited to age, simply offer a graticule overlay with lines indicating the necessary point of aim for a given distance. The markings on the scope itself will usually clarify which lines are to be used for which type of armament specifically. The gunner then has to correctly estimate the range to the target and adjust the gun’s pitch in order to hit.
  • Other vehicles come with the ability to set up the gun sight’s zero to indicate the point of aim for the intended point of impact. By holding the commo-rose (default: Q), the gunner can dial into the desired range by increasing or subtracting the indicated range. He can also reset the gun into neutral position, which is indicated by the display of - - - - in the HUD as range setting.

Using the commo-rose to manually change the set range.

  • The most sophisticated setup found on most modern vehicles comes with access to a fully automated FCS, complete with a laser range finder. They will show the icon for the laser as active:.
  • After aiming the crosshair at the desired target(distance), vehicles that have it, the laser range finder can be used with the change camera key (default: C) which will set the gun automatically to be set in the correct position to fire at the center crosshair.
  • In the bottom right of the HUD the current set range and available capabilities of your vehicle is shown.

The set range and FCS capability icons being shown in the bottom right of the HUD.

  • The icons in the gunner view on vehicles using a FCS show a number of icons in either white or grey scale. These icons each indicate a certain type of aiming correction the FCS will account for when setting the gun up correctly. The corrections account for the following aiming inaccuracies:
    • Speed compensation: Compensating for the vehicle’s own movement. Does NOT correct the lead on a moving enemy target vehicle.
    • Height compensation: Compensates for the difference in altitude between your vehicle and the target.
    • Parallax compensation: Compensating the mismatch between gun position and gunner camera position.
    • Roll compensation: Compensates the vehicle sitting at an angle.
  • When switching to the coaxial machine gun, the gun’s pitch will automatically to fire the machine gun to fire at the center. The same will happen when switching to other types of munitions. To switch between main gun and coaxial MG use the switch weapon key (default: F).
  • Although the desired mode of operation is for the weapon to be set automatically, the gunner has also the ability to dial manually. This will however not correct for aiming mismatches(see below). If the distance to the target is greater than physically achieveable by the selected weapon, the HUD will display a red lettering of the current range setting or ^ ^ ^ ^ as the error indication.
  • A small number of vehicles will utilize a laser range finder to receive the correct distance to the target, but instead of shifting the gun to aim in the center crosshair, the position of the crosshair within the scope will change. Changing to the coaxial machine gun or other types of ammunition will change the crosshair position automatically again. Just like above, manually dialing is also possible.
  • There is a very, very brief period after lasing and the gun entering the correct position. If you’re too hasty you may end up missing.
  • The laser range finder has a cool down period of about one second in between uses, indicated by the icon turning red.
  • It cannot be used to set up the gun for distances under 150m. Lasing at such a low distance or into the horizon will revert the gun to settle into neutral position, with the range indicator showing v v v v.
  • The laser has an error of around ± 5m.

  • The game will memorize the last setting of the gunner, regardless of whether he left it or was killed in it.

  • The gun’s warm up phase does not prevent the gunner from using the laser range finder or the manual range dialing.
  • The FCS on SPAAA (Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Artillery) vehicles is always active and does not require any additional input from the player.
  • When crewing a SPAAA with radar equipment, the FCS will display a circle indicating the correct target lead after aquiring a lock on the target. The enemy aircraft can deploy flares to break the lock, which removes the aiming circle temporarily.

Fixed Wing Aircraft

The FCS is not limited to ground vehicles, fixed wing aircraft have their own versions for (automated) firing solutions. As such modern jets utilize Constantly Computed Impact Point (CCIP) which will show where bombs will land on the ground. Additionally ground attack jets will also utilize CCIP to show the impact of their main gun. Fighter jets supporting radar targeting will be able to lock onto aircraft with their guns to show a marker predicting where to aim and hit the target. This radar locking will also trigger the victims radar warning receivers and can be countered using flares.