Powered by the Frostbite Engine (previously used in Battlefield: Bad Company), the game features land, sea, and air warfare (in its classic Conquest game mode) with three playable classes (Rifleman, Infantry, and Scout) in three classic maps (Wake Island, Guadalcanal, and Iwo Jima). A fourth map, released after a community accumulation challenge, presents a new aircraft-focused version of the Conquest game mode (Air Superiority) on another classic map (Coral Sea).
The game was later included in the console-exclusive Ultimate Edition of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. A PC version of the game was originally announced years later, before being ultimately cancelled in favor of Battlefield 3.
Battlefield 1943 is an online-only multiplayer game with three maps and three soldier classes. The game uses the Conquest mode where players traverse the map capturing flags for their team. Every time a soldier is killed, their team loses a ticket, which is similar to reinforcements. When one team has the majority of flags (at least 3), the other team will slowly begin to lose tickets. Players have three classes to choose from when spawning. The Rifleman class uses a semi-automatic rifle and can shoot rifle grenades. The Infantry class carries a submachine gun and also has an anti-tank weapon for destroying vehicles and structures (thanks to the Frostbite engine). Finally, the Scout class has a sniper rifle for picking off troops and can also plant dynamite along roads to blow up vehicles. A surprising feature of the game is every weapon having unlimited ammo. Rockets, grenades, and dynamite are also unlimited but after the player has exhausted their initial supply they must wait a few seconds for it to respawn. The player can also "reload" their supply of rockets by taking out the rockets and hitting the reload button. In addition to having unlimited ammunition is the regenerating health system that the game uses.
Along with the classes, players have multiple vehicles at their disposal. The newest addition to the console versions of Battlefield is planes. On two of the three maps, both teams start out on aircraft carriers with two planes that respawn after a certain period of time. Because the game is set in World War II, the planes only come equipped with machine guns and bombs to drop on the battlefield. Each map also has an airfield that players can capture that spawns planes and other vehicles. (Should the player need to bail out of their airplane, they can do so safely due to the inclusion of parachutes). The game also includes tanks, which are good for assaulting flags and taking out infantry, and jeeps, which are ideal for getting from one place to another quickly. The aircraft carriers have boats for the players who don't take off in planes, and the occasional boat can be found docked along the islands. Throughout their time with the game, players can earn stamps and postcards based on their performance and for performing certain feats. (Getting 10,000 kills will earn you one). They have no practical use.
Another new feature is the ability to launch an air raid. Each of the three maps has a special bunker that a player can enter. When they do, they become invulnerable and get to control a squadron of bombers that fly over the battlefield. While heading towards the island, the player can steer the fleet over a target. Once they are over it, they unleash the bombs, usually taking out several soldiers at once. The bombers can be shot down by enemy planes and AA guns, but it takes many hits. Doing so will lower the amount of bombs that can be dropped. Players may also notice a symbol on the battlefield: two crossed rifles. This is the Frontline icon, and it shows where most of the fighting is. Players can use this to their advantage when calling in an air raid.
Much like previous games, players can join a squad with other teammates. The squad leader can look at a flag and put a bright red circle around it for their squad to see. This is useful for telling teammates who aren't using a headset where they should go.
|Rifleman||M1 Garand (USMC), Type 5 (IJN)||Rifle grenades, Grenades||Bayonet|
|Infantry||Thompson (USMC), Type 100 (IJN)||Recoilless Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher, Grenades||Wrench (also used to repair vehicles)|
|Scout||Springfield (USMC), Kar 98k (IJN)||M1911 (USMC), Type 14 (IJN), Dynamite||Sword/Knife|
A fan-favorite of the Battlefield series (likely due to its use in the original Battlefield 1942 demo), Wake Island is a horseshoe-shaped island with a massive airfield on one side and aircraft carriers (serving as the spawn points of each team) far in the ocean on the other side.
Unlike all other versions of Wake Island, all flags start as completely neutral, with both factions starting outside of the island in aircraft carriers (rather than one faction starting with the island taken over and the other faction starting in an aircraft carrier).
The map is used for the game's Tutorial Mode.
Taking place during sunset (giving the map a unique sepia-tone), Iwo Jima is a long straight island with an airfield on one side and a tall mountain (Mount Suribachi) on the other side.
Like Wake Island, Iwo Jima is changed from its predecessor in that all flags start as completely neutral, with both factions starting on aircraft carriers on opposite sides adjacent to the island (rather than the IJN starting with four out of five flags controlled and the USMC starting on an aircraft carrier).
The only Conquest map with no naval combat, Guadalcanal is a large straight island where each faction starts in bases on the opposite sides of the island (each with an airstrip and land vehicles).
Along with an abundance of land vehicles, the map includes seven flags (two of which are locked to the two factions).
Coral Sea is a group of islands (with very tall rocks and mountains) that is used in the game's Air Superiority mode.
Players spawn on multiple aircraft carriers on opposite sides of the map, and must have more active planes within the main battlefield to "control" the area (essentially a one-flag Conquest mode with a large capture radius, in similar vein to King of the Hill modes in other games). Players who are not in an aircraft outside of the aircraft carrier die immediately.
Postcards & Stamps
|The Pacific Campaign - Win twice on every map as a team|
|Tour of Duty I - Play fifty matches|
|Tour of Duty II - Play one hundred thirty matches|
|The Best - Get the highest score in a match|
|Truly Elite - Get ten thousand kills|
|Melee Man - Get twenty melee kills|
|Master of your Domain - Get seventeen kills with each class|
|Master Blaster - Kill fifty enemies with grenades, rifle grenades, or explosives|
|Rifleman - Kill fifty enemies with a semi-automatic rifle|
|Infantyman - Kill fifty enemies with a submachine gun|
|Sniper! - Kill fifty enemies with a scoped rifle|
|Motorman - Get twenty five kills with a car, tank, and plane|
|Parachutist - Use the parachute four times|
|Milkrun - Fly a plane for twenty minutes|
|Bomb Run - Launch an air raid killing at least enemy|
|Wheelman - Get fifty kills using car, tank or boat|
|Fighter Ace - Get fifty kills using fighter planes|
|Defender - Defend twenty flags|
|Attacker - Capture thirty flags|
|Veteran - Cap fifty enemy flags|
|Lifer - Reach top rank|
|Squad Assister - Get one hundred squad assists|
|Squad Avenger - Avenge one hundred squad members|
|Best Squad - Be in the best squad three times on each map|
|Knife Efficiency - Kill four players with melee weapons|
|Explosives Efficiency - Kill four enemies with grenades or explosives|
|AT Efficiency - Kill four enemies with recoilless rifle|
|Rifle Grenade Efficiency - Kill four enemies with rifle grenades|
|Pistol Efficiency - Kill four enemies with a pistol|
|Rifle Efficiency - Kill four enemies with a semi-automatic rifle|
|SMG Efficiency - Kill four enemies with a submachine gun|
|Sniper Efficiency - Kill four enemies with a scoped rifle|
|Vehicle Efficiency - Destroy six vehicles in any fashion|
|Jeep Efficiency - Get four kills with a car|
|Tank Efficiency - Get four kills with a tank|
|Plane Efficiency - Get five kills with a fighter plane|
|Boat Efficiency - Get two kills with a landing craft|
|HMG Efficiency - Get four kills with a heavy machine gun|
|Air Defense Efficiency - Kill two planes with an anti-aircraft gun|
|Bombing Efficiency - Kill four enemies with air raids|
|Air Superiority - Shoot down three bombers|
|Vehicle Assist Efficiency - Get five vehicle assist kills|
|Leatherneck - Kill at least twenty enemies|
|Defender Efficiency - Defend five flags|
|Attacker Efficiency - Capture five enemy flags|
|Best Squad - Be the best squad of the round|
|Teamplayer - Get ten squad assists|
|Squad Excellence! - Each squad member gets any stamp and kills ten enemies|
- The Japanese 'Scout' does not use a Japanese Type 97 rifle. Rather, he uses a German Karabiner 98. DICE have previously explained that they did not have the time to model a Type 97 rifle for the game and chose to use a recognisable German service rifle in place.
- On the outside area of 'Iwo Jima', a small island can be found. The words "Haggard was here" are scrawled in the sand. This is a reference to George Haggard, one of the characters in Battlefield: Bad Company's 'B-Company'.