UPDATE: A Lot of the information here is now useless since a recent update has removed the marker from enemy drones. Drones no longer are marked when deployed, but they are visible to the naked eye making them more effective intel-gathering tools that are safer from the drone shootings I suggest here.
Jam the Drones
The Tech is especially suited to counter drones with their jammer (especially since the update which removed the mark drone had when deployed). The jammer stops drones that are within the jamming area from collecting intel (marking) including even being able to see. Don’t forget (Mr Assassin) that although a drone cannot mark you, the drone operator can ping you to give away your position, especially in conjunction with verbal communication.
The Tech’s jammer makes drones less effective, but they can still be deployed outside of the jammer’s area, or fly outside of the jammed area to collect intel and drop Artillery on your team – and even destroy your jammer if they’re lucky.
But what if the other team is ruining your day with their drones and the Tech’s jammer isn’t getting the job done well enough for your taste? Shoot it out of the sky. A destroyed drone collect no information!
Countering Drones with Pistols, SMGs and Shotguns
Trying to shoot down a drone with SMGs, Shotguns and pistols is difficult and sure to give away your position as you whittle away the drone’s health. An in-game tip mentions shooting down drones, but you won’t see mention of SMGs, Shotguns or pistols. They are only useful as a last resort like if you’ve already been marked, or if don’t care about giving away your position.
This is the least effective option for dealing with drones.
Countering Drones by Hiding
It is possible hide from drones, but it seriously hampers your team’s movement. Especially if the other team has 3 or more drones running (Scout, Artillery, Medic and Recruits), you may spend a lot of time in hiding or being marked. This is the second least effective way to counter drones, but its doable if you want to stay 100% stealthy … and hope you don’t get wiped out one-by-one as your opponents roam the map freely.
Countering Drones with Your Sniper
If you use a Sniper you’ll probably get the Drone in 2 shots, which is plenty of time to give away your position completely. Your team can rely on a good Sniper, so giving away the Sniper’s position isn’t a great idea unless its the very beginning of a round.
Let’s define a good Sniper since I brought it up, because if you have a bad Sniper the other team might do you a favor by taking him out.
A Good Sniper can take out an enemy with on quick shot at long distance – without missing. But so can a bad Sniper. A good Sniper will relocate after taking a couple of shots unless your team and his skills can keep him alive in that one superior spot. A good Sniper realizes that in a 1v3 or 1v4 battle he’ll probably lost … so he’ll revive teammates.
A bad Sniper may just be learning, or might just be ineffective even after hours and hours of practice. You can hopefully give the newbie Sniper a break as he learns how to pop heads off of your opponents. But the last man standing Sniper is not of any use, and he really might be any class. This player’s goal is to be the last man standing on your team, so he’ll hide the during each round. Match after match. He will probably make little or no effort to revive anyone, because his hiding spot keeps him alive. He seems oblivious to the fact when he’s the last person alive that the enemy team will often revive all of their members, and hit the Tower. He’ll even stay in his little hidy spot instead of setting up an ambush with mines plus a good location while the enemy team is activating the Tower to locate him. He may not even move to get a good shot on the guy who is activating the Tower.
If you have no Tech and no one is running with a DMR, the Sniper may be your best anti-drone counter.
Countering Drones with Your Assault Rifle
Some Assault Rifles are better at destroying drones than others. To shoot a drone down quickly (or at all) with an Assault Rifle you need to be rather close to it. And bursting your fire to keep more rounds hitting the drone. If you are trying to keep from giving away your position, an Assault Rifle does a moderate job because it can take the drone down, but you probably will be marked first.
Assault Rilfes are not the best anti-drone option, but can do that job. Especially if you don’t want have to run away from that Artillery drone’s barrage.
Countering Drones with LMGs
LMGs are better at countering drones than Assault Rifles. The Enforcer’s MK-48 LMG takes out drones much better than the Tank’s Stoner LMG. Either one will give away your position unless you take the drone out quickly and are in cover where you are not visible to the enemy team.
The Boss in Drone Destruction – BEST
My #1 anti-drone weapon is the DMR. I’m referring mainly to the Sentinel’s Dragunov & SR25. I’m sure other DMRs are probably just as effective but I have not tried them out. Your Recruit has a DMR as does the Ranger.
If I’m facing a team running drones I prefer using the Sentinel to shoot the drone out of the air and then quickly moving to another position afterward to avoid being taken out by quick movers on the other team. Its also a good idea to move away from your teammates before you engage the drone, if you can. That way you are less likely to give away friendly positions.
DMR all the way, usually 3-4 shots does it.
Firing on All Drones – Get ‘Em Fast
When firing on a drone, especially a Scout or Medic drone, both of which move fast, I try to begin firing when the drone stops to hover. Firing at a moving Medic or Scout drone is almost a surefire way to get marked. Oh, and yes, Medic Drones can mark you.
Well, that’s my 2 cents – why don’t you let me hear what you think? Leave a comment below.