Want to know how to fly jets in Battlefield 2042? Getting a jet feels like winning the lottery in Battlefield. The entire team fights over them, but only one lucky winner can become an ace pilot and take to the skies. When you get the golden ticket, you watch the spawn cinematic as your pilot gears up to claim victory, and then you take control. You've dreamt of this moment, so it's time to make the most of it. You push the throttle forward, aim towards an objective and, after a few awkward turns and a risky scrape against the nearby skyscraper, you plummet towards the ground in a fiery wreck. Sigh. Maybe next time, Goose.
Jets are notoriously difficult to master in Battlefield, but we're here to help. This guide covers how to fly jets in Battlefield 2042, with our preferred keybinds and some useful tips that should transform your piloting experience into something that closely resembles a scene out of Top Gun.
Best keybinds for flying jets in Battlefield 2042
Before you start flying, it's a good idea to set your controls up to make piloting easier. The main controls you need in a jet are:
- Pitch: This moves the nose of the jet up and down.
- Yaw: This moves the nose of the jet left and right, while the main body remains flat. This allows you to turn to either side without rolling.
- Roll: This rotates the entire jet, spinning it left or right.
If you're on Xbox or Playstation and use a controller, the default settings should be perfectly fine, so feel free to skip down to our advice on how to get better with jets. However, the PC controls aren't as intuitive. You can see our suggested keybinds in the list below and then read our explanation to understand the changes we made.
The best keybinds for mouse and keyboard jet controls on PC are:
- Throttle up: W
- Throttle down: S
- Yaw right: Right arrow key/Drag Mouse Right
- Yaw left: Left arrow key/Drag Mouse Left
- Pitch down: Down arrow key/Drag Mouse Down
- Pitch up: Up arrow key/Drag Mouse Up
- Roll right: D
- Roll left: A
- Fire: Space
- Enter/exit vehicle: E
- Switch weapon: F
By default, pitch and roll are both controlled by dragging the mouse. Since you can only drag the mouse so far until your arm gets uncomfortable (or it just drops off your desk), you'll end up constantly slamming the mouse down into your table to readjust its position. We recommend controlling the Yaw and Pitch with a combination of the arrow keys for big movements and the mouse for precision. Then, have your other hand on WASD as you normally would, which will control Throttle and Roll. When Battlefield 2042 first launched, we encountered a glitch that didn't allow you to control Yaw with the mouse. However, this has since been fixed.
With the above settings, it should be a lot easier to fly the jet without crashing into every building on the map. Of course, that isn't every single pilot setting listed above. There are lots more on the actual list in-game, but those listed above are the only settings you actually need to worry about when flying the jet.
It's also worth noting that pitch up and down on this list are set to up and down respectively. However, in-game you'll realise that they actually do the opposite. That's because most games, including Battlefield 2042, invert flight controls by default. If you'd prefer them to not be inverted, you can either change the inverted setting in the general options menu, or switch the pitch keybinds around.
How to fly jets in Battlefield 2042
With the best keybinds set up, you should instantly find that jets are much easier to control than before. However, we've also taken some time to come up with some handy advice that should help you improve significantly. Below, you can find 4 tips that should help you become an ace pilot in no time.
Practice makes perfect
Apologies for the cliché heading there folks, but the old adage couldn't be more accurate. Practice really does make perfect, and you won't get a chance to hone your skills in Battlefield 2042's multiplayer. Instead, jump into All Out Warfare and press change gamemode, found just above the Play button that starts matchmaking. When you select change gamemode, look at the top of the screen to find two different Game Experience options: Multiplayer and Solo & Co-op.
Select Solo & Co-op and then hit play. You'll be put into a lobby with anyone else currently in your party, while bots fill the rest of the match. The AI players don't seem to take air vehicles like the jet or helicopter, so you won't have to fight with other players to try out the jet. This makes it much easier to practice with the jet, as you can take your time to fly around and learn different maneuvers. Just keep your wingsuit or parachute handy and prepare to eject a few times before you get comfortable.
Rolling is key
When trying to turn the jet, you might use Yaw instinctively to slowly pitch in the direction that you want to turn. However, it's much faster to roll in the direction you want to turn, and then pitch up. Yaw is much slower and is far less manoeuvrable, so you should only use it to make minor adjustments to your direction when aiming.
When flying a jet, we recommend gaining some altitude whenever possible. You'll need to do this before performing most manoeuvres, such as turning with roll as mentioned above, so that your wings don't hit the ground if you dip slightly.
Higher altitude is also essential if you're planning to perform a strafing run on infantry. When you want to attack, climb higher and then pitch down to start your strafing run. Gaining altitude before you attack will give you more time to rip through enemy defenses with your turrets before needing to pull up.
Check for the alternate flight mode
There are two jets in Battlefield 2042: the Russian SU-57 Felon and the American F-35E Panther. These jets are mostly the same, apart from one major difference. The American Panther jet has an alternate VTOL flight mode that you can use to hover above the ground, making it much easier to rack up kills while defending or attacking an objective. When spawning in a jet, look to the right side of the screen to see whether the control for activating the alternate VTOL flight mode is listed. If you see it (Z on PC), then you're in the Panther and can switch to VTOL mode at the push of a button.
While the Felon doesn't get a VTOL mode, it does have a Repair System that allows you to repair it's health when damaged, making it easier to survive in your jet throughout a match.
That's everything you need to know to learn how to fly jets in Battlefield 2042. Remember, you'll need to practice plenty before you can consider yourself an ace pilot, but there's no better time to start learning than now. If you're looking for more help in Battlefield 2042, check out our tips and tricks. You can also take a look at our specialist tier list to see which character is best. If you want to know what we thought about Battlefield 2042, check out Ed's review.