Melee Weapons are weapons that can be used to injure or kill targets by inflicting blunt force trauma or lacerations (wounding them) without actually firing a gun. Equipping any of these weapons to your loadout counts as one Equipment Point. These weapons cannot inflict damage to vehicles of any kind.
Types of Melee Weapons
There are currently two different types of melee weapon: Blunt Objects and Knives.
Each faction has their own basic blunt melee weapon.
- The U.S. Army has the M-1910 Entrenching Tool
- The Wehrmacht has the Schanzzeug
- The Red Army has the Vulcan Stalin
These three blunt objects are essentially military-issued shovels used for digging trenches that double as a last line of defense when firearms are not part of the equation. Each of these shovels have a range of about half a meter. From full health, a well-placed swing at an enemy soldier's head will prove fatal to the potential victim, while striking an enemy in the body will require two hits to kill. Strikes to limbs will require up to five hits to kill, depending on the badge selection of the victim.
Aside from previously mentioned weapons, there is a fourth blunt melee weapon that is available for all factions. That weapon is the Adjustable Wrench. While the Adjustable Wrench technically counts as vehicle equipment, it can also be used as a weapon. Being considerably smaller than a shovel, the wrench is not one of the most reliable melee weapons and should only be used as a last resort, as its damage is half of that as normal melee weapons.
Much like blunt melee weapons, each faction has their own knife.
- The U.S. Army has the Combat Knife 1219C2
- The Wehrmacht has the Seitengewehr 98
- The Red Army has the AVS-36 Bayonet and the NR-40 Combat Knife
Knives can be used to inflict fatal wounds to targets. While they lack in range, they compensate with their swiftness in striking, with an attack speed around twice that of any shovel. They can be used to silently execute enemy units when they least expect it.
One would assume that wielding a melee weapon was as simple as swinging your arms like a lunatic but, there is actually a bit more complexity than that.
Hit & Run
Introduced during the Care Package Update, the melee mechanics were reworked to give players the ability to use melee weapons while sprinting. By doing this, the user can easily deliver strikes against a fleeing enemy, as one cannot fire a weapon while sprinting. At the same time, the melee weapon user should monitor their stamina bar regularly. Attempting a hit-and-run on an enemy with less than half a bar of stamina can result in the attacker stopping short before being able to actually hit the enemy; giving the opponent a window of opportunity to gun down his/her attacker.
Executions provide a more clandestine means of taking out targets. The melee weapon user could sneak up on an unsuspecting soldier and deliver a fatal blow/stab to the back of the victim's head.
As effective as executions may be for taking out crucial targets (like snipers and lookouts), it does have its risks. Experienced players often wear headphones when playing; allowing them to hear even the most faint of footsteps on the off-chance that an enemy soldier could be preying on them.
When attempting to perform executions regularly, it would be advised that the melee weapon wielder equips the Nimble badge as it suppresses the sounds of footsteps. Less experienced and/or casual players are undeniably easier targets as they seldom use headphones or in-game audio at all.
Besides using the Nimble badge, one can also use the "bunnyhop technique" to move about silently. By rapidly jumping while moving, a player can eliminate most of their noise, as no sounds are created when jumping or landing. However, this does create much more visual motion than normal movement, so a wise player would only use this technique only when they are sure their target is not scanning their surroundings.
The Banzai charge is by far one of the least elegant approaches to wielding a melee weapon as it involves running/sprinting at an attacker while swinging at them like a lunatic. Unlike hit-and-runs, Banzai charges don't necessarily involve sprinting unless it is an option; due to the method being more out of desperation than being carefully coordinated.
This approach should only be used as a last resort when fleeing or using firearms are not viable options. Oftentimes, this method results in the wielders death but, there is the possibility that the opponent may find themselves too dumbfounded or startled by the desperate attack that they may miss most of their shots at their attacker or even find themselves unable to fight back at all.
However, if both combatants are reloading their weapons, rushing the enemy with a shovel or knife will give a crafty player an advantage and option to seriously injure of kill their opponent. Make sure to listen for the sounds of reloading weapons before charging, as without being able to shoot most enemies will be extremely vulnerable.
As the method's name entails, this tactic only comes into play when both players find themselves using melee weapons. On most occasions, hand-to-hand combat plays out more like a gamble than an actually coordinated tactic as the confrontation usually relies on the following variables:
- What Badges do the combatants have equipped?
- How much Health do the combatants have?
- Which melee weapons are being used?
- Is the incident isolated or can a third party intervene?
However, in a true melee duel, the fight typically involves moving in to strike and then backing away. The best tactic to win a melee duel is to wait until your opponent strikes, then counterattack while they are recovering, aiming for the head. While jumping may reduce some damage taken if a strike hits a leg instead of the chest, it will also leave you vulnerable to additional attacks.
- In earlier builds of the game, swinging a melee weapon would drain the player's stamina. If a player depleted all of their stamina, melee attacks (like sprinting) would require a brief but, compromising cooldown period.
- Players inside of enclosed vehicles can hear when another player hits their vehicle with a melee weapon.
- Players operating T-20 Komsomolets can be killed with melee weapons if the melee weapon wielder aims into the open view ports of the vehicle. This usually results in a "headshot" kill.
- Players operating the main gun of Infantry Fighting Vehicles can be killed with melee weapons if the canopy is open.