Experience Battlefield 2 like never before.

Be immersed in an exciting combat environment which blends realism and fast-paced, highly intense gameplay.

Feel the impact of every bullet around you as enemies lay down suppressive fire on your position.

Hear the death crescendo around you with the overhauled gunfire and explosion audio.

Featuring 7 factions, each with their own selection of high quality, beautifully animated weapons.

Are you ready to feel the Heat of Battle?

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Heat of Battle is designed to work with both vanilla BF2 or a standalone BFHD installation. The downloads are split into multiple files, so you can pick and choose which ones will best suit your needs. At minimum, you need the core files and at least one map pack to play. The additional files are not required but highly recommended!

Heat of Battle - this is the core mod.

Vanilla Map Pack - this map pack contains all the maps in vanilla BF2, tweaked and optimized for Heat of Battle. Do NOT use with BFHD, it won't work!

BFHD Map Pack - this map pack should be used with BFHD. Do not use with a vanilla BF2 installation.

SF Map Pack - this map pack will only work if you have Special Forces (xpack) content installed. If you have BF2 Revive or BFHD, this should work fine.

Custom Map Pack - contains custom maps created by the BF2 community, tweaked and optimized for Heat of Battle. Recommended for all installations.

Heat of Battle Reshade - this is the Reshade I use in my screenshots and videos. You can use this with vanilla BF2 or BFHD as long as you overwrite the existing files.

HD Terrain Pack - HD terrain textures by TheObscure. Recommended for all installations.

Shader cache - necessary in order to get the weapons to look as shiny and reflective as in my screenshots.

If you're not sure which files you need, just download and install the core files and the custom map pack!

Installing the mod

  1. If you are starting from scratch and don't have BF2, go here and install BFHD first!
  2. Download your desired Heat of Battle files. You need the core files and at least one map pack to play.
  3. In Windows, navigate to the folder that contains your BF2 installation. This folder should contain a folder called Battlefield 2. For a box copy, the folder should be called EA GAMES; for Revive, the folder should be called Revive; for BFHD, the folder should be called BF2HDRemastered or similar.


  4. Open Heat of Battle.zip. Drag and drop the Battlefield 2 folder from that zip into this folder. Overwrite any files. (After doing this, make sure that you have the folder ESAI in Battlefield 2/mods/bf2/ or else the game will crash on starting a map!)
  5. Navigate to mods/Heat_of_Battle/. Open any map packs you have downloaded. Drag and drop the Levels folder from the map pack zip into the Heat of Battle folder.

That's all you need to make the mod playable. The rest of the files are optional but they make a big difference!

Installing Reshade

  1. Navigate to the Battlefield 2 folder. This should be EA GAMES\Battlefield 2, Revive\Battlefield 2, or BF2HDRemastered\Battlefield 2.
  2. Drag and drop the files in the Reshade zip into this folder. Overwrite any files.

Installing HD terrain textures

Drag and drop the entire Common_client_hd_terrain.zip into the Heat_of_Battle folder.

Installing custom shader cache

The shader cache is what causes the “Please wait, optimizing shaders” message. It can affect the shininess and reflectivity of the weapon models. This is particularly important for Heat of Battle, since the realistic weapon lighting is highly dependent on environment map shininess. You'll want to install this shader cache if you want your weapons to look the way they do in my screenshots.

  1. Navigate to Documents\Battlefield 2\mods\bf2\cache.
  2. Open the most recently modified folder. It should be something like {D7B71... If you don't have this folder, start the game and load a map so the game can optimize shaders first, then come back.
  3. Open the shader cache zip. Drag the individual files in the zip into the Documents\Battlefield 2\mods\bf2\cache\{D7B71... folder. Replace everything.
  4. If for whatever reason it doesn't work or you don't like the results, delete the entire {D7B71... folder and load a map so the game optimizes shaders.
  5. In the future, if you update your graphics drivers and the game optimizes shaders again, you'll have to repeat this process so the weapons look shiny again.

Playing the mod

You can launch the mod by starting BF2.exe and going into the community tab of the launcher, then clicking “Custom Games” and “Heat of Battle”. However, I recommend creating a Windows shortcut to launch the mod quicker.

  1. Create a shortcut to BF2.exe, or copy and paste an existing shortcut.
  2. Right click the shortcut and select Properties.
  3. In the Target text box, add “ +modPath mods/Heat_of_Battle” (without quotes) at the end.

    Install shortcut

  4. You can also add +fullscreen 1 +szx 1920 +szy 1080 to force fullscreen or +fullscreen 0 +szx 1680 +szy 945 to force windowed with the desired resolution.
  5. My text box looks like this: "C:\Program Files (x86)\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2\BF2.exe" +modPath mods/Heat_of_Battle +fullscreen 0 +szx 1680 +szy 945

Setting up bots

Once you're in-game, I recommend playing using a Local Coop server (not Singleplayer). To do this, click Multiplayer, then Create Local. This gives you more options, so you can choose the spawn and revive time, number of bots, and bot difficulty. I recommend a 3 second spawn time, 5 second revive time, 32 bots, and bot difficulty at 70 or higher. If you want more bots, lower the max players slider.

To play with up to 48 bots, use the local coop server, set max players to 16, and slide the number of bots slider to the number you want.If you want to play with more than 48 bots, go into the mods/Heat_of_Battle/AI folder and open aiDefault.ai. Set overrideMenuSettings to 1. Then you can use AIX2's BF2SPCC or BF2 Bot Changer to set the number of bots you want. If that doesn't work, try deleting the aiDefault.ai file entirely, and use the bot changer again.

Local Coop

Before selecting your maps, make sure you set the game mode to Co-op! Then click start server, and you'll be on your way to feeling the Heat of Battle!

Using vehicles

In Heat of Battle, many ground vehicles have new features. All tanks and APCs have a zoom option, activated by pressing X (or whatever your smoke launcher key is set to). They also have a coaxial machine gun, fired with the RMB. Tanks and APCs also have a new selection of ammo types. Key 1 is armor piercing, best used against armored vehicles. Key 2 is high explosive, good against light vehicles and infantry around walls. Key 3 is canister (basically a large, direct-fire shotgun), which is highly effective against infantry. Key 4 for APCs is the wire-guided ATGM. Key 4 for tanks is a lock-on tank shell, which is great for hitting targets at extremely long range. However, the damage is low and ammo is limited. Pro-tip: After locking on, quickly aim high above the target so the guided round takes a high-arcing trajectory, hitting the target in the weaker top armor.

Note that there is a delay when switching between ammo types to simulate new rounds being loaded into the cannon. So you should think ahead and switch to the best ammo type for the situation beforehand!

Using Reshade

By default, use SHIFT + F2 to open the Reshade configuration menu. SHIFT + F1 to enable/disable effects. (You can change these keybinds yourself in the settings tab of the menu.)

The medium setting is enabled by default. In the home tab of the menu, the top drop down menu shows the available graphics settings. You can switch between them by selecting them from the drop down menu. You can check your FPS in the top right corner.


None vs. Low

The low setting adds basic color correction, lighting adjustments, and FXAA anti-aliasing. FPS impact is minimal.


Low vs. Medium

The medium setting adds additional color correction and lighting improvements. FPS impact is very slightly higher than low.


Medium vs. High

PB-6P9 Medium vs. High

The high setting adds bloom, reflective bumpmapping, and MXAO ambient occlusion. These effects are very graphically intensive but the visual boost is impressive, it really makes BF2 look like a next-gen game. Note the fresnel (rim/edge) lighting around the suppressor and the shadowing around the hands and grip. FPS impact is high. You'll probably need a RX580/GTX1060 to get 60fps at 1080p.

The following screenshot compares no reshade to the high setting. Note the shadowing on the hands and the sight of the RPG, this is all from the MXAO ambient occlusion effect! And the extra brightness around the edges of the models is fresnel lighting simulated by the reflective bumpmapping effect.

Standard vs. Warm

Standard vs. Warm

The medium and high settings also have a warm variant. The standard medium and high settings include a slight blue tint which I personally think makes the game look more modern. The warm variant drops the slight blue tint for those who prefer a more traditional BF2 look.

None vs. Low vs. Medium vs. High

None vs. Low vs. Medium vs. High

It's time to turn up the heat!

It's time to turn up the heat!

News 7 comments

Introducing Heat of Battle, a BF2 modification unlike any mod before it!

[RELEASE] Christmas Update!

[RELEASE] Christmas Update!

News 10 comments

Turn up the heat this holiday season with an all new Heat of Battle update!

Heat of Battle FAQ #2

Heat of Battle FAQ #2

News 4 comments

Answers for common post-launch questions, including CTD when joining game, how to change the number of bots, and how to use vehicles.

Full weapon list and credits!

Full weapon list and credits!

News 11 comments

Heat of Battle release is imminent!! This is everything you'll be able to play with on release, and everyone who contributed to making this mod awesome...

Add file RSS Files
Heat of Battle core files

Heat of Battle core files

Full Version 57 comments

These are the core Heat of Battle files. You'll need this and at least one map pack in order to play!

Vanilla Map Pack

Vanilla Map Pack

Full Version 3 comments

This map pack contains all the maps in vanilla BF2, tweaked and optimized for Heat of Battle. Do NOT use with BFHD, it won't work!

Custom Map Pack

Custom Map Pack

Full Version 4 comments

This contains custom maps created by the BF2 community, tweaked and optimized for Heat of Battle. Recommended for all installations!

BFHD Map Pack

BFHD Map Pack

Full Version

This map pack should only be used when installing with BFHD. Do NOT use on a vanilla installation, it won't work! Make sure you have BFHD version 3.0F...

Special Forces Map Pack

Special Forces Map Pack

Full Version 2 comments

This map pack will only work if you have Special Forces (xpack) content installed. If you have BF2 Revive or BFHD, this should work fine.

Heat of Battle Reshade

Heat of Battle Reshade

Graphics Tool 5 comments

You can use this with vanilla BF2 or BFHD as long as you overwrite the existing Reshade files. There are high, medium, and low graphics settings which...

Comments  (0 - 10 of 312)

The bug where the game crashes after throwing a medkit or an ammo bag is back, but it only happens in the BFHD mod. Vanilla seems normal.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

I've played this mod before on a previous computer and it worked flawlessly.
But now the mod refuses to work.

I'm using the BF Remaster and I've installed the mod correctly, but when I press the direct link to access the mod, the screen goes black a few seconds and then the game closes. This happens when I access the mod with the community tab in-game. The only way that I have found to fix it, is by deleting the Documents/BFHD folder, then mod works. Until I close it and then it black screens again. Somebody can help me with this error, please?

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Everything is working fine, with one BIG exception.

The map loads, and Ill be in the game and after several minutes the game with crash randomly. It might not do this every match but it has happened more times than not.

Im on win 10 64-bit and 4gb ram.

all the folders are in its place including the EISA folder in battlefield 2/mods/bf2

I have changed the compatibility to win xp sp3 with no luck.

Help is appreciated

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phale Creator

My suspicion is that it is a RAM limitation. On my computer the game uses over 2GB of RAM before any map is even loaded. After playing a few maps the RAM builds up and the game eventually crashes.

Reply Good karma+1 vote

Is there a way to limit the ram usage? Such as lowering the View distance scale or lowering the graphics?

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this is probably a stupid question, but whenever I launch from community/custom it crashes to desktop. I don't get an error message or anything, it just crashes. please help

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

Hey, I've installed the mod perfectly and all but when I join the game almost a minute after everything loads my game crashes... Appreciate the help!

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phale Creator

Make sure you installed the ESAI folder in mods/bf2!

Reply Good karma+1 vote

To cause a critical damage in a enemy tank I have to shoot in their back? it's a bit difficult to destroy a tank with AP shell (at least for me, lol)

-nice mod, btw-

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

reshade not working i push shift+f1 and nothing happend.....

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22 votes submitted.

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Ratings closed.

Highest Rated (5 agree) 10/10

Well. How to phrase this? Just wow.
Great weapon handling: check
Awesome maps: check
Accurate weaponry (minus the PRC and Spetsnaz using RPG-7s): check
All in all: a round 10/10.

Should be a standalone, IMHO.

Dec 11 2017 by Deathblade100

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