Electronic Arts created Battlelog to connect its games in one easy-to-access mobile app. Battlefield 3, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and Battlefield 4 are all supported in Battlelog. Call of Duty Elite is Activision’s version of Battlelog, which offers similar multiplayer connectivity. Using these companion apps can improve your overall experience with these games, but how do they compare?
The main idea of these apps is to give players access to multiplayer data, communicate with friends, and customize loadouts for online matches. But given that players will likely be getting their news from online updates and communicate with their friends outside of the connected apps, the most useful part of these apps is the ability to change loadouts for multiplayer.
Browser to mobile mirroring
The main landing pages for Battlelog and CoD Elite focus on news and upcoming release information. Let’s look at the multiplayer pages instead.
Battlelog received the first update to support Battlefield 4’s multiplayer beta. Using Battlelog through the browser gives you multiplayer information.
Battlefield 4 Battlelog (Chrome)
The Android and iOS apps use a universal interface, but the layout should scale to the resolution of the device. The mirrored layout of the app to its online counterpart makes it easy to jump from browser to mobile. While the data is a little more constrained on mobile, all the important relevant information is there. Notice that the app forces a landscape layout.
Battlefield 4 Battlelog (Android)
Call of Duty’s Elite browser information is as informative as Battlelog, but contains less information about stats on the primary screen.
Call of Duty Elite (Chrome)
It’s strange that Call of Duty Elite on Android forces a portrait view while the iOS version supports landscape. Using Elite on Android makes it feel like you’re using a big phone rather than tablet. Elite also suffers from the same problem on mobile that it always has, which is a lack of more detailed player stats.
Call of Duty Elite (Android/iOS)
Both apps apply a uniform design to the web and mobile apps, but Battlelog is superior. Elite is likely to be updated before the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts, but the service could really use an update now.
Loadouts are the primary function
The big feature of both Elite and Battlelog is the ability to customize loadouts and send them into the game. Battlelog does have an advantage over Elite because updates in Battelog are pushed immediately, while Elite requires you to exit and sign into the game again before loadouts are updated.
Battlelog displays all classes and vehicles that are available. The focus on text may be a little overwhelming at first as you need to know the names of weapons and accessories rather than recognize them purely on their appearance.
But Battlefield 4’s classes are segmented into recognized classes. Each class carries a specific role and the unlocks are also class-specific. It’s disappointing, but the focus on squads alleviates this problem because a prepared squad will have all the tools it needs.
In contrast, Call of Duty’s multiplayer is much more open, allowing you to customize your style. The perks system in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 gives players the option to really customize loadouts. Unlocks are gained with tokens, but the balance of the game isn’t changed with different loadouts.
Perks and killstreaks define Call of Duty’s multiplayer mode, letting you can change them out in the app provided they’re unlocked.
Unlocks are the key to success
Unlocks in both Battlefield and Call of Duty are earned through gaining experience points. This includes both overall experience to unlock new weapons and weapon experience to unlock new accessories. Battlefield takes this further with kit unlocks which are class specific sets of accessories that can be switched out. Call of Duty’s unlocks are much more varied with different stocks, sights, and perks which use tokens that are earned as you level.
Playing Battlefield is much more technical than Call of Duty. The Siege of Shanghai map in the Battlefield 4 beta is large, and moving from objective to objective on foot can take a lot of time. In this way, earning XP to unlock new kits, weapons, and vehicles can take a lot more time. Transitioning from Call of Duty to Battlefield is a bit jarring because of how multiplayer works.
The difference with unlocks in Battlelog is that is shows your entire progression. This is especially clear for kits which show the overall progression to unlock everything. Kits are very important in Battlefield 4 and deciding to progress within a specific class is important for a squad.
When playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, you unlock new weapons by using tokens. Tokens are earned by gaining levels. You can choose to spend your tokens on every unlockable in the game and hoard them for better weapons or perks.
As a connected mobile app, you will probably only change your loadout. But since unlocks are tied to tokens, it’s strange that the app doesn’t give you a count of your tokens.
A focus on loadouts inside both apps
When Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts launch, it’s likely that the apps will be updated to support the exclusive features in the each game. While it looks like most of the features will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC players, the core apps for both games will still allow all players to customize their loadouts while away from the game.
While both Battlelog and Elite offer a lot of data, there’s not much you can do with it. Stats are interesting to know, but they don’t change anything in the game itself. Unlocks are performed within the game and not the app. Changing loadouts is the extent of what most people do, though if you have a lot of friends playing, or are in a clan, there are communication options.
At their core, the FPS apps are made so you can prepare yourself before you play the game, but it doesn’t allow you to access some of the more in-depth features like Call of Duty’s unlocks with tokens. Unlocks in Battlefield 4 happen as you gain the necessary experience so there’s only need to view progression.
Since Battlelog and Elite are also available as web apps, there’s no real necessity for the apps unless you are firmly entrenched in the game inside a clan or a group of friends who play together all the time.
Read more about Battlefield 4.
Read more about Call of Duty: Ghosts.