ByLiv Sommerlot, writer at Creators.co
Liv Sommerlot

Whether your first glimpse of a dirigible was via Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Kiki's Delivery Service, or the pages of a history book, they're pretty damn cool.

They're giant, hydrogen or helium-filled balloons that patrol the skies like mighty emperors amidst the clouds, commanding respect, garnering awe, and capturing our imaginations. If you happen to be a Steampunk fan, such as myself, no doubt you're just as fascinated by them as I am, perhaps even wishing you could take the helm of one yourself...

Image credit: Ognian Bonev
Image credit: Ognian Bonev

Well! Now you can! Though not nearly as fancy as the fantastical Steampunk dirigibles of our imaginations, Battlefield 1's newest feature involves getting to stand behind the wheel of one of history's most unique lighter-than-air war crafts—the zeppelin! Erm, the dirigible! The airship! Oh, whatever...

(if you're actually interested, a zeppelin is "any rigid airship made by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin aka the German Zeppelin Company, but the term has since come to refer to dirigibles of all kinds. Not all airships are zeppelins, but all zeppelins are airships")

At any rate, a wise man once said "with great power comes great responsibility," and you're gonna need a lot of responsibility to pilot one of these bad boys. We here at Now Loading have all the tips and tricks you need to dirigi-blast your enemies into smithereens!

For more Battlefield 1 here on Now Loading:

Bombs Away! Tips, Tricks, and Hints for Besting Your Enemy Aboard the Mighty Airship L30 Zeppelin in Battlefield 1

What maps is the zeppelin available on?

The zeppelin, or Airship L30 as it's actually called in-game, is one of three behemoths that can spawn on maps (others comprise the Armored Train and the Dreadnought). The zeppelin is currently confirmed to spawn on the following three maps:

  • Ballroom Blitz
  • St. Quentin Scar
  • Monte Grappa

When does the zeppelin spawn?

The zeppelin will only spawn for the team who's currently losing the match, and the point at which it spawns during the round is dependent upon two things:

  • Time Left in the Game
  • Team Point Difference

The earlier you are in the round, the greater the point difference necessary for the zeppelin to spawn. Likewise, the later you are in a round, the less of a point difference necessary for the zeppelin to spawn. For instance, if you're only 5 minutes into a 20 minute round, you'll need an approximate point difference of 40 for the zeppelin to spawn, but if you're 10 minutes into a 20 minute round, you'll only need about 30.

A beautiful line.
A beautiful line.

LevelCapGaming on YouTube has made a nifty graph charting the rising line created by these two factors.

What are the different positions on the Zeppelin?

This is NOT one of the positions on the zeppelin...
This is NOT one of the positions on the zeppelin...

There are 6 different positions on the zeppelin, which means only 6 different people can be on it at a time (all others will automatically parachute off upon being spawned). One person will take on the role of the driver, while the other five will become gunners.

What should I do as the driver?

The driver has the most important seat of the house, but you also have the most responsibility. The two things you'll be in charge of handling are steering and dropping bombs.

It's a beautiful day to go flying!
It's a beautiful day to go flying!

The zeppelin is kind of a big galuga. It's slow, sluggish, and takes a while to change direction. Because of its weight, it maintains its momentum and can't come to an immediate stop. You'll need to anticipate this and hit the brakes before changing directions. It might take a bit to get the controls down pat, and even then, it can still be tricky to align yourself perfectly over whatever location you're aiming for. As a general rule, staying in the thick of things is the most effective strategy, as this will allow your gunners to really raise hell on the ground below.

As the driver, you'll also be able to cause some serious carnage via your bombs! You'll have 3 per salvo, and they've got such a wide radius that you should easily be able to take out an entire point all on your own.

What should I do as one of the gunners?

There are two different gunner positions aboard the zeppelin. If you nab one of seats 2, 3, or 5, you'll be operating a Becker Type M2 autocannon primed and ready to pick off ground targets as the zeppelin chugs along. If you nab one of seats 4 or 6, you'll be in charge of an 8mm MG 08 machine gun capable of ripping any planes that come close to shreds.

Fly, fly, fly, as fast as you can...
Fly, fly, fly, as fast as you can...

You'll pretty much wanna stick to the ground if you're in seat 2, 3, or 5, and to the skies if you're in seat 4 or 6 (the machine guns are virtually useless against ground enemies), but watch out for enemies that might try to shoot you down. Snipers on the ground have a clear shot of gunners in the lower gondolas, and planes can quickly shoot down machine gun turrets.

Some gung-ho pilots might even try to parachute out of their planes and land on top of players manning the machine guns. So long as you notice them ahead of time, you'll have no problem picking them off, but you'll need to keep your wits about you.

How can I avoid being shot down?

No doubt, you've already seen the jaw-dropping videos of zeppelins catching fire and crash-landing in a pillar of smoke and flames, right? Well, let's not have that happen to you.

Burn, baby, burn! DISCO INFERNO.
Burn, baby, burn! DISCO INFERNO.

If there's one thing that's super-effective against zeppelins, it's anti-aircraft guns. WATCH OUT FOR THESE! The quickest way to meet a death of flames is to get in the sights of an anti-aircraft gun. See if your infantry down on the ground can't tackle those first. Tanks can also do some major damage against zeppelins. All they have to do is angle themselves upwards on a mound and point their turrets straight at your bulbous body to land a few clean shots that could leave you nothing but a flaming skeleton.

You don't have to be completely destroyed to be down for the count, though. Your zeppelin has a whole slew of vulnerable points, such as the gondolas where the driver and gunners sit. Each one can be shot off and fall to the ground upon taking enough damage. These will respawn over time, but will leave you driver-less or gun-less for the time they're gone.

What's the best way to make use of the zeppelin?

Despite all its firepower, one of the best ways of utilizing the zeppelin is actually as a spawn point for infantry. So long as all the gunner positions aren't being filled, defeated players will be able to spawn on top of the zeppelin. They can then ride the zeppelin towards the nearest point to capture and parachute off, allowing them to quickly bypass enemy infantry on the ground.

The best spot for a romantic date.
The best spot for a romantic date.

Unfortunately, at the moment, there isn't a dedicated infantry spawn point on top of the zeppelin, so this method might not always prove so effective, but it's definitely something to keep in mind. Using the zeppelin as a mode of transportation is arguably more useful than using its machine gun turrets in terms of capturing points.

What shouldn't I do after spawning a zeppelin?

Of course, amongst this list of things you should do after spawning a zeppelin, there are sure to be things you shouldn't. The zeppelin is pretty friggin' sweet and a whole lot of fun, which is why it's so tempting as a team to focus solely on spawning on the zeppelin and shooting things from up above and completely losing sight of your goals on the ground.

Here's a hint—don't do this.

You're already losing! That's why you were able to spawn a zeppelin. By losing focus on what's important, for instance, capturing points, you'll only continue to fall further and further behind. The zeppelin is a great tool for helping you come back from behind, but only if you use it as just that—a tool. NOT a toy. Don't get so carried away with the novelty and excitement of piloting the zeppelin that you forget to use it to win the game!

Watch in-game footage aboard the Airship L30 Zeppelin blow:

Have you tried out the zeppelin yet? What about the other behemoths? What's your favorite new feature in Battlefield 1? Let us know!