Automatic Rifleman and Machine Gunner

Course Details:


Current qualified instructors:

  • Any AI wearing the AR - MG Badge 

Duration : 60 Minutes

Booking a Course: To book a course, please speak with one of the listed instructors and request a suitable date. Information will also be posted in the Squad Training Academy subforums

Number of candidates

Eight candidates maximum per one instructor. 

Objectives of the course

The following course will cover the basics of properly utilising the Automatic Rifleman and Machine Gunner roles


You can only participate in this course once you've passed both Basic Infantry and Advanced Infantry courses.

About the Role

Generally considered the backbone of the squad, the AR / MG can provide incredible advantages for your squad in both offensive and defensive engagement. Even though their kill ratio might be low, their performance is measured in the overall success of the squad.

The main purpose of the AR / MG role is to provide covering or suppressing fire, overwatch and force multiplication and fire superiority for their squad. 

Due to this purpose, the AR and MG roles generally carry a lot of ammo

Played properly, an effective AR or MG player can not only draw enemy fire away from your advancing squad or suppress hostiles heavily as your teammates gain ground, positioning and ultimately the advantage in winning the engagement.

Difference between the AR and the MG

The Automatic Rifleman is most suited for short to medium range engagements. Some AR rifles can switch between single & automatic fire. Only some of the AR kits have ranging and all of them have smaller magazine sizes than the Machine Gunner. The AR generally excels in ranges of 50-200m and is an excellent choice for open terrain and urban warfare, covering open ground, buildings, alleyways, windows, doorways and can find plenty of firing position with their bipod.


The Machine Gunner is most suited for medium to long range engagements. Provided with a large magazine size, the MG can provide almost a constant suppression on enemy positions and fortifications by simply firing towards their general location without even having to see them. Even effectively from distances as far as 500-1000m.

Covering or Suppressing Fire

These terms are similar and the only big difference is what the AR / MG is trying to achieve:

Covering fire is generally used to keep enemies in cover in order to reduce the amount of incoming fire while friendlies are moving to accomplish a goal

Suppressing fire is generally used to stop the enemy doing what they are trying to accomplish, such as build a HAB, by denying their ability to reach it, or keeping infantry off a mortar

When employing covering or suppressing fire, initially, the AR / MG will lay down a large number of rounds then move to spaced out, controlled bursts of fire. The large volley during the initiation of combat is done in order to establish fire superiority, which forces the enemy into cover. The controlled volleys serve to keep the enemy in that cover or prevent them from moving through the open.

Re-covering Cover

Hard Cover is cover that cannot be penetrated by shrapnel or bullets, such as walls, hescos, sandbags etc

Soft Cover is cover that obscures vision and offers little to no protection, such as bushes, grass etc


There are few roles as well suited to overwatch as a good AR / MG gunner. Whether you are attacking or defending, you will generally be watching over the shoulders of your squad, from a position close to or in cover, with your weapon on its bipod.

Being in this position means your weapon is trained far into the distance, where it is possible for you to see enemy hostiles before the rest if your squad, and, if required, engage those hostiles before they are able to engage your squad

Force Multiplication

The AR and MG roles are one of the largest force multipliers in the game. Due to the rate of fire, the amount of time before reloads, and the ammo carried, the AR and MG roles can provide the same amount of fire down range as several riflemen can. This ability makes a squad of 9 with an MG and AR or 2 x ARs much more effective against a squad of 9 that do not have these roles filled.


Compared to the other infantry roles, the AR / MG requires utmost discipline and patience. Being 90% of the time in the backline means you’ll sometimes rarely see hostiles even when you’re firing towards them. 

Sometimes it is most beneficial to hold fire and wait for an opportune moment to inflict mass casualty, like holding fire on one infantryman, and waiting for the rest of their squad to move into the open before opening fire

Sometimes the AR / MG has to hold a vital position for a long duration while constantly having to be alert and patient even without ever seeing hostiles. But the defensive positioning allows your squadmates to focus their attention on more demanding targets while you’re covering a vital flank. 

In other instances when in an urban environment and shots, explosions and deaths occur all around you, you cannot move away from what you’ve been ordered to cover at all costs as losing that flank would allow the enemy to breach or encircle your squad.

Personal Positioning

Knowing where to position yourself will increase your survivability and combat effectiveness significantly. 

In principle, ARs and MGs seek a view of open ground and avoid close quarters. They position themselves in the rear and the flanks of the squad covering large areas and denying enemy movement

Direct visibility of the enemy is not always required. As such seek cover behind foliage as you fire towards the enemy position to reduce the chances of being spotted. 

Position in the squad

Principle formation when attacking:

Generally, the AR will be positioned either in the middle of the squad, close to the SL or to the rear/sides depending on formation. The MG should always position to the rear

Both the AR / MG are stationary when engaging. When opening fire they generate a lot of noise drawing attention and exposing themselves to enemy sniper fire. The marksman is there to protect the AR / MG from any enemies trying to snipe them.

It is equally important that the AR / MG and the marksman communicate with each other when spotting hostiles as the marksman’s job is to take out targets while the AR / MG suppresses them with a hail of bullets.

Automatic Rifleman
When attacking the AR should follow the squad tightly and find a suitable firing position 50-200m before the breach covering either a flank or the actual attack objective.
The aim is to kill or suppress as many hostiles as possible when they come out from their defensive positions. If you’re ordered to suppress the enemy, do so with burst fire, 3-5 shots at a time as otherwise you will run out of ammo quickly and will be forced to reload. 

ARs are extremely versatile in short to medium range engagement. Their rifle allows for semiaccurate automatic fire in close quarter combat and they can quickly transition to a deadly defensive posture with the use of their bipods.

Machine Gunner

The MGs main role is to suppress the enemy. A good MG is one that is always running out of ammo. Sometimes it’s rare for the MG to actually see the enemy they’re engaging. When the SL gives a fire suppression order it’s the task of the MG to find a suitable firing position with cover as quickly as possible.

Defensive engagements:
The AR / MG role excels equally in defensive situations by being able to hold entire flanks, open ground and alleyways as well as suppress an entire enemy squad until your squadmates get in position to take the hostiles out.

Essentially the main difference between the AR and MG is the range. The AR can be extremely deadly while following the squad and setting up just before an engagement while the MG is further back covering their approach.

Tips & Tricks

When reloading, give a call out to your SL, “AR / MG Reloading” as enemies will take that opportunity to return fire. While you’re reloading make sure to relocate to a new nearby firing position as the enemies will be aware of your previous position.

Using the bipod negates the negative effects of no stamina, such as the weapon sway

Remember to use the zoomed in free-look when you have a scope, it helps keep your awareness to your surroundings up