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 How to use the SAI 

Marauder Doc

Posts: 5
Joined: 23 Dec 2008

      Posted: 23 Dec 2008 07:27 Profile

In regards to realism, I appreciate what they are trying to do with SAI.

Realistically, a fire team moves together at all times, even in the great outdoors the dudes will be close enough to throw a rock at, and will have a Line-Of-Sight on the Team Leader, who in turn will try to maintain visual contact with the Squad Leader, so they can communicate by hand signal, maintain cohesion etc. In a CQB environment, the dudes will often be within arms reach of each other. It can be very difficult to get people to work as a team in a gaming environment, where the potential for individual glory is high and the consequences for acting as an individual are so low. So I'm in favor of just about anything the DEVs do to create greater unit cohesion, both from a realism perspective and to get across the point that the Army is not about individuals, its about a team. Its hard to understand how true the cliche is until you are there.

Communication is key to moving and working as a team, and since not everyone uses a VOIP or similar system, the DEVs have to put something to represent all the radio chatter and yelling that would be going on in real life. Especially yelling, oh lawdy the yelling. With everyone yelling and talking to each other on the comms, plus with the intrinsic cohesion that comes from training for months and months together before even deploying, a lot more gets communicated than can be represented by typing on a keyboard, regardless of how fast a typist you are.


Posts: 26
Joined: 16 Feb 2007

      Posted: 29 Dec 2008 11:23 Profile

So when i play a map i can never tell where the teammate is (VIP) or any other teammate is rather they are 1st floor or 2nd floor or even 3rd floor escort building. How do you tell if they above you or below you ?


Sergeant Major
Posts: 7172
Joined: 08 Dec 2007

      Posted: 29 Dec 2008 16:17 Profile United States

=Heartinbarbedwire= wrote:

So when i play a map i can never tell where the teammate is (VIP) or any other teammate is rather they are 1st floor or 2nd floor or even 3rd floor escort building. How do you tell if they above you or below you ?

It would help if people actually looked at the manual

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Basically, communication is key, so tell them to report in.

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Cheezburger Operator 2007 -


Posts: 3
Joined: 22 Feb 2008

      Posted: 28 Jan 2009 07:08 Profile

Soldiers, Soldiers Soldiers. If your not using the SAI, then your NOT doing it right. Perhaps your some level 95 guy, and you don't care or need it cuz you played that map 10,000 times already. If your the new guy or even around Honor Level 50, you should be using it. Modern Warfare is now based on Teamwork and Communication. Knowing where your buddies are/aren't is going to save your [TOS Violation]'s more then once. Esp. if you need the Medic. basic training should have a class for the inexperienced player's to learn this stuff. A quick glance at the SAI can tell you so much about the situation, and the Battlefield. Knowing where your Squad is at any moment is tantamount to winning. ES2 reporting is also critical. Spotting the enemy, and alerting your FT to his location is utmost. Who wouldn't want to know that an enemy who you thought was in front of you is now on your flank? How else can you co-ordinate manuvers against defensive positions with out knowing where they are? Understanding those icons means understanding how to be an effective TEAM player. Isn't that the basic core soldiering skill afterall? Isn't that what this game is all about? There is good intell on this subject here, but I would prefer to see more of the training associated with the SAI back in Basic training. This could be easily folded into AA3. Kinda like the Medic classes we took to get our Medic badges. We can kick this idea up to the Brass. See what they think, this way inexperienced player's can get a quick "feel" for whats going on around them, and be productive as a part of the team.


Posts: 262
Joined: 21 Nov 2006

      Posted: 31 Jan 2009 12:37 Profile United States

One of the best uses of the SAI is to determine if the area in front of you is hot. If you're seeing movement or firing in front of you, especially if you're hearing an AK or RPK, the SAI can tell you if there are any friendlies in that area. It won't give enough data for a "green light" to engage, but shows you the general disposition of friendlies, which allows you to quickly assess the area in front of you as a threat.

It's kept me alive many times.

Retired Commander
75th Ranger Regiment


First Sergeant
Posts: 3049
Joined: 19 Feb 2005

      Posted: 09 Feb 2009 19:21 Profile United States

Pro Tip ~ Situational Awareness Indicator (SAI) is your center of intel. Learn to check in out of the corner of your eye and 'report in' and 'report enemy' as often as your exhale, if necessary. Engaging the enemy and not reporting the contact, could spell disaster for the rest of your team.


Duty ~ Honor ~ Country

United States Army ~ (Ordnance) Veteran ~ 1982 to 1990

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Private First Class
Posts: 77
Joined: 10 Dec 2008

      Posted: 18 Feb 2009 04:21 Profile United States

good work!


Posts: 4
Joined: 05 Dec 2008

      Posted: 18 Feb 2009 06:40 Profile United States

Well Done Very Happy


Private First Class
Posts: 191
Joined: 18 Feb 2009

      Posted: 20 Feb 2009 13:17 Profile United States

Nice job on the guide. I noticed that the SAI prevents a lot of friendly fire incidents and is very useful for people that like to play medic (like me).

Steveo.... wrote:

Sometimes while playing,I get hungry. So what i do is take out the splint and put it on becuase it looks cool. Then i eat the smelling salts and wash them down with saline while using the opa as a straw..


Posts: 37
Joined: 23 Mar 2009

      Posted: 29 Apr 2009 10:19 Profile Italy

I'm quite surprised of how many people out there were used to play without knowing SAI.
For me, it was one of the first things i tried to learn and familiarize with, because of its wide range of informations it can give to you.



Salus Rei Publicae Suprema Lex Esto

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Posts: 34
Joined: 30 Aug 2007

      Posted: 08 May 2009 03:21 Profile

Great job!!!!!!!!!


Posts: 7
Joined: 05 Jun 2003

      Posted: 10 May 2009 20:25 Profile United States

There really should be a training mission for this stuff.
The manual is lame in this respect. The SAI graphic chart is nice but there is no explanation of many terms like "SL Linked" or basic instructions like "How to report enemy contact" etc.

Thanks for the topic, it helps


Posts: 5502
Joined: 05 Aug 2002

      Posted: 11 May 2009 12:12 Profile United States


The SAI graphic chart is nice but there is no explanation of many terms like "SL Linked"

Manual wrote:

Linking and Line of Sight (LOS)
Team Mate Linking IconsOne of the key features of the SAI is its depiction and identification of teammates. The SAI will show you the location of teammates that are within your Line of Sight (LOS), that is to say, if you look around and can see them, they will appear in your SAI.

Another feature incorporated within the SAI for aiding teammate identification is called "Linking".

Linking is a compensation for the battlefield communications available between squad members. Simply put, Linking allows you to see those teammates that can be seen by someone in your LOS. An example of this would be :

You can see Soldier A who can see Soldier B who can see Soldier C. In such a circumstance the locations of soldier A, B and C would be visible on your SAI even though you are only able to see Soldier A directly.

As can be seen from the above example, by using the linking function "Chains" can be established between players. The SAI will show those players that you are linked to by circling their icon as can be seen in the SAI Legend above. It should be noted that Line of Sight is a specific term. That is to say if there is an obstacle between you and a teammate that physically blocks your view of them, they will not appear on your SAI.

Simply put, Linking allows you to see those teammates that can be seen by someone in your LOS.

Since the Squad Leader can see everyone in the squad (even if they are out of his LOS) - it would follow that if you are linked to him, then you see everyone still alive in the squad too.... a nice reason to stay near your SL. The same applies for FTL (Fire Team Leader Linked). You will see everyone in his squad if you are linked to him.

Manual wrote:

What appears on the SAI is dependant on a number of factors discussed below. Your position within the Squad will define what you will be permanently able to see.

  • If you are a Squad Leader you will always be able to see the location of the Fireteam leaders. (And their team members)
  • If you are a Fireteam leader you will always be able to see the location of your Squad Leader and your Fireteam members.
  • If you are a Fireteam member you will always be able to see the location of your Squad leader and your Fireteam leader.


"How to report enemy contact" etc.

Manual wrote:

Enemy Spotted Notification
Until now the only way to alert your teammates to the presence of the enemy was via complex key binds. The SAI now integrates the "Enemy Spotted" call with a flashing red diamond when the relevant key is pressed. In order to "Spot" an enemy line up your reticule on their position and press the "Enemy Spotted" button. A flashing red diamond icon will appear in your teammatess SAI that will remain for approximately 3 seconds before disappearing again.

Important Note : The "Enemy Spotted" notification spots the enemy's position not the enemy themselves. This means that if the enemy you have spotted moves from their original position the diamond icon on the SAI WILL NOT FOLLOW THEM!

Refer to Keyboard layout in manual to see the key.... (Note: Keyboard is from 2.7 and does not include all the new keys, e.g. "P" for ES2 objects)

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Manual Index:

P.S. A training session on this would be good... but, all the inof is in the manual.


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Posts: 405
Joined: 26 Feb 2008

      Posted: 11 May 2009 12:19 Profile United States

The Mentor Program sessions frequently cover the SAI (situational awareness indicator) in a live environment so people can see the SAI while a Mentor is describing it's benefits Smile

Signups can be accessed here

It's updated for the next session about a week in advance so be sure to keep an eye on it Smile

Embedded Image Always First! Embedded ImageEmbedded Image


Posts: 7
Joined: 05 Jun 2003

      Posted: 14 May 2009 07:52 Profile United States

I stand corrected, that information is indeed in the manual. I just needed to look harder.
Thanks SoCal65 for pointing that out for me.
Thanks Sammy for the tip on the mentor sessions.

 How to use the SAI 

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