Be advised: Spoilers for the single player campaign ahead.
United States Characters
Staff Sergeant Henry "Black" Blackburn
The hero of Battlefield 3
, Henry Blackburn is a US 1st Recon Marine who propels the narrative of the story through his flashbacks. He is the player character for the majority of the game's singleplayer missions.
- I Did What I Had to Do: He kills his own commanding officer after encountering Dima in the Iranian villa mission to protect Dima and the mission.
- The Hero
- Heroic Mime: Averted. We get his side of the story constantly.
- Played straight when you control him, though.
- One-Man Army: In some missions played straight. In others he is part of a fireteam, the Misfit 1-3 squad or even a platoon sized force.
Sergeant Jonathan "Jono" Miller
Another playable character, in the tank mission "Thunder Run".
- Empathy Doll Shot: The shot of his son's dinosaur.
- Sacrificial Lion: At the end of his mission, his tank is disabled and he is captured by the enemy. He is then shown being executed on camera by Solomon and Faruk Al-Bashir. His execution drives the Marines to strike back at Al-Bashir with extreme prejudice, thus kick-starting the climax of the game.
- Weapon of Choice: His Abrams tank.
Lieutenant Jennifer Colby Hawkins
Yet another playable character, in the jet fighter mission "Going Hunting". Callsign is "Wedge".
- Action Girl: The first female player character in the Battlefield series.
- Name's the Same: Jennifer Hawkins is the name of an Australian model who won Miss World 2004.
- Meaningful Name: The name "Hawk" for a character who is the weapons officer in fighter jet.
Private First Class David Montes
A non-player character who appears alongside Blackburn in several of the infantry missions.
Private First Class Christian Matkovic
A non-player character who is part of the Misfit
Captain Quinton Cole
Commanding officer of Blackburn's unit in Iran.
- Glory Seeker: Unapologetically so; he pushes Black and Campo to their absolute limits in dangerous enemy territory just so he can take Al-Bashir in alive and look like a hero, hopefully earning the promotion he thinks he's entitled to.
- The Neidermeyer
- Unfriendly Fire: Black kills him to help cover Dima's escape, so that the two of them can work to stop Solomon's terror plot without intervention.
Russian Special Forces
Dmitri "Dima" Mayakovsky (Russian: Дмитрий Маяковский)
A career soldier and special agent in the employ of the Russian intelligence agency GRU, who may be beginning to question where his loyalties lie.
- Badass: Is a Spetsnaz-trained Special Forces soldier.
- Driven to Suicide: Appears to be about to kill himself at the end of the game before a knock on his door stops him.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Before he became a GRU agent, he was a Spetsnaz soldier. Not just any Spetsnaz soldier either, but part of the Vympel unit, said to be the elite of the elite.
- Foregone Conclusion: The aforementioned scene fades to black before we find out what Dima does, but it was known prior to the game's release that the tie-in novel was about what he did after the game, so we pretty much know he didn't actually blow his brains out.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: A bit of an odd case, as he's specifically modeled after but not played by actor/mixed martial artist Oleg Taktarov, known for playing Nikolai in Predators.
- Military Maverick: His GRU superiors, in the novel, had sent him to Iran to train Iranian Revolutionary Guards after Dima personally assassinated a GRU station chief in Paris after learning of his plans to defect to MI:6 and shot a Russian soldier for killing French nurses in Afghanistan while he was on drugs.
- Weapon of Choice: Various firearms, but notable is his enormous meat cleaver/fish gutter knife that he always has.
- Badass: Like Dima, he's a former Spetsnaz operator of some renown.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Acts like one
- Boxed Crook: He was sprung from his incarceration in Butyrka prison (for drug trafficking) for the express purpose of serving on Dima's team. He thinks it was a prank gone wrong
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The right side of his face has a straight, long scar that goes from the corner of his eye to the cheek, but the left side of his face has many vicious-looking, intersecting scars as well as a possibly-blind left eye. He's a good guy though.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: To elaborate, an RPG blast sends bits of shrapnel flying at high speeds towards Dima, Kiril and Vladimir. The result is a piece of rebar or piece of a fence slamming through his chest.
- Sacrificial Lamb: He's killed by an RPG blast in Paris while hunting down the stolen nuclear device, leaving Dima severely shaken..
- The Prankster: Shares this spot with Kiril.
- Weapon of Choice: Always carries the A-91 compact assault rifle.
People's Liberation and Resistance
A mysterious terrorist who appears to be Faruk Al-Bashir's right hand man, but has his own hidden agenda.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Battlefield 4 shows that Solomon's plan to start a global war between the U.S. and Russia was a success, despite all of Dima and Blackburn's efforts.
- Big Bad
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He's got it pretty bad. According to the novel, he started out as a foreign mujahid in Afghanistan who was picked up and drafted by the Russians, serving under them for a while before defecting to the US in '94, and proceeded to serve America for the next 20 years before betraying them as well with his nuke plot.
- Hand Cannon: His Taurus .44 revolver. Used to lethal effect against Montes.
- Manipulative Bastard: "He uses everyone!"
- The Mole: Posed as a US whistleblower who fed them intel on Al-Bashir, but turned out to be a terrorist himself.
- Omni Glot: Solomon can speak many languages, including American English fluently, which was the reason why he studied in America under the care of American missionaries from a refugee camp in Lebanon in the novel.
- Loss of Identity: Part of his origin backstory. Solomon was given his current name due to his omniglot ability.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Likes to lecture his victims about the inevitability of death and how meaningless their efforts are.
- Weapon of Choice: The aforementioned .44 magnum in the game, and a sword in the book.
A former Iranian Air Force General who deserted and went rogue, Faruk Al-Bashir went on to become the leader of the PLR, and eventually became President of Iran itself in a violent coup after a catastrophic earthquake destabilised the country's government.
Though he started out as a complete nobody in the Soviet Air Force, Amir Kaffarov is now possibly the richest arms dealer in all of Russia. He brokers the deal that gives Solomon and the PLR their arsenal of portable nukes.
- Dirty Coward: Not only does he flee when Dima and his men come after him, but he also tries to offer him the contents of his Swiss bank account before immediately selling out Solomon and his whole plan in the hopes of being let go.