The Man Portable Active Protection System (MP-APS) is a Support class gadget unlocked at 90,000 points. It is an active protection unit, similar to the system found on main battle tanks and other vehicles, that can be used by infantry to defend an area or vehicles from incoming explosive projectiles. Unlike the APS on vehicles, the MP-APS provides an automatic protection cycle.
Active protection creates a short-term invisible wall of sorts to protect from rockets and shells. It does not protect against normal bullets or hand-thrown grenades. When the system is active, incoming projectiles hit the wall and explode, protecting anyone behind. However, being too close to the wall of protection, or in front of it, will still allow a player too be damaged by the blast.
When the appropriate gadget slot is selected, the MP-APS will be available to place in a fixed location. Upon placing the gadget, the indicator lights will glow red. Red lights indicate the MP-APS is currently offline or recharging and is not providing protection. When first placing the MP-APS, the offline charge period is approximately three seconds. After this, the indicator lights will change to a steady green, indicating the system is ready to protect. This green light will also show on the ground around the gadget to provide an indication of the area protected. The MP-APS protects in a 180 degree arc. The MP-APS remains in a ready state until it detects projectiles to protect against, or it is picked up or destroyed.
When the MP-APS detects rockets or shells being fired at its area of protection, the indicator lights will flash green, indicating protection is active. The MP-APS will continue to actively protect the area for approximately five seconds. The active time for the gadget can be increased by reaching level 4 of the Support’s Perimeter Defense upgrade path.
Once the MP-APS has performed active protection, the indicator lights will start flashing red and an alarm will sound. This indicates the system is recharging. This recharging period takes approximately ten seconds. However, this lengthy recharge period can be shortened due to what many may consider an exploit (which may get patched at a future date). To do this, the player simply resupplies a new MP-APS from their ammo bag and places it next to the existing gadget once it enters the recharge period. The old one will be destroyed and the new one will only be offline for the three-second charge-up period. Done quickly, this can reduce the down time from ten seconds to approximately three or four. The same effect can be achieved by picking up the gadget and placing it down again.
When ready to protect, the MP-APS also shows up with a special icon on the minimap. It is like a little white barrier with a little indicator of the direction of protection. When the MP-APS is offline and recharging, this icon will flash.
When placed, the MP-APS protects from the direction in which the player was facing. However, the player can use a remote camera view to change the direction in which the gadget provides protection. This uses a monochromatic camera view with on-screen details similar to those of the EOD Bot. This allows the MP-APS to be redirected if the threat direction changes, but also allows it to be used as a sort of remote spotting tool.
The utility of the MP-APS is best found in situations where a squad is protecting a set area, such as the Rush game mode. It takes a little more conscious effort to use in modes like conquest if the player is moving between locations quite a bit more and is not benefited as much by a specific area of protection. It is possible, if a tank is defending a set area, to have near invincibility from incoming shells and rockets by combining the MP-APS with the vehicle’s active protection, as shown in this video.
Here is a useful video guide I came across: