Battlefield’s heading back to modern day. Officially revealed in the early hours of the morning, Battlefield 2042 is DICE’s next fully-fledged foray in the franchise. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming shooter.
It’s coming in October
The game is currently slated for an October 22, 2021 release. It’ll hit PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles.
Current-gen console and PC players will have 128 player servers, last-gen will have 64
To add to the sprawling new locations coming in 2042, DICE will throw 128 players into servers for those playing on a PlayStation 5, PC or Xbox Series consoles. Those intending to play the game on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One will only have access to 64 player matches.
DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson said it was all about giving players agency, no matter the size of the map or player count: “The maps we now design for Battlefield 2042 give you options as a player: if you like close-combat gameplay, there are specific areas on the map that you’re probably going to elect to spend most of your time on. If you’re a person that really loves air, land and sea battles, there are locations that will suit that. If you like that verticality and the crazy ‘only in Battlefield’ moments, there are also places for you.
“We’ve really optimized both the last-gen and next-gen land masses to make sure that we have that choice for players and that agency to elect how you want to play,” he continued. “I think that the level designers we have across the studio have done a really good job. They’ve kind of thought about that challenge from day one and then have been able to design the levels accordingly.”
There’s no single-player campaign
A notable omission is the lack of a single-player campaign in Battlefield 2042. Rather than dabble in the series’ War Stories mode – which I was a fan of in Battlefield 1 and V – DICE have elected to focus on multiplayer and tell a story through that, instead. Gabrielson promises there will be narrative threads and storytelling in the game’s multiplayer, however.
Dynamic weather events will cause chaos
Accompanying the near-future setting of Battlefield 2042 is a slate of natural disasters that will plough through each of the game’s sprawling maps. If you caught the reveal trailer, you’d have seen the giant tornado that propelled all sorts of debris and vehicles across the place. Expect things like that, a massive sandstorm, tornadoes and other dynamic weather events to play a major role in making the 2042 experience something quite a bit more intense.
It’s worth noting players will be able to use that tornado to propel themselves off towards another part of the map – as long as they have the wingsuit, of course.
Specialists come packing the goods
In an interesting spin on the traditional class-based system, Battlefield 2042 will have ten specialists to choose from at launch. Each specialist will have a trait, like a movement sensor or being able to move faster while aiming, and a special ability. While you can quickly identify who’s a medic or assault-focused character, specialists will be named characters with some backstory.
Further to this, you’ll be able to equip any weapon in the game no matter who you pick as your specialist. This will give players more of a chance to muck around with different weapon and ability combinations, like a medic wielding a sniper rifle or an engineer parading around with an assault rifle. The system’s a lot less rigid than in previous entries in the series, and that’s looking to be a fantastic change.
The ‘Plus’ system allows you to change weapon attachments on the fly
In another great gameplay change from previous entries, the new ‘plus’ system will allow players to swap attachments on their weapons at any time. You’ll be able to select a handful of different attachments, stocks and grips and hot swap them whenever you like.
The beauty of this is that you’ll be able to experiment and play around with a variety of gear without the pain of backtracking through menus. You’re never out of the game and if a situation calls on you to throw a long-range scope on your assault rifle, you’ll be able to do exactly that within seconds.
You can play against AI
Battlefield 2042 will allow you to play matches with a lobby full of AI opponents. Modes like Conquest, for example, can be fully loaded up with AI players rather than actual opponents. This will prove extremely helpful for players who are new to Battlefield and want to get a feel for how the game plays before throwing themselves into the real, chaotic experience that 2042 offers.
Breakthrough and Conquest are set to return
What’s Battlefield without Conquest? Unsurprisingly, two of the series’ biggest (and best) modes will make a return in 2042. Breakthrough and Conquest form the All-Out Warfare portion of Battlefield 2042’s three major pillars, with Hazard Zone – an ‘only in Battlefield’ squad-based experience that has specifically been touted to not be a battle royale – the second. The third pillar of the game’s multiplayer experience hasn’t had much revealed about it as of yet, though it’s being developed by DICE LA and is said to be a love letter to long-time Battlefield fans. More details on 2042’s third mode will be announced at EA Play Live in July.
There’s Seven maps at launch
There’ll be seven maps at launch, giving players some of the biggest areas in Battlefield history to play around on. Expect many ‘only in Battlefield’ moments, of course.
Kaleidoscope – set in Sogdo, South Korea. Forces here will clash to control a quantum powered disinformation hub after an attack threatens the global network.
Manifest – set in Brani Island, Singapore. Players will see a strategic flashpoint emerge as global trade chokes this location which is vital for the American supply lines.
Orbital – set in Kourou, French Guiana. The battle here is over a rocket launch site as a controversial space launch becomes a race against time.
Discarded – set in Alang, India. Here you see shipbreakers facing tidal extremes as factions fight to secure rogue nuclear assets.
Renewal – set in the Eastern Desert, Egypt. Players will fight for a groundbreaking agriculture technology centre in the Egyptian Desert
Hourglass – set in Doha, Qatar – Shifting sands and a lost shipping convoy tear a city center apart.
Breakaway – set in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Struggle over oil and gas that pushes soldiers to the brink
as an industry clashes with nature and ice gives way.
There will be a Battle Pass
Unsurprisingly, Battlefield 2042 will have a Battle Pass. The Battle Pass will be split up into four seasons across the game’s first year on the market, with a free and premium component. As expected, progressing in the Battle Pass will earn you new customisation items to use in-game on your specialist of choice.
There will also be a public beta
Closer to launch Battlefield 2042 will have an open beta for all players to jump in on. There will also be a beta for the game’s Hazard Zone mode before launch, too.