On June 9 we revealed Battlefield 2042, and gave you an extensive look at All-Out Warfare, one of the game’s three core experiences. Your reactions to our unveiling have been memorable for the entire Battlefield team, and we look forward to sharing even more with you in the near future.
We’ve since read your feedback and sat down with Daniel Berlin, Senior Design Director for Battlefield™2042 to answer your questions.
In this post, you can expect to learn more about the following topics:
- A closer look at Specialists, Maps, Vehicles and AI Soldiers
- Why we’re moving the Technical Playtest to later this summer
- How we’re building cross-play and cross-progression functionality for Battlefield 2042
And as a bonus, we added an interview about how the much beloved penguins of the map Breakaway came to life.
In Battlefield 2042 you will step into the boots of Specialists, an all-new type of playable soldier for the franchise. Inspired by the traditional Battlefield Classes, Specialists will be equipped with their own unique Specialist Trait and Specialty, and will have fully customizable Loadouts.
At launch there will be a total of 10 Specialists. So far, we’ve shown you 4 of them: Boris, Casper, Falck and Mackay. You can expect further details on the remaining 6 later this year.
Let’s jump in!
How do Specialties and Traits work?
The Specialty and Trait of each Specialist is unique to them, and can’t be changed.
So as an example, we’ve noticed your excitement for a certain Specialist using a Wingsuit to navigate around the battlefield. That Wingsuit is their specific Specialty and cannot be used by any other Specialist.
As for Traits, let’s take a closer look at Falck, equipped with the Combat Surgeon Trait. Combat Surgeon allows Falck to revive allies to full health. This gives her an advantage over players using Squad Revive, which we’re bringing back to Battlefield 2042. Squad Revive takes longer and does not bring players back to full health.
How do customized Loadouts work?
Class no longer restricts which weapons you can bring onto the Battlefield thanks to a fully customizable Loadout. As a Specialist, you’ll be able to customize the following:
- Primary Weapon
- Equipment (items anyone can use such as a Medical Crate or Supply Crate)
- Secondary Weapon
- Throwable (such as Frag or Incendiary Grenade)
Here is what a customized Loadout could look like:
- Primary Weapon: M5A3 (Assault Rifle)
- Equipment: Supply Crate
- Secondary Weapon: G57 (Sidearm)
- Throwable: Frag Grenade
As with all Specialists, Mackay’s Specialty and Trait are unique to him and cannot be changed as part of his Loadout:
- Specialty: Grappling Hook
- Trait: Nimble
Will all players have RPG’s / SRAWs / SMAWs?
All Specialists now have the ability to fully customize their Loadout, which means you have to make a choice about your focus on the battlefield. For example, you could opt for a Carl Gustaf M5, which is a unguided rocket launcher effective against vehicles at mid range. Or would you instead like an anti-air approach via the FIM-33 AA Missile? Choosing a more explosive approach for your Equipment slot would mean you won't be able to carry a Medical Crate, or a Supply Crate, and thus leaves you without health or ammo replenishing options. So choose wisely.
Whenever we introduce a feature such as Loadouts, we also think about balancing the individual mechanical elements, such as missile ease of use, or range and effectiveness against vehicles or infantry. We then also introduce counters and scenarios, such as against rocket launchers, where you may have been better off picking something else. Battlefield is all about player choice and freedom to play however you want, and your decisions are vital to your squad and ultimately, team's success.
Can Squads use any combination of Specialists?
In Battlefield 2042, a Squad will consist of a maximum of 4 players. In Conquest and Breakthrough, squads can contain more than one unique Specialist.
How can you differentiate between Specialists on your own and enemy team?
The series icons highlighting your team (blue) and squad (green) will make their return and also help you differentiate between a friendly combatant and an enemy. There are also other options and systems we’re still testing that will assist you in distinguishing enemy players on the field.
One last note on customization: There will be plenty of options available to you in the form of skins, which can alter your appearance and allow you to choose how you’d like your Specialist to stand out on the battlefield. The same two Specialists can look vastly different when wearing different skins.
Is Ranger a Trait or Specialty?
We can confirm Ranger is neither a Specialty nor Trait and won’t be unique to any Specialist. Instead, everybody has the opportunity to call-in them when in need of support. However, when you make that choice, you are choosing Ranger over other options available within the call-in system. There is of course also a limitation on the amount of Rangers available at any given time.
Once safely on the ground, Ranger will follow and protect you and even put your life above their own! You’ll also be able to issue orders such as scouting a location, having them return to you and follow you. If a situation becomes dire, you can also command Ranger to self-destruct.
This gives you several new interesting tactical options, such as do you send Ranger into the line of fire, or maybe as a decoy in order to flank the enemy? Your choices are critical, as Ranger is a light unit designed for anti-infantry combat but can easily be knocked out by enemy fire, explosives or EMP. And yes, before you ask, you can place a C5 Explosive on Ranger and send them into an enemy squad…
We’ve shared that you can expect 7 new maps at launch for the All-Out Warfare experience of Battlefield 2042 (be sure to check out our dedicated Maps section if you need a refresher on each individual map).
In terms of gameplay opportunities and land mass, this is the biggest and boldest Battlefield we have ever built. So what does that mean for you? Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular questions about maps you’ve asked.
How does Clustering and Sectors optimize gameplay in Conquest?
For Conquest we’ve made two distinct gameplay changes for Battlefield 2042 that will optimize larger-scale battles while preserving the classic essence of the experience:
- The first is called Clustering. We’ve introduced this to create deliberate areas of activity and capture areas for players to engage with.
- We’ve also added Sectors, which changes how players gain control of an area. In order to successfully capture the Sector, teams must seize and maintain control over all flags within a Sector, otherwise it will be treated as a neutral and contested area.
Here’s an example of more fluid and targeted combat in a Conquest match. You are attacking a Sector and you capture the first flag. Previously, you and your squad would immediately be on the move towards another flag. But due to the Conquest changes in Battlefield 2042 you’ve now established a foothold in the Sector and can spawn and confront the enemy to take further flags. This creates a higher intensity fight for the full Sector. Only when the full Sector has fallen do you make the decision on where to go next. This reduces the back and forth running between flags and puts focus on the Sector itself.
And lastly, different game modes will use different areas of our large maps. For example, when playing Conquest you’ll fight on certain areas of the map that aren’t available in Breakthrough and vice versa. This is one of the strengths of our massive play-spaces where different game modes bring more variety of experiences.
Optimizations and differences between the 64 and 128-player experiences
On Xbox One and PlayStation®4 you will have access to the same gameplay features that we’ve announced for Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation®5. Weapons, Vehicles, Specialists and Gadgets all remain the same no matter what generation of console you’re playing on. Dynamic Weather events such as tornadoes, or Environmental Hazards like EMP storms will also be experienced by all players.
Our intention is to ensure that nothing detracts from the overall experience of playing Battlefield 2042. The main differences between console generations is that we’ve made adjustments to the playable area on the maps to ensure a fluid play experience for Xbox One and PlayStation® 4 consoles.
Can you fight on every floor of skyscrapers?
You will not be able to play on every level of a skyscraper. But you can expect lobby and rooftop combat, which can be accessed via elevators and ziplines. As fighting on all levels of a skyscraper would be an entire map of its own, this prevents detracting from the rest of the map.
How does increased map size impact limits such as going out of bounds?
We have taken onboard feedback from past titles where the airspace is considered to be too cramped and expanded upon this to allow for more dogfighting scenarios. With the improvements made towards map scale, you can expect to be running or driving much longer before you hit an out of bounds warning.
Will there be more maps?
At reveal we talked about the 7 maps for our All-Out Warfare experience, and the addition of further maps through our live service. But that’s not all we have to share about maps!
Be sure to tune in to EA Play Live on July 22 as we dive into the experience created by our Ripple Effect team (formerly known as DICE LA). We’re highly excited about this one!
Vehicles are more easily available and more squad focused than ever before. We looked at how we can both balance out the scales between vehicle and infantry-play and create an anchor point for conflict.
Earlier we mentioned the importance of balancing your Loadout (having a Medical Crate or Ammo Crate vs explosive ordinance for your Equipment slot). As infantry this boils down to how you engage with a vehicle, how you help others to do so more effectively, or how you stop the enemy from destroying too many of your team's tanks. When in a vehicle, the situation is about providing recon for your gunner, triggering defenses or even knowing when to hit the gas and boost off to freedom.
How does the vehicle call-in system work?
While you can still spawn directly into vehicles from the Deploy screen, one other important change we’ve made to accommodate the increased map scale is to make it possible for you to call-in vehicles when and where you need them.
The vehicle call-in system can be accessed via a tablet interface and is available to all players, no matter which Specialist you are playing. There’s some further things to keep in mind:
- Use of the call-in system is dependent on map, mode and will have a specific budget assigned to each team.
- You still spawn into Air vehicles such as Aircrafts and Helicopters from the Deploy screen.
- Once you’ve called-in a vehicle, you will incur a cooldown so everyone has a fair chance to call-in support.
Do the Factions have their own vehicles?
Yes, the iconic vehicles you’ve come to know and love will still be faction-specific. The No-Pats taskforce that you follow in Battlefield 2042 will team up with either Russia or the US depending on the location in the world. This means that you will get to utilize either the iconic Russian or US hardware as you go into battle. As an example for Tanks, Russia will get to play with the T28 versus the M1A5 on the US side.
You can also still expect to encounter vehicles that anyone can play with, such as the MD540 Nightbird Helicopter, or the EBAA Wildcat Heavy Ground vehicle.
Will there be naval vehicles and sea warfare?
You can expect to see naval oriented vehicles such as the LCAA Hovercraft, however there isn’t a focus on naval specific warfare right now. We’ve seen your comments about how excited you are about naval warfare, so stay in touch with us about what you’d like to see in the future!
So far we’ve told you about the three distinct experiences where we’re introducing AI Soldiers, and how you can play with them:
- Multiplayer – AI soldiers are used for server-filling capabilities, making it easier for you to matchmake when you want to play. Players always have priority over AI when playing multiplayer.
- Co-Op – Allows you to play together with friends, against AI soldiers.
- Solo – If you wish to perfect your skills for multiplayer, you can even play alone against AI soldiers.
If you’re new to Battlefield, AI soldiers are a great option to learn the mechanics of Battlefield 2042 at your own pace without the pressure and competition that comes with multiplayer.
So how will AI Soldiers actually play on the Battlefield?
AI Soldiers are intended to play the game like how you would play it yourself. However they are not designed to be Specialists and cannot use Traits and Specialties. You will see them undergoing certain tasks such as using the vehicle call-in system and engaging with vehicles, or capturing objectives. Whilst they can’t use the Wingsuit, they do have the intelligence to decide between engaging with you via enemy fire, flanking, throwing grenades or even reviving a downed squad mate.
Can you completely opt-out of using AI Soldiers?
In the All-Out Warfare set of experiences of Conquest and Breakthrough, AI Soldiers are used to backfill servers and you cannot opt-out of playing with them. However, there is a cap to how many of them you can encounter in a multiplayer match. In general, you will not experience more AI soldiers than players unless the match is still filling-up, or almost empty. Players will always have matchmaking priority over AI.
As an example: if there are 120 players out of 128 players currently playing in a server, 8 AI Soldiers will join the match to help even out the teams. Should a player leave, another AI Soldier will temporarily replace them until a new player joins the game. We’re providing them as a helpful option to ensure you won’t have trouble matchmaking and can fully enjoy the all-out warfare chaos you can expect from a Battlefield match.
Since AI Soldiers can be used in Solo mode, does that mean I can play offline?
Battlefield 2042 is a multiplayer-only experience. So while you can play Solo against AI Soldiers if you’d like to practice, it will be in an online setting.
One of your most frequently asked questions is about cross-play. We can confirm it’s a function we’re looking to build and test for Battlefield 2042. To accommodate that, we’ve made the decision to move the Technical Playtest to later this summer so we’ll have the opportunity to test the cross-play functionality.
This means a few thousand participants will join us to help us test some of our new features and functionality that we’re building from the ground up for Battlefield 2042. Do keep in mind that the Technical Playtest is purposefully not intended to be the full experience you will see in the Open Beta, or at launch. It is a development-led environment with only a subset of features, focused on technical performance.
How can I join the Technical Playtest?
No need to contact us, we’ll contact you!
The Technical Playtest will be in a closed environment and under strict NDA. Only a small group of participants will be able to join. If Playtesting is something that interests you, then we recommend you update your EA Playtesting profile. Registering for EA Playtesting will not guarantee you access to this, or other Playtests.
Testing cross-play during the Technical Playtest
We’ll test a subset of cross-play functionality during the Technical Playtest. This means during this test, PC, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation® 5 consoles will be able to test playing together.
Cross-play in Battlefield 2042 beyond the Technical Playtest
We are still building cross-play functionality, and the first opportunity for us to test it with a wider, invite-only group will be within the Technical Playtest. Right now, we’d like to give you an understanding of what we’re looking to achieve as final functionality beyond the Technical Playtest, so here is an overview of what you can expect that to look like:
- PC, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®5 system (PC and console can opt-out from playing together)
- Xbox One and PlayStation®4 systems
Cross-progression and cross-commerce
Alongside cross-play we’re also building cross-progression and cross-commerce for Battlefield 2042, which will be shared across all platforms and travel with you wherever you go. For example, your unlocked progress and purchases in your PlayStation® copy of the game will carry over onto the Xbox or PC version, and vice versa*.