Battlefield 2042 is an upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter with live-service features. It’s the 14th main-installment game, not counting the various spin-offs, expansions, and free-to-play versions.
DICE, the long-running series developer, is once again in charge of creating the game. Electronic Arts is the publisher.
You’re probably wondering: is this better than Call of Duty: Vanguard? Both games are debuting in November, and you may only have time and money for one of these. Weeks before the release, let’s preview Battlefield 2042 and see if it’s better than Activision’s upcoming CoD title.
Release Date And Platforms
Battlefield 2042 is debuting on November 19th, 2021. The game is available for pre-order on EA’s page.
EA Play Pro members will get full access to the game on November 12. EA Play subscribers will get a free 10-hour trial on November 12, plus a 10% pre-order discount. Both options feature member-only rewards.
Cross-play is available for Battlefield 2042 players. PC, Xbox Series, and PS5 gamers can play together, but they can turn crossplay on and off at any moment.
Also, crossplay is available between PS4 and Xbox One players. The older devices can’t join new-gen console players, though.
By the looks of the gameplay trailers and beta gameplay videos, it seems Battlefield 2042 has top-of-the-line graphics.
In fact, new-gen consoles can run the game with a 2K resolution, at 60FPS without ray-tracing. Old-gen consoles play at 1080p / 50-60FPS. This is the reason why the game doesn’t allow crossplay between old and new consoles.
The frame rate has not been very stable on either console, though. However, the newer devices come with better textures, ambient occlusion, and anisotropic filtering. We expect DICE will achieve a stable frame rate for all users.
Here’s a 4K gameplay video:
According to Electronic Arts, the game requires a significant amount of PC firepower. Also, you’d need an extra 100GB of storage.
Minimum PC Requirements:
- OS: 64-bit Windows 10
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 / Intel Core i5 6600K
- Memory: 8GB
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti / AMD Radeon RX 560
- Storage: 100 GB HDD
- Internet Connection:512 KBPS or faster
- DirectX 12: Yes
Recommended PC Requirements:
- OS: 64-bit Windows 10
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X / Intel Core i7 4790
- Memory: 16GB
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060/ AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT
- Storage: 100 GB SSD
- Internet Connection:512 KBPS or faster
- DirectX 12: Yes
Also, EA lists 2020 GPUs as “recommended specs” for PC players. These cards are infamously hard to find. If you do find them, they are for about twice the stock price.
Before we go on, check the reveal trailer below:
Is Battlefield 2042 a Live-service Game?
DICE and Electronic Arts have taken a new approach to the series. The upcoming Battlefield game is a multiplayer-only live-service FPS.
Because it’s a live service, developers are promising the game will evolve over time. That means they will add content constantly, perhaps every week.
Moreover, they plan to evolve the maps and the lore through seasons. Each season will last about three months, and these deliver both free and paid Battle Passes.
For instance, the game’s first year will have four seasons, four new specialists, four Battle Passes, and more.
Battlefield 2042 Overview
Battlefield 2042 returns to the series all-out warfare formula. There’re a few changes compared to titles like Battlefield 1942 or Battlefield V, though.
For starters, the world is dynamic, which means the battle conditions change over time, presenting more gameplay challenges. These changes come from randomized dynamic events like sandstorms, a tornado, or sudden explosions.
Secondly, the game has a futuristic scenario, opening a powerful arsenal, vehicles, and tools.
That said, the game offers team-based PvP battles. It can support 128 players per match, the largest amount the franchise has ever promised. We expect massive, chaotic battles for new-gen gamers.
Check the gameplay trailer below:
The dynamic world is a result of a nearly apocalyptic setting. Let me explain:
In 2042, extreme weather conditions have driven global powers into a resource war. Russia and the United States are at the brink of a massive battle. Meanwhile, independent and private groups known as Task Forces are fighting to determine the survival of their nations.
In-game, you’ll see the “extreme weather conditions” in every game mode. These are randomized and challenging.
Battlefield 2042 has various game modes, all of them featuring two PvP teams on large-scale maps. It’s not a Battle Royale, but you can play as part of a 4-player squad.
You play in first-person, and you have a limited inventory. You can carry three main weapons plus 9 tools/throwables. At the right of your screen, you’ll see your guns, ammo, and HP bar. At the left, you’ll see your squad members, plus the map.
The maps are massive and include both open and inside areas. The gameplay trailers have shown tools to travel faster, like a hook for rappelling across buildings. We expect to see more movement tools when the game launches.
There’re also various futuristic vehicles you can drive, on top of some recognizable war machines, like tanks, choppers, and planes.
We described the standard Battlefield 2042 game mode, but others slightly differ from the all-out war. Before we do, though, we should talk about the Specialists and the Maps.
The Specialist is the role you take on the battlefield. It’s a new system that represents the game’s classes.
Each Specialist has a Speciality (a unique ability, tech, or gadget) plus a Trait. Nevertheless, you can customize the rest of your loadout.
- Kimble “Irish” Gravescan deploy a cover gadget that fortifies a position. His Trait provides extra armor, and it increases the more enemies he kills. (Tank).
- Webster Mackay has a Grappling Hook he can use to travel the map. His Trait, “Nimble,” adds extra movement speed when he’s not aiming. (Rogue).
- Maria Falk has a pistol that fires a healing syringe (it does damage if she fires it to an enemy. Her Trait, “Combat Surge,” allows her to restore a downed ally to full health when reviving. (Healer).
- Pyotr “Boris” Guskovsky can deploy an automatic Sentry Gun. His Trait, “Sentry Operator,” can spot enemy targets after deploying the Sentry Gun. (Support).
- Wikus “Casper” Van Daele can deploy a drone that disorients enemies and locks on enemy weapons. His Trait alerts other players of approaching enemies. (Recon).
The game has 7 new maps and 6 classic maps. The new maps support every game mode:
- Hourglass: The lost city of Doha, Qatar, surrounded by a massive desert.
- Discarded: A coast in Alang, India, where you fight across stranded ship hulls.
- Manifest: On Brani Island, Singapour, you’ll find across cargo containers while tropical tornados lurk in the skies.
- Kaleidoscope: Songdo, South Korea, is a futuristic metropolis. You’ll fight across skyscrapers and zip-lines around the city’s data center.
- Orbital: Kourou, in French Guiana, is the site of an imminent rocket launch. It’s also the site of dangerous storms.
- Breakaway: Queen Maud Land, in Antarctica, is an oil-extraction site. It has destructible fuel tanks and silos, and you’ll fight across large debris fields on a frozen tundra.
- Renewal: In Egypt’s Eastern Desert, you’ll fight across agricultural areas with extreme deploy conditions and a massive wall.
The classic maps are:
- Battle of the Bulge (Battlefield 1942)
- El Alamein (Battlefield 1942)
- Arica Harbor (Battlefield: Bad Company 2)
- Valparaiso (Battlefield: Bad Company 2)
- Caspian Border (Battlefield 3)
- Noshahr Canals (Battlefield 3)
The older maps come in high-definition quality. DICE made these maps from the ground up, using the latest Frostbite engine. These maps only support Battlefield Portal game mode.
So far, Battlefield 2042 has revealed three game modes. Developers promise each one offers a “sandbox warfare” experience.
One of these game modes represents a revamp of older, fan-favorite modes. The rest offer new experiences with the largest scale in the series’ history.
You can earn XP on every game mode and share XP across every way. XP feeds you Battle Pass ranks for in-game rewards.
All-out Warfare is the game mode you saw on the trailer above. It’s a 128-player war across land, air, and sea. There’re two factions (Russia and the USA), and you can play as part of a 4-player squad.
However, the 128-player scale is only for Xbox Series, X/S, PS5, and PC. Older-gen consoles are out of the loop. Developers have not clarified whether the Xbox One and PS4 have access to lower-scale Warfare or none whatsoever.
Either way, the winning condition is Conquest. The maps, although vast, have various “clusters” with areas players must conquer. These sectors have several flags, and once a team dominates a set number of banners, they win the war.
Another winning condition you may choose is Breakthrough, which puts Attackers vs. Defenders. This is a well-known Battlefield game mode, but now as part of large-scale battles.
In essence, Breakthrough matches force Attackers to push towards the final sector. Each sector houses and spawns several players, so each team must make strategic choices on how to flank, when to attack, and when to hold a position.
Hazard Zone is a new game mode that revolves around an extraction mechanic. It’s akin to The Division’s Dark Zone or perhaps Escape From Tarkov‘s raid systems.
You enter the world as part of a 4-player squad with a set of goals. The critical objective, though, is surviving.
The winning condition is retrieving more Data Drives than any other squad. You’ll find these across the battlefield, but other squads will oppose you, though, as they have the same objective. That makes Hazard Zone more akin to a Battle-Royale game.
Nonetheless, only 32 people can join a Hazard Zone match on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series. Older consoles can hold up to 24 players.
You succeed if you escape the map on an extraction point with the Data Drive. There’s a timer, though: you have to flee before a storm overtakes the area.
Nevertheless, Hazard Zone is a survival shooter experience, so ammo and supplies are scarce. You need strategy and teamwork to achieve victory.
In particular, your squad must consider Specialist choices to balance out weaknesses and advantages. More importantly, you can’t repeat Specialists on the team, so every player must consider the initial loadout carefully.
Now, aside from your initial picks, Hazard Zones have some extra features. First, you can loot Dark Market Credits in the game mode. Then, you can spend the credit to improve your initial loadout with more weapons, gadgets, and tactical upgrades.
There’re also Uplinks, which are laptops you find on the maps. These offer some specific supports like reviving a down squadmate. Once you see these laptops, you can use them at any time.
Similarly, you can loot weapons, body armor, gadgets, and tools across the maps. And here’s where I should add what happens if you die: you lose everything.
Here’s the Hazard Zone trailer:
Battlefield Portal combines past Battlefield games with new-gen features and technology.
In essence, Portal is a platform where you can create custom modes or play other people’s custom modes. You’ll recognize the various features and maps available from Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3. You can also use 2042’s maps, weapons, and features.
For example, you can put Battlefield 2042’s weapons on a WW2 map or eliminate planes and helicopters from a Battlefield 3 map.
Portal delivered a “Builder,” a toolbox that allows you to create Battlefield experiences. You can tweak settings like maps, weapons, vehicles, battle conditions, and more. The editor has plenty of depth, as you can even tweak weapon, armor, and vehicle specs.
So, when you enter Portal, you’ll find community-made game modes and matches.
Here’s a Battlefield Portal trailer:
Battlefield 2042 weapons
DICE has not listed the weapons yet, but we’ve seen various during the Battlefield 2042 closed beta.
Here’s the list of what we’ve seen so far. Some of the in-game weapons have original names, though.
- Handguns: Taurus M44, Glock 19
- SMGs: KRISS Vector, LWRC SMG 45
- LMGs: KAC LAMG, PKP Pecheneg
- Assault Rifles: SCAR-H, MCX Spear, DDM47, AK12
- Long-range Rifles:DSR-1, Chukavin SVCh, Sako TRG
- Shotgun: Remington 870
- Launchers: FN40GL, Carl Gustaf M4
DICE will probably confirm more weapons in days to come.
Additionally, all weapons, armor, gadgets, and vehicles from older Battlefield titles are available through Battlefield Portal. That includes, for example, the Panzerschreck tank, the M60 rifle, or C4 charges.
Everything we’ve said is mostly theoretical, as the game is not out yet. Moreover, streamers who’ve tried the closed-beta are not very happy with the performance.
We’ve seen reports on how the game has issues all across the board. There’re glitches regarding vehicle maneuvering, parachuting, clipping through walls, assassination animations, weather cycles, server stability, and more. Gunplay is smooth, though, but it would be wrong not to mention how the game feels “incomplete” months before its release.
If anything, keep aware of further reviews, previews, and impressions to check the game’s quality.
Conclusion: Is It Better Than Call of Duty Vanguard?
Call of Duty: Vanguard looks like…more of the same. The franchise is going back, once again, to a WW2 setting that still feels similar to Warzone. That’s because they can’t go too far: they need to keep integrating their newer games with the money-maker free-to-play Battle-royale.
Battlefield 2042 seems like an honest and AAA attempt to make a new game. It’s fresh and mixes the right amount of old and new features. However, it needs robust hardware. I don’t recommend playing the game on older PCs, laptops with inferior cooling systems, or old-gen consoles.
If you’ve got the power, go for Battlefield 2042. If you like Warzone and would like to continue playing a similar game, go for CoD: Vanguard. The latter is not very demanding, hardware-wise.