Battlefield 2042Source: Electronic Arts Inc.

Battlefield 2042 launches later this year, ushering players to the near-future frontlines. The legendary first-person franchise, renowned for large-scale multiplayer warfare, looks poised to go bigger than ever for its next outing. Electronic Arts recently revealed the title amid E3 2021, with all signs pointing toward an evolution of the formula fit for the latest console generation.

The next Battlefield heads twenty years into the future, bringing high-tech gadgets that remain grounded in the reality of the world we know. Leveraging advancements with Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, we're set to receive up to 128-player modes, expansive locations, beefed-up visuals, and much more. Here's everything we know about Battlefield 2042 so far.

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Battlefield 2042 release date

Battlefield 2042 launches on Oct. 22, 2021, and it's headed to consoles and PC. The game marks the biggest release of the year for publisher Electronic Arts, with high ambitions as its largest Battlefield multiplayer experience to date. While headed to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Windows PCs, the title will also launch on PlayStation 4, and Xbox One consoles.

However, Electronic Arts has outlined plans to host a Battlefield 2042 beta later this year, committing to an open test accessible to all, with early access via closed beta for preorders. While we are yet to receive a release window for this, we're expecting availability close to the launch, potentially falling between September and early October. Public "technical playtests" are scheduled for early July, albeit accessible on an invite-only basis, with no clear steps to register interest or guarantee access.

In the meantime, Battlefield 2042 is available for preorder on consoles and PC. Battlefield 2042 starts at $60, with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions priced at $70, with premium "Gold" and "Ultimate" editions also up for grabs. PC copies will be available via the Origin, Steam, and the Epic Games Store.

Battlefield 2042 gets new gameplay trailer at E3 2021

Electronic Arts has debuted a new trailer for Battlefield 2042 at E3 2021, providing our first gameplay of the title at Microsoft's Xbox E3 2021 showcase. You can check it out below.

Expect more details on Battlefield at EA Play Live on July 22.

All-out warfare

Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042 (preorder)

Battlefield goes back to the future

Battlefield 2042 debuts Electronic Arts' next-generation vision for the military shooter, supporting up to 128 players, the largest-ever maps, and is shaping up as its most ambitious entry to date.

The Battlefield 2042 reveal trailer is now live

Battlefield 2042Source: Electronic Arts Inc.

Battlefield 2042 saw a formal unveiling on June 9, accompanied by a five-minute trailer showcasing what to expect from its near-future setting. The trailer provided a tour of various locations set to feature in the next Battlefield game, showing what the publisher describes as "all-out warfare" synonymous with the shooter franchise.

Our first look at Battlefield 2042 was compiled from in-engine footage, although it isn't necessarily representative of what we can expect from the gameplay. While Electronic Arts has teased plans to show formal gameplay in the near future, the publisher is yet to show footage captured in real-time.

The new Battlefield reveal trailer does portray many of the most prominent new features. Highlights include all-new gadgetry for the series, from future-facing vehicles and robots to wingsuits and modern weaponry. We see several new maps in action, teasing scripted events like extreme weather on "Kaleidoscope," a new level set in South Korea, and "Orbital," host to a full rocket launch.

We also expect the next Battlefield to have a considerable presence at EA Play Live 2021, the publisher's annual July showcase for upcoming releases. With current world events, we're expecting the publisher to remain somewhat detached from the E3 2021 industry trade show this June, spinning out its digital event around future titles. It could bring our first extended look at Battlefield 2042 gameplay ahead of its launch later in the year.

Battlefield 2042 gameplay: What we know

Battlefield 2042Source: Electronic Arts Inc.

Electronic Arts has repeatedly pitched Battlefield 2042 as "the next generation of Battlefield," alluding to sizeable advancements over predecessors, intertwined with the latest console and PC hardware. The initial details on the title suggest ambitious scale and density over past entries, with larger 128-player battles, record map sizes, and new dynamic world events. While there's still much to come on Battlefield 2042, what we've learned to date leaves us eager for its October debut.

Battlefield 2042's setting drops players 20 years into the future, set in a world where global resource shortages have seen tensions escalate, pushing nations to the brink of collapse. With the U.S. and Russia at war, players assume the roles of refugees, commonly dubbed non-patriated or "no-pats," joining either side in fighting to restore stability across the globe.

Battlefield developer and franchise caretaker, DICE, has outlined three main focuses for Battlefield 2042, centered around the multiplayer experience. With no single-player campaign in the 2021 release, the initial focus pushes "all-out warfare," comprised of classic Battlefield modes like Conquest and Breakthrough. The team also references two additional pillars, the "Hazard Zone" mode, and an unannounced creation from DICE's Los Angeles studio. Electronic Arts has been keen to stress that Hazard Zone is "not a battle royale," but isn't talking further details right now.

The fundamental Battlefield gameplay remains mostly intact, although this time scaled up to 128 players, with some of the largest multiplayer maps to date. These improvements are tied to the latest generation PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles, plus PC. At the same time, older PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems will see smaller maps capped at 64-player capacities.

Beyond scale, Battlefield 2042 maps bring real-time events, scripted set pieces that shake up multiplayer gameplay, taking forward similar philosophies as past systems like "levolution." These include tornadoes, sandstorms, and even a rocket launch, each with a tangible impact on gameplay and the map layout.

Battlefield 2042Source: Electronic Arts Inc.

Battlefield 2042 changes filter down to gameplay too, as Electronic Arts opts to rework its approach to class-based combat, taking traits from hero-based shooters. The same classic four classes return — Assault, Engineer, Support, and Recon — but now carved out into separate "Specialists," each with their unique gadgets and abilities.

From Apex Legends to Call of Duty, many of the biggest shooters on the market have adopted a hero-style system, adding distinct identities to their multiplayer characters. For Battlefield, that doesn't represent a drastic shift in gameplay but now pairs many existing gadgets with specific Specialists. Electronic Arts plans to launch Battlefield 2042 with 10 Specialists, each bringing distinct contributions to teams.

  • Webster Mackay: This Specialist represents our first solider joining the Assault class, bringing an all-new grappling hook gadget and a nimble trait for improved mobility.
  • Maria Falck: Our first medic now falls under the Support class, capable of treating injured allies in the field and using the S21 Syrette Pistol to revive allies with full health.
  • Pyotr "Boris" Guskovsky: The Engineer class now has a Specialist with his own deployable turret, the SG-36 Sentry Gun, bringing additional firepower on the battlefield.
  • Wikus "Casper" Van Daele: The OV-P Recon Drone defines Van Daele, the new recruit for Recon, best suited to staying stealthy and providing intel on enemy whereabouts.

Building upon class changes, gameplay should prove more reactive, breaking away from several past standards in Battlefield history. Highly customizable weapons return, but with the new "Plus System," players can tweak their loadouts in the middle of combat without respawning. Weapon scopes, barrels, ammunition types, and other attachments can be swapped with minimal downtime, allowing players to adapt to situations on the fly. Players also have vehicle call-in tablets, with the ability to request vehicle airdrops.

We're expecting to learn more about Battlefield gameplay features at EA Play Live in July 2021, also serving as the reveal for the new Battlefield multiplayer mode, developed by DICE LA.

Will Battlefield 2042 have a battle royale mode?

Battlefield 2042Source: Electronic Arts Inc.

Battle royale remains a hot genre for the video game industry, with continued success from Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends, and more, all feeding the trend. Electronic Arts hoped for similar success with its Battlefield V "Firestorm" battle royale mode, but after launching to mixed reception, the player base steadily plummeted in the following months.

Electronic Arts has stated that Battlefield 2042 won't have a dedicated battle royale mode at launch, although it hasn't ruled out its inclusion with a future update. The publisher has discussed a new mode called "Hazard Zone," although repeatedly stresses this isn't a battle royale mode, representing a new multiplayer experience, instead.

It's currently unknown whether Battlefield 2042 will deliver a second attempt at the mode, although with Warzone hitting the jackpot as Activision's second outing, it's not ruled out for Battlefield.

Is Battlefield 2042 coming to Xbox One and PS4?

The next Battlefield launches across the full spectrum of modern consoles, including Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It's especially welcomed throughout ongoing shortages, with the best Xbox console, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5 family in short supply months after their respective November launches. With continued global chip shortages, demand heightened throughout the pandemic, and general excitement around new hardware, it's little surprise. With current forecasts suggesting limited stock throughout 2021, it's only natural that Battlefield extends support to older devices on the market.

"In the case of Battlefield, what we can do with respect to the amount of players that we can have in the game, and the nature of destruction and those all-new Battlefield moments that are truly next-gen opportunities that we are able to do in the context of our next-gen franchises because of the increased processing power and memory and output of the new consoles," EA CEO, Andrew Wilson stated in a recent earnings call.

While some had voiced concerns over limiting the scope of Battlefield 6, the publisher has announced two separate versions, dependent on console generations. The latest consoles and high-end PCs are set to deliver the best experience, pushing higher 128 player counts, advanced environments, and improved visual fidelity. The Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions of the game will also start at $70 in the U.S., whereas Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions start at $60.

Battlefield 2042 editions and preorder

Electronic Arts has also opened Battlefield 2042 preorders, providing the first opportunity to lock down Xbox, PlayStation, and PC versions of the game, before the October release date. Preorders also grant access to the Battlefield 2042 closed beta, an upcoming pre-launch test period scheduled for later this year.

Battlefield 2042 launches in three editions, with the standard version of the game granting access to the baseline experience, with Gold and Ultimate Editions also up for grabs. The latter include the Year 1 Pass and other bonus content, and for premium console copies, the included cross-gen bundle packs two versions into a single purchase. It positions Gold and Ultimate editions as ideal future-proofed investments for those yet to purchase the latest systems. You can see the breakdown of Battlefield 2042 preorders and bonuses in our full guide.

Battlefield 2042 starts at $60 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, with upgraded Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 copies fetching $70. Console Gold and Ultimate Editions are priced at $100 and $120, respectively, while PC users save at $90 and $110. PC copies will be available via the Origin, Steam, and the Epic Games Store. Battlefield 2042, like other Electronic Arts titles, also joins the EA Play Pro subscription library on launch day.

All-out warfare

Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042 (preorder)

Battlefield goes back to the future

Battlefield 2042 debuts Electronic Arts' next-generation vision for the military shooter, supporting up to 128 players, the largest-ever maps, and is shaping up as its most ambitious entry to date.

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