Electronic Arts is slated to drop Battlefield 2042, the next mainline entry in its hit shooter series, later this October, and it's shaping up as the most ambitious game to date. The latest venture from developer DICE envisions a war-ravaged future, presented through multiplayer military operations across the globe. It also embraces the full extent of the latest console and PC hardware, in what the publisher pitches as the "next generation of Battlefield."
Battlefield 2042 is also set to receive multiple pre-release tests, presenting several opportunities for fans to get hands-on before the street date. That includes a closed technical playtest, limited to select players with tight restrictions, alongside an open beta on the roadmap closer to launch. Here's everything you need to know about Battlefield 2042 tests, plus how to get the chance to play the game early later this year.
Battlefield 2042 beta: What to expect
Electronic Arts announced Battlefield 2042 alongside a five-minute reveal trailer, establishing its latest premise with a tease of what players can expect. That included a bolstered multiplayer mode, now the centerpiece of Battlefield in lieu of a traditional single-player campaign, with various upgrades over previous titles. That includes many of the largest Battlefield maps in history, supporting 128 players simultaneously, and laced with new opportunities.
Changes in Battlefield 2042 also have significant gameplay implications, from larger play spaces to map-altering events that skew the tide of encounters. There's a new approach to class-based loadouts, with ten hero-style Specialists upon release, each equipped with unique tools and abilities. The gadgetry of conflict also sees an upgrade, allowing players to swap weapon attachments on the fly or request on-demand vehicles.
Players can get an early taste of Battlefield 2042 in several tests in the coming months, each with different objectives to streamline the game before launch. That includes an early test, far from representative of the entire game, and a later beta test that will better resemble the launch product.
Battlefield 2042 technical playtest
The first Battlefield 2042 tests are slated to kick off in July, presenting a limited hands-on opportunity with the project centered around technical performance and stability. This test will be using a "grey box environment," an iteration in game development that, while playable, strips the game down to the fundamentals, missing assets and general visual flair expected from a final product.
Electronic Arts states the Technical Playtest will be accessible on an invite-only basis, limited to "Battlefield veterans" with extensive knowledge of the series. The test will also have a strict non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which prevents participants from sharing any contents of the test. The first technical playtest invites are expected to roll out in early July.
Battlefield 2042 closed and open beta
Later in 2021, Battlefield 2042 will also receive a pre-launch open beta, providing an opportunity for all budding players to test the title before launch. The experience is somewhat expected to resemble the gameplay players will see at launch, likely confined to one or two multiplayer levels.
This Battlefield 2042 test will first occur as a closed beta, limited to a select pool of invited players. Access is tied to the game's preorder campaign, guaranteeing access to those who reserve their copy before release. The beta will then open at a later date, including those without a preorder for the title.
While Electronic Arts hasn't talked about availability, we expect this beta to fall around September or October, close to the final release.
Battlefield 2042 beta test start date
Electronic Arts hasn't discussed availability for the Battlefield 2042 beta beyond a planned kick-off ahead of the final launch. We expect the publisher to share more information closer to launch, although expect beta access around September or early October, with the game scheduled to launch on October 22, 2021.
The more imminent Battlefield 2042 technical test is set for "early July," presenting an opportunity to play a work-in-progress slice of the title. This early glimpse, bound by a strict NDA to prevent participants from sharing their experiences, is expected to last only a brief period.
How to play Battlefield 2042 beta tests
We recommend those hoping to score entry to early Battlefield 2042 tests prepare as soon as possible. The three stages, the technical playtest, closed beta, and open beta, all come with different entry requirements, making it crucial to understand how each test differs. It's also unclear which platforms will host tests, although we currently assume PC exclusivity for the technical playtest, with full console and PC availability for later betas.
The Battlefield 2042 technical playtest will be limited to select players, accessible on an invite-only basis, and far from representative of the final game. The strict NDA suggests Electronic Arts will keep entry extremely limited, with no method of guaranteed access announced at this time. With the first tests commencing in July, keep an eye on your inbox over the coming weeks, but don't get hopes too high.
The earliest opportunity to test Battlefield 2042 comes with the closed beta, available to those who preorder the game ahead of the early access period. Three editions of Battlefield 2042 are now up for preorder, the standard, plus Gold and Ultimate variants, available on both console and PC. Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC versions of the game start at $60 for U.S. buyers, while upgraded Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions retail from $70. The open beta will later follow, after the closed early access period for Battlefield 2042 preorders.
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