Battlefield 2042 beta schedule: Dates, start time, and when you can play

Battlefield 2044 Irish
Battlefield 2044 Irish (Image credit: Electronic Arts)

The Battlefield 2042 beta presents an early hands-on with the latest shooter from Electronic Arts, an ambitious new multiplayer experience spread over four days of testing. The next series entry depicts a near-future dystopia, pitting global superpowers in a conflict spanning all corners of the globe. It sets the backdrop for the most ambitious Battlefield game yet, bolstered by 128-player lobbies, plus some of the largest maps to date.

Battlefield 2042 receives its open beta this October, centered around the classic flag-capturing Conquest mode, set on a new map. It's split into two testing periods, with two days of early access up for grabs, before opening to all players into the weekend. Here's what you need to know about the Battlefield 2042 schedule, including the dates and times you can play.

Battlefield 2042 Orbital

Source: Electronic Arts (Image credit: Source: Electronic Arts)

Electronic Arts has split the Battlefield 2042 beta into multiple waves, with early access slated from Oct. 6, while general availability follows on Oct. 8. Early access is available to anyone with a Battlefield 2042 preorder, plus those with an active EA Play membership. Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service includes EA Play on console and PC, making subscribers eligible for the test.

The open beta provides an early insight into Battlefield 2042, with bugs and other outstanding issues all expected, given the work-in-progress nature of the build. The beta functions as an opportunity for developer DICE to test the game on a global scale, refining various game components for launch day. However, with the Battlefield 2042 beta hosted only one month before launch, it's an ideal opportunity to get a feel for the entire game.

Battlefield 2042 start date and times

The Battlefield 2042 beta commences on Oct. 6, 2021, available to anyone meeting the prerequisites for its "early access" window. Those with a Battlefield 2042 preorder or EA Play subscription secure a 48-hour head start from 7 a.m. UTC on Oct. 6, resulting in a later 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT kick-off for those in the U.S.

Open beta availability follows from Oct. 8, accessible for free to everyone on console and PC. We're expecting a 9 a.m. UTC launch, translating to 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT in the U.S. The open beta will arrive following a two-hour downtime on Friday, taking servers offline to perform routine maintenance. The Battlefield 2042 beta download is available on all platforms, with preloads now live for all.

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DateEastern TimePacific TimeBST (UK)CEST (Europe)
Oct. 5 (Preload live)3 a.m. ET12 a.m. PT8 a.m. BST9 a.m. CEST
Oct. 6 (Early access beta starts)3 a.m. ET12 a.m. PT8 a.m. BST9 a.m. CEST
Oct. 8 (Servers offline)3 a.m. ET12 a.m. PT8 a.m. BST9 a.m. CEST
Oct. 8 (Servers online)5 a.m. ET2 a.m. PT10 a.m. BST11 a.m. CEST
Oct. 8 (Open beta starts)5 a.m. ET2 a.m. PT10 a.m. BST11 a.m. CEST
Oct. 10 (Beta ends)3 a.m. ET12 a.m. PT8 a.m. BST9 a.m. CEST

What to expect from the Battlefield 2042 beta

Battlefield 2042 Beta

Source: Electronic Arts (Screenshot) (Image credit: Source: Electronic Arts (Screenshot))

The Battlefield franchise found its stride in large-scale multiplayer battles, with Battlefield 2042 cranking up the action throughout its sandbox. The setting presents a sizeable departure from recent World War-set entries, toying with robotic companions, high-tech gadgets, and other futuristic set pieces. The game has also axed the single-player campaign, positioning its multiplayer as the centerpiece of the experience, with high promises slated for launch.

The focus of the Battlefield 2042 beta falls on Orbital, an active space center located in French Guiana, now turned warzone amid rising tensions. Teams will battle across the complete facility, from large-open areas prime for vehicles to various complexes nestled through the map. But between an imminent rocket launch and extreme weather, danger lies ahead.

The beta also serves as the first opportunity to try four of the ten playable Specialists slated for launch, hero-style characters drawing inspiration from the best shooters out there, each boasting unique gadgets and abilities. These soldiers present an evolution upon the traditional four battlefield classes while still fulfilling similar gameplay roles. The beta also includes new systems, including its real-time weapon attachments menu and on-demand vehicle drops from players.

We expect more on the Battlefield 2042 beta and its rollout over the coming days, as the test expands to all players.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.