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. The publisher recently hosted its first technical playtest, an invite-only trial locked down to just a slice of the community, but its upcoming beta looks poised to deliver an open glimpse at the title ahead of its slated launch this October. Here's everything you need to know about Battlefield 2042 tests, plus how to get the chance to play the game early this year.
Battlefield 2042 beta test start date
Electronic Arts has confirmed plans to host the Battlefield 2042 beta this September, although is yet to announce official dates for testing. "Unfortunately, no date has been set just yet," an Electronic Arts support representative stated via the @EAHelp Twitter account.
The publisher remains tight on details, and for some fans, the current silence from the publisher has spurred continued frustration. The official Battlefield Twitter account openly acknowledged player concerns on September 1, once again assuring players that the beta test remains set for later this month.
We expect the publisher to share more information closer to the beta launch, although access looks set for the weeks to come, likely in the second half of September. Rumors now suggest a September 22 launch, as backed by reputable Battlefield insider, Tom Henderson, and GamesBeat editor, Jeff Grubb.
Electronic Arts also hosted its invite-only Battlefield 2042 playtest in August, contacting players just over one week before its console and PC kick-off. This test spanned several days, providing a work-in-progress, pre-beta slice of the title, albeit bound by a strict NDA for all participants.
Battlefield 2042 beta: What to expect
Electronic Arts has showcased various Battlefield 2042 components since reveal, including multiplayer gameplay, the creative "Portal" mode, and its intertwined narrative. The bolstered multiplayer mode, now a centerpiece of Battlefield in lieu of a traditional single-player campaign, brings 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, each equipped with unique tools and abilities upon release. 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. Next up is the full beta test that will closely resemble the launch product, unlike the early technical preview.
Battlefield 2042 closed beta
Electronic Arts is scheduled to first host a closed beta for Battlefield 2042, or as the publisher frames the perk, "early access to the open beta." This hands-on opportunity is limited to those who preorder either of three planned editions for Battlefield 2042 on console and PC. While the duration of that preorder period remains uncertain, expect several days of exclusivity, before expanding to the public.
Content in the early open beta will likely mirror the Battlefield 2042 open beta plans, constrained to one or two maps, a restricted offering of modes. Previous Battlefield betas saw similar restrictions, granting access to just a slice of the complete launch-day package.
Battlefield 2042 preorders are your ticket to day-one beta access, with three editions available on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. Preordering the standard edition of Battlefield 2042 provides early beta access, the Irish Battle Hardened Legendary skin, and various multiplayer cosmetics for the final game. Battlefield 2042 retails for $60 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, whereas the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions retail for $70 in the U.S.
Electronic Arts also has two premium editions for Battlefield 2042, each providing early access to the beta and final game from October 15. Upgrading to the Gold Edition nets access to all Year 1 content, including new Specialists, Battle Passes, and skins slated for 2022. The Ultimate-tier package offers all the same, plus an exclusive "Midnight Ultimate Bundle" skin pack and an exclusive artbook and soundtrack.
Battlefield 2042 open beta
The Battlefield 2042 open beta, broadly available to the public at a later date, offers a slice of the planned launch experience. While Electronic Arts hasn't talked about availability, we expect this beta to fall in early September once early access concludes.
Electronic Arts will host the Battlefield 2042 beta via the Microsoft Store on Xbox consoles, the PlayStation Store on PlayStation consoles, and PC via supported storefronts.
Battlefield 2042 technical playtest (completed)
Electronic Arts hosted its invite-only Battlefield 2042 technical test in August, presenting a hands-on opportunity centered around technical performance and stability. Test access was provided on an invite-only basis, limited to "Battlefield veterans" with extensive knowledge of the series. The test was coupled with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to prevent participants from sharing content, although that didn't stop gameplay from surfacing online.
We expect the Battlefield 2042 beta to better represent the final experience, with improved visuals and stability over the technical test. The beta will also drop the NDA, allowing content creators to share footage from the test.
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. The beta will span all platforms, including new and previous-generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles, plus PC.
The next 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 start at $60, while upgraded Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions retail for $70.
In contrast, the Battlefield 2042 technical playtest was limited to select players, accessible on an invite-only basis, and far from representative of the final game.
Will the Battlefield 2042 beta have exclusive rewards?
Electronic Arts hasn't specified whether Battlefield 2042 players will receive exclusive rewards for participating in the beta, although it's common practice for many titles. Battlefield 2042 will have various cosmetic player card backgrounds and charms to unlock throughout the game, with exclusive designs both potential rewards for beta participants. We expect to learn more as Electronic Arts discusses its open beta rollout.
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