How to get and play Battlefield 2042 early

Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone
Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone (Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Battlefield 2042 Portal

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

One of the year's most anticipated multiplayer online shooters is Battlefield 2042, which officially arrives on Nov. 19, 2021 after a short delay. However, hardcore fans and those most excited to leap into EA's next epic first-person shooter can actually obtain early access to Battlefield 2042. If you're on the fence about preordering Battlefield 2042, there's also a way for you to trial the game a full week before release. Here's what you need to know about getting and playing Battlefield 2042 early.

How to play Battlefield 2042 early

Battlefield 2042 Cosmetics

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

Battlefield 2042 will be available to the vast majority of players beginning on Nov. 19, 2021, but that doesn't mean all players are restricted to joining on that day. EA has offered a way for Battlefield veterans and excited newcomers alike to join in on the intense fun a full week early with Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition. Players who are interested in Battlefield 2042 but haven't made a firm decision can also try the game out a week early if they subscribe to EA Play or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Firstly, Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition includes a full week of early access. As the name implies, this is the quintessential version of Battlefield 2042 that includes a ton of extra bonuses and perks to justify the bolstered price tag. You can get access to these goodies, including access to the entirety of Battlefield 2042, starting on Nov. 12, 2021. This means Battlefield 2042's over-the-top traditional multiplayer modes like Conquest and Breakdown, Battlefield Portal, and the tactical Hazard Zone will all be present and available to play.

Cross-play will be enabled for Battlefield 2042 starting on Nov. 12, as well, meaning you'll be able to play with other Ultimate Edition owners across Xbox, PC, and PlayStation platforms. Just bear in mind that the divide between hardware like Xbox One or PS4 and current-gen still exists. The aging console hardware in last-gen consoles isn't capable of pushing full 128-player servers or massive maps, and as such is limited to 64-player servers, smaller maps, and playing only with other last-gen console players.

What's included in Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition?

Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition may be most interesting because of its early access perk, but there's plenty of other great DLC bundled in if you're willing to pay the entry cost. Here's everything that's included in Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition:

  • Early access. Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition includes seven days of early access to the full game, which begins on Nov. 12, 2021.
  • Cross-gen Bundle. Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition includes the Cross-gen Bundle on Xbox and PlayStation, which grants access to both last-gen and current-gen versions.
    • Xbox One and PS4 players will be able to play with each other through cross-play, but not with current-gen players
    • Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC players will be able to play with each other through cross-play, but not with last-gen players (without using the downgraded version)
    • If you upgrade in the future from a last-gen console to current-gen, your Cross-gen Bundle will automatically give you the better version of the game
  • Preorder Pack. Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition includes the Preorder Pack, which includes:
    • "Battle Hardened" legendary skin for Irish
    • Baku ACB-90 melee takedown knife
    • "Mr. Chompy" epic weapon charm
    • "Landfall" player card background
    • "Old Guard" tag
  • Ultimate Pack. Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition includes the Ultimate Pack, which includes:
    • "Shadow Stalker" legendary outfit
    • "Obsidian" legendary weapon skin
    • "Onyx" legendary vehicle skin
    • Digital artbook
    • Digital soundtrack
  • Year 1 Pass Cosmetic Pack. Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition includes the Year 1 Pass Cosmetic Pack, which includes:
    • "Blistered Earth" epic skin pack
    • "Tempest" epic skin pack
    • "Cold Blood" epic skin pack
  • Year 1 Pass Seasonal Pack. Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition includes the Year 1 Pass Seasonal Pack, which includes:
    • Lasts for four Seasons
    • Four new Specialists (one per Season)
    • Four Battle Passes (one per Season)

Play Battlefield 2042 early with EA Play & Xbox Game Pass

If you're not entirely sold on Battlefield 2042 yet, there is a way to try the game before it's fully released. EA Play, which is also included at no additional cost through Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, gives everyone a free 10-hour trial to Battlefield 2042 starting on Nov. 12. You'll be limited only to 10 hours of playtime, but that should be plenty to decide if Battlefield 2042 is worth the asking price. If you enjoy the 10-hour trial through EA Play, you can still purchase Battlefield 2042 Ultimate Edition to gain full access to the game immediately.

What to expect from Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone

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

Battlefield 2042 is the latest entry in the long-running Battlefield shooter series from DICE and Electronic Arts, and it promises to be the most ambitious title the series has ever seen. Battlefield 2042's claim to fame comes in the form of gargantuan and intricately detailed maps, servers that support up to 128 simultaneous players on current-gen consoles and PCs, and an innovated game mode that revives fan favorites from previous Battlefield games.

Battlefield 2042 Portal combines weapons, maps, and more from some of the most beloved Battlefield games, and lets players mix and match however they want. Players can create custom game modes using any number of facets from Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3, and (of course) Battlefield 2042.

This is on top of the classic Battlefield multiplayer experience, which is more chaotic and action-packed than ever before. If Battlefield 2042 delivers on everything that it has promised, it'll undoubtedly join the list of best Xbox shooters.

There's a lot to be excited about with Battlefield 2042, which officially releases on Nov. 19, 2021 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC. Players can also join Battlefield 2042 early on Nov. 12, by accessing the entire game or simply trying out a 10-hour trial run. For more information, be sure to check out our breakdown of Battlefield 2042's launch times, how to preload, and more.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.