Battlefield 2042 represents the next step for the seasoned military shooter, leaping into the future with its largest multiplayer sandbox to date. Electronic Arts ramps up to 128-player matches across several huge locales, tapping into the latest from console and PC hardware. It also introduces a new "Specialist" system, a departure from the traditional class-based combat, albeit with a distinct Battlefield twist familiar to returning veterans.
Electronic Arts has committed to ten Specialists, unique personalities on the Battlefield 2042 roster when the game launches this October. These soldiers each bring gadgetry and abilities to the team, and with more slated for updates to come, they're integral to the new era for Battlefield. Here's what Specialists mean in Battlefield 2042, coupled with a list of the soldiers known so far.
How Specialists work in Battlefield 2042
Battlefield is known for its large-scale battles where man meets machine and its four playable classes played a major role in melding those into one setting. The latest installment looks to shape those systems through a new hero roster, mirroring success from the best shooter games like Call of Duty and Rainbow Six Siege.
Battlefield 2042's playable soldiers are known as "Specialists," unique personalities with their own gadgets and abilities. The traditional Assault, Engineer, Support, and Recon classes remain, with gadgets tied to specific characters rather than nameless soldiers. It also allows developer DICE to craft stories around its soldiers in future updates in lieu of a single-player campaign.
The new approach sees each Specialist have a "Speciality," a primary gadget that defines their playstyle, with grappling hooks and recon drones among the devices announced to date. They also sport a "Trait," a passive ability that aids their playstyle, like increasing movement speed or automatically spotting enemies.
Breaking away from the fixed four-class roles also diversifies your weapon choices in Battlefield 2042, with all weapon classes available to every Specialist. Classes now represent gadget types rather than playstyles, allowing players to tailor loadouts around their preferred tools. For example, a Recon Specialist is no longer restricted to sniper rifles, with assault rifles and LMGs also on the docket.
Specialists could represent a significant change in how Battlefield 2042 combat operates over former games, with a broader spectrum of playstyles now possible within each class.
Electronic Arts has announced plans to ship 10 Specialists alongside Battlefield 2042 this October, with more slated for post-launch updates. The first year of DLC will be split into four distinct seasons, resulting in a new Specialist around every three months. We officially know just five of the launch day Specialist lineup, with only four present in the Battlefield 2042 beta, albeit with traces of more soldiers also beginning to surface.
This Specialist brings new utility to Battlefield 2042's Assault class, defined by swift movement enabled by its gadgetry and passive ability. In what Electronic Arts describes as the "lone-wolf" of the current multiplayer roster, the former Canadian soldier broke away from the crowd to join the no-pats.
|Gadget||Grappling Hook: Exclusive to Mackay, this tool provides an easy point-and-shoot tool to traverse across maps. The grappling hook latches on surfaces when fired, rapidly pulling the player forward and often airborne. However, the grappling hook only connects in close proximity, limiting your options in some of the larger multiplayer locales.|
|Trait||Nimble: This passive perk speeds up the Specialist when aiming down sights across all weapon classes. It's ideal for fast-paced combat situations in close quarters, aiding his agility-focused loadout.|
Mackay's grappling hook brings new opportunities in Battlefield 2042, both incredibly agile and reactive in combat. This Specialist is all about staying mobile, leveraging the verticality of maps to maintain the high ground on enemies. You can pull yourself up buildings and railings or travel horizontally across open spaces.
MacKay's biggest challenge is deciding when to use his grappling hook, leaving players exposed when using the device. It's a careful balance, finding moments of opportunity without exposing yourself to enemy fire. Players soaring through the sky are an easy takedown, exposed and defenseless until you hit the ground. Landing a shot out of range will also trigger a brief recovery period, making it crucial to understand the device's limits.
Falck brings years of medical expertise to the Battlefield 2042 lineup and fulfills the traditional role of a field medic, once reserved to the Assault class in earlier games. Her motherly tendencies, a factor that plays an integral part in her motivations according to the developer, ensures all your multiplayer allies get patched up in combat.
|Gadget||Syrette Pistol: Falck's gadget evolves the iconic med-kit from past Battlefield games, now condensed into a projectile that instantly heals enemies down its sights. The Syrette Pistol also doubles as a lethal weapon, with the same shots also dealing damage when targeted at enemies.|
|Trait||Combat Surgeon: This medic wouldn't be complete without passive healing traits, capable of reviving enemies with maximum health if downed. Battlefield 2042 has the same squad revive system from Battlefield V, allowing anyone to heal squadmates, but Falck is the only Specialist equipped to deliver the best.|
Maria Falck occupies a vital support role to keep the squad in fighting shape, better suited to healing and reviving allies than her counterparts. She can be the deciding factor between winning and losing a gunfight, serving that extra boost to finish the job.
Wikus 'Casper' Van Daele
This all-seeing Specialist brings unparalleled intelligence to your team, wrapped up in a ghillie suit, constantly on the hunt for his prey. His tools can survey the horizon from a birds-eye view, coupled with intrinsic traits that help spot nearby enemies.
|Gadget||OV-P Recon Drone: This gadget has similarities to the UAV of past Battlefield games, albeit now coupled with surplus functionality, primed for the digital age. You can spot enemies and mark foes for friendly lock-on weapons, while an integrated EMP aims to disorient enemies.|
|Trait||Movement Sensor: This passive trait provides an extra set of eyes, automatically marking nearby enemies within his radius. It also works when using the OV-P Recon Drone for worry-free intelligence gathering, even in heated conflicts.|
Casper fulfills a traditional Recon role, kitted out in surveillance gear a constant overview of the battlefield while relaying valuable intel to squadmates. When paired with a sniper rifle, he excels at picking off targets at range but is always one step ahead of the opposing team.
Pyotr 'Boris' Guskovsky
Boris harnesses heavy firepower as an experienced Engineer, equipped with an automatic sentry system, ideal for holding the line in combat. This Specialist is all about providing supporting fire for your team and locking down crucial objectives.
|Gadget||SG-36 Sentry System: This automated sentry system dishes out a steady string of bullets on those who enter its radius. It's fully automatic and tracks nearby enemies, best used when holding an objective and vying to retain map control.|
|Trait||Sentry Operator Well-trained to best leverage his SG-36 sentry, Boris also rocks the Sentry Operator trait. Forming a unique bond with his turret, the Specialist automatically spots enemies locked by his turret.|
The sentry gun allows Boris to face rivals out of harm's way and automatically engage enemies who contest objectives. While essential to exploit choke points and pin down enemies, his spotting trait also leaves him surprisingly effective in relaying intel.
Kimble 'Irish' Graves
Battlefield 2042 revives some existing Battlefield icons with its intertwined multiplayer narrative, with former U.S. Marine Kimble "Irish" Graves now commander of the Exodus no-pat battleship. His return in Battlefield 2042 leans into previous instances of caring for refugees, now equipped with a custom fortification system to help protect your online allies.
|Gadget||Fortification System: This two-part kit provides Irish with the DCS Deployable Cover, a bulletproof shield that mounts onto any flat surface, resisting incoming gunfire and explosives. Irish can also repel incoming projectiles with the APS-36 Shootdown Sentinel, a deployable crate that automatically shoots nearby airborne explosives.|
|Trait||Veteran: Irish gains extra armor through his passive trait, which multiplies you down enemy soldiers. The ability rewards those with a quick trigger finger with additional protection from incoming threats.|
This specialist is all about offering protection and extra defenses, positioned as a tank-style loadout in the roster. Players will find Irish incredibly valuable in close-quarters encounters, capable of holding back an entire squad via a well-placed gadget.
This airborne Specialist has made regular appearances in Battlefield 2042 marketing but details remain scarce as launch day approaches. Sundance looks set to include a wingsuit, an alternative to the traditional Battlefield parachute, enabling high-speed flight. When swept up in the game's tornadoes and extreme weather, they're in their element, gaining incredible verticality over other soldiers.
The wingsuit might be Sundance's passive trait considering the implications of a wingsuit remain strictly tied to a handful of airborne moments. But when this Specialist hits the scene, it's another anticipated toy within the Battlefield 2042 sandbox.
Constantin Anghel is one of several unannounced Battlefield 2042 Specialists, only briefly referenced via the "Journey of the No-Pats" series from Electronic Arts. This Romanian soldier was among those stranded at the Cheftaya Neft oil facility in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, according to official lore.
What we know about other Battlefield 2042 Specialists
Electronic Arts has unveiled only five of its ten planned Battlefield 2042 Specialists at launch, with more unveilings expected in the weeks before launch. The existing Specialists bring both all-new gadgetry and reworked versions of legacy Battlefield tools, each falling into the four distinct gameplay classes available in multiplayer.
Further details on Specialists recently surfaced via alleged datamined files, providing text strings reportedly related to forthcoming characters. The fourteen listed gadgets reference previously revealed Specialists, five still to come, plus other personalities slated for post-launch downloadable content (DLC) expansions.
When cross-referencing gadgets from known Battlefield 2042 Specialists, we now understand what to expect from the complete roster. Take the following details lightly, as with any unconfirmed leaks.
- AR Scanner
- Smart Explosive
- Supply Drop
- Signal Hacker
- Construction Kit
- Supply Throwable
- Supply Bag
- Personal Shield
The names for several gadgets are somewhat self-explanatory, making it easy to guess the function behind tools like the "Supply Bag" and "Personal Shield." Devices like the Eidos and Signal Hacker raise more questions, likely bringing new gameplay qualities to the multiplayer sandbox. The faces behind these gadgets also remain a mystery, plus which of the four classes will welcome these Specialists. We expect to learn more about Specialists and their role in Battlefield 2042 over the weeks ahead.