Everything we know so far about Star Wars Battlefront 2: Story, multiplayer, beta, news and more

With the next major Star Wars film in the pipeline, the sequel to Electronic Arts' multiplayer-focused sci-fi shooter, Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been unveiled. Showcased at the 2017 Star Wars Celebration and E3 2017, we've managed to get a significant look at what the game will offer ahead of its release this November.

But why should you care about Star Wars Battlefront 2? And why will it be one of the biggest releases of this year? Here's everything we know so far about the game.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Story: Exploring the Empire through new eyes

One of the biggest changes in Star Wars Battlefront 2 is the introduction of a single-player campaign, which looks to place a heavy focus on its narrative. While the original focused on creating an authentic multiplayer experience set within the Star Wars universe, a more cinematic campaign now looks to be a significant share of Battlefront 2's package.

During the development process, Electronic Arts is working closely with LucasFilm on delivering an authoritative and canonical Star Wars experience. This makes all events over the course of the singleplayer official canon, which ties directly into the films themselves.

Although details on its plot are thin right now, we know the game's single-player puts players in the shoes of Iden Versio – a commander of an Imperial special forces unit known as "Inferno Squad". This makes for an interesting angle on a canon Star Wars story, telling a deeper tale from the perspective of a Stormtrooper of the Empire.

The events that take place during the campaign will bridge the gap between 1983's Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and 2016's Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the trailer, we can see a clear crossover, with key events and locations from both films reimagined within the game's engine.

Iden Versio – the special forces unit commander who will be the main protagonist of Star Wars Battlefront 2.

Iden Versio – the special forces unit commander who will be the main protagonist of Star Wars Battlefront 2.

In an interview with Glixel, Game Director at EA Motive, Mark Thompson, gave a brief insight into the approach this story will take. Through this, we learned the narrative will try to create empathy and understanding for members of the Empire and their own individual values and ambitions.

It's just about perspective and understanding – that not everybody in the Empire believes in exactly the same thing. Everyone has their own personal view of what the Empire means, what's right or wrong inside the Galactic Empire, in much the same way that we probably all have a different opinion about the way that democracy works and what its pros and cons are.We're not looking for sympathy, but more empathy – understanding their perspective and who they are as people and what drives them and motivates them. Ultimately, we just need to bring people on a journey to the point that they understand why Iden and Inferno Squad make the decisions they do and believe in the things that they do.

Although we're yet to see any further detail on the story's direction, this provides a small insight into what to expect. While we can't expect to see any drastic events which could affect the films, the story will likely provide a new perspective on events previously explored in the Star Wars universe.

Multiplayer: A deeper online experience

While the announcement of a single-player campaign has drawn some attention away from Star Wars Battlefront 2's multiplayer, this will still be a major component of the complete experience. Electronic Arts' took the wraps off the game's biggest multiplayer changes as a part of E3 2017, with details on changes to core mechanics and the new content in the pipeline.

One of the biggest adjustments in Battlefront 2 will be a shift to class-based gameplay, which defines stricter roles in combat. Players will have to choose from four different classes, Officer, Assault, Heavy, and Specialist – each which have their own outstanding traits and abilities for use in battle. Think Battlefield 1's class system, which assigns general player roles, with gadgets and equipment to tweak in accordance with your playstyle. Here's a breakdown of the four available classes and the play styles they encourage.

  • Officers are the support class of Star Wars Battlefront 2, which equipment and abilities aid allies on the field. Among the class's roles are opportunities to heal teammates, deploy buffs and lay down supporting fire to back those on the front lines.
  • Assault Troopers are a traditional damage-focused class, designed to rapidly push enemy forces and deal heavy damage. Being fast and nimble, Assault Troopers can deliver rapid attacks and flanks to push holes into enemy defenses. However, this class is restricted to close or medium range and is most effective when backed by supporting roles.
  • As the name suggests, Heavy Troopers are specifically designed to use heavy fire and brute force against enemy forces. While slow movement keeps the class weighed down, they're best used for holding the line with suppressive fire.
  • Specialists are the stealthiest of the class types, utilizing long-range weapons and traps to support allies. Alongside their sniping abilities, Specialists also have the tools to reveal enemy locations and scout the field from afar. While the class's low armor will keep Specialists away from combat, picking off players in the shadows can be equally effective.

A majority of changes to progression in Star Wars Battlefront 2 are centered around these classes. The four roles will now be a core aspect of multiplayer, and better structure the flow of gameplay.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 features content from all three eras of Star Wars, including characters from the new films.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 features content from all three eras of Star Wars, including characters from the new films.

Star Cards, a somewhat controversial aspect of the first Battlefront game, has been reworked in Battlefront 2. These consumable cards originally provided power-ups during battle but added a level of unpredictability to gameplay. Many Star Cards now face restrictions by class, with abilities more closely tailored to specific play styles. "Heroes" are now also able to take advantage of Star Cards, with specific cards available for each character. These cards will be obtainable via a randomized "loot-crate" progression system, which drops random cards of varying rarity upon players.

A shift away from on-map pickups is also being made – a system which used in the original Battlefront to distribute various equipment, vehicles, and heroes onto the map. Progression for in-game rewards is now handled by a new currency known as "Battle Points," which rewards players for their skill in combat, rather than fortunate positioning. Each match, players will earn these temporary Battle Points, which can be redeemed for limited time upgrades.

Retaining a link to the Star Wars films, Battlefront 2 will also bring forward the "Heroes" and "Villains" systems of the first game. This system, which allows players to take control of iconic characters as power-ups, will make a return with some small changes. Rey, Yoda, Kylo Ren and Darth Maul have all been announced as a part of the game's lineup, with unique abilities and progression systems on a per-character basis.

Finally, like the first game, traditional multiplayer modes will accommodate up to 40 players per match. Although some hoped we'd see a bump to 64 players like EA's Battlefield franchise, this appears not to be the case. All multiplayer matches will be hosted on dedicated servers, to hopefully ensure a smoother and balanced competitive environment.

Space battles: Taking battles beyond the skies

As an extension of the core multiplayer, Star Wars Battlefront 2 will also introduce the highly anticipated support for outer space battles. Being a major part of the Star Wars franchise, the original Battlefront was heavily criticized for the feature's absence, even with the dedicated dogfighting modes already on offer.

Though a huge amount doesn't appear to have changed from the original game's Fighter Squadron, we can expect these battles to offer a new angle on ship-to-ship combat. Iconic aircraft such as the Millennium Falcon and Luke Skywalker's X-wing will also be pilotable in space, like the famous aircraft from the first game.

Beta and editions: How to get hands-on

Battlefront 2 will also bring back iconic vehicles and equipment from the films.

Battlefront 2 will also bring back iconic vehicles and equipment from the films.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is currently set to release on November 17, 2017. As of right now, only two editions of the game have been announced, but we'll make sure to include any new ones that may arise.

Electronic Arts has also announced that Star Wars Battlefront 2 will be receiving a beta ahead of launch, to test the game's multiplayer infrastructure. Those who pre-order the game are currently being promised two-day early access on October 4, before a public release on October 6. After three days of play open to the public, the Battlefront 2 beta will finally conclude on October 9.

  • The Standard Edition (opens in new tab) of Star Wars Battlefront 2 provides access to the full experience. Like usual, this edition of the game will be stocked by most retailers and provide no additional bonus content. This version of the game will go on sale November 17, 2017. Pre-orders will also gain early beta access and an upgraded Epic Lightsaber Mastery Star Card for Yoda.
  • The Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition (opens in new tab), on the other hand, releases three days early, launching on November 14, 2017. Aside from the exclusive early admission, you'll be gaining immediate access to a range of bonus content. This includes upgraded versions of each trooper class, four ability upgrades and instant weapons unlocks. Although all this content will be accessible from day one, all players can earn this content via in-game progression. Pre-orders will also gain early beta access and an upgraded Epic Lightsaber Mastery Star Card for Yoda.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 also ditches the Season Pass – a part of the original which hugely segmented its already small player base. Instead, Electronic Arts hopes to release free updates to the game with new content and will explore new routes for monetization. While we can expect in-game microtransactions as a part of this, it should be a worthy trade-off if the community is able to thrive.

Looking forward: Gamescom and more

While we now know a fair amount about Star Wars Battlefront 2, we're sure to learn more soon, with its launch set for later this year. Once new information releases we'll make sure to update this article, so make sure to check back frequently.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Updated July 4, 2017: Following Star Wars Battlefront 2's debut at E3 2017, we've listed all the major changes to multiplayer, with additional information on the beta test.

Matt Brown is 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.

  • No thanks SJW games. After Disney purchase no way I'm buying this feminist propaganda.
  • 'Feminist propaganda' or a new perspective on an already established story? I mean, come on, this looks like just ignorance here. What's so wrong about this? Would it suddenly become better and worth buying if it was a male character as the lead?
  • While his comment may have been a little strong, he has something of a point. The Force Awakens has a female lead, this has a female lead (the story looks like it could be very interesting if they do it right), and Rogue One had a female lead (one of the best Star Wars films made thus far imho). So all major SW stories released recently, at least so far as I'm aware, have been female leads/dominate characters. Not asking for only male leads, but some would be nice. And definitely not asking for the female role to be a sex object, as I prefer my movies to be clean enough that I could watch them with my little sister if I so desired. Just asking for entertainment in which the men act like men and not either idiots or sex crazed morons. E.g. Master Chief.
  • As when all of these defenses on a single instance are brought up--it's the sum of the parts, not any one point. I wouldn't call it feminist propaganda, but I would (and have) call it liberal propaganda.As was said before me, thy had both movies present a female lead. The secondary lead in the first movie was a lack male. They also killed off a major white male protagaonist. They're now putting a female at the forefront here. Mak Hammil had that nonsensical garbage about the orientation of Luke Skywalker, a complete non-story that was clearly just to fit into the narrative. They went on for some time about making sure they hit the orientation checkbox going forward with new characters. It's not just a disney trend either, it's an industry-wide thing I've been pointing out for 2 years. White male leads are constantly being supplemented or outright replacedwhile new content with them becomes quite scarce. Look at Assassin's Creed, Halo, Nier, Battlefield, Watch Dogs, Mass Effect, Fallout, Horizon, Forza Horizon, Gears, The Last of Us, Uncharted, FIFA, Overwatch, For Honor, Fire Emblem, Dishonored, or probably a few others, and you can find all of the ways the diversity stuff is exceedingly emphasized. On the flip side, finding white male leads is almost entirely dependent on finding a game that is either an establish IP or one that lets you be something else. Nioh might have been the exception. The better point might to be look at the other side though. I just gave you oodles of examples of franchises where they expanded diversity, to the point it felt like smothering pandering (I won't even buy from Ubisoft anymore because it got so overt). Yet, for whatever reason, people had a meltdown because of Final Fantasy XV's all-male leads. No one minded when Lightning took the helm without a male alternative for 3 games, but be all-male and it's something so evil we need to tear down all of society. Matt Damon starred in a movie about Asian combat and was cast by an Asian director, yet people came out and cried about white washing. People have become much more anti-white than pro-diversity of late. That's the problem.
  • This.
  • I wouldn't say assassin's creed because its always been diverse the first main character was arabic, then went italian, native American, etc. So its always been a diverse game its not something new but I see your point.
  • I agree, sometimes it can feel like its too heavily stressed and its too obvious. My point was that the original poster rejected buying this, apparently solely because of the fact it has a female lead character. I don't understand how that can make such a difference.
  • I think women can take the lead once in a while. They are, of course, a little more than 50% of the human race. 
  • I completly agree. I am buying COD:WWII instead. I really don't want to play as a female character.
  • I sure hope that's sarcasm.
  • Male or Female lead, it doesn't bother me as I play as both genders in SW: TOR. I'll still play this as I loved the first one but just wanted a bit more of a story to it.
  • why do you guys care so much? I can't bring myself to care cus I'll be shooting things and having fun
  • I won't speak for anyone else, but I care because I play games to get away from all the issues involving politics and sociology in the real world in which we are bombarded with every day. Now it is taking over the place I go to escape it. I doubt people care at all if gender and diversity are represented in games. I know I don't. But it is different when that representation has an agenda behind it and starts to make content creators feel an obligation to fill a quota rather than focusing on making the content as they envisioned it. If you need another example, The Witcher 3 was declared racist by the groups pushing this agenda for daring to have too many white people in a game that takes place in Polish mythology. No game is really safe anymore and there are hundreds of examples I could give.
  • The trailer showed nothing even VAGUELY approaching propaganda. Is Super Metroid propaganda? Tomb Raider? Crazy ridiculous to just assume "propaganda" cus it's not a dude. It's kinda sad to go through life worried about this shit. I agree 100% that the criticism leveraged at The Witcher 3 was ridiculous. But saying BFII has a "feminist agenda" just cus it has a female protagonist we know nothing about is equally so. Both sides are crazy.
  • Well, first off I never said anything about BFII itself. I am merely pointing out a recent trend within the game industry as a whole that is becoming more apparent which I feel is affecting creative freedom with a feeling of an obligation to fill diversity checkboxes. This is far more complex than a "That chick is not a dude 0/10" mentality. No, the Metroid series and Tomb Raider are not part of this as they were decisions made by the developers with no influence outside of their own creative devices and ideas. I watched an interview where they talked about their decision to make Samus a woman and there is no issue to be had because it was THEIR decision and it was a great game. I also am looking at this from the viewpoint of a developer and I would personally not want to be making a game with a story idea that I am being told I need to include this kind of person and that kind of person in my story and make it work because we don't want our game ending up in a Polygon article.
  • On the flip side, you're creating a quota that devs need to include men so they don't get told they're pandering to a feminist agenda. Problem with binary. You don't know they're filling a quota, maybe, (holy shit) they just wanted it to be a female. Both sides want to feel victimized and as someone who doesn't care either way it's embarrassing and cringy to watch.
  • I wouldn't want the flip side either as that would still be a quota wouldn't it? If you can point me towards the masculinist(I guess it would be called) movement trying to make waves in the gaming industry for their cause, I will add them to the list of quota creators. But alas, I have yet to see that side within the last couple of years short of a comment section. You are right. I do not know as a fact that anybody is filling a quota as you do not know that they are not. It is speculation based off of circumstantial evidence I have observed across the industry. Hence why it is an opinion. Also, as I have stated, my concern is in regards to creative freedom. There is no victimization on my part in which I am claiming and would appreciate the words of other people not being put in my mouth. You asked why they care, I simply was trying to give you a different view.
  • I always choose a chick when playing a game, if I can. On BF1, I use a female Storm Trooper and a Twilek.
  • The puppies will eventually grow up, or die off.
  • As a Tie Pilot for the UK 501st, I cant wait to play this!
  • I'm saving my pennies for the Scorpio / Star Wars bundle! Guaranteed purchase!
  • I'm saving my pennies for the Scorpio / Star Wars bundle! Guaranteed purchase!
  • Sounding better and better each time I read about it.
  • Can't wait to buy the Deluxe Edition for 20€ like I did the Ultimate version of the original one. 'cause I sure as Hell won't pay more than that just for what will at best represent 30 of the game which is the single player campaign.
  • Native 4K on the One X?
  • Sadly still nothing confirmed - a lot of Frostbite games are already set to be 4K on Xbox One X, so hopefully? But nothing set in stone so far (: