Battlefield 2042 is making some massive changes to play. DICE and EA is bringing Battlefield's brand of all-out-warfare to PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, and last generation consoles later this year, introducing a suite of improvements and alterations to the way that previous Battlefield games have worked. Loadouts are changing, the player-counts are larger than ever, and there's going to be real-time weather events that change the composition of the maps. It looks wild.
That means that the community has a lot of questions that it wants answered. While the playtest got pushed back to later this summer, Daniel Berlin, senior design director for Battlefield 2042, took some time to tackle a lot of the most frequently asked questions surrounding Battlefield 2042. You can read the full FAQ on the EA site, but we wanted to dig into some of the more pertinent answers and see what they will ultimately mean for players when they get their hands on the game on October 22.
How do the Battlefield 2042 Specialists and Traits work?
Battlefield 2042 is getting rid of the Assault, Engineer, Medic, and Recon classes in favor of Specialists named Casper, Webster, Maria, and Boris (plus six more as-yet-unannounced Specialists). These Specialists will each have a unique Specialty and Trait – so the wing-suited soldier you see in the Battlefield 2042 trailer is specific to a certain Specialist and can't be used by any others.
DICE uses Maria Falck as an example of what to expect from Specialists: she's armed with the Combat Surgeon Trait that allows her to revive allies to full health. "This gives her an advantage over players using Squad Revive, which we're bringing back to Battlefield 2042," says Berlin. "Squad Revive takes longer and does not bring players back to full health."
How do Battlefield 2042 customized loadouts work?
One of the biggest changes to Battlefield 2042 is the addition of customizable loadouts. This has, naturally, raised a lot of eyebrows in the Battlefield community as, typically, weapons were restricted by class type. With Specialists equipped with their own unique Traits and Specialities – improved mobility, faster healing, or the ability to wield a grappling hook, – you'll now be free to wield the weapons that you want to.
Berlin reaffirms that you'll be able to bring a primary and secondary weapon into battle, along with equipment (such as a supply or medical crate) and a throwable. From there it's all up to you. "All Specialists now have the ability to fully customize their loadout, which means you have to make a choice about your focus on the battlefield," the senior design director continues. "Battlefield is all about player choice and freedom to play however you want, and your decisions are vital to your squad and ultimately, team's success."
Battlefield 2042 on PS5 and Xbox Series X versus PS4 and Xbox One?
DICE is quick to point out that you will have the same gameplay features across console generations, whether you're on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, or Xbox Series X. "Weapons, Vehicles, Specialists and Gadgets all remain the same no matter what generation of console you’re playing on. Dynamic Weather events such as tornadoes, or Environmental Hazards like EMP storms will also be experienced by all players."
The biggest differences are a result of the shifting player-count. Battlefield 2042 is capped at 64 players on PS4 and Xbox One while PS5, PC, and Xbox Series X players will have 128-player experience. "Our intention is to ensure that nothing detracts from the overall experience of playing Battlefield 2042. The main differences between console generations is that we’ve made adjustments to the playable area on the maps to ensure a fluid play experience for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles," says Berlin.
How will AI soldiers work in Battlefield 2042?
AI soldiers will fill servers in multiplayer games and offer players a chance to play against AI enemies in both co-op and solo modes. In Battlefield 2042 multiplayer, AI soldiers are "intended to play the game like how you would play it yourself," Berlin says, but are not Specialists, and therefore cannot use Traits and Specialities. AI soldiers can use the vehicle call-in system and engage with vehicles, for example, but they can't use a Wingsuit.
You cannot opt-out of playing with AI soldiers, but there is a cap to how many you'll encounter in a multiplayer experience. DICE assures us that "you will not experience more AI soldiers than players unless the match 8is still filling up or almost empty." And thankfully, AI soldiers will drop in to replace a teammate who has left and will remain on the team until another player joins the game.
How many maps will Battlefield 2042 have?
Battlefield 2042 will launch with seven maps for the All-Out Warfare experience this October. DICE says that this will be expanded later "with the addition of further maps through our live service."
DICE is also quick to point out that the seven maps available in the All-Out-Warfare experience doesn't represent the full extent of the game. There are still two more experiences to reveal that will launch as part of Battlefield 2042, offering different ways to play the game. The studio is set to reveal the next at EA Play Live on July 22, an "experience created by our Ripple Effect team (formerly known as DICE LA)," Berlin teases, adding, "we're highly excited about this one!"
Can you fight on every floor of a Battlefield 2042 skyscraper?
Sadly, no. Berlin explains that "fighting on all levels of a skyscraper would be an entire map of its own" and would detract from the rest of the map. You can, however, "expect lobby and rooftop combat, which can be accessed via elevators and ziplines." This is a lot like how Call of Duty: Warzone handles its taller buildings and, more recently, Die Hard's Nakatomi Plaza – it may be a giant skyscraper, but there's only a few playable levels. Hopefully there will be some variety between the skyscrapers in Battlefield 2042, with some offering a few levels of gameplay and the others offering just lobby and rooftop options.
How do you use the Battlefield 2042 Ranger robot dog?
The Ranger is not a Specialty or a Trait, and isn't unique to any Battlefield 2042 Specialist. That means anyone can call them in when they need an extra hand, but you are obviously choosing the Ranger robot dog over other available support options, and there's a limit to how many can be on the battlefield at once. The Ranger "will follow and protect you and even put your life above their own" like any good robot dog would, and you can direct it to scout a location, follow you, or self-destructs. And yes, Berlin confirms, "you can place a C5 explosive on Ranger and send them into an enemy squad."
How does the Battlefield 2042 vehicle call-in system work?
You can still spawn directly into vehicles in Battlefield 2042, just like previous iterations in the franchise. Just head to your Deploy screen and pick a vehicle from there. But now, thanks to the increased map size, DICE has added a feature that will let you call vehicles in "when and wear you need them."
Berlin says that this change has been made so that "vehicles are more easily available and more squad focused than ever before. We looked at how we can both balance out the scales between vehicle and infantry-play and create an anchor point for conflict." As a result, you'll be able to open up your in-game tablet and pick a vehicle from there, with different vehicles available depending upon the map, mode, and budget. You will still spawn into Air vehicles from the Deploy screen, and vehicle call-ins will have a cooldown so it doesn't just become a free-for-all.
Will there be naval vehicles in Battlefield 2042?
Given the huge size and scope of Battlefield 2042's maps – not to mention the series celebrating its 20th anniversary – many had hoped that we would see a return of more comprehensive naval combat – like we had in 2002's Battlefield 1942. Sadly, Berlin has confirmed that the focus is on ground and air combat in Battlefield 2042. "You can expect to see naval oriented vehicles such as the LCAA Hovercraft, however there isn’t a focus on naval specific warfare right now. We’ve seen your comments about how excited you are about naval warfare, so stay in touch with us about what you’d like to see in the future."
How can I join the Battlefield 2042 technical playtest?
While we were anticipating a Battlefield 2042 technical test in July, DICE has decided to push it back to later this summer. Don't worry, there's a good reason for that: the studio is looking into cross-play. "We can confirm it's a function we're looking to build and test for Battlefield 2042," says Berlin, keeping our dream of shooting our friends across PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X all at once alive for a little longer. "To accommodate that, we’ve made the decision to move the Technical Playtest to later this summer so we’ll have the opportunity to test the cross-play functionality.."
According to DICE, "no need to contact us, we'll contact you" when it comes to the Battlefield 2042 technical playtest. If you're interested in playtesting, DICE is encouraging players to update their EA Playtesting profile – but keep in mind that registering won't guarantee you access to Battlefield 2042. The playtest will test cross-play functionality.
What's the deal with the Battlefield 2042 penguins?
The official Battlefield 2042 reveal trailer had fans obsessing over tactical penguins, but DICE avoids referring to the little guys as anything but set dressing, so don't expect the guys to waddle into battle with an AK47 in their flippers. 3D artist Joel Zakrisson, who worked on the Antarctica map Breakaway, felt the need to add penguins as soon as he started designing the map. "I love adding these little things that add more soul to the game," he says. "Adding something like penguins to the map isn't easy, though. Once I was done with the models, I handed it over to the VFX artist Tobias Ahlgren, who did the animation and implemented their behavior in game." I know I'll be protecting the Battlefield 2042 penguins with my life this October, how about you?
There's even more Battlefield 2042 questions answered right here, but EA Play Live will likely give us even more details about the game, so stay tuned.