Battlefield 2042 is free to play on PC and Xbox now - but only if you're quick

Battlefield 2042 guns weapons season 1 crossbow
(Image credit: EA)

Battlefield 2042 is currently free to play on PC and Xbox.

The "cross-platform, limited-time free access period" enables latecomers to "experience the game after a year of evolution, improvements, and three seasons worth of content" and includes access to 15+ maps, 100+ weapons and gadgets, 40+ vehicles, 13 specialists, and six game modes.

Players will also get the Battlefield 2042 (opens in new tab) Welcome Pack and access to the premium battle pass, too, if you're prepared to cough up for it. All progression will be retained should you decide to purchase it afterward but you will need to be an Xbox Gold Live subscriber.

You need to be quick, though - the free trial ends later today at midnight PT (that's 8 am on December 5 in the UK, and 2 am CT). PC players can play for free on Steam until the end of tomorrow, December 5, and there's a free access event on PlayStation consoles from December 16-23.

Earlier this year, Infinity Ward co-founder, Vince Zampella, opened up about what he thinks went wrong with Battlefield 2042 (opens in new tab). Zampella - who now heads up Apex Legends' developer Respawn - suggested DICE had "strayed a little too far" from Battlefield's original blueprint, and forgotten "what makes that fun".

"I think they just strayed a little too far from what Battlefield is," Zampella said at the time. "They tried to do a couple of things that were maybe ambitious: grow the player count etc. I don’t think they spent enough time iterating on what makes that fun.

"It’s not inherently a bad idea," he added. "The way they were set up and the way they executed just didn’t allow them to find the best thing possible."

Back in February, EA acknowledged Battlefield 2042's lackluster launch (opens in new tab) and partially blamed the shooter's poor performance on Halo Infinite, which arrived just a few days prior on November 15, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There's been plenty of talk from consumers and developers alike on Battlefield 2042 since its launch. A refund petition gained over 100,000 signatures (opens in new tab) earlier this year, and a former Battlefield 3 lead revealed he was "astonished (opens in new tab)" by the "missteps" of the new game. 

Nonetheless, EA has confirmed that it is "fully committed (opens in new tab)" to improving Battlefield 2042 with new updates over the coming months, and DICE is seemingly attempting to rescue the troubled title by introducing some sweeping changes, most notably the return of classes. 

And just a couple of weeks back, DICE launched Season 3, Escalation (opens in new tab), which ushered in a healthy dollop of new content, including new weapons, a new map, and even new specialist, Rasheed Zain.

Does Battlefield 2042 make the cut in our rundown of the very best shooter games (opens in new tab)?

Battlefield 2042 Specialists (opens in new tab) | Battlefield 2042 weapons (opens in new tab) | Battlefield 2042 error codes (opens in new tab) | Battlefield 2042 tips (opens in new tab) | Battlefield 2042 modes (opens in new tab) | Battlefield 2042 campaign (opens in new tab)

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.