Let's start at the start. Battlefield 5 is coming on October 19, 2018 and you'll be able to play it on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. We've finished the Battlefield 5 closed Alpha (for now), although there's likely to be another - here's how to get involved. There will be a Battlefield 5 Beta later in 2018, around September time, and you can guarantee an invite by pre-ordering the game. If you grab the Deluxe Edition you'll actually get to play the final game a few days earlier than everyone else, on October 16. That's a sweet deal, if you're planning to play anyway.
Officially, the game is called Battlefield V, and it's focused on World War 2. However, this isn't the standard 'all the battles you already played a million times in WW2' deal - Battlefield 5 will tackle conflicts you've never seen before, like the freezing Norwegian resistance movement, and the bloody struggles in rural France and urban Holland. Not only that, the season pass system has been completely scrapped, replaced by a FREE live service called Tides of War, which changes the game each month. We've gathered all the info you need on Battlefield 5 below, and sprinkled in a bunch of videos to show off gameplay.
Battlefield 5 multiplayer - what’s new?
There are several returning modes for Battlefield 5’s multiplayer - including Conquest, Team Deathmatch, and Domination. However, the big new mode is Grand Operations, which builds on the Operations mode from Battlefield 1. Here the action takes place over four in-game days, with each day representing a new phase in the fight. One example we were given by DICE is that Phase 1 is a paratrooper invasion of Rotterdam. Then the main invasion force arrives in Phase 2. Phase 3 is a desperate fight for objectives in the ruined streets. Phase 4 - and this sounds so cool - is a Last Man Standing fight to the death, where players only have one life and a very limited amount of ammo. The first team to eliminate all the enemy soldiers wins. This is going to be absolute game spectator gold, and one of the most tense experiences if you’re in there.
In addition to this, there have been several changes to how the game is balanced. There’s a new ‘scarcity’ element, which means that you’ll spawn with less ammo and explosives than in previous games. The idea is that you need to ask Support classes for resupplies, and loot ammo off enemies. The respawn screen has changed too - you can choose whether or not to bleed out, then you get a view of how your squad is playing, so you can make an informed decision about whether to squad spawn or go back to deployment.
Spotting has changed too - you now highlight areas of danger, rather than pinpointing specific enemies. And revives can now be done by any class, although they take far longer than Medic revives and only restore a limited amount of health. In fact, you no longer regenerate to full health - only a Medkit dropped by a Medic can fully heal you. It’s all designed to make the game more tense, more considered, and to create pockets of quiet and recovery in amongst all the action.
Battlefield 5 co-op - welcome to Combined Arms
Yes, Battlefield 5 has co-op. It’s a four-player mode called Combined Arms, and it lets you dive into missions with your squad mates. Combined Arms missions are multi-objective battles, loosely based on the idea of infiltrating an area, completing several different tasks, and then extracting. Missions will be randomly generated each time, so you’ll be going for varying objectives and asked to do different things, potentially keeping it fresh every time you play.
You’ll be able to play with your created characters across all modes, including Combined Arms, and any rewards you earn will be usable across all modes too. DICE very much see Combined Arms as a bridge between single player and multiplayer.
Battlefield 5 single player - War Stories are back
Yes, there’s a single player mode in Battlefield V too, and it’ll work in the same way as BF1’s War Stories. The first of these follows a female resistance fighter in Norway… and that’s really all we know. Other War Stories will follow World War 2 as it progresses and develops, so you’ll also be fighting in rural France, the city of Rotterdam, and the deserts of North Africa. Expect more to follow too.
War Stories will also accompany new Chapters in the Battlefield 5 live service - which is called Tides of War - so you can either expect to see new stories when we move into another Chapter in Tides of War, or at the very least, remixed objectives for existing stories. DICE won’t confirm it, but there’s a suspicion that some of the single player campaign will be tied to the live service, so we may not get to play certain War Stories until it’s time to do so in Tides of War. But what is Tides of War?
Battlefield 5 live service - what is Tides of War?
Good question. Tides of War is the Battlefield V live service, which you get access to when you buy the game. It’s split into Chapters, with each Chapter representing a historical phase of the actual WW2 conflict. Each Chapter will last about 2-3 months, and it’ll bring with it things like limited-time events, new weapons, fresh story missions, different multiplayer maps, and limited time challenges / rewards. It represents the constant shift and change of the landscape of World War 2. Each Chapter has a specific Grand Operation associated with it, and you’ll only be able to play that Grand Operation during the Chapter it appears in - after that, it’s finished.
There will be unique rewards for taking part in Chapters of Tides of War. These will range from special customisation options for your soldiers and vehicles, through to exclusive weapons and custom parts / gadgets. The idea is that you’ll be able to show other players the conflicts you’ve fought in. Tides of War replaces the Season Pass model, so you won’t ever be asked to pay for a full season pass, and then have to wait for DLC drops.
Battlefield 5 progression - how do I level up and get new stuff?
Everything in Battlefield 5 is tied to a central currency. This currency (we don’t yet know the name of it) can be used to buy everything, from fresh weapons to customisation for your soldiers, to bespoke parts for your vehicles. Everything in the game can be customised and modded, and even your weapons have skill trees that you can tinker with to change how they behave. You’ll need to level up your soldier to earn the right to buy new things, but you do this just by playing and completing challenges. You can pick up daily challenges (and hold up to three at a time), and get Special Assignments (hold up for four of these) which award more points, more currency, and special items upon completion.
You can unlock everything in Battlefield V by playing the game itself. DICE has confirmed this to us, but has given no official details on whether Battlefield 5 will include microtransactions or loot boxes.
Battlefield 5 gameplay - what is new in terms of action?
There are some substantial changes to gameplay in Battlefield V. First off, destruction has been revamped, and is now completely physics based. So, when you destroy buildings, they come apart organically, and not with pre-made animations. You can destroy buildings from the inside out, and flying debris will now kill enemy soldiers. Bullets will penetrate walls too, so you can shred houses and kill enemy troops inside.
But wait! You can now rebuild too. There’s a new construction option in the game (yes, like Fortnite), which allows you to fortify structures, and create new things. Support class soldiers can build faster, and create more things - you can now build fixed LMGs, for example - but every soldier is capable of building. You can also tow fixed weapons, like AA guns, across the map and place them in your fortifications. And yes, you can actually use those weapons while you’re towing them, so you can theoretically have a tank pulling an AA gun while you fire them both.
Soldier animations have been revamped too, meaning you can now dive sideways to prone, go prone on your back, and move around while prone on your back. You can even rotate from prone on your front to prone on your back. It’s extremely liberating. Weapon recoil has been made more predictable too, so you won’t get any more artificially missed shots - essentially, your shots land where you actually aim them.
Battlefield 5 customization is incredibly in-depth
Customization is threaded through everything in Battlefield V. You can change the physical appearance of your soldier completely, from facial features and hair, through clothing, insignias, war paint, and even limbs. You can choose your soldier’s gender, and have customised pre-sets for all factions in the war. Weapons and vehicles can be fully customised too, and each of these has between 5-7 different parts that can be individually customised, and swapped out for modified parts. Weapons and vehicles even have skill trees, so you can make them uniquely your own. For example, you can unlock the ability to have extra armour on a Tiger Tank, making it harder to kill, but slower to move. And you can have multiple builds of each weapon and vehicle, meaning you can have the same Tiger Tank customised in different ways, available to switch between at the spawn screen.
You can unlock weapons and gadgets in whatever order you like, so you don’t need to unlock several shotguns to get to the one you need - you just buy it with your points whenever you level up.
Battlefield 5 PC specs - what are they?
OS: 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
Processor (AMD): AMD FX-6350
Processor (Intel): Core i5 6600K
Memory: 8GB RAM
Graphics card (AMD): AMD Radeon™ HD 7850 2GB
Graphics card (NVIDIA): nVidia GeForce® GTX 660 2GB
DirectX: 11.0 Compatible video card or equivalent
Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection
Hard-drive space: 50GB
A Battle Royale mode is coming to Battlefield 5
At the EA Play 2018 press conference, DICE did indeed confirm that a Battlefield-flavoured Battle Royale mode will be coming to Battlefield 5 at some point in the future, as a free update after the game launches in November. No footage was given, but DICE promised that the mode "will bring those pillars of Battlefield -destruction, team play, vehicles - into this new experience, which is one that you haven't played before."
It's all very vague teasing at the moment, and follows previous reports that Battlefield 5's Battle Royale mode is very much in the early prototype stages of development, but this is nonetheless good news for those who enjoy PUBG as much as Battlefield, especially when you consider how fitting DICE's franchise is for the competitive last-man-standing genre. If we're being especially optimistic, the mode could be out just in time for Christmas...
Battlefield 5 pre-order details
You can pre-order the game right now, and doing so will give you access to the Battlefield 5 Beta, which will run some time towards the end of the year - likely September.
If you pre-order the Battlefield 5 Deluxe Edition you will get your copy of the game three days earlier than standard players, and will be able to play on October 16. It’s uncertain at this time what else the Deluxe Edition will give players.
Battlefield 5 on Switch - will it happen?
There are currently no plans to release Battlefield 5 on Nintendo Switch. DICE has never been a big supporter of Nintendo consoles, and Battlefield has tended to avoid anything outside PC and the core Sony and Microsoft consoles. Whether or not Fortnite's decision to appear on the Switch will change this is unclear, but we doubt Battlefield 5 will ever appear on the console. Nintendo's online service simply isn't robust enough, and the game would require a significant amount of squeezing and porting to fit on the Switch. However, never say never...