While EA Play is still a while away, we're getting more details about the upcoming multiplayer military shooter Battlefield 2042 from the developers in the leadup to the showcase event. We now have answers to questions about an offline mode, cross-play and more.
Battlefield 2042 is shaping up to be one of the most hotly anticipated games of 2021, with a fierce rivalry with this year's Call of Duty game undoubtedly in the making. Let's run through of all the new details that DICE and EA have confirmed about the game.
No Offline Mode
It was confirmed early on, following the official reveal of Battlefield 2042, that in order to ensure that the immense 128 player lobbies would always be full, the game will utilize AI bots in All-Out Warfare matches.
This feature has raised some controversy due to not being optional, meaning bots cannot be turned off, but the developers assured players that human combatants would always take precedence, so if you play during peak hours you'll not see any bots at all and even when you're playing at a quieter time you'll likely only meet a few.
However, the NPC bots also raised the possibility of playing the game offline, as far as some fans were concerned. Battlefield 2042 is a multiplayer only game with no singleplayer mode, but if there are bots in the game then you should be able to practice against the AI offline, right?
Wrong, apparently - the developers have confirmed that Battlefield 2042 is an always-online game, stating that even if you want to play solo against bots, you'll do so in an "online environment". Considering the nature of the game (and the publisher) this is not surprising, but certainly disappointing.
Cross-play & Cross-progression
While expected, it is nice to get official confirmation that Battlefield 2042 will support cross-play. However, based on many of the advanced features the developers have teased as being exclusive to the modern consoles and PC, it was inevitable that there would be some caveats.
As such, Battlefield 2042 isn't going to be cross-generation. Two groupings of platforms will be able to play together, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players having the chance to face off, while the other group consists of PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X. This means that PS5 and PS4 players won't be sharing lobbies, for example. Players can also opt-out of cross-play entirely.
On the flipside, cross-progression is universal across every platform supporting Battlefield 2042. If you happen to have both a PS4 and a PS5 and plan to play on both concurrently with the same account - we don't see why anyone would do that, but the more realistic scenario has current PS4 owners upgrading after Battlefield 2042 launches anyway - all of your progress will carry over. No matter what platform you play on, as long as it's your account all of your feats will be synced.
When the Battlefield 2042 website went live, seven maps were listed, and in a subsequent map comparison chart posted to social media by DICE, once again only those seven were mentioned - now we have official confirmation that more maps won't be revealed for the base game before release, and that the game is shipping only with those seven.
We're talking about huge and varied maps, so 7 doesn't really mean that there isn't enough content in vanilla Battlefield 2042 - but even if you had such concerns, they shouldn't last. Additional maps are coming to the game later on as DLC.
Fans have been curious about how the future conflict in 2042 will shape out at sea, but it seems like we won't be getting a glimpse of it at launch. DICE has confirmed that while some sea worthy craft like the LCAA Hovercraft will be present, and some maps will feature bodies of water, naval combat proper is not the focus of the game in its present form on any map.
However, Battlefield 2042 is looking at a long and bountiful post-launch content schedule, and considering the degree of interest in naval combat, we wouldn't be surprised if DICE cooked something up.
If you are itching to get some hands on action with Battlefield 2042, you're going to have to wait a little longer - previously EA planned to host a playtest of the game late this month around the EA Play event on the 22nd, but apparently the game isn't quite ready for pre-prime time, and the playtest has been delayed.
This playtest isn't the same as the open beta that will happen closer to the game's release, but a very limited test run with just a few thousand participants and a severely restricted selection of maps and modes. Even so, the game's full release is on the 22nd of October, so it's not like we need to wait too long anyway.