EA Dice has revealed that the Battlefield 2042 technical playtest, allowing some players to try the highly-anticipated FPS early, has been delayed.
Initially due to take place sometime in July, the developer revealed in a recent blog post that the Battlefield 2042 playtest will now take place “later this summer” (likely August or September) to give the team time to test cross-play functionality.
The developer confirmed that crossplay is “a function we’re looking to build and test for Battlefield 2042”, with the playtest allowing for PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5 players to test playing together.
In the post, EA Dice confirmed that Battlefield 2042 will allow for crossplay between the new consoles and PC – with PC and console players able to opt-out of playing together – however, those on Xbox One and PS4 will only be able to crossplay with each other. This is likely due to the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Battlefield 2042 having scaled-down maps, in comparison to the current-gen equivalents. EA Dice did, however, reassure fans that PS4 and Xbox One players will still have access to the same weapons, vehicles, specialists and gadgets, and will experience dynamic weather events such as tornadoes.
The developer also confirmed its building cross-progression and cross-commerce for Battlefield 2042, which will allow your progress and purchases to carry across platforms. So, for example, you would be able to carry your progress from PS4 to PC or Xbox One.
If you want to take part in the Battlefield 2042 technical playtest, then make sure to sign up for the EA Playtesting program. If you’re one of the lucky players chosen, then you will be contacted – but it’s worth noting that this is only open to a small group.
More on Specialists and loadouts
EA Dice’s blog post didn’t only shed light on the technical playtest and crossplay, it also provided answers to some burning questions Battlefield fans had following the game’s reveal in May.
The most disappointing reveal was that not every player will have access to the wingsuit seen in the gameplay trailer, allowing players to harness the power of the tornadoes which hurtle through many of Battlefield 2042’s maps.
Instead, this feature is specific to one of the game’s Specialists, one of the new Battlefield’s playable soldiers. It looks like that Specialist hasn’t been revealed quite yet, with EA Dice only revealing four of the game’s 10 Specialists – with the other six to be revealed: “later this year”.
EA Dice reiterated that, while loadouts for each of these Specialists can be customized, the Specialty and Trait of each Specialist is unique to them, and can’t be changed. Players can, however, customize their Specialist’s primary weapon, equipment (like medkits), secondary weapon and throwable (like grenades). But, if you want to get hold of a wingsuit, you’re going to have to choose that specific class.
The developer also confirmed that, while squads can only consist of a maximum of four players, squads in the Conquest and Breakthrough multiplayer modes can consist of more than one of the same Specialist – and you’ll even be able to customize their skins if you want yours to stand out a bit.
Range, maps and vehicles
The Battlefield 2042 trailers have also given us a look at the Ranger, the armored robot dog that players can call in when they’re in a pickle or to act as a decoy. EA Dice has confirmed that Ranger is neither a Specialty nor Trait and won’t be unique to any Specialist, so any player can call one in – as long as one is available.
Players will be able to give the Ranger orders, resulting in “several new interesting tactical options”. You can even pop an EMT on it and send it behind enemy lines.
The developer also shed some more light on how Battlefield 2042’s new Clusters and Sectors aim to optimize gameplay. Clusters serve as areas of activity with capture areas within them, to capture a Sector players need to capture all the flags/areas within that Sector (in other words, the Clusters).
EA Dice gives the example, for Conquest mode, that your team is attacking a Sector and captures the first flag. Instead of running to the second, this capture of the first flag gives your team a foothold in the Sector, allowing you to spawn there, take the enemy head-on and capture further flags.
“This creates a higher intensity fight for the full Sector,” EA Dice explains. “Only when the full Sector has fallen do you make the decision on where to go next. This reduces the back and forth running between flags and puts focus on the Sector itself.”
The developer also confirmed that different game modes will use different sectors of Battlefield’s large maps. So the areas of the map you see in Conquest won’t necessarily be the same in Breakthrough, for example.
In addition, it was confirmed that players–- unfortunately – can’t visit every floor in the skyscrapers featured in some maps, with only lobby and rooftop combat available. However, elements such as airspace are set to be larger than in previous games, meaning players need to travel further before they hit an out-of-bounds warning.
The latter is welcome news given how important vehicular combat seems to be for Battlefield 2042. Players will be able to call in vehicles when and where they need them – as long as the team budget, map and mode allow for it. However, there will be a cooldown so players aren’t spawning vehicles constantly.
Each faction will get its own iconic Russian or US vehicles, with the Russian side being able to utilize a T28 tank while the US side can use an M1A5 tank. However, the blog post indicates that players will team up with either Russia or the US “depending on the location in the world”, suggesting players may not always get a choice in who they side with.
More on AI
Battlefield 2042’s implementation of AI soldiers has been somewhat controversial since it was announced. While EA Dice has confirmed that there is a cap of 64 AI soldiers which can join your multiplayer match, the developer took the opportunity to explain a bit more how this will work in the post.
According to EA Dice, these AI soldiers will be used in Multiplayer, Co-Op and Solo modes. In Multiplayer, the AI soldiers’ purpose is to fill servers which don’t have enough human players – though human players will “always have priority over AI when playing multiplayer”. In Co-Op, players will be able to play with friends against AI soldiers. In solo, you can play alone against AI soldiers – but you’ll still need to be online.
So how will these AI soldiers play? According to the developer, these soldiers will play like human players, although they won’t have access to Specialities or Traits like their human counterparts. Whether you like it or not, there won’t be an option to opt-out of playing with these AIs.
“In general, you will not experience more AI soldiers than players unless the match is still filling-up, or almost empty,” EA Dice explains. “Players will always have matchmaking priority over AI. As an example: if there are 120 players out of 128 players currently playing in a server, eight AI Soldiers will join the match to help even out the teams. Should a player leave, another AI Soldier will temporarily replace them until a new player joins the game. We’re providing them as a helpful option to ensure you won’t have trouble matchmaking and can fully enjoy the all-out warfare chaos you can expect from a Battlefield match”.
Not long until we hear more
It’s welcome news that EA Dice has answered some of our burning questions about Battlefield 2042- even if the answers aren’t all necessarily what we want to hear.
Despite this info dump, though, there is still plenty of information left to uncover about the new Battlefield, including who the other six Specialists are and what Battlefield 2042’s third multiplayer mode holds for us – though we may already have an idea.
We’re expecting to find out more during the EA Play event on July 22, when we will – at the very least – find out about this mysterious third mode.