Battlefield 2042 Specialists, Battle Pass, game modes, maps and weapons explained in E3 briefing

Battlefield 2042
(Image credit: Dice)

DICE revealed more details about Battlefield 2042 during an E3 briefing today, two days after the gameplay trailer was revealed at the Xbox showcase.  

During the briefing, DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson and senior design director Daniel Berlin gave a thorough breakdown of the upcoming first-person shooter, answering some of the most pressing questions that surfaced after the trailer launch.

We received more information about the Specialists as well as details about Conquest and Breakthrough modes, weapon customization, map sizes, and more. 

Battlefield 2042 origin

How did DICE land on Battlefield 2042, a futuristic shooter and prequel to Battlefield 2142? The studio looked at 12 different gameplay concepts, some set in the past and others in the future. Gabrielson said Battlefield 2042 won out because it felt like a good way to create something that could take the best of Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 and combine it with "cutting-edge hardware."

"Multiplayer is what we do best and what we've done best across the two decades that Battlefield has existed," Gabrielson said. He went on to talk about all-out warfare, which includes Conquest and Breakthrough.  

Battlefield 2042 multiplayer modes: Conquest, Breakthrough and more

Conquest, Battlefield's legacy game mode, will now consist of clusters within each base. For example, the huge stadium in Doha, Qatar contains multiple capture points. To own the entire stadium, you need to control all of the capture points within that sector. 

Berlin described how you can capture one base then decide where to go next and traverse the map using vehicle drops or ziplines. Between spaces is vast open landscapes where you'll see vehicle-to-vehicle gameplay. The goal of clustering zones is to ensure players feel the same fast pacing of previous games despite being on massive battlefields.

"With Conquest, the freedom and access to the sandbox is at your fingertips. Do you need a vehicle? OK, call in tablet get it in here," Berlin explained. "Do you want to change out the customization of your weapon? Hey, with the + menu, you don't have to respawn. The freedom of choice — hey I want close quarters, let's go to the stadium. Hey, I want to have some awesome crazy verticality, I go to the neon city." 

DICE explained how conquest has varied pacing with high-octane situations occuring within zones and slower pacing between bases. In Breakthrough, you have 128 players consisting of two teams with 64 players each — one attacking and one defending. As opposed to Conquest, it contains short-timed action and is more chaotic and crazy than Conquest, however, the large maps allow for strategic approaches.

Battlefield 2042

(Image credit: Dice)

The mysterious Hazard Zone game mode was confirmed to not be a battle royale. Instead, it is being built specifically for Battlefield. It was described by Gabrielson as a "high-stakes, squad-based experience." It's not your battle royale, it's something "more contemporary."

Instead of a campaign, Battlefield 2042 will contain an AI mode that mimics the multiplayer modes. This way, you can improve and strategize against bots before going up against other players. Without a story mode, DICE is infusing the lore of Battlefield 2042 in the Specialists and the world so players are naturally exposed to the story throughout the gameplay. 

Weather evolution was briefly mentioned during the discussion. It will be a core gameplay driver instead of only a visual spectacle. Maps will also contain different gates and doors to lock or open, bridges you can raise and lower, and ziplines for getting around in more dynamic ways.

Battlefield 2042 Specialists

DICE determined players were choosing classes because of the primary weapon not the gadgets or specializations within those classes, so it's shifting to a new strategy. 

In Battlefield 2042, Recon, Assault, Engineer and Support are classes consisting of Specialists who each have their own gadgets but aren't limited to using a specific type of weapon. This way, there should be a better diversity of gameplay styles.

Battlefield 2042

(Image credit: Dice)

There are four Specialists so far: Mackay, Falck, Boris and Casper. Falck is in the support class despite being a medic who can revive to full health. Boris is an engineer with a sentry system that acquires targets and provides supporting fire. Casper, a recon, has a drone that can shoot EMP blasts, and Mackay carries a grappling hook for verticality. 

Battlefield 2042 weapons 

Weapons can now be customized on the fly. You can change out the barrel, the under-barrel, the scope and the ammo type. Of course, you can't turn an SMG into a sniper rifle with the + system, but real-time customization will widen the usage of individual weapons. 

Gabrielson says the goal was to give players as many options as possible so they can create their own strategies. While Specialists have their own unique gadget, there are also "open bucket" gadgets — tools you can use with any of the classes. 

Battlefield 2042 vehicles

Vehicles in Battlefield 2042 are platforms for team play, DICE says. The new vehicles have more open seats so you can have entire squads working together to take down enemies from within a vehicle. 

"It feels better to maneuver and better to drive. The cool thing about vehicles is, even if you're not a vehicle player, just being around vehicles is awesome," Berlin. He goes to describe "Battlefield moments" where you run by a tank battle that ends in massive explosions. 

Battlefield 2042 online

There will be a Battle Pass. Four seasons have been announced for the first year, each season revealing a new Specialist. There is a free and premium tier in the Battle Pass. All the gameplay mechanics will be in the free tier while the premium tier gets you cosmetics for your soldier, vehicles and weapons. 

DICE will announce more information on the live service as we get closer to launch. It did, however, assure that all post-launch maps, weapons and vehicles added to Battlefield 2042 will be free to all players. Battlefield 2042 will launch on October 22 for Xbox One, Series X, PS4, PS5, and PC through Origin, Steam, and the Epic Game Store. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.