The first year of Battlefield 2042’s life hasn’t been an easy one, but things are looking up. In fact, some would say this is a great time to jump into the chaotic multiplayer shooter.
As the latest in the long-running military shooter series, Battlefield 2042 has walked a rocky road since its launch last November. Poor early sales, a litany of bugs, and the somewhat embarrassing removal of the game’s signature 128-player mode (because it wasn’t very fun) have plagued its reputation. But with the launch of the game's first official season earlier this month, that’s shifting a bit.
To put it plainly, Battlefield 2042 might be good now and it’s all because of Season 1. Here’s a rundown of everything new you can expect to find if you were a disappointed day one buyer or just picked it up on sale.
A huge new map
First, it should be noted that some of what makes Season 1 of Battlefield 2042 compelling is free. You’ll have to spend some scratch to get everything, but the biggest (and best) new addition is totally gratis. I am, of course, talking about the new map called "Exposure."
Exposure is set in the Canadian part of the Rocky Mountain range (Colorado doesn’t have a monopoly on it) and has definitely been the draw of Season 1 for me so far. As you’d expect, it’s hugely vertical, with combat taking place in valleys as well as outposts much higher up on the mountains themselves. Air vehicles like helicopters can dominate on Exposure, but there’s also plenty of fun to be had in the tight, dark indoor spaces in said outposts.
The most fun I’ve had with Exposure was in a big shootout with teams huddled up on both sides of a tunnel lit dimly by sunlight. We were taking cover behind cars and merely revealing an inch of my character’s body resulted in sniper fire coming my way. It was tense, classic Battlefield action. If you pick up Battlefield 2042 right now, definitely check out the Exposure-only multiplayer playlists.
A new specialist
Previous Battlefield games have allowed players to choose from a variety of combat roles (e.g., assault, engineer, medic, etc.), but 2042 separated those roles out into specialists with names and faces instead. Season 1 added Lis, a new engineer specialist who has a knack for taking down vehicles.
Remember when I said helicopters can wreck shop on the new map? Well, Lis has a guided missile launcher that you can use to safely drop them out of the sky — so long as nobody finds you hiding in a corner while you’re piloting the missile. She also has a passive ability that marks nearby enemy vehicles on the HUD, but it’s just for the player and not any of their teammates. Still, awareness is key.
Unfortunately, Lis is one of the parts of Season 1 that isn’t available for free right away. You’ll have to engage with the last (and certainly not least) new addition, the battle pass.
A battle pass and some smaller goodies
Yes, Battlefield 2042 has a season-long progression of skins, trinkets, and other fun things you can unlock in the form of a battle pass. It’s free to start, but there’s a premium tier to speed things up that costs either $10 or $20 depending on how much of a head-start you want to get. Lis is the fourth battle pass reward for this season, meaning you’ll either need to play for a few hours or just spend $20 to jump ahead in the progression to unlock her.
If you get hooked on the game and keep leveling up the battle pass, eventually you’ll even start getting new weapons and vehicles. How’s that for an incentive?
Aside from that, there are a couple of new weapons and gadgets in Season 1. A smoke grenade launcher, a combat crossbow, and a couple of stealth helicopters have entered the fray, rounding out all the new goodies that were recently added to the game.
It’s been a weird journey for Battlefield 2042, but if you haven’t played it yet or you felt burned by the launch, there’s never been a better time to give it a shot than right now. That’s not an especially high bar to cross, but I swear the new map is pretty fun, at least.