If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Six years after its launch, Battlefield 1 has 10x the player count of disastrous Battlefield 2042

Players are flocking to an older Battlefield title as 2042 continues to haemorrhage players, despite EA's attempts to fix it.

Battlefield 2042 isn't very good, is it? Even at launch, we knew. It quickly became one of the worst-reviewed games on Steam. It had misaligned hitboxes. It was optimised poorly. Our review from Sherif put the boot in quite hard, and even the self-confessed Battlefield apologist admitted he couldn't stick it out through the terrible launch.

Why would anyone want to play an earlier game than this one? Oh, right.

And here we are, almost a year later, and we're seeing the entire Battlefield fanbase operate with the same sentiment. The game is so bad that all the players you'd expect to be glued to the latest title have instead wandered off to play Battlefield 1. Over the past 24 hours, the 2016 game has attracted a tasty 51,000 concurrent players on Steam – its all-time user high (according to SteamDB).

Meanwhile, Battlefield 2042 is chugging away at a measly 5,300 over the past 24 hours, basically 1/10 of what its six-year-old peer is enjoying. And it's no surprise, really: EA has tried, and failed, to resuscitate Battlefield 2042 lately. But even the much-hyped Battlefield 2042 Liquidators event was taken offline less than an hour after going live. BF2042 just can't catch a break.

Is this when the BF series jumped the shark?

It also helps that Battlefield 1 has seen an eye-watering discount on Steam recently. You can pick the game up right now for just $4.79/£4.19 – less than the price of a pint (in London, at least). The game is one of the few blockbuster FPS titles to get into the trenches of the Great War – or World War I, if you prefer – and marked the start of a new era for the series, in a way.

This isn't the first time Battlefield 1 has been compared to Battlefield 2042, either – the numbers were starting to level out, even nine months ago. We just didn't expect BF1 to leapfrog its newer counterpart so drastically in such a short span of time.

You can check it out on Steam here, and read all our coverage of the now-classic title over on our Battlefield 1 hub page.

Sign in and unlock a world of features

Get access to commenting, homepage personalisation, newsletters, and more!

In this article

Battlefield 2042

PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Related topics
About the Author
Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic with 11 years' experience in the games industry. A published author and consultant that has written for NME, Red Bull, Samsung, Xsolla, Daily Star, GamesRadar, Tech Radar, and many more. They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.