It looks like Battlefield 2042 has begun the process of rethinking the major shift to 128 players in its game modes. As part of this morning's new update, the 128-player Breakthrough playlist has been abolished. Going forward, Breakthrough will be limited to the classic 64 players.
This, of course, only applies to the PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S versions - since last-gen consoles are already limited to 64 players.
Interestingly, however, DICE will be using the 128-player versions of some of the game’s maps in the 64-player playlists. Discarded, Manifest, Orbital, and Kaleidoscope will retain the 128-player version, whereas Hourglass, Breakaway, and Renewal will play the 64-player layout.
As for why this is happening, it's unsurprisingly a way to make Breakthrough less chaotic. This is actually something I called out in our review of Battlefield 2042. Despite that, the chaos brought on by the increased player count and the small playable space made Breakthrough 128 a popular XP farming spot.
"When reviewing Breakthrough, we noted that the 64 player version represented a more tactical experience," DICE wrote.
"As a result, squads in Breakthrough 64 have a better opportunity to work together, to flank the enemy, place a spawn beacon, use their plus menu to attach suppressors, then clear, and hold a point - one squad helping turn the tide as an example. We believe that the move to 64 players will bring back the pacing that helps celebrate these moments of teamwork and PTFOing, and will be keeping a close eye on how our changes help to improve the experience ahead of the start of Season One."
DICE has been reckoning with the move to 128 players since shortly after Battlefield 2042's disappointing launch. What was once advertised as the game's premiere feature is now being reconsidered. Future maps will be smaller in scale as a result.
Speaking of which, Season One will arrive early in June alongside Battlefield 2042's next update. Specifics about new content and such will be unveiled closer to launch.
Elsewhere in today's patch, there's a number of tweaks to controller aim assist to improve its consistency of tracking moving targets, and reduce instances of tracking through "thin" obstacles. There are also two major changes to the Specialists Boris - whose Sentry Gun now deals less damage, and Angel - whose Supply Bag no longer offers Armor Plates.
For its part, publisher EA has seemingly already moved on from Battlefield 2042. The game is no longer mentioned in quarterly earning reports, and the company seems to content to let DICE figure out the next steps.
Hit up the link above for the full change log.