Whether due to its gameplay complexities, varying modes, new innovations or simply poor tutorials and UI - Battlefield 2042 doesn’t tell you so much about how its various components work.
We’ve been playing the game all week in early access, and though we’re not impressed by its current state, we have a lot of advice to offer that will help veterans of the series and new players alike quickly find their footing - before most of you jump in this Friday with the worldwide launch.
Our tips below assume you know how to play the objective and understand basic multiplayer shooter fundamentals. We’ll skip to helpful specifics and hints you may not be already familiar with.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
You can heal yourself faster with Falck’s dart
Everyone knows that you can use Falck’s Syrette Pistol to heal teammates from a distance, and hit a different button to heal yourself. But one thing players may not immediately pick up on is that if you fire the pistol at the ground or any nearby wall, you’ll still get the effect if you run over the dart.
A quick example of this is firing it at your feet as you’re running for cover, and picking up the healing along the way. This is typically faster and more intuitive than having to wait for the self-heal animation to play out.
You start with the attachments closest to the center
The whole weapon customization screen in Battlefield 2042 is a confusing, often misleading, mess. But a good way of guaranteeing that you start out with a particular set of attachments is making sure to stick the ones you want equipped nearest the center of the Plus Menu.
In other words, if you want to always start with a red dot sight, make it your first item on that list, i.e, nearest to the middle. This is something the game doesn’t tell you, but it will save you a lot of time in the field.
Just head to your Collection > Weapons and pick the best setup for every one of your weapons. This is how it’s going to remain in every loadout you slot that weapon into.
Attachment descriptions lie, so do your testing
As mentioned above, the weapon customization/attachment screen is not reliable. For many of those attachments, the description actually says the opposite of what they do. In some cases, the description may not even make sense to anyone who played a shooter before.
The best way to figure out what’s what is to jump into a solo bot game and test the attachments you have unlocked against a wall, or the AI, just to be certain about how they work.
Some of these will be quickly apparent, such as ammo count in magazines, while others – like compensators and muzzle breaks not actually decreasing recoil – may require a bit more testing. The good news is that the Plus Menu lets you swap attachments easily, so at least you can quickly jump back and forth.
You can delete, rename and create new loadouts
This is another off-to-the-side element of the class UI in Battlefield 2042 that could use a bit of signposting. You can actually delete all the pre-made loadouts the game starts with. You also have the ability to create more, rename, save and modify any of them to your heart’s content.
There is, of course, a limit to the number of active loadouts you can create, but it’s fairly generous right now. I have made a few loadouts to resemble the Battlefield classes of old, and it’s been handy to just look at the name and know exactly what I am going to find.
Farm bots for XP
Battlefield 2042 offers solo and private co-op experiences, on dedicated servers, against AI bots of three difficulties. You can play All-Out Warfare, both Conquest and Breakthrough, just by picking the option from the menu.
This is a fantastic way to not only get to grips with weapon characteristics and vehicle handling, it’s also a decent way to earn some XP in a low-stakes environment.
DICE recently added a cap to the XP earned in bot matches, so that’s a bummer. But this is supposed to only be a temporary measure, so hopefully it’ll be back to normal soon.
I’ve found those games to be a very good way to at least unlock the basic weapon attachments, and the early weapons/countermeasures for vehicles. So give it a go and crash your helicopter as much as you want without teammates yelling at you.
Mines and turrets don’t remain after death
In Battlefield 2042, most objects you place during your life will disappear as soon as you die. For example, this is true for land mines, which is something that’s been tripping up a lot of veteran players.
It’s also the case for Boris’ turret. In other words, it’s better to go for Boris himself if you spot him, and not waste your ammo on his turret. The turret will despawn when the Boris who placed it dies.
Casper’s Drone is a good XP generator
Another easy way to level up in Battlefield 2042 is to use the drone of Specialist Casper. The drone is simple to fly, and usually hard to detect by enemies because of its small size and relative quietness.
The drone is capable of EMPing vehicles to disable them temporarily, but you can also use it to 3D spot infantry. You get spot assists every time an enemy player you spotted gets killed.
If you know where player clusters are, follow them with your drone and rack up those spot assists.
There are usually other ways to get points that don’t require killing, but DICE seems to have forgotten including the majority of them in Battlefield 2042. So unless you’re happy getting 5XP per Falck heal, spam that drone and go up some levels.
As a bonus, if you carry around C5 explosives, you can attach a couple to the drone and ram it into a vehicle to take it out. Obviously, this will destroy the drone, but it’s a fun way to get a kill – especially if you manage to stick it to an annoying helicopter pilot or hovercraft driver.
Change ammo type when you run out of ammo
Assuming you have more than one magazine attached to your weapon’s Plus Menu, you should always switch to a different ammo type anytime your main magazine runs out of ammo. Rather than run around begging oblivious players for ammo, or picking up the scraps left behind by dead players, this is a great way to stay in the fight.
Just keep in mind the characteristics of the ammo type you’re switching to, since calibers in Battlefield 2042 impact weapon recoil, range, fire rate and a few other factors.
Don’t forget to call in vehicles
One of the neat new additions in Battlefield 2042 is ability to call in vehicles and have them parachute straight to you. This is most commonly used for transport vehicles, and it’s going to save you a lot of time traversing the game’s massive maps.
You can also call in the robot dog (Ranger), tanks, hovercrafts and more – depending on available slots. Unfortunately, the UI for vehicle call-ins is fairly buggy, and it’s not always clear why you can’t request the vehicle you want.
Nevertheless, check your control bindings to see which button it’s assigned to, and keep checking that menu every time you need a ride.