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Battlefield 2042: Last-gen vs. next-gen console differences

Battlefield 2042 players on PS4 & Xbox One will play on smaller maps with less enemies than PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.

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Battlefield character with PS5 & Xbox Series X

Battlefield 2042 officially launches on October 22, 2021, but players who purchase the game on next-gen consoles like the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S are set to enjoy a different experience compared to their PS5 and Xbox One counterparts.

After weeks of hype, Battlefield 2042 was finally announced on June 9, 2021. The first entry in the series for almost 3 years, 2042 brings three exciting multiplayer modes, although no single-player or battle royale mode at launch. On top of that, Specialists make their first appearance in the Battlefield franchise this year, with 10 characters equipped with their own abilities to help you in combat.

Set to be the biggest and most ambitious Battlefield game to date, there had been rumors that the game would skip the last generation of consoles entirely. While we now know that isn’t the case, there will be some major differences between the two versions of the game.

Helicipter flying in Battlefield 2042

Battlefield 2042 on PS4, Xbox One vs PS5, Xbox Series X, PC

During a pre-launch presentation with DICE and EA, the developers confirmed that the game was built with next-gen players in mind, with 128 players on PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.

Unfortunately for those still using older hardware, DICE and EA state that lobbies will max out at the usual 64 players, meaning that you won’t be able to experience the same combat as those with newer hardware.

Due to the fact that there are fewer players, Battlefield 2042’s maps will be “tailored to smaller scale to ensure epic battles,” although gameplay and mid-map events will “all be the same” regardless of what platform you play on.

battlefield 2042 vehicle gameplay

In a recent briefing from Battlefield’s Senior Design Director, Dan Berlin, DICE provided more details on the differences between the two versions.

“Our intention is to ensure that nothing detracts from the overall experience of playing Battlefield 2042,” he explained. The main differences are that they’ve reduced the player count and “made adjustments to the playable area on the maps to ensure a fluid play experience.”

He reiterated that “Weapons, Vehicles, Specialists and Gadgets all remain the same no matter what generation of console you’re playing on.” Weather effects and “Environmental Hazards like EMP storms will also be experienced by all players,” he continued.

Players jumping out of a helicopter in Battlefield 2042

In the same briefing, DICE also confirmed that Battlefield 2042 will feature crossplay. However, Xbox One and PS4 users won’t be able to play with their next-gen counterparts and will be limited to matchmaking with the previous

On the bright side, Battlefield 2042 will also feature cross-progression and cross-commerce, so if you decide to either advance to the next generation of consoles or switch to PC, you’ll keep all of your progress and purchases.

While this is likely to be disappointing for those on PS4 and Xbox One, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise. While the last-gen consoles are powerful, EA and DICE have to ensure that gameplay and graphics remain spectacular, and it’s possible that the older hardware wasn’t capable of handling 124 players.

How this will actually feel while playing the game remains to be seen, and we’ll have to wait until we get our hands on the Battlefield 2042 Open Beta to be sure.

Image Credits: EA / DICE