Battlefield 2042 will feature up to 128 players on current-gen consoles and PC, but will be scaled back on last-gen with 64 players and smaller maps.
Battlefield 2042 is easily the biggest entry in the series to date. Thanks to the significant advancements in console technology, DICE was able to increase the scale of Battlefield 2042 tenfold and make it probably one of the biggest AAA shooters ever made for a console. With that said, it is a cross-gen game, so there are some limitations depending on the platform players play on.
Battlefield 2042 will double the series’ tried and true 64 player count, bringing it to a total of 128 players on Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC. Unfortunately, last-gen players will not get to see this enhanced scope and scale, as the player count will remain at 64 players on Xbox One and PS4. EA has already promised that Battlefield 2042 will still be good on last-gen, but compromises obviously have to be made. On last-gen, maps will be made much smaller to allow matches to flow better, otherwise there’d be tons of dead space and players likely wouldn’t organically run into each other for battles.
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Given Battlefield 2042 has the biggest maps the series has ever seen, with some being more than double the size of franchise classics, it’ll be interesting to see how DICE scales these maps back. Whether it’s just a case of the out of bound zone being moved in closer, or the entire map being shifted to keep key landmarks and battle zones, remains to be seen. It also begs the question on how crossplay may work in Battlefield 2042. It seems unlikely crossplay would work well between the two generations of consoles, given the differences in map sizes and player counts. That said, it’s not impossible for current-gen players to be able to play on scaled-back maps, but it can’t work the other way around.
Battlefield 2042 Matches Are Different Depending On Console Gen
DICE will be talking more about this in the months leading up to launch, but right now, Battlefield 2042’s cross-gen play remains a bit of a mystery. Either way, it’s still great that the game will be available on nearly ten-year old consoles. With Battlefield 2042 featuring things like tornadoes, it’s probably better that DICE chose to pull back on the player count for last-gen rather than strip down the core new features such as the dynamic map elements.
Although Battlefield 2042 will definitely play best on current-gen and PC, the reduced player count won’t totally make or break the game, especially if DICE can scale down the maps in an efficient, but still fun way. Whether or not the player count and map reductions will be enough to ensure the game still performs well remains to be seen, but DICE has previously made rather solid cross-gen versions of its Battlefield games.
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