Battlefield 2042’s Hazard Zone mode is about collecting intel with your team

As is the way of things when it comes to revealing a major game’s features these days, EA has been drip-feeding info about over the last several months. To wit, it has only just pulled back the curtain on Hazard Zone, one of the game’s three main modes, a month before the .

is about getting into the arena, retrieving data drives and escaping via an extraction point before a storm overwhelms you or enemies take you out. Only two teams can make it out, as only a couple of extraction windows will pop up at random locations (though only one player needs to get out for their team to win). Matches run for up to 20 minutes and will take place across all seven of Battlefield 2042‘s maps.

Survival is key here. You only have one life, but one of your three teammates can resurrect you if you’re killed. Once your entire team is wiped out, it’s game over. Still, if you’re sneaky enough, you can win a match without firing a shot. Some satellites will already be on the ground at the start of a game, and more will drop in as the round progresses, so you’ll need to adjust your strategy as you go.

Before the start of a round, you and your teammates can kit yourselves out with gadgets. Players can use money earned in previous matches (primarily by making it out with data drives) to buy gear like a scanner that shows data drive locations, a healing upgrade and a Squad Redeploy Call-in. The latter lets you revive dead squad mates; otherwise, you’ll need to find a Redeploy Uplink somewhere on the map to bring back your buddies.

All of the XP you earn will go toward your overall Battlefield 2042 progression, which will boost your player level and unlock weapons. Teams are made up of unique characters — players will need to find specialists and loadouts that work in harmony to increase their chances of success.

Hazard Zone isn’t quite a battle royale mode, since you don’t need to be the last squad standing to win. Instead, it’s objective-based and actually sounds a little like the main mode of Ubisoft’s recently announced (and delayed) . As with the other Battlefield 2042 modes, Hazard Zone supports 64 players on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. On PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC, up to 128 players will square off on larger maps.

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Battlefield 2042’s squad-based Hazard Zone mode finally revealed

As we inch closer to Battlefield 2042‘s release date, EA and DICE have been revealing new details about the game in a piecemeal fashion. Today, we’re learning about Battlefield 2042‘s Hazard Zone game mode. Anyone who has played a battle royale game before will notice some similarities between those and Hazard Zone, though it seems that DICE is attempting to put a deeper spin on the wildly popular genre.

EA and DICE revealed Hazard Zone in a lengthy post to the Battlefield website today. In the mode, teams of four enter a match, attempt to collect valuable Data Drives scattered around the map, and then try to extract successfully, earning in-game money for the Data Drives they make off with. As they’re collecting Data Drives and attempting to extract, teams will have to contend with other groups of players, AI-based Occupying Forces, and a storm that grows more intense and covers more of the map as time goes on.

Some of those things, like the competition between teams of players and the nature of the storm, make it sound like Hazard Zone is Battlefield 2042‘s battle royale, but there are some significant differences between this mode and a traditional battle royale mode. For starters, the mode supports only 32 players (8 teams of four) at a time on PC and current-gen consoles. On previous-generation consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it’ll only support 24 players (6 teams of four).

While it sounds like players will be able to scavenge for materials and weapons, each Hazard Zone match will also include a Mission Area Briefing at the beginning. This is where players pick their specialists and spend Dark Market Credits on their loadouts, including weapons and tactical upgrades that can give an edge in a fight. Dark Market Credits are earned by extracting Data Drives successfully, though EA and DICE say that every specialist will get a basic loadout featuring an attachment-free assault rifle even if they don’t have any DMC to spend.

Once they’re in the game, players will have a scanner they can use to find Data Drives, with DICE noting that there will be hotspots containing more Data Drives than other areas of the map. More Data Drives will appear on the map as a match goes on as well, so it sounds like players will want to make good use of that scanner.

Interestingly, there are two extractions in each Hazard Zone match instead of just one. The first one will open early in the game, giving players a chance to get in, collect Data Drives, and extract before the storm ramps up and things get hairy. Players, of course, will have to do battle with Opposing Forces and other human opponents if they want to extract, and it’s worth noting that the second extraction zone in a match won’t open until the storm reaches its peak.

Players who die will be out of the match unless their teammates purchased a Squad Redeploy call-in during the briefing phase or a Squad Redeploy is found in the world. Squads who fail to extract will lose the game, as will squads who are wiped entirely. In addition, DICE says Hazard Zone will be playable on all seven of Battlefield 2042‘s maps. Check out the Battlefield website for the full rundown on Hazard Zone, and check the trailer above for a look at the mode.

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Battlefield 2042’s Hazard Zone is a Squad Extraction Mode

Battlefield 2042‘s mysterious Hazard Zone mode has finally been revealed. The objective-based mode throws multiple squads consisting of four players each into a map and tasks them with collecting hard drives from fallen satellites. The goal is to extract as many drives as possible without dying to earn credits.

There’s a narrative motivation behind the mode. In Battlefield 2042 lore, a worldwide blackout event took place in 2040, destroying 70% of satellites. Countries begin sending out temporary low-orbit satellites to enemy territories in order to collect data. Players control teams of No-Pats, the game’s term for soldiers, who set out to retrieve the data on the crashed satellites.

Hazard Zone puts players in four-person squads. Players begin a round by picking their loadout in an equip phase. Squads can not have duplicate specialists, so players need to coordinate a bit here. Players will also select a Hazard Zone-specific tactical upgrade in this mode.

Interestingly, Hazard Zone uses its own currency called Dark Market Credits. Extracting drives will give players more credits, which can be spent in the equip phase. It’s slightly similar to economy shooter mechanics seen in games like Valorant, though there’s only one buy phase during a match.

After that, all squads will enter battle and start hunting down satellites. An intel scanner gadget helps players find the approximate location of downed satellites, so at least one member of the team should have one equipped. Once a satellite is found, players will find occupying forces protecting it, which appear to be A.I. bots. Storms can also pop up on the map, meaning that players need to survive against humans, bots, and the environment. More valuable satellites land on the map midway through a match.

Players have two chances to extract the hard drives. Halfway through the map, a random location is selected as an extraction point. Players will have a limited window to jump on a plane and leave, while fighting off bots. The second extraction opens near the end of a round.

A screen depicting the final results of a Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone match.

If a squad wipes without extracting, they’ll lose everything. If one squad member makes it out alive, the whole squad will get to keep what they’ve collected. Players are able to revive each other using a Reinforcement Uplink, which are scattered across the map. The gadget can also be bought during the equip phase.

The matches consist of 32 total players on PC, Xbox Series X/S, and PlayStation 5, and 24 players on Xbox One and PS4. The mode uses all of the maps featured in the All Out Warfare mode.

Hazard Zone is quite a departure for the Battlefield series. While the franchise is no stranger to objective-based modes, the extraction angle is an entirely new concept. The idea of spending credits to build a loadout is also new, putting it in line with recent hits like Valorant and Apex Legends‘ Arenas mode. True to the developer’s word, it’s certainly not a battle royale mode.

Battlefield 2042 launches on November 19 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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