Battlefield 2042's open beta was a moderate success. Best played with a group of mates, it was a rough-around-the-edges look at what we can expect from the full release of the game.
In the weeks following the open beta, it sounds like DICE have been listening to fans' concerns, too. In the latest Battlefield Briefing, along with announcing the final specialists to be added to the game, a series of improvements and acknowledgements were made by the Battlefield 2042 team.
Quite a lot, actually. The first things listed were the most important ones. Fundamental gameplay changes. These include:
- Increased total number of tanks to 8 from 4 on the Orbital map
- Movement changes - you can slide sideways now, and vault over moving objects
- An indicator that tells you a grenade is nearby was added.
- Animations for entering and exiting vehicles have been shortened or removed
- Elevator doors have been fixed
That's not all though. There are all kinds of interesting data in the briefing, such as heat maps that show where Battlefield players spent most of their time on the map. It's as expected, with players congregating at objectives and buildings, but it's cool to see regardless.
The game ran okay in general, but there was room for improvement. Thankfully, the dev team seem to be well on top of the situation.
The briefing describes 'branching', which is when a bunch of builds of the game that are all being worked on are looked at, and the most stable branch is used for the open beta. That's why there were reports that the beta was 'months old' - the beta branch was identified back in August and was optimised as best they could. The actual beta branch isn't the best state of the game from August, it's the most stable version of the game that the devs felt could be released as the open beta in time.
From the sounds of it, Battlefield 2042 should be up and running a lot better at launch, and the dev team will continue to improve things on the performance side too.
DICE are well aware of the high prevalence of bots in lobbies, thanks to fan outcry during the open beta. Backfilling wasn't quite working properly during the beta so some players' lobbies were chock-full of bots who weren't exactly pro players.
Since the developers are aware of this issue, as well as the problem of players being put into lobbies outside of their region, it'll hopefully be a fixable one by the time the game comes out.
Something we noticed when playing that was pretty annoying was the inability to open a full map screen up, despite it being listed in the control settings.
This was due to game-breaking bugs (now fixed, hopefully!). The feature is back and will be visible by pressing the touchpad on console or the M key on PC.
There's also a brand new communication/ping system called Commorose, which lets you shout out specific commands and calls to your teammates through a menu. Here's what it looks like.
As well as all this, we have improvements to the Battlefield 2042 ping system, changed the compass to default to always being on even when aiming down sights, and made some quality-of-life tweaks to the HUD.
The colourblind settings have had an update, and the kill log on the left-hand side of the screen is easier to read now.
Finally, there have been new UI elements added to show when a teammate is in need of healing, supplies, or repairs, making it easier to work with the new slower health regeneration coming to the full game.
In the open beta, loadouts were customisable but limited. You had a certain number of options you had to use. In the full game, once you've unlocked more gear, you'll be able to completely customise your loadouts from the Collections menu, as well as give them names so you remember exactly what you're trying to do with each build.
You'll have a lot more to try out, especially with the improved Plus Menu.
Other New Stuff
Battlefield 2042's "End Of Round flow" wasn't ready yet for the beta, but it's in full swing for the full release. It'll give props to the best players, rewarding kills, objective captures, and reviving/resupplying your team. Here's what it looks like:
That's what you need to know about the latest Battlefield Briefing! If you want to get set up for the game's release, why not have a look at the best guns in Battlefield 2042, or try out the best Battlefield 2042 control scheme?