EA says that DICE is “looking to build and test” the cross play for Battlefield 2042. This makes the cross play look like a may be, at best, but EA is also saying that the PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X / S cross-play will be tested in the invite-only Battlefield 2042 tech alpha this summer. It’s hard to test something you haven’t built, and it’s summer right now, so it’s clear that DICE is more than just “watching” the idea. I would go so far as to say that Battlefield 2042 will be cross-play, and EA is just giving itself the option of delaying the feature if necessary.
The blog post continues to evade definitive statements (“we’d like to give you an understanding of what we’re looking to achieve”), but says that we can “expect” a current generation PC and console crossover, a cross-progression, and cross-commerce support for Battlefield 2042. This means that in addition to playing with console players, we will be able to transfer in-game progress and purchases between versions.
PC and console gamers will be able to choose not to play together, according to EA.
One thing you won’t be able to unsubscribe from are the AI bots that will help fill the servers, although you probably won’t encounter many of them if you have the Full PC, Xbox Series X / S, and Base. PlayStation 5 players to match with. That’s at least one of the cross-play hopes.
The PS4 and Xbox One versions of Battlefield 2042 will also have cross-play, but will be contained in their own little world. This is because, as previously announced, older consoles get 64-player versions of Battlefield 2042, while PC and newer consoles get 128-player support.
Battlefield 2042 is releasing on October 22, probably with cross-play, but if the feature isn’t ready on time or if EA completely changes its mind about it, I have to admit it technically did not promise anything beyond “watching”. (Maybe DICE engineers are writing code with their eyeballs these days, you never know.)
Next up for Battlefield 2042 is EA Play Live next week, where we’ll see the new return mode from Ripple Effect (the studio formerly known as DICE LA). Some time after that we will hear about the other mystery mode, which is called Hazard Zone and is do not a battle royale mode, insists EA. (It’s clear on that, at least.)
As for that technical alpha, it’s always a “no need to contact us, we’ll get in touch with you” kind of thing. DICE invites Battlefield fans to participate in the “Strict NDA” test.