Here’s a big list of Update 2 and 3 highlights, many of which really should’ve been ready at launch
After a far-from-ideal launch for Battlefield 2042, DICE is charging ahead with changes, fixes, and sorely-missed additions that can improve the game for the “millions” of people who are — or at least were — playing it. In a lengthy blog post, the kind we’ve come to expect from DICE, the studio outlined its plan for a major update on November 25 and another in early December, with a third aiming to roll out in advance of the holidays.
Looking through the list of incoming changes, I can’t help but wish Battlefield 2042 had been delayed again. Even just some of these improvements would’ve gone a long way.
If you’re invested in Battlefield 2042 (or want to be when the game is in a better place), it’s worth going through the full article from DICE. That said, I’ll run through the highlights, which touch on concerns with bullet spread/bloom/deviation, aim assist on consoles, the OP nature of the PP-29 and Hovercraft, XP gains in Portal Custom Experiences, vital missing HUD information for medics (and folks in need of a medic), and much more.
Battlefield 2042 Update 2 (November 25)
- Improved Soldier Revives, addressing ‘unable to revive when a Soldier dies close to an object, or wall’.
- A respawn protection system that will help to prevent any extraneous issues that can leave a player in a downed state for too long, and force a manual respawn when required.
- Re-enabling our UAV-1 Interaction in Battlefield Portal, available on our Battlefield Bad Company 2 maps. It was overpowered, and we’ve made adjustments to account for that.
- Vehicle Balancing for the LCAA Hovercraft and MD540 Nightbird mentioned above.
- Dispersion has been reduced for all weapons except Shotguns, which results in more consistent bullet spread during gameplay.
- [Update: The full patch notes for Update 2 can be found here.]
Battlefield 2042 Update 3 (early December)
- UI: Improved the collection screens making them easier to use and clear as to what you’re interacting with.
- UI: Improved the ways in which you’re able to manage your attachments via the collection screen to reduce the number of interactions you need to have when building your loadouts.
- Matchmaking: Improved the experience between EOR and the Main Menu.
- Friends: Fixes to Friend Invitations for players on PC.
- Progression: Introduction of weekly missions, providing set challenges that reward cosmetic unlocks.
- Progression: Added 1st match bonus of 1000 HZC for Hazard Zone.
- Rendering: Addressed a variety of visual flickering and stuttering issues.
- Maps: Over 150 individual fixes, small changes, and improvements across all of our Maps.
- Maps: Improved level geometry issues across all levels addressing issues such as players getting snagged or trapped.
- Maps: Resolved multiple spawning issues.
- Portal: Rush game mode layouts for all 2042 All-Out Warfare maps (through Portal).
- Portal: New official Infection template.
- Portal: Added Server Info for the Pause screen.
- Portal: A series of visual, audio, and gameplay improvements to weapons, vehicles, and gadgets.
- Hazard Zone: Added additional flares to extraction point offering players better visibility of extraction area, as well as providing additional cover.
- Hazard Zone: Added variation in Hazard Zone to preplaced intel locations. Initial Data Capsules now have a chance to contain several data drives.
- Hazard Zone: Made it easier to interact with intel pick-ups.
- Conquest: Tuned information spamming in Conquest, reducing the amount of messages that appear in the world log. In particular, we reduced messages about flag state changes so that they’re not as distracting.
- Breakthrough: Tuned capture times for Breakthrough.
- Breakthrough: Improved out-of-bounds defender spawning in Breakthrough to ensure that you’re able to more consistently spawn in safety.
- Loadouts: A fix for missing loadouts, sometimes seen when first loading into a server and seeing blank boxes on the deploy screen.
- Vehicles: Balanced Nightbird minigun spread buildup and convergence.
- Vehicles: Gadgets no longer pause their cooldown when the player enters a vehicle.
- Weapons: Reduced spread globally when zoomed and moving.
- Weapons: Improved stationary zoomed accuracy for many weapons.
- Weapons: Spread now decreases faster and earlier when pacing shots. This means more success with single-fire or short bursts.
- Weapons: Increased PP-29 vertical recoil to ensure that the weapon does not overperform when engaging outside of its intended combat range.
- Weapons: Fixed an issue where spread would be too high when trying to fire while zoomed right after sprinting for some Portal weapons.
- HUD: Added a UI list that shows nearby players that can revive you within 50m when downed.
- HUD: Added a UI list that shows incoming revivers when downed and pinged by a player that intends to revive you.
- HUD: When low on ammo or health, nearby friendly players within 50m will now show a resource icon above their head indicating that they can provide you with health or ammo.
- HUD: Increased Big Map Resolution for improved navigation.
- HUD: Added health bars on enemy vehicles and enemy soldiers when looked at.
- HUD: All player world icons now scale over distance, making them smaller when far away in an effort to reduce icons cluttering the screen.
- HUD: Time before revive completion is now visible for the downed player when being revived.
- Bots: Fixed issue where Bots sometimes didn’t revive players.
- Bots: Improved Bots helicopter handling, combat behaviors, and game mode behaviors.
- Audio: Improved weapon mix for enemies firing at the player.
- Audio: Generally tweaked content and mix for distant weapons, improving audibility at range.
- Angel: Players that require armor and can receive it now have a white outline around them to indicate that the magnetism will throw the armor to the outlined player.
- Angel: Player can hold down the specialist ability button to self-apply armor.
- Rao: Added a short grace period for Rao’s Cyber Warfare Suite when something occludes the target being hacked. This will help most frequently when trying to hack vehicles that may be driving in front of trees.
- Paik: The EMG-X Scanner should now be able to spot targets above or below Paik.
- Casper: Improved the visibility of Enemy Recon Drones; they now have lights making them easier to see.
- Casper: Increased the range of the EMP on the OV-P Recon Drone.
- Casper: Increased the OV-P Recon Drone’s hitbox size to make it easier to hit.
- Boris: The SG-36 Sentry Gun will now be destroyed when the owner dies instead of when the owner is downed.
- Falck: Added Lock On and Lock Off sounds for S21 Syrette Pistol for when a target is designated by the magnetism of the S21 Syrette Pistol.
- Falck: Players that require health and can receive it now have a white outline around them to indicate that the magnetism will fire at the outlined target.
- C5: Fixed a bug where the C5 Explosive blast damage was sometimes inconsistent when trying to detonate the C5 Explosive on a moving vehicle.
- C5: Adjusted the deploy time of the C5 Explosive and reduced the delay before allowing it to be detonated to improve responsiveness.
- Medical Crate and Supply Crate: Improved responsiveness of Medical and Supply crates deployment. It is now possible to throw them a lot quicker after selecting them.
- Repair Tool: Improved the Repair Tool so that it is quicker to equip and put away.
- Insertion Beacon: EMP now blocks spawning on Insertion Beacons.
- Soldier: Reduced occurrences where Specialists can be seen with low-quality animations in the distance.
- Soldier: Adjusted the pose of the legs when falling to avoid legs blocking the view.
- Melee: Decreased the range in which you can melee a player.
- Melee: You can no longer perform a takedown on a soldier climbing a ladder.
Again, this list isn’t exhaustive. Even DICE’s own list today is a “snapshot.”
So, what about aim assist? Some players feel like there’s not enough on consoles. The developers say aim assist is “not consistently behaving in line with our designs,” and there’s also an “odd inconsistency” with PC aiming “relative to your mouse sensitivity settings.” A fix for the latter will be in the third upcoming update at the earliest.
If you’re wondering what’s up with XP in Portal, the developers accidentally overcorrected “limiters” meant to combat XP farms, and things should be in a better place now.
“This past weekend we were able to reintroduce those caps and developed smarter XP and progression caps that have allowed us to re-enable XP earned via Portal Custom Experiences,” noted the team. “We will continue to monitor for XP Farm Servers and take appropriate actions to remove them from the pool when needed.”
Apart from having more consistent gunplay with those bullet-spread adjustments, I’m most excited about some of the UI touch-ups (the menus are more of a slog than they need to be) and the features that’ll help me as a support player (like the new white outlines on players who need armor from Angel or healing from Falck).
Apart from Specialist changes hopefully leading to a better sense of teamwork, I also hope those “150 individual fixes, small changes, and improvements” for all of the maps have a noticeable impact, as map design is one of the sticking points for a lot of players.
The future of Battlefield 2042
As for big-ticket requests like a useful scoreboard and voice chat in Battlefield 2042, DICE said it is “carefully evaluating” these and other “legacy features” that aren’t currently in the game. “End-of-match Scoreboard, Server Browser, and features like Voice Chat are big topics for us to cover all at once, and we have plenty we want to say around them,” according to today’s post. “We’ll come back to you when we have things that we can show to you, including details about our long-term vision for certain features and functions.”
The team also said it “will be supporting and evolving [the game] for years to come,” and it’ll have more to say about Battlefield 2042 Season 1 in “early 2022.”
I’ll say this much: fan sentiment can quickly change with high-impact updates, but it’s going to take a significant turnaround to course-correct that “Mostly Negative” rating on Steam. These first few updates are restoring my faith in the promise of Battlefield 2042, yet I know that these games can fluctuate wildly from one patch to the next and this one, in particular, has what I feel are going to be challenging design issues to overcome.