DICE has finally revealed Battlefield 2042’s new Hazard Mode, which is a squad-based PvPvE experience about collecting data drives and getting out of the map alive.
Hazard Zone is a squad-based mode that sees groups of players vying to collect and extract data drives that have been scattered around smaller arenas after satellite crashes. Each player squad is made up of 4 players, with the objective being to collect as many drives as possible before extracting ahead of a storm becoming too intense for aircraft to get to you.
Those efforts are hampered further by enemy AI forces, and the game’s extreme weather conditions – and there are only two time-limited opportunities to extract during a match, meaning only two squads can get away. Dying in the mode will see you placed in a spectator screen, although a ‘Reinforcement Uplink’ item can see squad members revived again.
Player counts for the mode will differ depending on your platform of choice. On Xbox One and PS4, Hazard Zone will include 24 players (6 squads), whereas Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC will see 32 players (8 squads). There will be Hazard Zone map variants for every map included in the game’s All-Out Warfare modes.
DICE’s Danny Berlin made very clear in a presentation that “Hazard Zone is not a Battle Royale mode.” The key difference for Berlin is that your main objective is “not to kill, but to extract out of the Hazard Zone alive with as many data drives as possible.” Berlin also made it clear that there’s an emphasis on building a sqaud before the match begins, rather than simply collecting items when inside a round.
Berlin also introduced a wider metagame around Hazard Zone. Each data drive extracted will be worth a set number of ‘Dark Market Credits’, a currency used only in the mode. Those credits can be spent before matches on new weapons, gadgets, and upgrades for your specialists (and each squad can only have one of each specialist).
Hazard Zone is the third and final mode, after All-Out Warfare (which we got to sample in an open beta) and the more bizarre Portal, which sees 5 different Battlefield games’ features meshed into a single custom game creation tool. After a short delay, Battlefield 2042 will arrive on November 19.