Battlefield 2042’s squad-based, non-battle royale Hazard Zone revealed
DICE has revealed Battlefield 2042‘s non-battle royale third mode, Hazard Zone, with a new trailer and details.
Hazard Zone sees squads of four fighting to extract data drives from satellites that have fallen to Earth. The more data drives you and your squad extract, the more Hazard Zone-specific currency—called Dark Market Credits—you will earn. You can then spend Dark Market Credits before your next match on weapons, gadgets, and Hazard Zone-specific tactical upgrades. It’s a system that sounds similar to those found in games like Escape from Tarkov and Hunt: Showdown, though it’s unclear if Hazard Zone will feature similar RPG elements.
On Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC, Hazard Zone will feature 32-player matches, or eight squads of four players. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is limited to 24-player matches, or six squads of four.
Phases of Extraction
All seven previously revealed All-Out Warfare maps will host Hazard Zone matches, and each match consists of five key phases, according to design director Daniel Berlin. The Strategize & Equip phase starts with a mission briefing that details the map, what kind of AI-controlled occupying forces you’ll run into, and where you will insert. Based on that information, you will pick you Specialist, loadout, and upgrades. Each squad can only contain one of each Specialist.
A gadget unique to Hazard Zone called the intel scanner will reveal the approximate location of the data drives, even if another player-controlled squad has retrieved it. It’s a good idea for one person in your squad to bring the intel scanner. Of course, you can go in blind, but we don’t recommend that.
From there, you will enter the Insert phase, when you’re dropped into the match at your predetermined location. Next is the Retrieval phase, where you will scout for data drives and collect as many as you can find. New satellites will fall from the sky mid-game, and the data drives they contain are worth more Dark Market Credits than the ones available at the beginning of the match.
The next two phases are where Hazard Zone gets hectic. The First Extraction phase occurs roughly halfway through the match when a Condor air transport arrives at a random location. The Final Extraction occurs at the very end of the match, which will give you more of an opportunity to loot data drives and kill occupying forces and other squads to earn more credits. However, miss that extraction and you’re out of luck. Only one squad can leave during an extraction, which means that only two squads will actually make it out of the Hazard Zone in any given match. You only need one person from your squad to extract in order to earn credits.
Rules of Engagement
If you go down during a fight, you can try to crawl to safety where a squad mate can revive you. However, if you’re killed while downed, you will go into spectator mode. Similar to Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone, Hazard Zone lets you bring back dead teammates via a reinforcement uplink found scattered across the map. You can also purchase a reinforcement uplink as a tactical upgrade and automatically bring back a dead teammate.
Berlin also confirmed that the tornado may randomly show up during a Hazard Zone match. It’s unclear if other weather events, such as the sandstorm seen on Hourglass, can occur.
The trailer features both in-engine cinematics as well as brief snippets of gameplay, including a moment that shows a squad driving a military jeep through Renewal’s solar panel field. It’s unclear if other vehicles like tanks and helicopters will be available to players. The trailer also features Specialist characters that DICE has yet to officially reveal and new cosmetics.
Hazard Zone is the third and final game mode launching with Battlefield 2042, after All-Out Warfare and Portal. Players recently got to experience a small snippet of All-Out Warfare during the open beta. However, most players have yet to go hands-on with the custom game mode Portal or Hazard Zone.
Hazard Zone launches with Battlefield 2042 on November 19th for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.