Battlefield 2042's Proximity Sensor throwables are assist machines. You can huck them like an MLB outfielder, and when they land, they continuously spot enemies in a big radius for half a minute. In Breakthrough the other day, my best-placed Prox Sensors were filling choke points with red dots, aiding our airborne gunners and padding my score with spotting assists. And you get two of the things. PC Gamer global editor-in-chief Evan Lahti racked up 2,164 spotting assists in 40 hours of play.
Old Father Balance isn't having that anymore: The final Battlefield 2042 patch of the year will reduce Prox Sensor carrying capacity to one, lower the spotting radius from 30m to 20m, and lower the active time all the way from 30 seconds to 14 seconds. It's such a dramatic change that I wonder if it's an overcorrection, but the only way to know is to see how it plays when Update #3.1 deploys this week on Thursday, December 9.
The patch will also make ground vehicles less effective against infantry, and once again make assault rifles and other infantry weapons more accurate.
Regarding ground vehicles, the 30mm, 40mm, and 57mm cannons will be less dangerous to troops following the patch. Nothing is happening to the miniguns or machine guns found in some driver and gunner's seats by default, such as the hovercraft's side guns. It's the larger cannons that can be selected on the MAV, Bolte, Wildcat and other vehicles that are changing here. The previously nerfed hovercraft is getting another anti-infantry nerf, too, with a reduction to the blast damage of its 40mm GPL Grenade Launcher. And here I thought my good runs with that grenade launcher were just due to my impeccable aim.
Update #3.1 will also get rid of the rooftop capture points in Breakthrough (they were impossible), seek to improve audio clarity (including the ease of directional perception), "hit registration consistency," fix a number of bugs, and make more changes to recoil and gun handling, according to DICE's patch notes.
Update #3.1 for #Battlefield2042 goes live tomorrow, December 9, across all platforms at 08:00 UTC!No downtime is expected. We'll keep you updated during rollout🛠️Update Notes: https://t.co/lHcRFcg4Gy pic.twitter.com/qalrLFOIJoDecember 8, 2021
LMGs should be easier to control after the patch, SMGs will be more accurate when hip firing "to make them better stand out from other automatic weapon archetypes," and "most weapons" will stay accurate for longer when holding down the trigger. Further fine tuning to "recoil control for all weapons" is mentioned, but not detailed.
These changes follow dramatic reductions in bullet spread made in the previous two patches. Assault rifles in particular were surprisingly inaccurate when Battlefield 2042 launched, and since then DICE has seemingly turned every knob in the direction that makes bullets more likely to go where we're aiming. The other day I hit some SVK kills while parachuting that I'm not sure were possible at launch: annoying for the people I was smiting from the sky, but fun for me.
Like the previous patch, Update #3.1 will roll out at midnight Pacific on Thursday (3 am EST, 8 am GMT). There's no downtime expected. I was playing when the last patch went out, and was able to finish the game I was in, close the application, download the update on Steam, and then jump back in with the changes—as smooth as game updates get, really.
We won't see another Battlefield 2042 patch until next year, as the developers are taking a holiday break near the end of December, and will "return in the new year with fresh eyes ready to go on the road to Season One," says DICE. Season One will introduce a new operator (who'll cost money), free and premium battle passes, and other new stuff, which according to a GameSpot interview will include a new map called Exposure. We're not sure exactly when Season One will start, and DICE hasn't provided any details on the map yet, though it seasoned the announcement with a little hype by saying that it takes map design to "a whole new level."