Players get their wish: Classes are coming back to Battlefield soon

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Every new Battlefield game messes with classes in some way—Battlefield 3's heresy was getting rid of medics and giving defibrillators to the Assault class—but Battlefield 2042 went too far for some fans when it ditched classes in favor of unique specialist characters. Perhaps Battlefield fans are principled anti-individualists, or maybe they just like things how they were—either way, DICE has conceded. Classes are on the way back.

The Battlefield 2042 class system rework was announced a while ago as part of DICE's now year-long "we've heard you" quest to redesign the 128-player FPS in response to player criticism. The studio has held onto some of its decisions—it hasn't entirely axed 128-player modes because some players prefer 64, or killed specialists altogether—but the overall effect has been a walking-back of the biggest changes 2042 introduced to the Battlefield series. 

There technically were classes in Battlefield 2042 at launch, it's just that they didn't really mean anything. When the revised class system is introduced, the class of each specialist will matter, because it'll determine which utility items they can carry. Here's what DICE has arrived at via its latest class rework progress update (opens in new tab):

Class Equipment (Always available) 

  • Assault: Med Pen
  • Engineer: Repair Tool
  • Support: Defibrillator
  • Recon: Insertion Beacon

Class Gadgets (You can choose 1)

  • Assault: Smoke Launcher, IBA Armor Plate, C5 Explosive, M18 Claymore
  • Engineer: Anti-Tank Mine, Recoilless M5, FXM-33 AA Missile, FGM-148 Javelin, EOD Bot
  • Support: Ammo Crate, Medical Crate, Smoke Launcher, M18 Claymore
  • Recon: T-UGS, Tracer Dart Gun, M18 Claymore, C5 Explosive, Prox Sensor, SOFLAM Designator

Throwables (You can choose 1) 

  • Assault: Frag Grenade, Smoke Grenade, Concussion Grenade, Incendiary Grenade
  • Engineer: Frag Grenade, Smoke Grenade, EMP Grenade, Incendiary Grenade
  • Support: Frag Grenade, Smoke Grenade, EMP Grenade, Incendiary Grenade
  • Recon: Frag Grenade, Smoke Grenade, EMP Grenade, Incendiary Grenade

In the past, Battlefield classes have also limited weapon selection: sniper rifles for Recon, LMGs for Support, SMGs for Medics (or rifles, in Battlefield 1), assault rifles for Assault. Battlefield 2042 doesn't restrict weapon selection by class, and DICE says that's one decision it isn't going to take back. It is, however, going to give classes bonuses for using certain weapons. Recon specialists, for example, will automatically hold their breath longer when they aim down the scope of a sniper rifle.

My gut feeling is that, if they're going to do that, they should just go all the way and restrict weapon choice by class, but we'll see how it goes. The latest Battlefield 2042 "Core Feedback" post explains more about the system and why DICE made the decisions it did. 

These class changes are coming sometime during Season 3, which is starting in a few weeks. The season will also add a new specialist, new map, new battle pass, a Battlefield Portal update, and two more map reworks (another port of the player feedback patching project). There's more detail in this new blog post (opens in new tab).

The final notable bit of news is that Battlefield 2042 has a free trial period coming up. On PC, the dates to remember are December 1 through December 5. On those days, Battlefield 2042 will be free to play on Steam, and newcomers will get a "Welcome Bundle" which includes "a collection of new cosmetics, as well as instant access to the Season 1 and 2 Specialists, Lis and Crawford." If you buy the game during or after the free trial period, your progression will be preserved.

I think it'll be worth checking out, at least. Although I'm kind of into Modern Warfare 2 right now and I've gone back to Rainbow Six Siege despite its new persistent freezing problem (there's always something!) I still think Battlefield 2042 is pretty fun, especially with a group of friends who want to goof off more than win. DICE also confirmed today that a fourth Battlefield 2042 season is in the works, and will start next year.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.