After months of talk about all-out war (opens in new tab) and portals (opens in new tab), we finally know exactly what the last of Battlefield 2042's big three modes is, and it's pretty different from any Battlefield mode before it. Hazard Zone is a PvPvE elimination mode in which 4-player squads duke it out on multiplayer maps over control of contentious data drives. Unlike battle royale, the goal of Hazard zone is "not to kill, but to extract out of the Hazard Zone alive with as many Data Drives as possible," according to a briefing sent by EA.
Players have to buy guns and choose specialists before a match using in-game Dark Market credits earned through play. If the setup sounds familiar, Hazard Zone seems to take inspiration from raiding games like Hunt: Showdown and Escape From Tarkov. Like both of those games, Hazard Zone players risk losing gear permanently if they're eliminated before extracting from the map at designated exfiltration zones.
On PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X, Hazard Zone will support up to 32 players (eight squads). PS4 and Xbox One will be capped at 24 players (or six squads). Hazard Zone will support all seven launch maps that will also be present in the standard Conquest mode.
In addition to weapons, players can use Dark Market credits on perks for their next run. Here's the full list of perks that EA included in its briefing:
- Starting Armor: Start with +20 armor
- Negotiated Bounty 1: 50% additional credits for kills on Occupying Forces
- Squad Reinforcement: Reinforcement uplink that can bring back killed squadmates. Can only be used once!
- Quickdraw Holster: Switch weapons +15% faster
- Data Storage: Data Drive carry capacity increased by +2
- Loadout Insurance: Should you fall in battle, reimburses 50% of Loadout and Tactical Upgrade costs
- Biometric Scanning: Spot enemies for 50% longer
- Insider Information: Reveal Data Capsule drop locations 30 seconds before they land
- Table Deal: 100% additional credits reward for extracted Data Drives
- Faster Healing 1: Heal 20% faster
- Faster Healing 2: Heal 50% faster
- Ammo Increase 1: Additional +1 magazine for primary weapon
- Ammo Increase 2: Additional +2 magazines for primary weapon
- Throwable Increase 1: Increase carried throwables by +1
- Throwable Increase 2: Increased carried throwables by +2
The emphasis on upgrades seems comparable to Hunt: Showdown's perks that grant advantageous abilities to players that have previously survived matches with their selected hunter. Judging by the trailer shown to press, squads will also fight over control of vehicles on the map. All 10 launch specialists will be available to pick from, but only one of each will be allowed on a squad (so you probably won't see a crowd of Mackays running into each other (opens in new tab) like in 2042's open beta).
One lingering question about Hazard Zone is how much loot will factor into the mode. We know guns can be purchased and likely outfitted with attachments before a match, but can players loot each other for guns and upgrades as they can in Tarkov or Hunt?
Hopefully we'll hear more about the intriguing new mode before Battlefield 2042's November 19 release.