Anyone can call in a robot dog, and other new Battlefield 2042 details

After reading the coverage and comments about its Battlefield 2042 reveal, EA has published a new blog post clarifying misconceptions it's identified and answering a handful of frequently asked questions ahead of EA Play Live next week.

The post confirms two big things: One, you won't be able to opt out of encountering AI soldiers (which we knew, but it's double-confirmed now), and two, DICE is working on Battlefield 2042 crossplay.

The other comments are more granular, but do help clarify the workings of the things we've seen in the trailers. Battlefield is changing quite a bit in this iteration.

The first thing EA wants to make clear is that while Battlefield 2042's new specialist characters will have freely customizable loadouts, their "specialties" and "traits"—gadgets and perks, basically—are unique to them. That was clear from the start, but EA feels it needs reiterating. One thing I did get wrong for a few hours is the classification of the wingsuit in the trailers. Until I was corrected, I thought it was something everyone had, but nope, it's a specialist's specialty, so only one specialist has it. (EA has really backed us into a verbal corner by giving specialists specialties.) 

Also regarding specialists, their specialties, traits, and loadouts, EA says that:

  • Loadouts will include a primary weapon, a secondary weapon, an equipment slot (eg, medical and supply crates), and a throwable slot (eg, frag and incendiary grenades)
  • Rocket and missile launchers can be put in the equipment slot in place of crates
  • Squads contain four players, and can include duplicate specialists in Conquest and Breakthrough
  • "Options and systems" are being tested for helping players distinguish between enemy specialists
  • "The same two Specialists can look vastly different when wearing different skins"

Also noted in the post is that the "Ranger" robot dog in the trailer is neither a specialty nor a trait. If you want the Boston Dynamics-style attack bot to drop from the sky, you can call one in with the new vehicle call-in system, assuming one is available for your team. 

Once you've got a Ranger under your command, it'll follow you around, and can be ordered to scout ahead or, when things are "dire," self-destruct. 

"And yes, before you ask, you can place a C5 Explosive on Ranger and send them into an enemy squad," writes EA. A far cry from petting the dog.

(Also, a C5 explosive? I hope that's not a typo and is just what DICE is calling futuristic C4. I'm afraid to ask and have my hopes dashed.)

The call-in system is also used to drop ground vehicles wherever you are on the map, though you can still spawn directly into vehicles (which is how you get into aircraft). It works like you might expect: You can only call in a vehicle in maps and modes that support it, and only if your team hasn't maxed out its vehicle usage. After ordering a tank or truck or robo-dog, you have to wait for a cooldown timer to do it again, so that your other teammates get a chance.

Vehicles will be faction specific, and while there's a hovercraft, EA says that "there isn't a focus on naval specific warfare right now." (Although it has "seen your comments about how excited you are about naval warfare" and invites suggestions.)

EA has reiterated and clarified a few details about Battlefield 2042's maps, too:

  • There will be seven All-Out Warfare maps at launch (that's Conquest and Breakthrough, the standard modes)
  • Maps will have different borders depending on mode: "When playing Conquest you’ll fight on certain areas of the map that aren’t available in Breakthrough and vice versa"
  • Skyscraper combat will be limited to lobbies and rooftops, which can be accessed with elevators (or other, more Battlefield-ey means).
  • In-bounds airspace will be bigger than in previous Battlefields "to allow for more dogfighting scenarios," and "you can expect to be running or driving much longer before you hit an out of bounds warning."

Next week during EA Play Live, we'll find out about the "love letter to fans" that DICE LA (now called Ripple Effect) has been making. Battlefield 2042 will release on October 22. Here's everything else we know about it.

You can find EA's full blog post here.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.