We're still a few months away from Battlefield 2042's release, but DICE is wasting no time discussing how the game will handle player toxicity and cheating. In a blog post (opens in new tab) published today, the developer laid out its player behavior policies, anti-cheat measures, and explained what tools players will have to combat toxicity when they see it.
Part of DICE's commitment to "positive play" in Battlefield 2042 is the ability to report players in-game, a feature that has become standard in multiplayer games. Less common, though, is the choice to "add an optional comment if necessary," giving players the space to include context with their reports without going through external support channels.
Here's the full list of reportable behaviors in Battlefield 2042:
- Abusive Text Chat
- Abusive Voice Chat
- Gameplay Sabotage
- Offensive Player Name
That's a fairly comprehensive list in my experience, though I do foresee a little confusion over when it's appropriate to report for "harassment" versus "abusive voice chat." I suppose that's where the extra comment field will come in handy.
As for cheaters, DICE has declared a zero-tolerance policy and will immediately issue permanent bans to offenders. "There are no warnings and no suspensions when it comes to cheating. If you don’t play by the rules, you’re out," it reads. Powering Battlefield 2042's cheat detection is the Epic Games-owned Easy Anti-Cheat, the free, widely-used tool already employed in EA's Apex Legends and Star Wars: Squadrons (as well as other popular games like Fortnite). Because of Battlefield's crossplay functionality, sanctions on your account apply to all versions of the game. So if your account gets busted on PC, you'll be just as banned when you sign into the Xbox version.
Battlefield 2042's anti-cheat will be live during its upcoming open beta running October 6-10. Interestingly, DICE said it's already planning upgrades to its anti-cheat tools in the future.
"While not always visible to you as a player, this means that post launch we’ll continue to invest in developing internal capabilities and technologies that augment 3rd party anti-cheat solutions, provide multiple layers of defense, and ensure our games are fair and fun for everyone," the post says.
Any competitive shooter with an active player base will, at some point, have to reckon with aimbotters and abusive jerkwads, and DICE getting ahead of the question feels like a response to Call of Duty: Warzone's lackluster communication about its struggles to curb widespread cheating (opens in new tab).
It's all talk for now, though: How effectively Battlefield 2042 will deal with cheating and toxicity is yet to be seen. The Battlefield series has struggled with hackers in the past and Easy Anti-Cheat isn't infallible. Apex Legends, running the same anti-cheat tech, is still reeling from a wave of cheaters (opens in new tab) brought on by its increased popularity in 2021. Though, Battlefield is releasing with a slight advantage as a full-priced game. Unlike in Apex or Warzone, banned cheaters will either have to offer up another $60, or find some workaround to the ban.
Next week's open beta will be a very visible test drive, and will hopefully make Battlefield's full November 19 release date smoother.