DICE has finally revealed Hazard Zone, the third game mode and experience that will feature in Battlefield 2042, but what is it? Compared to the 128-player battles of All-Out Warfare and the custom mode creation of Battlefield Portal, this is a much smaller game mode that focusses on tense high-stakes fights for survival. Here’s everything you need to know about Hazard Zone.
What is Battlefield Hazard Zone? Is it a Battle Royale?
Hazard Zone is a squad-based game mode in which teams of four players enter a match, try to retrieve data from fallen satellites, and then escape at one of two extraction points before weather events make escape impossible.
So no, Hazard Zone is not a Battle Royale. Its closest parallel seems to be Escape from Tarkov, but you might also consider it to be a cousin to the Dark Zone gameplay found in Ubisoft’s The Division.
OK, so how is a game structured?
DICE break down Hazard Zone into five distinct stages:
- Strategize & Equip – Here you will get the mission area briefing, confirming your insertion point on the map, the likelihood of occupying forces, and where the two intel and uplink locations are on the map. From that, plan your approach with squad makeup and equipment choices.
- Insert – Deploy to predetermined insertion point on the map.
- Retrieval – Head to the first retrieval points to grab the first data drives. You can guide your approach with an intel scanner equipment piece, which will also track any drives that have already been taken. More satellites will drop mid-game.
- First Extraction – Roughly halfway through and with a randomised location, you can try to hop onto an extraction CV-38 Condor. Do you try to escape early, or hang it out to the end?
- Last Extraction – At the end of the match, all remaining squads will have to battle for the last extraction. Even if only one squad member gets onto it, then you’ll still be rewarded.
What is the player count in Hazard Zone?
As with the rest of Battlefield 2042, Hazard Zone has different player counts depending on the platform you play on. This breaks down as follows:
- 32-players (8 teams) on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC
- 24-players (6 teams) on PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Is that all?
Yes, but also no! That’s the real player count, but the maps will also have AI NPCs milling around. Their deployment will be partially revealed to you before insertion, with concentrations around the first crashed satellites.
Will the game mode use Specialists?
Yes, Hazard Zone features Battlefield 2042’s specialists, but you can only have one of each on a team. Make sure to pick complimentary characters for a range of abilities.
Additionally, there will be Hazard Zone-specific gadgets that you can buy and equip, such as the Intel Scanner to track satellites, or the Reinforcement Uplink that can bring back a player that’s been killed. Uplinks can also be found across the map.
Wait, there’s in-game purchases?
Yes, that’s right. For each drive that you’re able to successfully extract, you’ll earn Dark Market Credits. These can then be spent before each match to buy and equip weapons, gadgets and mode-specific tactical upgrades. They’ll give you an advantage, but not one that you hold onto as permanent character progression.
What do Tactical Upgrades do?
Tactical Upgrades are specific to Hazard Zone, giving you perks and boosts to take with you into battle. There will be 15 at launch, two of which are free and 13 paid for with Dark Market Credits.
Free Tactical Upgrades
- Starting Armor – Start with +20 armor.
- Negotiated Bounty 1 – 50% additional credits for kills on Occupying Forces.
Paid Tactical Upgrades with Dark Market Credits
- Squad Reinforcement – Reinforcement Uplink that can bring back kills 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.
- 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 magazine for primary weapon.
- Throwable Increase 1 – Increase carried Throwables by 1.
- Throwable Increase 2 – Increase carried Throwables by 2.
- Insider Information – Reveal Data Capsule drop locations 30 seconds before they land.
- Table Deal – 100% additional credits reward for extracted Data Drives.
How many maps will Hazard Zone have?
Hazard Zone willl be playable on any of the maps found in the All Out Warfare mode. See here for all the maps that you will be able to play in Battlefield 2042.
What’s the story behind Hazard Zone?
I’m sure that DICE is glad you asked!
Hazard Zone is set in the year 2040, following a catastrophic blackout event that has taken down 70% of the world’s satellite infrastructure. Now Russia and the US have decided that low orbit satellites are the way to go, with data retrieved by sending teams of No-Pats to go and grab the hard drives.
Yeah, it’s quite a daft way to get around the problem…
That’s all there is to know about Hazard Zone right now. The mode will launch as part of Battlefield 2042 on 19th November across PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Battlefield 2042 guides & more from TheSixthAxis
- What is the Battlefield Portal game mode?
- Battlefield 2042 on PS4 & Xbox One limited to 64-players and smaller maps
- Preview: Battlefield 2042 has huge 128-player battles, but it’s much more than that
- The Maps of Battlefield 2042 and Battlefield Portal
- Battlefield 2042 – Specialists and Classes Guide
- Battlefield 2042 cross-platform play detailed – PS5, Xbox Series X|S & PC separate from PS4 & Xbox One