Battlefield 2042: Cross-play and cross-gen explained

Battlefield 2042 is releasing on next-gen consoles PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, PC, as well as last-gen consoles PS4 and Xbox One. EA’s Dice has added support for cross-play and cross-gen upgrades, though you'll have to make sure you've bought the right version of the game to enable the latter.

Cross-play will allow players from different platforms to play online with each other, while cross-gen refers to whether or not a game has free or paid upgrades for last-gen console owners who want to upgrade their copy of a game (in this case, Battlefield 2042) to next-gen versions.

What does EA have planned for Battlefield 2042 cross-gen upgrades?

For those wanting to find out if EA is allowing free upgrades from last-gen consoles to next-gen, EA has announced that ‘Dual Entitlement,’ as it's called, now applies to the 'cross-gen bundle' versions of Battlefield 2042. Previously, this only applied to the pricey Ultimate and Gold editions of the game, but in an EA blog post, the team explained that cross-gen digital versions would get the feature. 

If you've preordered the standard last-gen version of Battlefield 2042 you’re not eligible for a free upgrade to the next-gen version – you’d have to buy the next-gen version of Battlefield 2042 separately. The next-gen (and cross-gen bundle) versions of Battlefield 2042 will cost an extra £10 at £70, than the £60 price point over the last-gen (and non-cross-gen bundle) versions.

How does cross-play work on Battlefield 2042?

For crossplay, there’ll be two pools of players. Players on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC will be able to play with each other, while last-gen PS4 and Xbox One players will only be able to play with each other. This is largely due to the limitations of last-gen versions of Battlefield 2042. Compared to the increased 128-player count on next-gen versions of 2042, last-gen consoles will still be limited to 64 players. 

Plus, to everyone’s disappointment, crossplay parties are disabled in the currently-running open beta, so players will have to wait until launch to squad up with friends across platforms.

Battlefield 2042, however, does support cross-progression. Whatever platform you’re playing on, don't worry:  your progress, unlocks and purchases will carry over if you decide to play Battlefield 2042 on another platform.

Analysis: Let’s hope Battlefield 2042 has a good launch

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Battlefield 2042

(Image credit: EA Dice)

EA’s Dice hasn’t had the best track record in delivering a stable and good launch for past Battlefield games. Battlefield V and Battlefield 4 both launched in a bad state. Bugs, poor game optimization and game balancing issues plagued past Battlefield games when they were released, and then it took Dice releasing many updates for the games to be in a good state.

We hope Battlefield 2042 will be a totally different story for Dice. However, there have been reports of performance issues and bugs in the open beta. But the prime purpose of an Open Beta is for developers to test and receive feedback on their game before it officially launches, so these issues should be rectified come Battlefield’s November release, plus the open beta is an old build of Battlefield 2042.

EA’s Dice has also given everyone a first look at what Battlefield 2042 looks like on last-gen platforms something we appreciate considering the mess of a launch Cyberpunk 2077 had on last-gen consoles.

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Despite the performance issues, our initial impressions of Battlefield 2042 open beta have been positive – we’ve found the overwhelming chaos of 2042 an absolute delight.

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