Battlefield 2042's squad-based Hazard Zone mode finally revealed

As we inch closer to Battlefield 2042's release date, EA and DICE have been revealing new details about the game in a piecemeal fashion. Today, we're learning about Battlefield 2042's Hazard Zone game mode. Anyone who has played a battle royale game before will notice some similarities between those and Hazard Zone, though it seems that DICE is attempting to put a deeper spin on the wildly popular genre.

EA and DICE revealed Hazard Zone in a lengthy post to the Battlefield website today. In the mode, teams of four enter a match, attempt to collect valuable Data Drives scattered around the map, and then try to extract successfully, earning in-game money for the Data Drives they make off with. As they're collecting Data Drives and attempting to extract, teams will have to contend with other groups of players, AI-based Occupying Forces, and a storm that grows more intense and covers more of the map as time goes on.

Some of those things, like the competition between teams of players and the nature of the storm, make it sound like Hazard Zone is Battlefield 2042's battle royale, but there are some significant differences between this mode and a traditional battle royale mode. For starters, the mode supports only 32 players (8 teams of four) at a time on PC and current-gen consoles. On previous-generation consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, it'll only support 24 players (6 teams of four).

While it sounds like players will be able to scavenge for materials and weapons, each Hazard Zone match will also include a Mission Area Briefing at the beginning. This is where players pick their specialists and spend Dark Market Credits on their loadouts, including weapons and tactical upgrades that can give an edge in a fight. Dark Market Credits are earned by extracting Data Drives successfully, though EA and DICE say that every specialist will get a basic loadout featuring an attachment-free assault rifle even if they don't have any DMC to spend.

Once they're in the game, players will have a scanner they can use to find Data Drives, with DICE noting that there will be hotspots containing more Data Drives than other areas of the map. More Data Drives will appear on the map as a match goes on as well, so it sounds like players will want to make good use of that scanner.

Interestingly, there are two extractions in each Hazard Zone match instead of just one. The first one will open early in the game, giving players a chance to get in, collect Data Drives, and extract before the storm ramps up and things get hairy. Players, of course, will have to do battle with Opposing Forces and other human opponents if they want to extract, and it's worth noting that the second extraction zone in a match won't open until the storm reaches its peak.

Players who die will be out of the match unless their teammates purchased a Squad Redeploy call-in during the briefing phase or a Squad Redeploy is found in the world. Squads who fail to extract will lose the game, as will squads who are wiped entirely. In addition, DICE says Hazard Zone will be playable on all seven of Battlefield 2042's maps. Check out the Battlefield website for the full rundown on Hazard Zone, and check the trailer above for a look at the mode.