Battlefield 2042 Missing Features: Explained!

We all know how much Battlefield 2042 is missing (thanks to Reddit), but what does it mean for the game?

Reddit is a wonderful place of intelligent discussion and original content.

Okay, maybe let’s not go that far.

Reddit is, however, one of the best places for real data in the modern world. If you want to know how many Oreos fit in a Pringles can, Reddit will do that in the real world and let you know. If you want to know patch notes for any game since 2010, Reddit has them.

And, if you want a complete list of every change between Battlefield 4 and Battlefield 2042, Reddit has exactly that!

It’s no secret 2042 has released to poor reviews which are all justified in their own way. In fact, so much is missing from 2042 that every negative review could list an entirely separate reason and still be making a valid point.

With EA’s last modern Battlefield being released almost a decade ago, changes are expected of course; on the other hand, the frequency and ferocity of the kickback from fans has garnered a lot of attention to the latest games’ quality.

So, with a sea of information at our fingertips, I am taking a deep dive into these reductions and removals in Battlefield 2042. This will be a comprehensive guide to not only what has changed, but why that matters to players and the effect those changes really have on the game as a whole.

This article will separate the insanely long list on changes into sections, and specify how these changes effect your own enjoyment and engagement in the game.

Game Modes Missing From Battlefield 2042:

Battlefield 2042 features a brand new idea, Portal. This allows players to create games and game modes using assets recreated from older titles like Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 3 and Battlefield Bad Company 2.

However, it is clear that the extra time taken by the team to add in these throwbacks and the Portal game mode have restricted the core game of Battlefield 2042 itself.

A casual game without the casual game mode?

The game is missing an accessible and core-game related Team Deathmatch mode for starters. While Battlefield has always been about conquering large maps, the gunplay in each game requires a degree of practice in each different combat situation. You might be amazing with your RFB in BF4 at long range but lose any firefight within 50 meters. Team Deathmatch was not only a way to give casual, shorter games but also a vital part of training with different weapons. Back in the Battlefield 4 days it was also key to many Assignments, a form of progression that itself is missing from recent entries in the series.

The company saying Single-player games are dead are determined to live up to that...

The most obvious game mode omitted from the latest release is, of course, any sort of story campaign. While the campaigns have always been lackluster overall, they certainly had their moments. The introduction to BF1 is still one of the best pieces of campaign in any shooter (Although they should have kept the “switch soldier on death” mechanic the entire campaign akin to the old Hot-Swap mechanic in Battlefield 2: Modern Combat).

Most importantly, a campaign gives a thematic core and context to the game.

Not to mention it provides another chance (Like we mentioned with Team Deathmatch) to train with weapons and learn what is and isn’t possible in the game. Not only that, but a campaign provides yet another avenue for progression and unlocks; something 2042 (and a lot of modern shooters, looking over at Halo Infinite…) have reduced drastically.

How to play Battlefield from you phone or tablet: You can't anymore.

An additional game mode missing from 2042 is Commander. While not a main mode, it always felt awesome joining a server that was using commanders and getting stuck into the fight, knowing it was going on across the whole map. It made you understand the game has a macro scale as well as the micro scale of you and your gun. Losing it isn’t the end of the world, but also won’t have been anywhere near as hard to keep as to remove.

The Battlefields of Battlefield

While not directly a game mode, the maps of Battlefield 2042 deserve a mention here as another way the game had reduced itself. The map count isn’t atrocious, but the fact lobbies reset each game means you can be playing the same map for literal hours.

Compounding this, maps themselves are very sparse in 2042. Every map feels like Golmund Railway, which was a great map when it came up for for vehicle and sniper mains, but then you’d get something like Zarvod afterwards and get some actual cover and buildings.

2042 lacks that variety. Ironic, since they removed class restrictions so all characters can use all weapons. You’d have thought that would add variety but it doesn’t. It kills variety. Variety is only visible, only tangible when you have to access it. But in 2042 everything is accessible to everyone, and there’s no feeling of variety between lives, maps, objectives as you are never forced to adapt your loadout.

Gameplay Features Missing From Battlefield 2042:

So far we’ve seen how even something as simple as the removed game modes changes the feel of the game entirely. The themes of variety and classes tie into that simplicity.

Class Mechanics are dumbed-down in 2042

To that end, the biggest gameplay change since Battlefield 4 is the complete desecration of class mechanics. You may choose a Specialist who comes with one gadget and one passive skill. Everything else, from weapons to gadgets, is a free-for-all. On the surface it’s simply a simplification, but the gameplay effects of this change are huge, like a ripple becoming a wave.

Once class restrictions are removed, any weapon can be used with any gadget. So, players that want to use a certain weapon are no longer forced to adapt and learn that classes equipment. This lack of coherence makes characters feel samey and bland.

Moreover, the game has to account for this new dynamic. Players are no longer engaging their brain to decide if their weapon preference or gadget preference are more important. This results in the most popular weapons and gadgets being on every single player, creating a huge disparity between the number of Med-kits, Ammo Kits and Launchers around.

In a situation where every player can use their favourite assault rifle without having to take the med-pack, a lot less players are incentivised to take said med-pack. Classes made sure that those people who cared solely about their weapon added variety into the server by bringing that classes gadget/s. Now, the only variety is those people who actively choose, based on no other factors, to play a support role.

Battlefield 2042 Gunplay; too much play and not enough gun

Another gameplay feature missing from 2042 are the gunplay mechanics of their previous modern combat game, Battlefield 4. The shooting in 2042 does have ballistics, at least we aren’t devolving to hit-scan…but the ballistic physics are mostly accounted for automatically.

Sniper Rifles have very little drop-off, to the point where targets never have to be off the bottom of your scope even at longest ranges. Combined with the fact you can remain scoped to watch your bullets, sniping is a lot faster to pick up and learn than older games.

The lack of drop is also where the lack of sight-zeroing comes from. In older titles you could set the range your crosshair was accurate to. This way, if an objective was 300 meters away you could zero your sights to 300 and basically ignore drop-off. In 2042 you skip all that attachment use and interesting gameplay to get straight to pulling the trigger and trial-and-error.

Screenshot of Sniping with a Rangefinder in Battlefield 4
I miss the days of making the perfect adjustment and winning the sniping match, instead of just flick-aiming everything like in 2042

Even once you’re popping off your shots at the objective, you can’t spot the enemies to at least be picked off by someone closer. 3D Spotting is entirely removed in favour of a few Specialist abilities that can do it. You can mark targets, but the mark remains wherever you placed it and there’s no guarantee it will actually mark the enemy rather than the wall 5 miles behind them.

The lack of mechanics like zeroing and spotting leads directly to the lack of attachment progression as none of the old customisations matter so much when range-finding and 3D-spotting aren’t in the game.

Once you’re off your feet and into a vehicle you notice even more omissions. Suddenly you can’t see your gunner position on your vehicle HUD, you haven’t got any of the nice custom thermal or IR zooms from the older title, and you didn’t have an enter or exit animation either.

Server Features Missing From Battlefield 2042:

Battlefield was never a “user-friendly” experience. Server information could be hard to access, player counts were straight-up incorrect, you could be auto-balanced mid-game and the matchmaking could choose poor servers with few players, or in the wrong game mode entirely.

Battlefield 2042 solves these issues by taking away any and all autonomy from the player and instead forcing us to trust in the matchmaking. Matchmaking that gives you the same map 4 times in a row. The only place a server browser still exists is inside Portal, and those modes haven’t had the time and exposure to really get off of their feet yet.

Once you are in a server your options are also limited. With a maximum party of 4 players, in a match of 128 people (Jesus seeing that written really hammers home the stupidity of this choice) you can’t have your friends join you, and even if they did and are on the other team you can’t say hi since chat is only enabled for your own team.

Battlefield always had toxicity going down in it’s chat, but I would rather it be there and I ignore it than miss out when the chat is wholesome and engaging and fun. It’s not like adding an option to remove chat is impossible. But games nowadays hate options.

They want a set experience that they can guarantee for all their players rather than letting us choose the environment we actually like to play in.

Screenshot taken by me of a
Finding specific maps, modes, player-counts and more is still one single Google search away for Battlefield 4. Why does it feel like a decade-old system is better than a new one?

Scoreboard Features Missing from Battlefield 2042:

There have been a lot of controversies about the Scoreboard in Battlefield 2042. At first it was the lack of a full scoreboard during the match, then it was noticed death counts are invisible too.

With no post-match screen to show everyone the final standings it feels like a deliberate restriction to reduce “toxicity”. Notice that time I used quotation marks. There is often toxicity in games, but showing us the scoreboard isn’t causal, especially as a post-match screen when the server has been disconnected anyway. It’s the sort of thing they have no reason not to include, but were too busy adding Portal in to notice.

Your placement on said scoreboard wouldn’t even be worth looking at with the new scoring system anyway. For instance with no headshot bonuses, no scaling healing bonuses, no assist-counts-as-kill or damage percentage translating to score 2042 is obsessed with the same idea Halo Infinite is: Progression should have as few modifiers as possible.

I don’t know why the trend is so popular (Other than the fact the only modifier once they remove player skill becomes player money….) but it’s ruining a lot of games. Your score at the end of a match should be representative of what you did that match, but this new system doesn’t represent anything well.

An image from the Steam Store of Battlefield 2042 cinematics
What's got this soldiers adrenaline running and tension soaring? My bet is on a Hovercraft Main

Balance Issues With Battlefield 2042:

All of the above dance and collide and smash together to create a whirlwind of balance issues.

They made the game so unrestricted that they have to balance vehicles around everyone having a rocket launcher, because everyone can. Vehicles heal themselves, without a repair tool, at ridiculous speeds.

They have to make sniping easier because there’s no zeroing.

They have to make items that spot enemies because they removed 3D Spotting.

With vehicles being buffed to counter rockets and snipers being buffed from lack of mechanics, maps end up being mostly open space.

With so many weapons hidden in Portal (And even if they weren’t there’d be less weapons in the whole of 2042 than BF4 at launch) weapon variety is dead in the water so it didn’t take long for people to work out the Meta. In Battlefield 4 I don’t even remember f there was a weapon that was objectively so much better than others, you get killed by all sorts because there’s so many to choose form that will resonate with players in different ways. In 2042 the only thing that resonates is how good Battlefield 4 was.

What went wrong with Battlefield 2042?

Battlefield 2042 needed to decide what it was. Is it Battlefield 2042, or Battlefield Portal? Those are two completely separate projects as far as I’m concerned. 2042 would be a follow up to the last modern shooter we had from Battlefield, Battlefield 4. It would be filled with weapons and gadgets and squad perks while bringing in the semi-future weirdness of Marvel-esque wingsuits and robot dogs with guns.

Screenshot from the Steam Store Page for Battlefield 2042 showing a Wingsuit Specialist
If I can't fly, no one flies

Battlefield Portal, on the other hand, would be a simplified formula so that the rest could be built up on. The weapon count would span multiple games, same with vehicles, but it’d be constantly getting new content from users and encourage that engagement. It wouldn’t be hiding away unsure of itself inside 2042, it’d be its own game that would probably be a hit for what it is. Because what it is isn’t the “next” Battlefield. That was meant to be 2042.

Promotional Steam Store Image of Battlefield Portal
"Elements of the past and the future to make something not quite as good as either..."

2042 spent so long making this amazing, interactive mode editor that can make really cool modes when all we really needed was a decent Conquest mode with plenty of progression to keep us playing. New weapons to try, maps to conquer, classes to master.

But alas, all of that is gone and instead we get to make our own Halo game modes. That’s essentially what Portal is, Battlefields answer to Halo’s Warthog Bulldog or HORSE modes in Forge in years gone by. While that goal is admirable and Portal is cool, it detracted far too much from what is meant to be its own game.

Passionate Hobbyist (Gaming of any kind, D&D, all that nerdy stuff). First and foremost always an enjoyer of art and media.

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