This morning EA just revealed Battlefield Hazard Zone, the fourth mode in its upcoming first-person shooter Battlefield 2042, arriving on November 19. While we discussed the baseline details of the mode in the announcement, this guide will serve as your one-stop shop on everything you need to know about it prior to you and your team deploying.
Unlike Conquest and Portal, Hazard Zone is a smaller-scale battle between teams of four. While there are still quite a few players in each match, it’s nowhere near the size of Conquest, which can have up to 128 players on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.
That should make it sound easier to complete your objective, right? Not necessarily. Because you’ll still be battling the other teams of four and having to contend with the oncoming storm. Not to mention other occupying forces. So your job is to get in, get to the objective, and get out before things go awry.
What is Battlefield Hazard Zone?
Battlefield Hazard Zone is the fourth mode in Battlefield 2042. You and three teammates must deploy into the map, scavenge for and retrieve a series of data drives, and then survive until you can be extracted. That’s the basic gist of what you need to do.
But all that is easier said than done. EA states that every decision you make in this mode is critical. Right down to the specialists you and each of your teammates choose to the weapons and equipment you bring with you.
The smart play here is to have a balanced team so all your bases are covered. And while there will no doubt be some teams that can succeed no matter what they choose, many teams will need to strategize and plan out their entire setup before deploying.
So think hard about those decisions as making the wrong one could result in a much more difficult match for you.
How many players does each match of Battlefield Hazard Zone support?
There are up to 32 players in each match of Hazard Zone on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. On PS4 and Xbox One, there will be up to 24 players. So the matches are much smaller in scale when compared to the complete chaos that happens in Conquest.
This doesn’t mean things will be easier, though. With less teams and less players, it’ll potentially be easier to move around the map unnoticed at times. But enemy teams will have less to contend with as well. Which means they can focus more on you. Stay vigilant.
What about maps?
Hazard Zone can take place on all seven of the maps that will be available in Battlefield 2042 at launch. That means each match can be a little bit unique if you’re either playing on a new map or a map that you’re simply not as familiar with.
For a recap on the which maps are available in the game, check out our Everything You Need To Know guide for the game linked at the top of this article.
With the map variety, this presents an opportunity for all teams to potentially hit some challenging snags. For instance, you might have played a ton of the beta which allowed access to Orbital. But maybe your first match of Hazard Zone is on Hourglass and you’re completely unfamiliar with the landscape and the map’s layout.
How long do the matches last?
EA says the match times can vary. And it all depends on how efficient the teams are. Each match of Hazard Zone can last for up to 20 minutes. Though it can also take as little 5 minutes if one particular team is quick enough to secure the data drives and get extracted.
This means that potentially, matches can be very fast and therefore a good way to earn some awesome rewards quickly.
Rewards, you say?
Yes. Rewards. At the end of each match you can earn rewards for you and your team including XP for leveling up, as well as an in-game currency called Dark Market Credits. Dark Market Credits are used to buy anything from weapons to tactical upgrades. And you can only earn Dark Market Credits from gameplay.
That means there are no micro transactions for purchasing gear upgrades, new weapons etc. for use in subsequent Hazard Zone matches. You’ll need to play Hazard Zone to earn those credits, and then you can spend them on gear and other items for future matches.
What are the other challenges?
Each match won’t have you fighting against just other teams of real players. You’ll also have to contend with the storms. The storms will get worse as the match goes longer, and as they approach their peak, players will be presented with the final extraction zone. Of course extracting only matters if you have all the data drives.
In addition to the storms, and other teams of players, there are also occupying forces that will be an always-present threat in each match. They are on every map and will be there throughout the entire match to attempt to stop players from extracting with the drives.
So each team will need to be on their toes. EA says the occupying forces are an integral part of the Hazard Zone experience in Battlefield 2042. And they make it all the more important to choose your specialists, weapons, equipment, and deploy location wisely.
What do loadouts look like?
EA doesn’t give an in-depth breakdown about what all the gear is that will be available in Hazard Zone. However, it does detail some of the stuff you can expect to equip. When you begin Hazard Zone for the first time, you’ll start with an assault rifle that has no attachments.
But as you play matches and earn Dark Market Credits, you can buy more weapons and attachments to use in future matches. This includes SMGs, the Recoilless M5 launcher, assault rifles, sniper rifles, and more.
You can also use Dark Market Credits to buy new tactical upgrades. There are 15 different tactical upgrades you can add to your loadout. So far EA has revealed five of them. Those include an extra throwable of whatever your selected throwable gadget is, Insider Information, Loadout Insurance, Negotiated Bounty, and Quickdraw Holster.
EA states that players will simply have to discover the remaining 10 tactical upgrades by playing Hazard Zone.
The tactical upgrades
While we don’t know all the tactical upgrades yet, we can still go over what the currently revealed ones are. So you can start planning which ones you’d like to use. As the others are discovered post-launch, we’ll add those in too.
- Extra Throwable – You’ll be able to carry one additional throwable. Prior to deploying when you’re selecting your specialist and all of your equipment, you’ll be able to select the type of throwable you want to bring with you. This tactical upgrades gives one more than usual once the match starts.
- Insider Information – With this upgrade, you can essentially get an advanced view of where the capsules that contain the data drives will land. It gives you a 30-second head start before the capsule drops. So you can plan accordingly and head to that location. Just remember other teams can also have this upgrade so you won’t be the only team in the know.
- Loadout Insurance – This might come in handy if you’re prone to dying. As everything will have a cost in Hazard Zone, with Loadout Insurance you can end up getting a 25% refund on the cost of upgrades and loadouts if you happen to die during the match.
- Negotiated Bounty – Pick this up if you want an extra 50% in Dark Market Credits when you kill opposing forces. Remember you use Dark Market Credits to buy new weapons and tactical upgrades. So the more you have, the better.
- Quickdraw Holster – Sometimes all you need to win a firefight is to be quicker on the draw than your enemies. And with Quickdraw Holster you can be. This upgrade lets you draw weapons 15% faster than those without it.
In the announcement post for Hazard Zone, we mentioned that in addition to gear you bring into the match, there will be special gear you can acquire that’s already there. These are called Uplinks, which are laptops that are placed at random spots around the map.
Each Uplink gives you a unique bonus that just might help you out of a tight spot. There are three kinds of Uplinks to watch out for. This includes the Ranger Uplink, the Vehicle Uplink, and the Reinforcement Uplink.
- Ranger Uplink – Call in a Ranger to help you and your team fight off enemies and occupying forces. These are just like the Rangers you can call down in Conquest.
- Vehicle Uplink – This will allow you to call in an LATV4 Recon vehicle for you and your team. Which will make it a whole lot easier to get across the map to those data drives. Or to an extraction point. So make sure to save these for the right time if you find one.
- Reinforcement Uplink – Hazard Zone doesn’t really allow for revives or respawns like the other modes. Your only opportunity to bring a back a dead teammate is to use one of these Uplinks. However, it also works if you’re the last man standing. So even if all three of your teammates die you still have a chance to win if you have one of these and bring all three of them back.
Your Hazard Zone progression is tied to the rest of Battlefield 2042
EA has confirmed that any progress you make with your account in Hazard Zone would translate to the rest of the game. And vise versa. So there’s no fear that you’ll be losing out on any progress at all by playing Hazard Zone more than the other modes. If you like it, play it. All of that build-out will be there when you jump to a new mode.
You cannot use the same specialists as your teammates
Hazard Zone is big on balance. It was also designed to be made up of unique specialists to build on this factor. That means you and your team will have to select specialists that play off of each other’s strengths. It does sound like you can all use the same loadouts if you want. But it’s likely a better idea to have the balance here too.
Occupying Forces vary from match to match
There isn’t exactly a rhyme or reason to the occupying forces in Hazard Zone. For example, they could be defending the capsule that contains a data drive you need. They may also be simply roaming around the map. It’s randomized and what they happen to be doing at any given time may depend on where you are. EA does say that how many you encounter depends partially on your actions but also a little bit of luck.
You might be extremely lucky and encounter just a few. Or none at all.
XP Is distributed based on data drives collected and personal performance
Everyone on the team gets XP at the end of a match. How much depends on how many data drives you and your have collected. The amount you get from the data drives is what everyone will get.
It’s also possible to get extra XP based on your personal performance. So the better you do, the more XP you’ll get.