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Battlefield 2042 beginner’s guide: 7 tips and tricks to get you started

Finally, longtime Battlefield fans can sink their teeth into EA DICE’s latest release, Battlefield 2042. While several kinks and hiccups still need ironing out, the game delivers on its promise of being a groundbreaking multiplayer experience (at least on current-gen). Players are eager to jump into the semi-post-apocalyptic action. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started in Battlefield 2042, including the best settings to use, which specialists are top-tier, and how to farm XP quickly and efficiently.

Initial settings to change

Off the bat, you’ll be prompted to turn cross-play on. Turn it on and keep it on, especially on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Turning it off effectively slashes your player pool by two-thirds, making for long wait times between games. Some players, scarred by Call of Duty: Warzone’s rampant cheater problem, elect to turn cross-play off to avoid hackers altogether. They, along with the rest of the community, can rest assured knowing Battlefield 2042 implements Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC), the same anti-cheat used in Fortnite and Apex Legends. With cross-play on, let’s talk about some visual settings to change in Battlefield 2042.

To change your settings, open the Options menu after you’ve selected your game mode. Then, make the following changes:

General settings

Under the General tab, set the Camera Shake to 50 (the lowest it can go). Other than creating a more immersive experience, there’s no reason to let your camera shake out of control when things are blowing up all around you.

Display settings

Under the Display tab, you can change your FOV and Motion Blur. Set your FOV somewhere between 80 and 100. You can always tinker around with it if you’re having difficulty seeing enemies with a broader FOV. At the same time, set your ADS FOV to on. Then, set your Motion Blur to zero, and bump the brightness up somewhere around 65.

Controller settings

We’ve put an extensive controller scheme guide together already, but here are a few general tips to keep in mind. Battlefield 2042 lets players completely remap their controllers. Bumper-jumper players will have to toy around with the controller mapping to find the right fit. When it comes to fine-tuning your sensitivity, it’s best to start low and work your way up. This is especially true for higher magnifications, as lower sensitivities give you much more control.

Test your settings in solo mode

A helicopter flies over tanks in Battlefield 2042.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When you’re making those fine tunings, it’s best to test your settings in solo/co-op mode against bots. For the most realistic results, set the bots to the hardest difficulty. The Battlefield 2042 maps are massive, so we don’t recommend using solo mode to explore them. You’ll end up spending days fighting bots and still won’t venture to every corner of Orbital or Hourglass.

The best settings to test in solo mode are your pilot settings. Set the bots to the easiest difficulty, and spawn in a helicopter or jet. This works for two reasons. First, bots won’t take vehicles from you. Secondly, easy bots aren’t smart enough to shoot you down with anti-air rockets. Flying in Battlefield 2042, especially helicopters, is like using both sides of your brain. You’ll never get the chance to test different settings online as everyone scrambles to pilot their favorite aircraft.

That being said, helicopters and jets work off the same control scheme. We’ve put together a solid control setup that works well for both vehicles.

Top 3 specialists

With ten specialists to choose from, players may feel overwhelmed when learning how each plays a different role in Battlefield 2042. Furthermore, two specialists, Paik and Mackay, are locked when you first start the game. Matches can last upwards of 30 minutes if it comes down to the wire, but you still may not get in enough engagements to learn how each specialist works. Thankfully, we’ve done it for you. Here are our top three specialists in Battlefield 2042 (excluding the ones you have to unlock).


Angel from Battlefield 2042 petting a ranger.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

So far, we’re having the most fun with Constantin “Angel” Anghel in Battlefield 2042. This Romanian engineer acts as the all-around support specialist since he can heal downed teammates, supply ammo and armor, and call in loadout crates. Whenever he heals an ally, they also gain armor. You’ll earn a decent amount of XP for each heal and an overall medic bonus ribbon at the end of each match. However, Angel’s loadout drops make him the most useful specialist in Battlefield 2042. Here’s why.

Unlike previous games, there are no resupply points in Battlefield 2042. Players must rely on specialists like Angel to supply ammo and armor during each match. However, Angel can’t drop you more M5 Recoilless Rocket ammo or homing missiles, at least not directly.

When you interact with Angel’s loadout drop, you can choose the same class you were already using to refill on all ammo types, including rockets and grenades. You’re effectively selecting a new class; you just happen to be choosing the one you were already using. Hovercrafts are taking over the Battlefield 2042 landscape. Players will need all the explosives they can to take them out.

Angel’s loadout drop works like the One Man Army perk from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Whenever you find yourself saying, “I wish I had my sniper,” you’re in luck! Call in a loadout drop and change to your sniper class.


Boris from Battlefield 2042 atop a tank.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Pyotr “Boris” Guskovsky is your XP-farming/objective-defending specialist. His sentry guns must have gotten a decent upgrade from the Battlefield 2042 beta, because we’re getting killed by them far more often. There’s also a reason Boris is usually the assists leader at the end of each match. Boris shines when he’s near his sentry guns. They are more effective when he’s in range, so partnering with Irish for shields or Angel for revives and ammo make him an effective objective defender.

You’re earning 50 XP for every assist in Battlefield 2042. Even if Boris’ sentry gun shoots an enemy once, you’re still getting 50 XP if that enemy dies. You’ll also earn XP for defending objectives, which is Boris’ primary function. Offensively, Boris isn’t doing much more when he’s not near his sentry gun.


Irish from Battlefield staring out a window.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Kimble “Irish” Graves is a valuable blend of offense and defense if you know how to use him. When moving towards an objective, Irish can quickly place his fortification system in an open area. These shields can take a severe beating, but their best feature is their transparency. Irish can see who’s shooting at him without taking any damage. Since his shields are waist-high, he can pop up, fire back, and duck back down for cover. When the bullet storm calms for a moment, Irish can pick the shield up, run forward, and place it down again when an enemy pops up.

You will have to be quick to place his shields, so using them to advance on an objective will take practice. We found this trick worked best when moving across the center chip (Sectors D and C) on Discarded.

Defensively, Irish’s shields work well. But his APS-36 Shootdown Sentinel (aka Trophy System in Call of Duty terms) will intercept incoming grenades and rockets. Find a chokepoint, place a shield in front of you and a Sentinel nearby, and have fun defending.

The best gear in Battlefield 2042

Medicale crate on the gear screen in Battlefield 2042.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Outside of specialist-specific gadgets, players have a handful of gear options to choose from. We don’t have many standard grenade options at the moment, although Sundance does come with several unique grenades for her specialist ability. We’ve found smoke grenades to be the most useful, especially when playing the medic role.

Every Battlefield 2042 map is full of open space. Traversing that space without the cover of smoke is a death sentence. Frag grenades have come in handy but not as handy as smoke grenades. You’ll unlock EMPs at level 30 and incendiary grenades at level 42. We can see EMPs taking over the grenade meta, as most players rely on their tech in Battlefield 2042. Heck, even our optics connect to the wi-fi!

The Medical Crate is the best piece of gear in the game. Instead of interacting with it, the medical crate creates a healing circle that’ll keep healing you as long as you’re standing in it. Since there is no way to self-heal outside of Falck’s healing pistol and Med Pens (which you’ll unlock at level 26), the Medical Crate is your most consistent option.

For anti-vehicle purposes, we like the M5 Rockets over the AA Missiles. The AA Missiles require an aircraft target lock, so you’re just carrying extra weight if nobody is flying overhead. An attentive pilot will always deflect your first rocket. Thankfully, you have two. If you can lock back on and fire your second shot, the enemy pilot won’t have enough time to recharge their countermeasures.

M5 Rockets can be free-fired, making them useful against infantry and vehicles alike. They travel incredibly fast and suffer from minimal drop, so don’t overcompensate when aiming at a moving target.

XP farming tips and tricks

A helicopter dives into a fiery battle in Battlefield 2042.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We’ve touched on a few ways to farm XP already, so here are a few more XP-farming tips and tricks to use outside of Battlefield Portal. We say outside of Portal because XP-farming servers are currently taking over, putting unsuspecting players on bot-filled teams with nothing but defibrillators to defend themselves.

When the match begins, hop in a vehicle and drive to the nearest objective. Continue bouncing between early objectives to accumulate about 375 free XP for capturing each one. Once everything is captured, drive around the map to the furthest enemy objective. If you’ve got a full hovercraft, you’ll be in for some easy kills and XP; this objective won’t be well defended.

Playing a pure medic is a great way to farm XP. Since Angel can revive players and resupply them with ammo, equipping the Medical Crate and smoke grenades will turn him into an XP farming machine. You won’t even have to kill a single enemy if you focus solely on playing the support role. Of course, make sure you’re paying attention when you have to defend yourself.

Situational awareness

Battlefield 2042’s most unique new feature is the attachment swap mechanic. As you unlock attachments, you can create what we’ll call a loadout-within-a-loadout. You’ll assign different attachments to the allotted number of slots (three in most cases) for each area of your weapon, ammo, optic, barrel, and underbarrel. The best strategy is to fit your gun with the attachments necessary for three different setups, long-range, close-range, and stealth.

Always keep a silencer handy and ready to go. They’ll keep you from appearing on the mini-map, which is most useful when you’re outnumbered and trying to capture an objective. Long-range and short-range barrels are self-explanatory. Finally, the difference between muzzle brakes and compensators is how they affect either horizontal or vertical recoil. At close range, you’ll want to keep your horizontal recoil control in check. For long-range fights, it’s better to increase your vertical recoil control.

Your understanding of the situation tells you what attachments to equip and when. For example, when you’re moving through a building, it doesn’t make sense to keep your 3x scope attached. Instead, change to a close-range optic for better results.

Set your loadouts

Loadout screen from Battlefield 2042.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We don’t find the quick-swapping pre-spawn UI to be user-friendly. Instead, we’re having an easier time building four different loadouts and switching between those and our specialists. Since every specialist can use every weapon, building loadouts is pretty easy. There are only three you need to build with one extra left over for fun.

Primary loadout

Your primary loadout comes with your favorite weapons and gear. This is the setup you’ll be using for most of the game and the one you feel most comfortable with. This shouldn’t feature a weapon you’re trying to level up, though.

Sniper loadout

Everyone loves to snipe in any Battlefield game. Mix and match this loadout with the different operators to see who you prefer to snipe as. Casper may be wearing a ghillie suit, but that doesn’t mean he should be your default sniper specialist.

Leveling loadout

Here’s where you’ll equip whatever weapon you’re trying to level up (other than your sniper rifle). You can either dedicate the entire game to this class or only switch to it when the opportunity to grind kills presents itself. For example, if your squadmates are in the thick of a heated battle over objective C, spawn in with the gun you’re trying to level up and get as many kills as possible.

The fourth loadout slot is entirely up to you. This can be another leveling loadout or another primary loadout if you like to bounce between ARs, SMGs, and LMGs.

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Mike Colucci
Michael Colucci is a lifelong video game fan based out of the greater Boston area. He's the one insistent on searching every…
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