Battlefield 2042 To Drop 128-Player Game Mode As Player Numbers Plummet

Battlefield 2042's latest update cuts the player numbers in one of its game modes.
Battlefield 2042 gameplay
Battlefield 2042 is struggling for players and now game modes are being changed. | © Electronic Arts

Battlefield 2042 has had a sorry time of it. The game at launch was a mess; missing core features for a Battlefield title like VOIP and a leaderboard (yes, you read that right), the game was also buggy, lacking the sort of polish that fans of the franchise had taken for granted. Six months later, little has changed.

So, it would come as no surprise that the game has hemorrhaged players since its launch. From a peak of just over 100,000 at launch on Steam (the game is also available on Origin and PlayStation and Xbox consoles), it now regularly struggles to break 4,000. In the first couple of weeks of May, it has hovered around 1000. Dismal numbers, often beaten by the game's predecessors, Battlefield V and Battlefield 1.

Such a player count has led to problems for those that have stuck it out, with many reporting being unable to find a game or, when they do, learning that the rest of the lobby is A.I.-controlled bots. Now, it appears that developers DICE are taking drastic measures in a bid to make the game more playable.

Battlefield 2042 Cut 128-Player Mode, Replace With 64

In Update 0.4.1 that rolled out May 19, the developers explained that Breakthrough's 128-player servers would be taken offline, and replaced with 64-player lobbies.

DICE explained their reasoning for the change which they put down to creating a "more tactical experience."

In Breakthrough’s 128 player mode, we feel that the value and impact of an individual player, and squad is reduced due to the increased intensity and chaos of the combat. When reviewing Breakthrough, we noted that the 64 player version represented a more tactical experience.

They also noted that Conquest is "better suited" to 128 players with its larger maps and sandbox gameplay. These remain in the game.

Whether you believe the developers on this one or not, reducing the ways you can play the game, is rarely a good sign.

The update also contained a number of balance and specialist changes and news that the long-awaited Season 1 update is "currently set for release in early June". A new Battle Pass, Specialist, and Portal content are expected.