When Battlefield 2042 launches this October, it will feature one of the most ambitious multiplayer modes the franchise has ever seen. It’s called Battlefield Portal, and it brings together the maps, weapons, and vehicles of fan-favorite games Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3, alongside content from Battlefield 2042, into one massive, era-spanning mashup mode.
Imagine having aerial dogfights between a team of F/A-18 Super Hornet jets and World War II-era Hornets in the skies, while infantry on the ground battle hand-to-hand, with knives on one side, defibrillators on the other. Or one giant tank against 20 Explosive Ordnance Disposal robots. Those are the kind of what-if scenarios DICE and developer Ripple Effect (née DICE LA) have planned for Battlefield Portal.
But players will be able to create virtually any kind of scenario they want in Battlefield Portal. A web-based interface called Battlefield Builder will let hobbyist game designers customize the rules of matches, mixing maps, armies, weapons, gadgets, vehicles, game objectives, and team sizes from various Battlefield games. More than just a series of check boxes and sliders, Battlefield Builder will let players tweak gameplay rules at the scripting level, which could result in wild new multiplayer modes built from scratch.
The best part is that Battlefield Builder will be open to anyone with an EA account. You don’t need to a copy of Battlefield 2042 to craft a custom Battlefield Portal experience, which can be shared with others through a special code.
Developer Ripple Effect calls Battlefield Portal, revealed Thursday at EA Play Live, a “love letter” to Battlefield fans, and described it as a “community-driven experience” that will let players build, share, and discover amazing (and hopefully very, very weird) games of Battlefield.
Battlefield Portal will include six classic Battlefield multiplayer maps at launch: Battle of the Bulge and El Alamein from Battlefield 1942; Arica Harbor and Valparaiso from Battlefield: Bad Company 2; and Caspian Border and Noshahr Canals from Battlefield 3. Those maps have all been rebuilt in the latest version of EA’s Frostbite engine to run and 4K and 60 frames per second. More importantly, they can all support Battlefield 2042’s new, larger player counter — 128 players — on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X. Previous-generation consoles will max out at 64 players per map. Battlefield Portal also supports 2042’s cross-platform play.
While Battlefield Portal’s remastered and reimagined classic multiplayer maps will feature “Levolution”-style environmental destruction effects, if they originally had them, the chaotic weather effects of Battlefield 2042 won’t be coming to those older maps.
Classic Battlefield game modes, including Conquest and Rush, and standard modes like free-for-all and team deathmatch, will be supported in Portal. Ripple Effect says Battlefield Portal will feature custom game modes created by players and by the developers themselves, ones that may not play like classic Battlefield at all. DICE and Ripple Effect plan to curate game modes created by the community.
The launch of Battlefield Portal this fall is the “start of a journey,” Ripple Effect said, with new content coming to the mode as part of Battlefield 2042’s planned seasonal content updates.
Battlefield 2042 is slated to launch Oct. 22, on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.