DICE’s series of colossal combined-arms multiplayer battles continues this year with Battlefield 5. Following on from the massively successful Battlefield 1, the game trades the First World War setting for something new, and continues to build on the reputation for large-scale action that the series has built up over more than a decade’s worth of games.
While dozens of players per side, vehicles, and classes are all but guaranteed, Battlefield 5 promises new ideas that will hopefully freshen the series up and bolster the game’s player-made ‘moments’. Standing beside this will also be a campaign mode, ensuring that at least one of the next big triple-A shooters will provide something for the solo gamer.
Battlefield 5 was fully revealed on May 23 via a stream hosted by Trevor Noah and members of the DICE team. This stream offered an in-depth look at the features coming to the game. We’ve also seen the game ourselves. So let us tell you all about it. Here is everything we know so far about Battlefield 5.
Battlefield 5 release date
The Battlefield 5 release date is November 20, 2018. This is a delay of over a month form the initial release date of October 19, which puts it well clear of a couple of this year’s highly anticipated releases, namely Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. DICE say that the release date shift is a result of wanting to fully respond to fan feedback from beta tests.
Battlefield 5 beta
The Battlefield 5 beta will go live for pre-loads on September 3 at 1:00 PDT / 4:00 EDT / 9:00 BST. It will then be playable for those who have pre-ordered the game the following day, September 4. If you haven’t bought the game there is public access to the beta, but that doesn’t start until September 6.
The beta will contain two maps for the 64-player conquest mode: Rotterdam and Arctic Fjord. Grand Operations will also be available, offering airborne and breakthrough modes on Arctic Fjord. A “preview” of the game’s historically focused Tides of War will be playable as well, with a five-part chapter set to be part of the beta.
Battlefield 5 setting
Battlefield 5 will take place during World War II, although we won’t be visiting the beaches of Normandy or storming the streets of Berlin. DICE is keen to avoid covering the same ground as Battlefield 1942, and so are visiting places like Norway’s Arctic Circle, the city of Rotterdam, rural France, and North Africa.
The game’s key art, revealed on the PS4 interface, shows a US paratrooper in 1940s-period uniform. He’s holding a Colt 1911 pistol and an M1 Carbine, both part of the American paratrooper arsenal during the conflict. This suggests that US forces will make an appearance in the game.
Battlefield 5 campaign
EA has confirmed that there will be a Battlefield 5 single-player mode. The game’s blog says that the game will see the return of Battlefield War Stories, specifically, which are a series of small campaigns first introduced in Battlefield 1. This means that Battlefield 5 will show various perspectives from across the conflict so you can expect numerous nations and military roles to be represented. DICE is using the stories as an opportunity to put untold human stories into the game, such as that of a young woman in the Norwegian resistance. It’s certainly a side to the war we have yet to see in videogames.
DICE has also unveiled the full list of Battlefield 5 War Stories as well as some details on two specific episodes:
- Under No Flag
- The Last Tiger (post launch)
Nordlys casts you as a young, female freedom fighter, battling for you country’s liberation in occupied Norway. In Under No Flag, you will play as a British criminal who has the opportunity to put his skills to good work behind enemy lines in North Africa.
We’re still not absolutely sure about what the remaining two War Stories will be about, but the Battlefield 5 single player trailer gives us some clues. It looks like Tirailleur will see a group of Senegalese infantry battling in rural France, while The Last Tiger appears to tell the story of a crew of a Tiger tank in the Wehrmacht, battling from North Africa to Berlin.
Alongside War Stories is Combined Arms, the new Battlefield 5 co-op mode. Yes, for the first time since Battlefield 3 you will be able to band together and face off the enemy with friends, this time in up to four-player co-op. DICE promises that there will be high stakes and resources will be scarce, forcing you to take a tactical approach to the missions.
Battlefield 5 Battle Royale – Firestorm
Battlefield 5 will definitely have a battle royale. The announcement was made at EA’s E3 press conference, and confirms that the mode will exist in the upcoming WW2 FPS. EA didn’t show any footage of the new mode, but did say that there will be teamplay, vehicles, and destruction mechanics carried over from the game’s traditional multiplayer.
A recent This is Battlefield V trailer gave us our first proper look at the new game mode, which is called Firestorm. Details are still scarce, but the trailer confirms that Firestorm will feature 16 squads of four, the biggest Battlefield map ever, destructible buildings, and vehicles.
Battlefield 5 modes
Battlefield’s bread and butter has always been Conquest mode – the large-scale capture point game – and so, naturally, it will return for Battlefield 5. Joining it will be Team Deathmatch, Conquest Assault, and Domination, and DICE promises that gameplay adjustments will make these modes feel new and exciting.
Final Stand, Frontlines, and Breakthrough will also be available at launch, but DICE are yet to share details on these.
There will also be a new match type in the form of Battlefield 5 Airborne mode, where one side parachutes into a map with the aim of destroying artillery guns, while those on the ground fight to defend them.
However, Conquest is no longer the headline mode. Battlefield 5 Grand Operations are what DICE is making the most noise about. These are long-haul endeavours that can last for over an hour. Set over four days, they are built of multiple maps, each with a different game mode. Your progress through them will depend on how well you perform; mess up on Day One and Day Two will be a huge slog, forcing you to make the most of less ammo and respawn resources.
An example of Grand Operations is the Rotterdam mission. Day One sees Paratroopers drop into the city behind enemy lines with a view to destroying artillery that is shelling your main invasion force. The attacking side play as paratroopers, while defenders must protect the guns. As the operation progresses into Day Two, the attackers become the main invasion force on the same map. They will have more or less respawns and resources depending on how well they did when destroying the artillery in Day One.
By Day Three the action has moved to a different map: a bombed-out historic district of Rotterdam. The Grand Campaign can end on this day if either side is able to achieve an overwhelming victory. If neither side is able to wipe the floor against the other, they must endure Day Four.
Day Four is an all-or-nothing final stand from both sides. To simulate the exhaustion felt by both sides at this point you are given very limited ammo – just a single magazine – and no respawns. This ramps up the drama and forces people to play as teams. The last player standing is essentially the hero of the operation; effectively Battlefield 5’s chicken dinner.
The final day of a Grand Operation feels like DICE drawing inspiration from battle royale games, even though the game will feature a bespoke battle royale mode. With Treyarch experimenting with battle royale in Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode, it seems likely that the Battlefield team would go after a slice of the Fortnite/PUBG pie, too. And since the series already has a history with huge player counts and squad-based gameplay, it makes a lot of sense.
Grand Operations will be important to Battlefield 5 as a whole since this is where new game modes, rules, and settings will be first introduced before being released into the rest of the game. They’re limited-time events as part of the Tides of War calendar, so if you want to see the most recent changes to the game, you’ll need to dive straight into the biggest mode.
Battlefield 5 classes
DICE’s series is class focused, but over the years the soldier categories have been changed and refined. Battlefield 5’s reveal trailer features icons in the HUD that confirm the return of assault, support, medic, and scout classes. These roles have been overhauled for Battlefield 5, and will be split up into specialised combat roles that offer various approaches to each class, although the full details have yet to be revealed.
What we do know is that while the medic is still a vital part of a squad, any class can now get a downed ally back on their feet. Medics will revive you 100%, but a so-called ‘Buddy Revive’ will still get a squad mate back in the fight.
Classes are likely to play a large part of The Company, a system that sounds a little like Call of Duty’s Pick 10 system. Here you will create soldiers – a team for each faction in the game – and choose loadouts that you will play with over your Battlefield 5 career, levelling them up to unlock new perks and abilities. Your soldiers are fully customisable in appearance – choose their gender, race, face paint, clothing – and can be equipped with your unlocked Battlefield 5 weapons and generally tweaked to fit your style. You can also choose your personalised vehicles from The Company menu, too.
Battlefield 1 introduced more specialised roles in the form of cavalry, pilots, and tankers. Battlefield 5 will have its own WW2-themed specialists, too. The first we know of is the Builder, a class dedicated to creating fortifications. As for others, we’ll have to wait and see. The conflict introduced rocket launchers and regular use of armoured vehicles, and so there will need to be allowances made for this kind of ordnance. Will the engineer make a return?
Classes will, as ever, form the individual soldiers of the Battlefield 5 factions. At launch only the UK and Germany will be part of Battlefield 5’s war, but as time goes on new nations will be added. It seems likely that French, Russian, and Italian soldiers will be added, with the Americans arriving later in the year should DICE stick to historical timelines.
Battlefield 5 gameplay
There are a huge collection of new nuts and bolts in the framework that makes up Battlefield 5’s core gameplay. From small changes to massive new features, it appears that this game will feel like a larger shift in the general make-up of what makes a Battlefield game.
Chief among these are Fortifications. You can be equipped with a tool box which can be used to repair demolished buildings or even create structures from scratch. A house that has been blown up, for example, can be put back together again to a point whereby it becomes a usable defensive structure. If you don’t have a building to use as a basis, you can create your own sandbag walls, razor wire, tank stoppers, trenches, and fox holes. While every class can create these, the Builder class is the most effective at completing the work.
Talking of structures, heavy-duty weapons like anti-aircraft guns and emplaced MGs are no longer permanent positions. They can be attached to Battlefield 5’s vehicles and towed to new areas, allowing you to set up new defensive lines. This means you will no longer be able to memorise map locations and avoid areas where emplaced turrets are; there’s the potential for danger in every square inch of the map.
Spotting – where you tap Q to place a little triangle visible to all allies over enemy soldiers – has long been a Battlefield staple. But in Battlefield 5 it’s gone. Now you must use your eyes and ears to keep track of foes, forcing you to pay more attention to the actual world rather than the HUD. While you may now have less icon information, this is replaced by in-world effects: foliage will move and rustle, providing a telltale sign that a player is hiding in a bush or long grass.
Another long-term Battlefield staple is destruction, which has undergone a significant overhaul for this game. No longer a canned animation, physics play a prominent role in how a building will collapse. Rockets will explode against outer walls and the rubble will then tear into the interior walls. Partially destroyed buildings will gradually fall apart as physics cause the structural integrity to buckle and crumble. Destruction depends on bullet calibre and velocity, too; an MG42 round will punch a hole straight through brick work, while a pistol bullet with get stuck in the masonry.
A whole new movement system reacts to the surface you’re traversing. Run through water and your character will lift their knees higher. Run on mud and your feet will slip. Sprint towards a small rock and your character will hop over it. It appears to mostly be animation changes, but it all goes to making Battlefield 5’s characters all the more impressive, plus it allows you to see what kind of surface an enemy or ally is traversing. Further changes have been made to prone, where you can backpedal, roll, and move in a circle, much like in Rainbow Six Siege.
Battlefield 5 DLC, Premium Pass, and microtransactions
First things first: the good news is that there will be no Battlefield 5 Premium Pass. This season pass system has been used for Battlefield games for the past several years, and has meant shelling out pretty much the price of the game over again to access new maps, modes, weapons, and vehicles. We’re very glad to see the back of it.
In its place is Battlefield 5: Tides of War, a system of free updates every few months that feel inspired by the likes of Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch. They are themed chapters, based on WW2 events, that will be spread over several months. The first begins in November, and is focused on the fall of Europe as the German mechanised war machine moves across the continent.
Tides of War will keep Battlefield 5 fresh and evolving, providing new maps and modes over time, free of charge. Each new update will bring timed events and series of rewards, including new vehicles, weapons, dog tags, emblems, face paint, and skins for soldiers and weapons.
Instead of a season pass, Battlefield 5 will feature cosmetics. They will not be delivered to players via a randomised loot box system, so it remains to be seen how you can access them. EA have said that Battlefield 5 microtransactions will be used to purchase cosmetics, although there will be an in-game alternative to the premium currency.
DICE has been exceptionally clear that, whatever the system, paying money won’t offer a gameplay advantage. They certainly wouldn’t want a repeat of the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box scandal, after all.
Battlefield 5 system requirements
Battlefield 5’s system requirements were posted on the game’s Origin store page, but have since been removed. EA have said that they were incorrect placeholder, and so not representative of the true Battlefield 5 system requirements. It should be noted that they were exactly the same as Battlefield 1’s minimum requirements. If you’re interested, these are the specs that were originally posted:
OS: 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
Processor:AMD FX-6350/ Core i5 6600K
Memory: 8GB RAM
Graphics card: AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB / Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
DirectX: 11.0 Compatible video card or equivalent
Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection
Hard-drive space: 50GB