DICE’s newest entry in the Battlefield series was poised to take down Call of Duty‘s hold on the military first-person market. There was a lot of hype surrounding the game before it was released, and many believed it would be the next CoD.
Although the game’s marketing was excellent, Battlefield 2042 failed to meet the expectations of many, including EA itself. That doesn’t mean Battlefield 2042 is all bad, but when you’re looking for fun maps to play, it’s hard to ignore their flaws. The game definitely has some great maps, but they are diamonds in the rough.
Battlefield 2042 is unique because it shows us how bad a giant map can be. Maps are given to gamers whose areas can change combat, but because they’re so large, it isn’t easy to capitalize on one. CoD has limited the areas of play, so the intensity of combat can be high without needing to clog up maps with hundreds of people.
Some maps still do very well in Battlefield 2042, however, and when players can get a good team, it’s easy to lose time. There are many maps players can explore in Battlefield 2042, so you will get a break from each map that you don’t like pretty often.
We’ve taken the maps of Battlefield 2042 and ranked them out from worst to best. We will not include maps from Battlefield 2042 Portal since that’s an experience on its own that is more of a player creation system. Maps in Battlefield 2042 Portal heavily rely on the players who modify the maps to make each map fun, so what we experience on one map may not be the same on another.
All Battlefield 2042‘s maps, ranked
There is nothing more trench warfare-like than the Hourglass map in Battlefield 2042. The other half of the map is a desert with a few small buildings scattered around, but you’re pretty much a walking target the whole time you’re there. When you get into a vehicle, the game stops feeling like a realistic war game and becomes more of a game where you blow up other people’s vehicles. Playing in the desert in Hourglass is like Twisted Metal but with a military skin.
There are urban areas where you can do a lot of damage, but you won’t last long. Players have discovered that they can just snipe everyone by going to one of the tall buildings. Having smart allies who work together and take locations as a team is the best you can hope for on this map. Apart from those who just wanted to blow stuff up and campers, no one really has fun on this map.
It’s funny how the Kaleidoscope map was probably the most well-known before the release of Battlefield 2042. The area itself is incredibly well designed and makes it seem like DICE really wanted to create a giant playground for players. Despite this, Kaleidoscope is arguably one of the most disliked maps in Battlefield 2042. Although the map looks beautiful and is a good example of how skilled the developers are, it’s not suitable for a warzone.
The map is so open, and there is so little cover that it feels like trench warfare when you’re trying to move from one spot to another. The map looks like it was designed to encourage players to use the vehicles in the game, but spending most of your time driving around to get to firefights is tacky. It would be fun to snipe someone from atop a skyscraper, but that’s not how the game was intended to be played. If there was more cover and the map was smaller, it would be much more fun.
Orbital was the map many streamers could play in the Beta; it’s arguably too large, but not by that much. The biggest issue is that there are few set areas where you can fight anyone, so you feel like you’re constantly looking for enemies, but this map does feel more like a battlefield than the others above it. The terrain provides cover and places to hide and maneuver tactically. Those who are not into vehicle combat should head straight for the skyscraper. There will be no shortage of people for you to fight when you ascend the skyscraper.
Upon discovering the skyscraper and rooftop, which summon a helicopter, you understand why people dislike this map. A small chance exists that you will receive those helicopters due to the number of people fighting for them. Many players find it enjoyable even though it is a real slugfest. It’s intense, but the reward is worth the risk. If you see someone on this map with a helicopter, you know they earned it.
Breakaway did what Hourglass couldn’t: highlight the extreme climate on a huge map and still make the map fun. The map Breakaway is an arctic tundra, so you’ll need a vehicle or a place to glide from to get around it. The map feels like Hoth in a modern setting. Breakthrough has the advantage of having no skyscrapers, so everyone has to get used to fighting in this climate rather than fortifying one building. There is much more fun here than when you’re playing bumper cars in Hourglass in the desert.
Technically, you are out in the open more in Breakaway than in other maps, but there is cover available if you need it. Playing on this map is probably the most fun because everyone works together to reach locations tactically, and it is very rare that anyone ventures into the open on their own. If you spawn in the oil rig, prepare for a firefight right out of the gate.
On Breakthrough, Manifest was great because it was essentially a slugfest for one point on the map. It was thrilling and intense. Keep your eyes open as you climb the shipping containers at the docks because everyone will be there. In May, DICE reduced breakthrough’s player count from 128 to 64. This choice was unpopular and really hurt the Manifest map since the intensity will be halved.
It’s hard to like Manifest on Conquest mode because it’s hard to win just by being good at shooting. You’ll need teammates who are great with vehicles and have experience flying helicopters since a lot of this is clearing out a place just to get to a point you can capture. It’s not to say it’s all bad, or you can do without it, but the team that can use their vehicles to get to points and clear them out will normally win every single time.
There’s no denying that Renewal is a very interesting concept that ended up being one of the game’s most unique maps. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s two separate pictures at first glance in the image above. There is a side of the map that is lush, green, and beautiful, giving players a nice view while slaughtering enemies. The other side of the map is a desert, which requires players to use cover, vehicles, and squadmates to get to the center. It’s a race to the center of the map since that’s the kill zone, and everyone becomes a target.
As each game begins, the long line in the center is contested. People on the wall can take easy pot shots at those storming the wall, but they’re open in the front and back. Those storming the wall are mostly shooting at those on the wall. This is a fantastic way to engage players because it emphasizes comradery as you storm the wall with your allies.
Discarded is one of the most intense maps in Battlefield 2042. Discarded is like a graveyard for a container dock. Containers and other items can be used as cover, and the map is tight enough that you’re forced to deal with your opponent. I believe this is one of the best FPS maps ever made, and it feels more realistic than any other maps above. Battlefield 2042 could have had more maps if they forced players into positions where they had to shoot at each other instead of focusing so much on vehicles.
The aesthetic is perfect, and it feels like you’re really in a place where ships and their parts were left to vanish into obscurity. Here, everything feels discarded, and if you die here, you will also be discarded. You normally don’t have much time to think about this because you’re constantly watching your back for someone to appear out of nowhere, but when you can look around, you’ll be mesmerized.
Exposure is the result of all the complaints the fans had about the other maps. Players can explore three different areas: a hilltop military base, a valley, and an underground facility with tunnels. Each area feels like its own distinct map. You will see why it’s so loved if you jump off of the cliff and glide through the valley from one end to the other, only stopping to kill enemies. This map is unfairly compared to the others because DICE worked on it by itself and used fan feedback, so naturally, they were going to create a great map.