EA and DICE have offered an in-depth look at how Battlefield Portal, the create-your-own-Battlefield-experience tool that will be available in Battlefield 2042, works. The details reveal just how flexible the system is, from allowing faithful recreations of fan favourites such as Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3, to Frankenstein-like mashups that bring in weapons, rules, and maps from multiple different legacy games.
Battlefield Portal will use a web browser interface, allowing for easy set up of custom modes. The Portal can be accessed even if you don’t own Battlefield 2042, meaning you can still create games and share them with friends that do own the game.
Creating an ‘Experience’ in Battlefield Portal requires completing a variety of steps, starting with choosing a game mode. Portal offers the classic roster of Battlefield modes; Conquest, Conquest Large, Rush, Free-For-All, and Team Deathmatch. These can be played on a variety of classic maps, and you’re not limited to the ‘right’ number of players for each one; for example, Noshahr Canals: Container Area can be played with 128 players (on PC and new-gen consoles), despite being designed for far fewer combatants.
Portal features 13 small maps and 13 medium maps, plus 7 large maps that can only be played on PC and new-gen consoles. Among them are fan favourites including Arica Harbor, Caspian Border, and Battle of the Bulge. The full list can be seen below.
- Discarded: Recycling Yard
- Hourglass: Al Salam Park
- Breakaway: Platform
- Kaleidoscope: Data Center
- Manifest: Caju Operations
- Orbital: Crawlerway
- Renewal: Fields
- Battle of the Bulge: St. Vith
- Arica Harbor: Town
- Valparaiso: Village
- El Alamein: Axis Airfield
- Noshahr Canals: Container Area
- Caspian Border: Gas Station
- Battle of the Bulge
- Arica Harbor
- El Alamein
- Noshahr Canals
- Caspian Border
With the mode and map locked in, Portal then allows much more granular tweaks. Gameplay modifiers allow you to toggle elements like friendly fire, aim assist, stationary weapon emplacements, and weather events, while soldier settings allow you to choose if players can go prone, strafe while sprinting, have health regeneration, slide, and revive members of the squad. These toggles help recreate experiences from legacy games, where things like squad revives were not part of the rules.
There are also modifiers for how vehicles are spawned or called in, and for what UI elements will be present for players; this means you can turn off things like the compass, minimap, and ally identification icons for a more ‘realistic’ game type.
Battlefield Portal also supports bots, which can be set up as PvE or PvP enemies. In PvP mode, these bots will be replaced by humans as they log into the server, but PvE bots cannot be replaced. Since the ratio of players to bots can be manually decided, and the sides made up of uneven numbers, it means you can set up a PvE game where a few human players go up against dozens of AI bots.
Completing the basics is the Restrictions section, which allows you to determine which eras of Battlefield will be present. This setting means you can set up one team as using characters and equipment from Battlefield 1942, and have them play against a team set up to replicate Battlefield 2042. This can be adjusted to fine tune the experience, with the ability to restrict which of the 75+ weapons the teams have access to, what attachments and gadgets are available, and what vehicles will be present.
The most ambitious Battlefield Portal users can also use a Rules Editor toolset to script out very specific parameters. EA and DICE have’t offered any concrete examples of what can be done in the Rules Editor, but rules can be scripted with conditions and actions, and – at least from the little that has been shown – can be used to affect things from inventory items to overall factions.
For more Battlefield 2042, check out the 10-hour free trial that’s coming to EA Play and Game Pass subscribers. And despite fan criticism, DICE have doubled down on Battlefield 2042’s Specialists. You can also get a new look at Hazard Zone, the new game mode for 2042.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.