If you're on the fence about purchasing Battlefield 2042, or just looking for opportunities to play the game before launch, you might be in luck. EA DICE's upcoming multiplayer shooter will be playable one week early via a 10-hour free trial available to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.
The trial is part of EA Play, which is included as a free add-on for those who subscribe to Microsoft's premium tier subscription service. On November 12, 2021, eager fans will get to play Battlefield 2042 before its official launch on November 19 on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, if they have EA Play access. That's sure to be welcome news for the 7 million players who tried out the Battlefield 2042 open beta.
You will still have to purchase Battlefield 2042 to continue playing once your free trial is up, of course, as the game sadly isn't coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one, but 10 hours is a solid amount of time to get to grips with the game before release, or to carry on playing if the beta left you craving more Battlefield action.
The official Battlefield YouTube channel also uploaded a trailer in tandem with the early access news, showcasing the new Battlefield Portal hub. This separate mode allows players to create their own custom maps and game modes using assets and features inspired by past games in the series, including Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 1942.
It's not unlike the Halo series' robust Forge mode in that sense, which accomplishes much of the same customization feats as Battlefield Portal. Unlike Microsoft's flagship shooter, though, as well as the soon-to-be-released Call of Duty: Vanguard, Battlefield 2042 won't support 120Hz online play on consoles, at least not at launch.
That's unsurprising considering just how insanely chaotic Battlefield 2042 matches can be, especially when you throw in ground, air, and sea vehicle combat alongside terrain-destroying weather conditions, but it's a feature that owners of the best gaming TVs will likely miss.
Analysis: Another feather in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate's cap?
Battlefield 2042 receiving a 10-hour free trial actually isn't a surprise, as it's something EA has employed for most of its new releases on the EA Play service for years now. Titles like FIFA 22, Madden NFL 22 and Mirror's Edge Catalyst have all been given the free trial treatment in the past, and they've now become more readily available than ever thanks to the EA Play's integration with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
The fact your save data also carries over from the trial to the full game is a huge boon, cementing EA Play's free trial system as one of the more useful perks available to subscribers, not to mention the generous 10 hours of playtime you get. As such, you can generally get a good feel for the game and decide whether you'll buy it or not ahead of time.
It's something that should be standard practice for more games in the industry, especially as demos and trials can introduce games to a much broader audience at the low cost of a monthly subscription, or even no cost at all.
We've seen a similarly generous system emerge on Nintendo Switch Online, where the Game Trials service allows Nintendo Switch owners to try out a game across a period of time, usually a week. And Final Fantasy 14, in particular, has taken the concept of the free trial to the extreme, offering the entire base game and the first expansion completely free for new players.
Ultimately, we're looking forward to shooting it out in Battlefield 2042 a week ahead of release and properly getting to grips with the game before its official launch. Although it'll have some fierce competition, as both Forza Horizon 5 and Call of Duty: Vanguard are launching in the same period, and we only have so much spare time.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.