It’s hard jumping into a multiplayer shooter that some people have been playing at a high level for months. You better at least know the basics before you get your behind kicked.
And the basics in Battlefield 2042 aren’t all that self-explanatory, especially for longtime Battlefield-heads. This game, which was met with disappointment at launch but has seen a recent revitalization due to the launch of Season 1, made some huge changes to the series formula, with specialists being possibly the biggest one of all.
Before you hop onto that cheap copy of Battlefield 2042 you just bought in the boring summer doldrums, here are the main things you need to know about specialists in the game so you don’t get confused before your boots are even on the virtual ground.
What are specialists in Battlefield 2042?
I could just tell you that specialists are the characters you can play as in multiplayer matches, but that would still leave you out to dry when it comes time to actually start contributing in games. In the simplest terms possible, a specialist is a playable character with their own abilities and gadgets, all of whom broadly fit into one of four traditional Battlefield role types: Assault, Engineer, Support, and Recon. There are 11 of them in the game at the time of writing, with more to come later.
In a previous Battlefield game, you chose one of those roles and customized it based on whatever weapons and gadgets were available for that role. In Battlefield 2042, you can use whatever weapons you want with any specialist but said specialist will still be best suited to a particular style of play, even if you chose an unconventional weapon for it. That’s because each specialist comes with both a unique passive ability and a unique gadget, neither of which can be swapped out.
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For example, the Assault specialist Mackay comes with a grappling hook that’s great for getting around in Battlefield 2042’s large, vertical levels. He can also move faster than other specialists while aiming down sights, making him great for people who want to move around a lot. Casper, on the other hand, is a recon specialist with a drone the player can use to spot enemies for their allies and a motion sensor that lets him know when an enemy is nearby.
But those are just two particular versions of the Assault and Recon roles. There’s another Assault specialist named Dozer who uses a giant shield as both a defensive tool and a battering ram, while the Recon specialist Rao can electronically disable vehicles and tamper with other devices.
All of the normal Battlefield playstyles are still present and accounted for, but each specialist represents a unique flavor of whichever role they inhabit. Yes, it’s sort of confusing, but so is the fact that Battlefield 2042 is actually worth playing several months after a disastrous launch.