Battlefield 2042 continues to receive updates as EA Dice attempt to fix a game that felt woefully incomplete at launch. Which makes it a little odd that the marquee change in patch 4.1 is the removal of a feature: Breakthrough mode can no longer be played with 128 players, and is now limited to 64.
Not that Battlefield 2042’s website or digital store pages have been updated to reflect that change yet.
“In this update, we’re making multiple updates to the All-Out Warfare rotations,” says the patch notes post. “Our leading change is the removal of the 128 player version of Breakthrough. When reviewing the available experiences in All-Out Warfare, we felt that the 128 player modes are better suited for Conquest where gameplay spaces are larger, and where you have a more natural fit for sandbox gameplay.”
The developers feel that with 64 players, Breakthrough mode offers “a more tactical experience” with less chaos. Breakthrough is a long-standing Battlefield mode which splits players into attackers and defenders, with attackers attempting to push the frontline forward until they conquer the map. Being able to play this mode with 128 players was one of the selling points for Battlefield 2042, and continues to be mentioned in All-Out Warfare marketing copy on the Battlefield 2042 official site and on its Steam page (pictured above).
At launch, Ed’s Battlefield 2042 review said the game was “blighted by performance issues”, with balance problems across most modes. Every patch since has been focused on dealing with those problems, up to and including update 4.0 last month finally adding voice comms. Update 4.1 likewise makes more balance changes to maps and Specialists, as well as quality-of-life improvements. EA Dice are obviously happier with the current state of the game, since the 4.1 patch post says that the next scheduled update will be the release of the previously delayed post-release “Season 1” content.
I am certain that Breakthrough mode was chaotic with 128-players, and EA Dice probably have player metrics to show many players were consequently losing interest. But I’ll also bet there were some players who loved the mode, chaos and all, and now the game they spent $60/£50 on no longer has the thing they liked in it. Why is that OK?