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Here’s when you can play Battlefield 2042 — and how to get early access

a cinematic shot from Battlefield 2042
(Image credit: EA)

Update: Battlefield 2042 early-access went live last week (at the time if writing) but it's off to a rocky start

After months of waiting, Battlefield 2042 is only a few days away. The game is scheduled to launch on November 19 on PS5, Xbox Series X and PC, as well as last-gen consoles, but eager players can get early access and drop onto the battlefield from Friday, November 12.

If you want to play Battlefield 2042 as soon as possible then you’ll need to opt for the Gold Edition ($100 on PS5/Xbox Series X, $90 on PC/PS4/Xbox One) or the Ultimate Edition ($120 on PS5/Xbox Series X, $110 on PC/PS4/Xbox One). Both of these editions are only available digitally and give you a week's early access to the full game. 

If you’re not so keen to shell out for a deluxe edition of the game, you can still get early access via EA Play. The subscription service is offering a 10-hour trial from this Friday. This membership perk allows you to play Battlefield 2042 on the platform of your choice for up to 10-hours. After hitting the gameplay limit, you’ll have to wait for the standard release on November 19. 

EA Play membership costs $5 a month on PC, PlayStation and Xbox. It’s also worth noting that it’s included with a Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription as well. Subscribers will also be pleased to know that in-game progression will carry over to the full game after the 10-hour trial period is over. 

Early access periods have become increasingly common in the gaming world with the likes of FIFA 22 and Forza Horizon 5 most recently offering premium-paying players a chance to start playing early. Battlefield 2042 isn’t alone in following this trend, but it’s still a little frustrating that those willing to cough up more money will get a head start on learning the maps and best weapon load-outs. 

EA has also confirmed when pre-loading will be available for players who have pre-ordered Battlefield 2042 digitally. On Xbox preloading is already live, whereas on PlayStation platforms, it’ll be available from 12 a.m. local time on Wednesday, November 10. On PC, pre-loading will start on November 10 from 1 p.m. ET. Battlefield 2042’s file size currently sits at around 65GB. 

Once you’ve preloaded your copy, there's nothing left to do but wait until it unlocks. On PC, the full game will unlock at 3 a.m. ET on either November 12 or November 19 depending on which edition of the game you’ve pre-ordered. The unlock time for PlayStation and Xbox players hasn’t been confirmed yet. 

Battlefield 2042 is easily one of the most anticipated games of 2021, but it’s facing stiff competition as the recently-released Call of Duty Vanguard and the upcoming Halo Infinite will look to cut into its player base. It’s definitely a good time to be a fan of online shooters.

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.