Battlefield 1: Everything You Need to Know

Battlefield is back, and it's gone in a bold new direction. The all-new Battlefield 1 ditches modern-day warfare and takes things back to World War I, allowing players to battle in tanks, propeller planes and even on horseback. Battlefield 1 looks to evolve the sprawling multiplayer battles that the series is known for, while introducing a new single-player campaign that focuses on smaller, more personal war stories.

This much-anticipated shooter hits PS4, Xbox One and PC on Oct. 21 — here's what you need to know before you hit the trenches.

What's new in Battlefield 1?

Just about everything. If you're used to modern military games such as Battlefield 4 or the last few Call of Duty titles, get ready to go back to a time when wars were waged with mustard gas, bayonet rifles, and, uh, horses. Each map features dynamic weather and time of day, and you can take control of massive "Behemoth" vehicles such as deadly armored trains and massive floating airships. Everything fans love about Battlefield — the sheer scale of battles, squad-based multiplayer, highly destructible environments — is still here, but it's now wrapped into a gritty World War I package.

Battlefield 1

What's the single-player campaign like?

While Battlefield is all about large-scale warfare, its single-player campaign seems surprisingly focused. Instead of casting you as a single hero on a globe-trotting adventure, Battlefield 1's single-player consists of several "War Stories," which let you experience the Great War from a variety of unique, personal perspectives.

According to a recent blog post from developer DICE, Battlefield 1's solo gameplay looks to be as open-ended as its multiplayer. You should have plenty of opportunities to choose how you take down an enemy, whether it be by brute explosive force or tactical stealth.

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What multiplayer modes are there?

It wouldn't be Battlefield without large-scale multiplayer battles, and you can still look forward to huge 64-player matches on massive, destructible maps. Battlefield's signature capture-and-hold Conquest mode is back, as is its smaller-scale counterpart Domination. The innovative new Operations mode is designed to recreate real-world conflicts across multiple maps, while Rush mode is a tug-of-war over command posts between an attacking and defending team.

But none of these modes will likely hold a candle to War Pigeons, which has you fight to secure a messenger pigeon that can be used to call in an artillery strike on the enemy team. Yes, it's real, and yes, it sounds awesome.

Can I play the game early?

You sure can. Folks who subscribe to EA Access on Xbox One or Origin Access on PC (both $5 per month) can download and play a 10-hour trial of the game between now and Oct. 20.

The trial gives access to five multiplayer maps and a handful of single-player missions,. All of your progress will carry over into the final game. If you want to play the full game early on any platform, the $80 Early Enlister version of Battlefield 1 provides full access starting Oct. 18 and features a good chunk of extra in-game goodies.

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What are the system requirements for PC?

Battlefield 1 is one of the most gorgeous shooters we've seen yet, and you'll need a decently powerful rig to play it at its full potential. Here are the system requirements, via EA:

  • Operating System: 64-bit Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 (Minimum), 64-bit Windows 10 (Recommended)
  • CPU: AMD FX-6350 or Intel Core i5 6600K (Minimum), AMD FX-8350 Wraith or Intel Core i7-4790 (Recommended)
  • RAM: 8GB (Minimum), 16GB (Recommended)
  • GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7850 or Nvidia GTX 660 (Minimum), AMD Radeon RX 480 or Nvidia GTX 1060 (Recommended)
  • DirectX Version: 11.0
  • Internet Connection: 512 KBps or faster
  • Disk Space: 50GB

Should I play Battlefield 1?

It's still early, but everything we've played of Battlefield 1 is extremely promising. It's the most gorgeous Battlefield yet, and engaging in massive 64-player firefights with vehicles and lots of destructible environments is still a blast. And while Battlefield is known for its multiplayer, the game's new, more personal take on single-player has us intrigued. That said, those who prefer simpler, more arcade-style multiplayer shooters should probably check out Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or Titanfall 2.

We'll be playing lots of Battlefield 1 in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more coverage.

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.