How to get Battlefield 2042 early access and when it unlocks

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The official Battlefield 2042 release date is Friday, November 19, but the real release date is this Friday, November 12. That’s when EA Play Pro subscribers and owners of the $90 and $110 editions of Battlefield 2042 can start playing the full game. A week later, those who purchased the standard edition will be able to join all the early field battlers, who will no doubt have unlocked every gun, attachment, and vehicle upgrade during their head start. 

If you’re a regular EA Play member or Xbox Game Pass subscriber, there’s a consolation prize: You can also get an early start in Battlefield 2042, with the catch that you can only play for 10 hours.

There’s a special fun to experiencing a multiplayer game during launch week (assuming it’s not busted), so it’s disappointing that EA uses the privilege to move subscriptions, but them’s the breaks. We’ll publish our Battlefield 2042 review next week after the early access period has been going for a few days. 

If you want to join us in playing before the official launch, here’s a breakdown of who gets what and how it all works.

When does Battlefield 2042 early access unlock in my time zone?

Battlefield 2042 early access unlocks at midnight Pacific Time on Friday, November 12. That’s 3 am Eastern, and 8 am in the UK. For more time zones, here’s a big chart.

The standard edition launch on November 19 will likely follow the same pattern, with a simultaneous worldwide release at midnight PST.

How do you get Battlefield 2042 early access?

You can start playing Battlefield 2042 a week early if you buy the Gold Edition or Ultimate Edition, or subscribe to EA Play Pro, which includes access to the Ultimate Edition for as long as you remain a subscriber.

The Gold Edition costs $90 (£80) and the Ultimate Edition costs $110 (£100). Both can be purchased on Steam, Origin, or the Epic Games Store. 

If you’re moving to an internetless tundra in approximately 12 months, you might consider going the subscription route to get more for your money over the next year. EA Play Pro is $15/month or $100/year, and includes access to EA’s other new games as well as its back catalog. If you spend exactly a year enjoying the $100 subscription and no longer, you’ll have saved $10 over the standalone Ultimate Edition. But if you cancel that tundra relocation and keep playing BF2042, and you don’t care about the other EA Play Pro games, you’ll end up spending more than you had to.

The 500 IQ gambit: You could subscribe to EA Play Pro for a month to get early access, and then cancel your subscription before it renews and buy the $60 Battlefield 2042 standard edition, spending a total of $75. That’s a $15 saving over the Gold Edition and you still get early access, although you forfeit the Year 1 Pass, which includes the first four post-launch Specialists. I’m also not sure if your progress would carry over since you’d be playing different editions, but I’ve asked EA.

How do you get the Battlefield 2042 10-hour trial?

If you have the non-Pro version of an EA Play subscription ($5/month or included with Xbox Game Pass), you can play Battlefield 2042 for 10 hours starting at midnight PST on November 12. If you want to keep playing after the 10-hour trial period, you’ll have to upgrade to EA Play Pro, or buy the game a la carte (getting at least the Gold Edition if you want to keep playing before the 19th).

Is Battlefield 2042 on Xbox Game Pass?

No, the Battlefield 2042 full game is not available with an Xbox Game Pass subscription at launch. However, the 10-hour trial will be. That’s because Game Pass includes everything you get with an EA Play subscription, and the EA Play subscription gets you the 10-hour trial. Just like with a regular EA Play subscription, if you want to play for longer than 10 hours, you’ll have to subscribe to EA Play Pro or buy a copy of the game.

EA will almost definitely make Battlefield 2042 available through the base EA Play subscription eventually, which will make it available on Game Pass, but it hasn’t said when that’ll happen. Battlefield 5 was added to the EA Play collection (called Origin Access at the time) seven months after it released, so it’ll probably be at least that long for Battlefield 2042. EA may wait t if it’s still moving EA Play Pro subs and full-price copies.

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