Video Games

The seven maps of Battlefield 2042, ranked from worst to best

The seven maps of Battlefield 2042, ranked from worst to best

Battlefield 2042

Picture: EA

Hi, yes, it’s me again, one of only 14 people on Earth who loves to play Battlefield 2042. Like I entering my sixth month of playand as I approach the maximum level of the game on a personal basis, my attention has recently turned to the finer details of the cards in the game and which ones I prefer to play.

Six months ago, I think I hated them all. Or at least hadn’t yet figured out how they work in this heavily edited entry in the series, in the same way that I think a lot of series veterans still struggle to come to terms with so many other things about Battlefield 2042. They all seemed so big, so empty, so suited for chopper and tank play and nothing else.

I’ve put enough hours into the game now to know it’s only somewhat true. Some of the cards in the game are indeed barren wastelands in dire need of readjustment, but others have become some of my favorites in the entire series. Let’s find out which is which (and note that I’m just classifying 2042 own original maps here, not the classic maps in Portal like Caspian Border which have had their day!)


7. KALEIDOSCOPE

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Picture: EA

Yeah. This map is a complete disaster, top to bottom. Which, oddly enough, are the only two levels Kaleidoscope takes place at. Its flat, central “bowl” shape has made it a meat grinder, a place where only the snipers positioned in the towers overlooking the outskirts can have a good time, and I’ll moan audibly every time I will see it load. And I’m a sniper, so that’s saying something.

6. HOURGLASS

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Picture: EA

There are some cool areas here on this huge desert map, like the half-buried stadium, residential villages, and downtown, and when battles focus on these hotspots, they can be awesome! But the large open dunes between them are a nightmare for infantry (because of vehicles) and vehicles (because of helicopters), and every time you hear of a player complaining about long infantry efforts, that’s probably the card they’re talking about.

5. REJECTED

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Picture: EA

Jeté looks much more interesting than it actually is. The various huge rusting shipwrecks should be the highlight here, but the wide open spaces around them and the repetitive architecture make them a bit overwhelming. Instead, it’s the smaller vantage points on the edge of the map, like a temporary settlement paired with a comms tower, that lead to the most enjoyable clashes.

4. GETAWAY

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Picture: EA

If anyone complains about a long walk and it’s not Hourglass, it will be Breakaway. But DICE’s depiction of a weather-ravaged Antarctic base also features delightfully intertwined capture points in its main cluster of buildings, and a formidable elevated “gateway” point where the towering ice shelf descends into the valley below. I’m also a big fan of the absurdity of its hill station, accessible only by plane or single zip line.

3. RENEWAL

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Picture: EA

The most visually appealing map in the game, Renewal’s defining feature – and my favorite thing about it – is a huge wall that runs through the middle of it, separating a desert region from verdant farmland. Huge battles are therefore almost always centered around who holds the central entry point of this wall, which looks cool as hell but which, in turn, makes any side breach a firefight exciting.

2. MANIFEST

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Picture: EA

Here is a big surprise! If you had asked me a week after release what my least favorite map was, I would have said Manifest, because the fact that it was 70% stacked shipping containers was repetitive as hell. But first impressions can be deceiving, as this map’s varying elevation levels and the endless struggles to control the central hill looking down over the rest of the map means this is actually the one of the most interesting and varied maps available in terms of the types of experiences it offers to all classes and all types of vehicles.

1. ORBITAL

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Picture: EA

None of the cards I listed above are perfect. They’re all struggling with compromises or half-finished design ideas, like the rest of the game. Orbital, however, feels like a brief, brilliant fulfillment of what Battlefield 2042 was meant to be. It’s a big map, but it never seems like a chore to get around, it has big open spaces for vehicular duels, but also plenty of cover and variety of terrain for infantry. It has iconic focal points but also large expanses of interesting campaign in between, and even the game’s map-based trick when a huge space rocket lifts off or explodes on the launch pad mid-game.

Battlefield is at its best when everything is big, loud, chaotic, and explosive, and Orbital is where you get the most out of everyone in 2042.


A note before we go: I tried to rank them on some sort of vague overall level of enjoyment instead of tailoring it to certain playstyles. And here’s how things look in March 2022; I’ll be adding to this list whenever the game receives new maps, which hopefully will arrive soon!