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Hazard Zone Mode
Hazard Zone is a special new mode in Battlefield 2042 that is more reminiscent of some other titles, most notably Escape from Tarkov. As a squad, you drop in to a map, fight enemies while trying to collect data drives, and escape at specified extraction points at a specific time. Doing this successfully means making the most dark market credits, which is used to purchase gear and upgrades for future drops.
How It Works
While ideally you're playing in a squad, you can matchmake into groups with others. After you've found a match, you'll be shown the map and you'll have one minute to make gear selections. You'll drop in to a random location of a random map, but before the team lobby you'll see what the map is and what locations may be relevant. Areas are randomized to have higher or lower chance of data drives, NPC enemies, or deployable items such as vehicles, rangers, or squad redeploys.
At this point you can pick your specialist and loadout, as well as purchase gear and upgrades to take in. If you don't have credits to spend or don't want to, you can simply use a standard loadout that costs nothing. Please take note that your "T" menu for modifying guns with unlocked attachments is available in-game if you enter with them already set (such as changing your site, barrel, etc.)
Then it's time to play! You have a limited amount of time to find data drives, or simply just fight enemies, before extracting. Extraction occurs twice during the game, and the extraction locations will be made known as it gets closer to extraction time. You'll see an "E1" indicator for the first extraction, or "E2" for the second. An airship will arrive at this locations and extract at the exact time indicated on your screen. If you're alive (even downed) on the ship, you are considered successfully extracted. Only one person needs to actually extract for the entire team to be considered extracted, making sacrificial plays a worthwhile endeavor. However, with only two chances to extract and eight teams on the map, these places are often heavily contested. You can rarely extract without significant fire fighting.
Credits, used to upgrade gear or purchase various perks, are earned based on performance in the game.
- 100 credits granted per data drive extracted
- 30 credits granted per NPC "occupying forces" killed
- 30 credits granted per player "hostile no-pats" killed
- 100% credits spent on gear refunded for successful extracts
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Apart from gear refunds, credits earned are for the entire squad. For example, if one player kills three NPCs, every player in the squad gets the credits for three NPC kills.
Take note that while you need to extract to get the data drive bonus or gear refunds, the credits granted for kills are granted even if you don't extract. This makes combat oriented drops completely viable for earning credits, especially if focusing on the easier NPC AI kills. However, without extracting, you do miss out on the benefits of an extraction streak.
Extraction streaks will enable additional tactical ability slots you can fill. With high enough streaks, you can begin discounting the cost of gear.
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Finding Data Drives
Data drives can be found by using a data driver scanner. This is a gadget you must bring in to a drop, and ideally one member of the team will have one. When equipped, you can use right click to identify where the drives are and hold left click to mark them for your team.
When you get to the location, they will be in a small capsule. You must walk up to the capsule, find the point where the data drive is, and hold E to grab it.
Given how credits work and the fact that purchased upgrades are only moderately more powerful than a free loadout, nearly any way you wish to play is viable. Focusing purely on kills is still a meaningful and easily profitable way to play while the more challenging extraction with data drives further rewards you in line with the additional risk. Conservative play isn't necessarily more rewarding, but aggressive play isn't necessarily better either. In this respect, you can be rewarded for playing however you find most enjoyable.
If one type of play were to be the most rewarding in terms of credits, it would be killing as many NPCs as you can as they can be found very easily in large groups and offer a good amount of credits. However, it does alert other players to your presence, and they are often found where other players want to be such as where data drives are, extraction points, or deployable drops. Additionally, while they are fairly easy to kill, they are still threatening and very capable of killing a player who isn't being cautious.
While Hazard Zone doesn't fundamentally change the shooter genre, it is unexpectedly good as just an add-on to Battlefield 2042. It brings some added flavor to the franchise that while not entirely unique to shooters is unique to Battlefield. The combination of the Battlefield style and high consequence gameplay works as a pleasant addition to the game.