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Battlefield 2042 fights the MW3 beta with most players since launch

Battlefield 2042 is the worst-rated game in EA's FPS series, but thanks to a free Steam weekend, new season, and sale it's having the most players since launch.

Battlefield 2042 Steam players: a soldier readying a gun, shouting, with a headset on

10/15/2023 Battlefield 2042 has now surpassed 100,000 concurrent players, getting incredibly close to a new all-time record during the free Steam weekend.

EA’s Battlefield 2042 was heavily ridiculed at launch in 2021 for server errors, changes to how the squad system worked, and countless bugs. The multiplayer FPS even has the lowest average rating of the whole Battlefield series, but the last couple of years have seen developer DICE turn it around. Now between changes, new content, a free Steam weekend, and a sale, Battlefield 2042 is the most popular it’s been since launch.

While the free Battlefield 2042 Steam weekend is almost over, that hasn’t stopped the lowest-rated game in the series and the ‘mixed’ shooter, according to Steam players, from being incredibly popular. The launch peak for the FPS game was 105,397 players on Steam, which quickly dropped to below 10,000 active players at any given time. The shooter struggled to get above that number for a while, but now we’ve got a new peak of 88,386 players.

This comes down to a myriad of reasons, but the biggest is undoubtedly that to combat Modern Warfare 3’s open-beta weekend, Battlefield 2042 is currently free to all. It won’t be as of Monday, October 16, but no one can argue with a free weekend of triple-A gun goodness. For even more perspective, the previous peak for the game was around 36,000 from a free weekend at the end of 2022, with this current free weekend seeing more than double the players.

The real question then becomes, will this last? Well with Battlefield 2042 Season 6 Dark Creations Underway, and a big series sale for the next couple of weeks, players who enjoy where the game is right now have multiple reasons to stick around. There will be a drop-off, and it will be steep compared to the numbers we have now (via SteamDB), but it’ll be interesting to see if the concurrent player count levels out above where it’s been for recent months and years.

Battlefield 2042 Steam players: SteamDB's stats showing the increased player numbers

The Battlefield 2042 Steam sale is running until Thursday, October 26, and you can get multiple editions of the game and expect to pay significantly less than the full price.

  • Battlefield 2042 is $9.59 / £7.99
  • Battlefield 2042 Elite Edition is $29.69 / £26.39

The Elite upgrade for Battlefield 2042 comes with content from the shooter’s first year, giving you four specialists, ten weapons, six vehicles, and a series of cosmetic skins, so if you want a bit more of a leg up it’s worth picking up the extra edition of the game.

If you’re looking for something a little different instead, we’ve compiled a list of the best multiplayer games you can play on PC with friends or strangers, alongside some of the best free PC games you need to add to your library. We’ve even put together eight Steam Next Fest FPS demos you need to try.