In this Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Guide, I'll break down everything you need to know about this new game mode in Battlefield 2042, how it works, and how to succeed at earning Dark Market Credits.
What is Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone and How Does It Work?
The Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone game mode is something new to the Battlefield franchise. Essentially, it mixes in elements of Apex Legends' Arenas mode with a bit of Escape From Tarkov gameplay.
Prior to each game, you and your Squad must each select a Specialist. This will be a little different from other Battlefield 2042 gameplay -- there is a firm limit of 1 for each Specialist within a squad. It's a good idea to figure out a team composition and strategy in advance.
There is also the concern of weapons. While you still have to unlock guns and Gadgets through normal gameplay, you cannot just use them in Hazard Zone. Instead, you have to pay "Dark Market Credits" -- Hazard Zone's unique currency -- to buy that gun or Gadget for exactly one run.
Your ultimate goal is to acquire "Data Drives" that appear at random points on the map, either by looting them yourself or by taking them from enemy players by killing them. It is not enough to just pick them up, though -- you'll also need to successfully extract from the map to earn Dark Market Credits for the Data Drives.
Hazard Zone is split into five key phases:
- Setup - You'll pick your Specialist, guns, Gadgets, and Tactical Upgrades. (More on Tactical Upgrades later).
- Searching - You'll be inserted at a random point in the map. Start hunting for Data Drives!
- First Extraction - After a few minutes, the First Extraction begins. A CV-38 Condor will spawn at a random point on the map; you and your Squad have to get in and defend the area for 20 seconds to successfully extract.
- Searching Round 2 - Once the First Extraction is finished, you have a short amount of time to hunt other players or search for more Data Drives.
- Last Extraction - As before, a single CV-38 Condor will spawn at a random point on the map roughly 10-11 minutes after the game begins.
If your squad gets wiped, you won't score any points for retrieved Data Drives and you'll lose all of your gear. You'll lose everything if you miss both Extractions, too. On the upside, you'll still earn Dark Market Credits for any enemies you've killed, whether they're A.I. or players. You're going to want to try your damnedest to Extract, too, so you can get some neat Extraction Streak bonuses.
What Are Extraction Streaks?
Extraction Streaks are a measurement of how many times in a row you've successfully Extracted from Hazard Zone. There's a reason to do it -- repeated successes unlock discounts for Tactical Upgrades and other items. Extraction Streaks are tracked on a per-Specialist basis.
What Are the Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Maps?
How Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone is Different from All-Out Warfare, Conquest, and Breakthrough
Next up in this Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Guide is an explanation of how it differs from All-Out Warfare, Conquest, Breakthrough, and other kinds of gameplay.
Hazard Zone is, in effect, its own ecosystem within Battlefield 2042. While you can unlock the guns and Gadgets to use in this mode through any kind of gameplay, you won't be able to use them without purchasing them prior to a match with Dark Market Credits. Successfully earning Dark Market Credits is key to getting the gear you need.
The Dark Market ecosystem aside, Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone also has a limitation of 1 Specialist per Squad. This means that there's a greater focus on having a good team composition before going into battle.
You should also keep in mind that the "Tornado" disaster can happen in Hazard Zone. That said, it's a very rare occurrence and it's easily avoided as long as you keep your eyes open.
Lest we forget, there's also the objective -- Hazard Zone has a unique kind of gameplay that we've never seen in Battlefield gameplay; it mixes in players, A.I. enemies, and objectives that you have to secure and take to an extraction zone.
The final key difference for this game mode is "Tactical Upgrades." These pieces of equipment as exclusive to Hazard Zone and are effectively buffs that can serve as a serious game-changer -- as long as you can afford them.
List of Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Tactical Upgrades
Free Tactical Upgrades
- Starting Armor - Begin the game with +20 Armor.
- Negotiated Bounty 1 - Earn 50% additional Dark Market Credits for killing Occupying Forces (A.I. enemies).
Dark Market Credit Tactical Upgrades
- Squad Redeploy (100 DMC) - Start with a Reinforcement Uplink which allows you to respawn your dead Squadmates.
- Data Storage (100 DMC)- Carry 2 additional Data Drivers (from 3 to 5)
- Biometric Scanning (100 DMC) - Enemies remain Spotted for 50% longer.
- Ammo Increase I (100 DMC) - +1 Magazine for your Primary Weapon.
- Throwable Increase I (100 DMC) - +1 Throwables (Frag Grenades, Smoke Grenades, etc.)
- Ammo Increase II (200 DMC) - +2 Magazines for your Primary Weapon.
- Throwable Increase II (200 DMC) - +2 Throwables.
- Quickdraw Holster (200 DMC) - Switching weapons is 15% faster.
- Loadout Insurance (200 DMC) - Get back 50% of the cost of your Loadout and Tactical Upgrade costs.
- Faster Healing I (200 DMC) - Heal 20% faster.
- Faster Healing II (400 DMC)- Heal 50% faster.
- Insider Information (400 DMC) - Reveal Data Drive landing locations 30 seconds before they land.
- Table Deal (400 DMC) - Earn double Dark Market Credits for successfully extracting Data Drives.
Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Guide for Earning Dark Market Credits
This is probably the most important part of our Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Guide -- how do you earn Dark Market Credits?
Let's start with the official line: there are three ways to earn Dark Market Credits in the game:
- Successfully extracting with Data Drives on your person.
- Killing enemy players.
- Killing Occupying Forces (enemy A.I.)
So, there you have it. Simply kill everyone you see, grab some Data Drives, and make it to either the First Extraction or Last Extraction and you're all set. Easy, right?
Well, no. When you first play Hazard Zone, you are going to be heading in with the default gear. That means no Attachments on your gun, no sick Sniper Rifles, no cool Gadgets. Just basic gear. You are going to start out underpowered.
Occupying Forces are also no pushover -- while players are typically more skilled, the NPC enemies are no pushover, either. Go in with the mindset of treating anyone you see as a possible player and fighting accordingly.
Finally, there are the other players. Some people may elect to go with ambush strategies. Others may try to lock down an area. However it plays out, this is a game mode where team composition and your Loadout really matters. You do not have dozens of people on your side - it's your Squad versus all of the other Squads and NPC enemies.
Ideally, you want to try to secure some Data Drives and make it to an Extraction -- they pay out the most Dark Market Credits and should always be your primary focus. If you're short on Dark Market Credits, though, then you may need to do an Eco Run.
Hazard Zone Eco Runs - What To Do If You Don't Have Dark Market Credits
And so we come to the end of our Battlefield 2042 Hazard Zone Guide. It's time to address one final challenge -- what do you do if you don't have any Dark Market Credits? That's where the concept of an Eco Run comes in.
The idea of Eco Runs is not new to Battlefield 2042; it was arguably popularized with the concept of an "Eco Round" (Economic Round) in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Without delving too deep into the subject, the idea is to spend little or no money buying guns for one or two rounds of CS:GO so you can purchase more powerful guns earlier.
When applying that strategy to Battlefield 2042's Hazard Zone, the idea is to spend very little or no Dark Market Credits. Ideally, your focus is not going to be securing Data Drives; rather, you want to focus on killing Occupying Forces and enemy players to earn Dark Market Credits.
Killing players and NPCs for Dark Market Credits won't pay out nearly as good as Data Drives, but an Eco Run is practically free -- it's all profit and low risk. Even if you die, you'll still earn Dark Market Credits for your kills. (Naturally, you should try to successfully Extract with a Data Drive if you can!) If you keep getting your butt kicked and wind up broke, consider focusing on hunting NPCs and players to build up some Dark Market Credits first.