Battlefield 2042 Will Use Bots to Fill Larger Lobbies

Battefield 2042, DICE's latest installment of its first-person shooter franchise, drops Oct. 22, 2021.
Battefield 2042, DICE's latest installment of its first-person shooter franchise, drops Oct. 22, 2021. / Photo courtesy of DICE

Battlefield 2042 will use AI bots to backfill lobbies of its 128-player Conquest and Breakthrough game modes, community manager EA Straatford confirmed.

In an update to a Battlefield Briefing post, Straatford revealed that AI Soldiers will be introduced to the FPS franchise for the first time with the release of Battlefield 2042.

Hoping to deliver on an experience that is "bigger than ever" to its players, Battlefield 2042 will offer game modes designed to host up to 128 players on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC. On Xbox One and PS4, maps and modes will be optimized for a 64-player experience.

With an emphasis on making sure gamers can play Battlefield 2042 "when and how you want," here's EA's official breakdown on why they're adding AI Soldiers to the game:

[In multiplayer,] AI soldiers are used for server-filling capabilities, ensuring your matches remain full, no matter your location. [In co-op, AI] allows you to play together with friends, against AI soldiers. [In solo,] if you wish to perfect your skills for multiplayer, you can even play alone against AI soldiers.

EA Straatford

While massive-scale battles have long had their place in gaming, so too has the implementation of AI bots.

Although AI-controlled soldiers can be used to add an extra layer to gameplay (e.g. League of Legends and Star Wars Battlefront II) without players batting an eye, where things can get dicey is when bots are included to "fill in" for a role that's designed to be held by a regular player.

Ultimately, the implementation of AI in large-scale multiplayer has always been a topic up for debate due to its difficulty to be properly set up. Make the AI too strong and it's an unfair advantage, make them too weak and it's an Achilles heel too tough for a team to overcome. Don't have them in at all and then matches will take too long to start in the first place.

With EA mentioning that the unadjustable AI feature is limited solely to these larger lobbies, and that real players might never encounter an AI soldier at peak playtimes, it'll definitely be interesting to see how the Battlefield community embraces the bots come this fall.

For more on Battlefield 2042, feel free to check out our coverage on its upcoming open beta dates.