Tides of War is a free live service for Battlefield V to introduce new content to the game. It replaces the Premium Pass of past installments, with monetisation of new content now coming in the form of cosmetic items for The Company that are purchasable with Battlefield Currency. The system sees the release of periodic events that tell an overarching narrative of the events of World War II. This is done through the release of new maps, game modes, weapons, vehicles, Combined Arms missions, and customization items.
Each Tides of War chapter takes place between set dates, usually lasting between 2-3 months. Typically, a chapter will start with an update that implements some new features and the chapter rank rewards. Over the course of the chapter, new content is added either in the form of weekly challenge unlockables or universal additions of maps and game modes. After a Tides of War chapter ends, there may be a short break of one or two weeks before the next chapter begins.
Tides of War chapters are split up by weeks, with a new week starting on each Thursday.
During each week, players can complete weekly challenges to obtain that week's reward as well as chapter XP. Each week is comprised of separate challenges known as "Story Nodes" which are linked together such that players must complete challenges sequentially to unlock other nodes, eventually progressing towards the final reward node. The rewards are time limited - once the chapter progresses to the new week, players cannot go back to complete previous weeks' challenges. For those that miss them, weapons and vehicles rewards usually become purchasable with Company Coin after the chapter ends, whereas cosmetic items routinely do not.
The weeks have specific titles and descriptions, and may revolve around a particular theme such as vehicle combat, reflected in the criteria for the weekly challenges which encourage players to play on a specific map or mode, or in a certain way. Challenges may also teach players about game mechanics through their descriptions, or be used to promote newly introduced features - for example, Tides of War challenges may relate to limited time game modes as long as they are available. The challenge criteria can on occasion apply to Firestorm and Combined Arms.
Obtaining XP during this period, by completing story nodes of weekly challenges, special assignments or simply by playing the game, contributes to a player's Tides of War chapter ranking. Reaching ranks will unlock new customisation items as well as other rewards such as assignments, melee weapons and Company Coin. Players have until the end of the chapter to obtain the rewards, as their rank resets each chapter.
In general, a chapter has 40 chapter ranks, with XP requirements for reaching the next rank increasing in a linear fashion. Weekly challenge nodes and chapter special assignments will award differing amounts of XP based on their difficultly or position in the challenge tree. XP score from playing does not translate into Chapter XP in a 1:1 ratio - in most cases, chapter XP gained from score in each multiplayer round is effectively capped once round score reaches a certain point (approximately 7,500 XP), with Chapter XP gain after that point being greatly reduced. As an example, an overall match score of 20,000 XP may only award 9,000 Chapter XP at the end of a round.
Players may pay real money to increase their chapter rank, either by purchasing chapter-specific Booster Packs containing an XP Boost, or by directly paying to skip chapter ranks for 150 each. XP Boosts give a 20% increase to challenge node awards as well as in-game score, with the round XP cap raised appropriately. Although players cannot make progress in chapter ranks once the chapter ends, players may increase their rank by paying for rank skips up until the next chapter begins.
Limited Time GamemodesEdit
Chapter One: OvertureEdit
- Main article: Battlefield V: Overture
Overture is the first chapter of the Tides of War service. It serves as an introduction to both the overall system and its features. It ran from December 5th, 2018 to January 6th, 2019 and included:
- The Last Tiger - Singleplayer war story following a disillusioned Tiger tank crew in the final months of World War II.
- Panzerstorm - A multiplayer map set in Belgium, focused on armored warfare.
- Practice Range - Based on the Hamada map, this training environment contains trials to improve shooting, driving and flying.
- Vehicle Customization - Including tank and plane skins also nose art decals
Chapter Two: Lightning StrikesEdit
- Main article: Battlefield V: Lightning Strikes
Lightning Strikes expands on multiplayer game modes available, as well as reintroducing Co-op, not seen since Battlefield 3. It was released on January 17th, 2019, ended on March 21st, 2019 and included:
- Combined Arms - Initial introduction of the co-op game mode
- Rush - Return of Rush multiplayer game mode. This mode will only be available during this chapter.
- Squad Conquest - Introduction of 16 player multiplayer version of Conquest.
- Battle of Hannut - New Grand Operations set in Panzerstorm and Arras.
Chapter Three: Trial By FireEdit
- Main article: Battlefield V: Trial By Fire
Trial By Fire revolves around the introduction of the Firestorm Battle Royale gamemode, taking place on the largest map in the franchise to date, Halvøy. It took place between March 28th, 2019 and June 20th, 2019 and includes:
- Firestorm - Battlefield's anticipated take on Battle Royale
- Mercury - New multiplayer map set on the Greek island of Crete based on Operation Mercury.
- Outpost - New gamemode coming in June 2019.
- More Combined Arms mission - Two Combined Arms based on Fjell 652 and other improvements.
Chapter Four: Defying The OddsEdit
- Main article: Battlefield V: Defying The Odds
Defying The Odds expands upon the current theaters of war with additional multiplayer maps set in Greece, North Africa, Norway and France, most of which have a prominent focus on infantry combat. It was released on June 27th, 2019, and ended on September 19th, 2019 and included:
- Al Sundan - A multiplayer map that is a conversion of Butcher and Bolt singleplayer level from Under No Flag.
- Marita - New multiplayer map set on Greece during late 1940, focusing on large-scale close-quarters combat.
- Provence - A new multiplayer map set in Provence, France during the mid-1940s.
- Lofoten Islands - A multiplayer map set in the Lofoten Islands, Norway and based on Operation Claymore.
- Main article: Battlefest
Battlefest is an event that bridged the gap between Defying The Odds and Chapter 5. In addition to debuting one new map, it contains several weapons and gadgets shown previously but were not yet available, namely the Trench Carbine, Madsen MG and Fliegerfaust. Battlefest ran from October 3 to 31, 2019.
- Operation Underground - A reimagined version of Battlefield 3's Operation Métro taking place in Germany.
Chapter Five: War in the PacificEdit
- Main article: Battlefield V: War in the Pacific
War in the Pacific sees the introduction of the United States Armed Forces and Imperial Japanese Army factions to Battlefield V, taking players to the Pacific Theater of World War II. It was released on October 31st, 2019, and is scheduled to end on January 23rd, 2020.
- Iwo Jima - A multiplayer map set on the island of the same name, portraying the American beach landings. Larger than Hamada, the map is about 70% to scale of the actual island.
- Pacific Storm - A new multiplayer map set in a chain of islands, with glimpses of Paracel Storm and intense thunderstorms.
- Wake Island - The return of the iconic Battlefield map, reimagined for V, with twice the size of the original. It was released on 12 December 2019.
- The "Fall of Europe" was originally intended to be the first chapter of Tides of War. This was changed, however, due to the game's month-long release delay which affected the post-launch content plan. The cut chapter's weekly challenges and names for each week (from October 22nd to November 12th) were seen in the Tides of War Dev Talk video.