Battlefield Hardline features new variety of gameplay that breaks away from the traditional Battlefield game modes. The focus of the game has been shifted to police and the "war on crime", breaking away from the military setting that has hitherto characterized the series. As such, the main factions in Hardline are the police Special Response Units and criminals. Players will have access to various military-grade weapons and vehicles, such as the Lenco BearCat, as well as having police equipment such as tasers and handcuffs.
Hardline also uses the Levolution mechanic from Battlefield 4. For example, in the map "Downtown" players can send a construction crane crashing into the building, ripping down debris from the central buildings in downtown, which falls down on the streets of Los Angeles. But, this time, every map features multiple levolutionary events, both small and gigantic.
Many new game modes are featured in Hardline, for instance: Heist, Rescue, Hotwire Mode, Blood Money and Crosshair Mode.
Heist: The criminals must break into a cash filled vault (or as featured in some maps, blow open the doors of an armoured truck) then move the cash filled packages to an extraction point; the police must stop them. If the Criminals manage to escape by bringing all the money to the extraction point they win.
Blood Money: Both factions must retrieve money from an open crate in the center of the map, then move it back to their respective side's armored truck. Players can also steal money from the opposing team's truck. The team that first deposits $5 million worth of money into their truck or the team with the most money under a time limit wins.
Hotwire Mode: Drivable cars take the role of traditional Conquest "flags." Like Conquest, capturing cars (done by driving above a certain "cruising" speed) will bleed the enemy team's reinforcement tickets. The team who reduces the other's to zero or who has the most tickets remaining after the time limit wins.
Rescue: In a 3 minute long 5 vs 5 competitive mode, S.W.A.T officers must try to rescue hostages held by criminal forces. The cops win by either rescuing the hostage(s) or by killing all the criminals. Criminals win by killing all the cops. Each player has only one life in this mode, that means no respawns.
Crosshair: The second competitive game mode in Battlefield Hardline. Crosshair is also 3 minutes long, 5 vs 5 with only one life. In Crosshair the criminals are trying to kill a player controlled VIP on the cops side who is a former gang member turned states witness. The criminals win by killing the VIP and the cops win by getting the VIP to the extraction point.
Visceral Games ratified that the single-player campaign will not be linear and promised to deliver a better one than the predecessors. The campaign will feature episodic crime dramas where choices will heavily change situational outcomes and gameplay experiences. As a cop, players can use multiple police gadgets and personal equipments. The police badge can be used to strike fear into criminals' hearts and order them to lay down their weapons, the scanner is used to stake out a situation, identify high value-targets, log evidences, tag alarms, and mark other threats. To slip past unnoticed, players can use bullet cases to distract enemies.