Ahead of Gears 5's PC and Xbox One launch this week, Microsoft has shared details on the game's live-service-style Operations, set to introduce the likes of free maps and rewards to multiplayer on a regular basis.
According to Microsoft's latest blogpost, new Operations will come to Gears 5 every three months, and each will offer new modes, new arenas for Versus and Horde mode, new earnable characters with their own unique skills and abilities, new customisation items, and more, including new tiles and support for Gear 5's Map Builder.
Additionally, each new Operation will introduce a fresh Tour of Duty - a season-long progression system structured very much like the now widely adopted Battle Pass model, albeit entirely free - enabling players to unlock new cosmetic content through play.
There will be seasonal medals and three new Tour of Duty objectives to tackle each day, awarding stars to help progress through the Tour Rank. New customisation options exclusive to the current Tour of Duty season - including character and weapon skins, banners, expressions, marks, executions, and blood sprays - are unlocked on reaching a new level and medal group.
Operations and their free rewards will exist alongside Gears 5's paid cosmetics store, and the game's first Operation - running from September to December - will bring over 40 customisation options, according to Microsoft. These include winter- and desert-themed armour variants, and the new Final Touch execution.
Additionally, new Escape Hives will appear on a weekly basis, alongside fresh division rank rewards, and a regular monthly update schedule will bring new features, improvements, and fixes. The first of these updates, coming in October, will see the return of Special Events, some Halloween surprises, and Gear 5's initial character roster expansion, adding new COG Heroes for Versus, Horde, and Escape modes.
Gears 5 launches on PC and Xbox One tomorrow, Friday 6th September.