MIA Operators is a unique mechanic in Rainbow Six Extraction which introduces an element of risk reward.
During the course of a mission, if an Operator fails and isn't able to complete a level, they will be deemed MIA, and is unable to be used unless they are rescued.
Failing to rescue them will still see them return to you - albeit with a few penalties. Chances are your Operators will fail over the course of playing, so it's worth knowing how to rescue MIA Operators in Rainbow Six Extraction effectively.
If you're after more help, see our explainer on how to make an enemy bioluminescent in Rainbow Six Extraction.
How does the MIA Operator mechanic work in Rainbow Six Extraction?
If you fail a mission in Rainbow Six Extraction, the Operator you used will be left behind and deemed 'MIA' (or Missing In Action).
This renders them unavailable to play as for future missions until they are rescued. At the end of a mission, you will receive an update on how many Operators are currently available or MIA.
To rescue a MIA Operator, you must return to the level they fell. This can be seen either on the Operator select screen, or on the level select menu - with a red icon showing MIA Operators.
You can see which Operators are MIA at any given time on the roster select screen:
And also within the level select menus, giving you a visual lead as to where they are located:
Replay that mission, and one of the three Hot-Zones within that mission with be the MIA Operator objective (in our experience, this is usually the first or second Hot-Zone, but can also be the third).
If you manage to rescue the Operator as part of that objective - see the next section on the specifics on how that works - then the Operator will be returned with no penalties to XP. They will see a drop in health temporarily, but will recover as you use other Operators in the meantime.
Failing this mission will see the Operator returned to you - but at the cost of 30% of their XP and their contribution to your REACT milestone progression, as well as a temporary reduction in health.
Think of the mechanic akin to how many roguelike games work; dying means you have the opportunity to return to the area they fell to recover the XP or progress, and failing that will see that lost for good (or in this case, a loss of some progression).
How to complete the MIA Operator objective
The MIA Operator will become one of the main three Hot-Zone objectives if they have been left behind within that map.
Within that Hot-Zone will be an Archaean Tree, where the Operator will be located. You know you are in the right place where you can hear a beeping closeby.
Once you are sure the local area is secure and free of hostiles, look at the tree and observe where three branches emerge - this will be important shortly.
When ready, approach the Tree and interact.
What follows is a mini-game of sorts, where you must pull the Operator away from the Tree, while destroying any defences - in the form of pulses along three branches - which will arrive to counter the rescue.
Start by pulling the Operator, and have either yourself or another player look at the branches. If you can, destroy the Anchor Points at the other end of each branch (they can only be destroyed when open and glowing). These will temporarily stop pulses which travel along the branches and slow the rescue.
Whether you shoot these Anchor Points or not, simply be sure to keep an eye on the branches and shoot the pulses when they travel, and before they hit the tree - hampering the rescue.
This is all represented via an indicator in the middle of the screen - though you should also keep an eye on the real-world branches so you can clearly see where the pulses are.
With the pulses clear, return to the tree and pull the Operator to continue the rescue. Repeat this process - pulling the Operator, pausing to shoot pulses and if possible, the Anchor Points to reduce pulses temporarily, until the rescue is complete.
From there, you will be carrying the Operator, and have to go to an extraction point. (This is different to the Hot-Zone exit, which will allow you to progress further into the mission.)
Load them into the pod at the extraction point to complete the rescue. Whether you leave here, or decide to continue to the next Hot-Zone, is up to you.
If you fail the rescue - which is possible, especially in solo - then they will return to the roster but with a loss of 30% XP, which is reflected in their advancement and your REACT milestone progression.
What else do you need to know about MIA Operators in Rainbow Six Extraction
As well as the above explainers, some extra smaller details might might be worth knowing:
- Difficulty or number of players for MIA Operator missions doesn't matter. If you want to get back an Operator with at least amount of fuss as possible, set the mission to the lowest difficulty (Moderate).
- It's possible to have more than one Operator MIA in the same level, requiring multiple MIA Operator extractions.
- If your Operator has progressed to the maximum Advancement level (10), then they will incur no penalty loss if you fail to rescue them when MIA. Consider it a useful perk for your time investment.
- If you manage to see all of your Operators go MIA, the first Operator to go missing will be returned to you - ensuring you can at least always play with one.
- As well as failing missions, Operators can also become MIA if you abandon a mission early.
Best of luck rescuing those Operators!