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Gears 5 developer details what fans will get for free now that the game has launched

Additional info on what you’ll have to buy and what can only be found during time-sensitive Operations

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With the extended launch of Gears 5 more or less concluded, today developer The Coalition detailed its plans for post-launch support. It includes information on free downloadable content headed out to owners, as well as what will be available for sale going forward using the game’s real-money currency called Iron. In addition, The Coalition rolled out a detailed list of what to expect in Gears 5 over the next six months.

Operations defined

Content for Gears 5 will be rolled out in three-month-long Operations, the first of which is ongoing now. The next Operation won’t kick off until December.

Operation 1 will make available four new characters, each with unique abilities and load outs in Arcade Versus mode, Horde, and Escape. There will also be weekly events, as well as more than 200 cosmetic items, including weapon and character skins. Operation 2 will include a new mode for Versus gameplay, as well as new maps for multiplayer. There will also be an unknown number of additional characters, and more than 200 new cosmetic items.

Are new characters free?

While some or all of the cosmetic items available during a given Operation will be phased out at the beginning of the next Operation, characters will be available forever.

Characters will need to be unlocked, however. What’s unknown at this time is how much effort that will take. Of course, those unwilling or unable to put in the time can pay cash for Iron, Gears 5’s real-money currency, and then convert Iron into characters down the line. But The Coalition is emphatic in stating that payment won’t be required.

“With the exclusion of Halo: Reach Ultimate Edition and Terminator: Dark Fate Characters,” The Coalition states in today’s blog post, “all future characters — both COG Heroes and Swarm characters — can either be earned through gameplay or purchased directly — whatever you choose!”

The same can’t be said for other cosmetic items. Some are only available for purchase, and some can only be earned through play.

Are new maps free?

Previous iterations of the Gears of War franchise were a bit notorious for splitting the user base by offering new map packs that had to be purchased. Currently the only multiplayer maps that The Coalition is promising to add to the game are free, and there’s no talk of having to unlock them. Expect those to show up in the rotation organically, depending on what mode you play.

If you picked up the game, or plan to in the near future, you’ll want to read the entire blog post in detail.

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