Gears of War 4‘s “Rise of the Horde” update will launch on June 6 entirely for free. Microsoft and The Coalition unveiled the upcoming update for Gears of War 4, packed full of enough content to hopefully reinvigorate the game’s online community. Rise of the Horde features a variety of new content, including new Horde Mode skills, maps, difficulties for both single and multiplayer, and even a trial version of the game for new players. Both PC and Xbox One will get the update on its June 6 release date.
The heart of the update, as the Rise of the Horde title implies, is the addition of new Horde Mode-focused content, and the focus of that content is the 15 new Horde Skills players can collect. Each of the five different classes will get three unique skills. For example, the Heavy is getting “Last Stand,” which makes them take less damage as their health gets lower, and the Sniper will get “Called Shot,” which increases damage from all sources on marked targets.
Of course, since Gears of War 4 features loot boxes, there’s plenty of new customization content to unlock in Rise of the Horde, too. That includes loot drops, new opportunities to get rare drops with each Boss Wave in Horde Mode, and plain old free content for those that log in between now and June 8. Other new rewards include a series of Trainee Packs as new players level, and 20 new achievements to unlock exclusively in Rise of the Horde.
New content isn’t limited to Horde Mode, however. Two new tiers of difficulty will be made available in both single-player and Horde Mode: Inconceivable and Ironman. Inconceivable is a step up from the game’s previous highest difficulty, Insane. That means the player will be weaker and the enemies stronger, so make every shot count. Ironman is a difficulty modifier, rather than a new difficulty in its own right. It simply means that one death, or one failed wave, means game over.
Two new maps are also featured in the Rise of the Horde update. Avalanche is a Gears of War 2 throwback set in an icy mountainside resort, and Rust Lung is a Gears of War 3 map featuring a ton of close-quarters combat. As per usual, both maps will be available to Season Pass holders early, on the update’s launch date, June 6. They’ll enter the public playlist a week later on June 13.
New maps, new rewards and best of all, new opponents too. With Rise of the Horde, Microsoft will be enabling cross-play between Xbox One and PC in ranked. Cross-play’s been working out so well in non-ranked matches that Microsoft feels confident opening it up to ranked too. For players who aren’t ready to test their mettle, an option will be available to remain platform agnostic.
Gears of War 4 is currently available on both Xbox One and PC. A limited trial will offer new players 10 hours of free play between June 9 and June 15, including the full first act of the single-player campaign.