September has begun. The start of a new month means only one thing for Gears of War 4
players — it's time for the newest update. As the fourth numbered installment in the series nears its one-year anniversary in October, the developers at The Coalition have new maps, 20 more achievements and matchmaking improvements planned for this month.
Every month since launch, two new, or often "new," maps have been added. September's offerings are of the "new" variety, with one map returning from Gears of War 3
and an adjustment to a Gears of War 4
map. The maps will be live in the Developer Playlist starting today, which, as usual, will offer double XP and 20% bonus credits. Players who own the season pass, or are in a players' party who owns the season pass, can access the maps. They'll join public playlists starting Tuesday, September 12th.
The first is Mercy, a fan-favorite Gears 3
map which players may recall was the hometown of Maria, Dominic Santiago's wife. Winter has now set upon the once bright and grassy town. Players can fight over the high ground in the center of the map or find sanctuary and cover in the well-enclosed church on the other side of town.
Next up is a rendition of Harbor from Gears of War 4
. The seaside locale, dubbed Harbor Haze, now has a thick fog thoroughly covering it.
The mist can roll in from the sea at any time, dramatically reducing visibility and providing the perfect opportunity for surprise attacks or sneaky flanks. The mist changes the dynamics combat drastically – if you’re brave enough to find out how.
Achievement hunters have been asking — or perhaps not
asking — for the next part of the update, which is a new set of achievements. Unlike the tough "Rise of the Horde" update achievements
, The Coalition promises this set of 20 achievements will be "focused on your first moments with the game." Many players who have already completed the required actions will instantly pop the achievements after installing the update and loading the game. Reveal the spoiler tags below to see the full list
Also arriving with the September update are the matchmaking improvements The Coalition has been discussing in recent weeks. The update removes regional matchmaking
, which affected players who live in lesser-populated regions. When they searched in their own region, they were often unable to find games and would have to turn to other servers to get into a match. With the update, server select is removed and all players will automatically be put into the match that gives them the best overall experience, taking into consideration factors such as ping, player skill and more.
Later into September, Season 1 in ranked will end and players will receive the rewards for the rank they have achieved. Season 2 will then begin and players will be able to do it all over again, reaching the highest rank their skill allows and earning rewards at the end of the season the following year.
While the discussion of the first year of Gears of War 4
is underway, The Coalition has promised to support the game for the following year, previewing what is to come:
- Our Xbox One X Enhanced Update, featuring support for 4K, HDR, Dolby Atmos and new graphical enhancements
- New Gear Packs containing characters and weapon skins to add to your collection.
- Monthly Versus and Horde events with exclusive challenge-based rewards
- Major Seasonal events like ‘11 Years of Gears,’ ‘Gearsmas’ and – yes – ‘Thanksgibbing!’
- Ranked Seasons with skill placement rewards
- Gears of War Esports Season 2 kicks off with the Mexico City Open on October 13th, so mark your calendars and catch up on all the event information here
- Continual balancing improvements to Versus and Horde
- Refinements to ‘Casual’ mode in Campaign with increased player health and damage dealt
- New achievements
The September update for Gears of War 4
is live now. It should also bring the changes to the Chest Candy achievement
, which were previewed at an earlier date.