Gears of War 4's "biggest ever" update arrives next week, adds new Loot drops and difficulties

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The Sniper class with its three new skills

Gears of War 4 is about to get a pretty big update—its "biggest ever," according to The Coalition community manager Liam Ashley. The free Rise of the Horde update brings a bunch of new content to Horde mode, including 15 skills, Loot drops, and difficulty levels, in addition to some new multiplayer maps and 20 new achievements. It arrives on June 6.

The new Horde skills include abilities like the Scout's Cloak, which turns players invisible; the Sniper's Magic Bullet, which increases the player's damage with every headshot; and the Engineer's Salvage, which provides ammo to teammates when their Fortifications kill baddies. Additionally, a random Horde skill will drop after defeating the Boss Waves at Wave 30, 40, and 50—and, of course, higher difficulties provide a better chance of getting a better, rare skill. You can read up on all 15 of the new skills here (opens in new tab).

Speaking of difficulties, the update adds two new difficulty levels—Inconceivable and Ironman—to both the campaign and Horde mode. While Inconceivable is simply just a harder difficulty than Insane, Ironman acts as a permadeath mode in the Campaign—die and you'll have to restart the entire thing. In Horde mode, however, no COG tags will drop when you fall in battle and if you fail to complete a wave, you have to start over again. Thankfully, you can activate Ironman on any difficulty, including the lowest.

Two classic multiplayer maps, Gears of War 2's Avalanche and Gears of War 3's Rustlung, are also on their way. Season pass owners will be able to play them on June 6 in the Developer Playlist—this will earn them Double XP and 20 percent bonus credits. They come to public matchmaking for everyone on June 13.

The update arrives a couple days before Gears of War 4's free trial (opens in new tab) begins on June 9. The trial offers up to 10 hours of playtime, and as long as you don't use it all up, you can continue playing after the trial's availability period ends on June 15. On top of that, if you decide to buy Gears of War 4, you'll keep all progress made in the trial—you get full access to the Versus and Horde modes, but only the first act of the campaign is included. Just make sure to download the trial sometime between June 9 and 15, and you're set.

You can read more about the Rise of the Horde update here (opens in new tab).