Gears 5: Operation 8 - Release Date, Characters, New Map, Patch Notes, Drop 2, And Everything You Need To Know

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We've finally reached the end. After launching in 2019, Gears 5 has seen steady content updates called Operations. Operation 5 released in November 2020 with new maps and characters, March's Operation 6 provided new gameplay modes, May's Operation 7 offered further content and now, Operation 8 is coming.

With The Coalition moving onto next-generation development with Unreal Engine 5 - recently showcasing their Alpha Point demo - Operation 8 is where it ends for Gears 5. Read on for everything you need to know.

Read More: Everything We Know About Gears 6

What Are Operations?

In The Coalition's own words, Operations are intended to "evolve your Gears 5 Multiplayer Experience". Similar to seasons in live service games, these offer new content and usually last for several months. Tour of Duty is included in this, a season long progression system where players unlock free cosmetic content.

Operation 8 Release Date

As confirmed by The Coalition in a blog post, this goes live on August 3, 2021. We don't have specific times for when that'll drop just yet on the day.

New Characters

Here's everything you need to know about Operation 8's two new characters:

Bernadette Mataki

Sergeant Bernadette “Bernie” Mataki will prove a familiar face for those who played Gears of War 3. The Coalition describe her as:

A legendary sharpshooter who fought for the COG in the Pendulum and Locust Wars. With a caustic sense of humor and an unerring sense of aim, Bernie is a relentless force on the battlefield.

Ketor Vrol

Ketor Vrol isn't a new character, though this marks his first appearance in a Gears of War game. Originally appearing in the "Gears of War: The Rise of RAAM" comic series, The Coalition gave us this outline:

A crusading zealot with a deep-seated hatred of humanity, Ketor Vrol is one of the first Locust and served Queen Myrrah alongside RAAM and Ukkon. Vrol is a high priest of the Locust Horde who leads his people in worshipping the Trinity of Worms, who created the sacred birthright of the Locust: the Hollows.

Operation 8 New Map

Operation 8 introduces Ritual, a map made of ancient ruins described as where the Weilehan people once gave tribute to the Wakaatu. The Coalition advise that "controlling both the catacombs and the altar" is crucial to avoid unexpected flanks.

Ritual Map. The Weilehan people once gave tribute to the Wakaatu at these ancient ruins. Controlling both the catacombs and the altar is key to avoiding unexpected flanks.
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Operation 8 Trailer

Operation 8 - PvP And PvE Changes

Operation 8 will introduce Capture the Flag as Gears 5's "final" competitive mode, coming with exclusive banners and a new leaderboard. New reward are promised and two new prototype weapons will be available, the Markza MK2 and Revive Grenade.

On the PvE side, Boss Rush, Escape from Kadar, Horde Mania, Horde Roulette, Jingle Juvies, Mad Man’s Monsters, Nexus Siege and Predator Hunt will all become available in Custom Games.

Operation 8 - Drop 2

Much like Operation 7, this one is being split into two separate drops. We don't have much information at this time about Drop 2 and no indication of a release date, but we'll keep this updated when we know.

Operation 8 - Drop 1 Patch Notes

You can read the full patch notes below.


  • The Gnasher will no longer have brighter muzzle flashes on the 2 v 2 Allfather Arena map.
  • Players will now receive appropriate penalties for continuing to disband Competitive lobbies.
  • We’ve removing the ability to see the PC Icon in Public lobbies across Gears 5, this icon will stay in for Custom matches to help maintain esports integrity.
  • We’ve added an option to add a delay to the expression wheel appearing, this can be toggled from instantly to 5 seconds which should help prevent accidental openings of the wheel while in combat.
  • You can now toggle off the option to “Yank” a player over cover, sometimes a player will accidentally try to yank while trying to revive a DBNO player against cover which will help prevent this issue from occurring.
  • A confirmation prompt has been added to the restart round option in custom matches.
  • Addressed an issue that resulted in Hivebuster Mac not displaying a blue team shader when viewed from distance.
  • We have updated the Scoreboard to provide more meaningful stats across the board for viewers and players.
    • Execution/Warzone: Kill/Death/Assist, Damage Done, First Bloods, Revives.
    • KOTH/Control: Kill/Death/Assist, Damage Done, OBJ Kills (any player you kill inside the objective.), Caps/Breaks.
    • TDM/Dodgeball: Kill/Death/Assist, Damage Done, Kill Streak (this is your current kill streak but will reset at the end of each round or if you die.), Revives.
    • Guardian: Kill/Death/Assist, Damage Done, Leader Kills, Revives.
    • Escalation: Kill/Death/Assist, Damage Done, Kill Streak, Caps/Breaks.
    • Gridiron/Capture the Flag: Kill/Death/Assist, Damage Done, Touchdowns, Denials.
  • We’ve made the following changes to competitive mode scoring:
    • Players who are playing solo will now get a 25% boost to their score at the end of a competitive match (up from 15%)
    • Players will now receive 5,000 points for a victory in all team-based competitive modes.
  • A voiceline is no longer played when killing an ally held by a meatshield.


Players will no longer have an invisible weapon when revived in specific circumstances in PvE.

  • The Relic Weapons have now been moved into the “minimal” Gears 5 install; this addresses an issue with users crashing when loading Atrium.
  • An exploit which allowed players to force all enemies to spawn in a specific location in Turbine has been fixed.
  • Abyss no longer appears twice in the Horde Frenzy stats section.
  • An issue with a door on the Trap Hive has now been addressed.
  • Hoffman will now correctly call out a Warden when he marks it.
  • Flame Grenadiers and Palace Guards will no longer fire their weapons while feared.
  • Players will no longer continue to take damage from the poison puddles mutator at the end of a Horde wave.
  • Lambent enemies will now have an outline when a Marksman uses their X-Ray ability.
  • Rebuilding the Fabricator will now correctly cost 4,000 power.
  • Sires will now move when targeting a Decoy.


  • The Embar is now centralised in the weapon’s customization screen.
  • To address a crash, players are now unable to use Jack’s abilities while in a vehicle in the Campaign.
  • A specific cover has had its collision heightened in Training Grounds to prevent you jumping over it.
  • The Chalkboard skin has now been restored to the correct version.
  • The Made you Flinch expression now uses the correct Card image.
  • Hivebuster Mac’s ponytail should no longer behave oddly.
  • A Level of Detail issue on the door inside the Cafe on Ephyra has now been addressed.
  • An issue that resulted in the chatbox not working for some users has been addressed.
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