In Rainbow Six Extraction, you and your squad (known as REACT) are tasked with taking on various incursions that involve studying and containing exogenous threats to earth as we know it: the Chimera Parasite. There are four difficulties for players to choose from, also known as threat levels. Each difficulty comes with its additional risks for your squad of Operators, but they also have certain requirements, and some benefits.
In the following guide, we've broken down and explained each difficulty level in Rainbow Six Extraction.
What is Parasite Mutation?
Considering the risk of parasite mutation increases with your chosen threat level, let's explain what parasite mutation will entail for you and your REACT squad first.
Parasite mutation is when the Chimera Parasite undergoes random mutations that can make meeting your objectives that little bit more difficult. For example, Archæans will leave behind a sprawl trail that can slow you down if you walk through it. If you kill Archæans, there is also a chance of spontaneous sludge spawning, which will create sprawl and sometimes spawn another Archæan if it's not dealt with.
Additionally, parasite mutation can armour nests, cause blinding spores to grow on Archæans, spawn cloaked (invisible) Archæans, and produce a fog that reduces visibility across the map. Last but not least, some sprawl may be caustic, meaning it is acidic, thus inflicting damage if you step on it.
Without further ado, let's explain the four levels of difficulty, and how parasite mutation is involved with them.
Moderate Threat Level
Playing Rainbow Six Extraction at Moderate difficulty is where every player will begin, as higher difficulties are unlocked when your Operators reach certain Milestones (also known as Levels).
Moderate difficulty requires your Operator's to be level 1+ (which they obviously all will be, to begin with), and gains you the basic amount of XP. Archæans, the main creatures you and your squad will be facing, will be low-level, and there is no risk of parasite mutation.
Cautious Threat Level
Playing Rainbow Six Extraction at Cautious difficulty is likely what most players will ultimately go for, and stick to. This threat level requires your Operator to be level 3+, will feature low-level Archæans, and grant you a +50% XP boost. As for parasite mutation, the risk is 50%.
Severe Threat Level
Playing Rainbow Six Extraction at Sever difficulty is what more experience players will go for, or squads who fancy a challenge. This threat level requires your Operator to be level 6+, will feature a full Archæan ecosystem, and grant you a +100% XP boost. As for parasite mutation, the risk is 75%.
Critical Threat Level
Playing Rainbow Six Extraction at Critical difficulty is what the most skilled players and strongest squads will choose, and it'll definitely serve a huge challenge even to the most talented and well-equipped Operators. This threat level requires your Operator to be level 8+, will feature a full Archæan ecosystem, and grant you a +200% XP boost. As for parasite mutation, the risk is 100%, so there's no avoiding those caustic sprawls and armoured nests.
That's all there is to difficulty, or threat levels, in Rainbow Six Extraction. Selecting difficulty is straight-forward, as you will be prompted to choose one whenever you start an incursion. We recommend playing at Cautious for the most-part, but higher threat-levels will make for chaotic fun whenever you and your squad feel prepared. Check out our preview thoughts on the parasitic title here.