Gears of War 4's September update packs new maps, achievements, and more

Gears of War 4 continues its monthly patch cycle with a new batch of content for players to check out in September. This month, the game is picking up a couple of new maps, new achievements, and more.

As usual, this month sees two new maps being added to the game. The first, called Mercy, marks the return of a close-quarters Gears of War 3 map set in the hometown of Dominic Santiago's wife. The second, Harbor Haze, is a variation on the Harbor map. As its name suggests, Harbor Haze is covered in a mist that reduces visibility, adding a new strategic element to the map.

Harbor Haze

Next, a whole slew of new achievements are being added with the September update, all of which cover the introductory experience in Gears 4. At 20 new achievements, there's 500 more gamerscore up for grabs. Veteran players will likely automatically earn the achievements when they sign in, and new players will have something more to earn when jumping into the game for the first time.

Lastly, this month's patch will see a small change to the matchmaking experience, moving from region-locked matchmaking to a "quality of service" matchmaking system. This essentially means the system will prioritize matching you with players of a similar connection quality more often. Skill-based matchmaking is also being improved with ranked season 2, which means you'll more often be matched with similarly skilled players.

Past the September update, October will mark one year since the launch of Gears of War 4, along with the last two of the 24 maps The Coalition promised would be added to the game over its first year. That isn't the end of the line, however, as The Coalition promises it will continue to support Gears of War 4 with new content and patches throughout 2018. Part of those plans includes an upcoming Xbox One X Enhanced update, along with monthly Horde and Versus events, ranked seasons, and much more.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl