Rainbow Six Siege Operation Burnt Horizon: Everything We Know

The fourth year of updates for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is upon us, delivering a new wave of multiplayer content throughout 2019. Ubisoft's hit multiplayer shooter is next headed down under, with a new Australian season exploring the unforgiving solitude of the Outback. Dubbed Operation Burnt Horizon, Year 4 Season 1 is shaping up as a fresh new season of counterterrorism action.

Here's everything we know about Operation Burnt Horizon so far.

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Operation Burnt Horizon release date

Following its initial debut, Ubisoft is now teasing a full reveal of Operation Burnt Horizon at the Six Invitational 2019. Packed alongside a week of esports action, the expansion is on track for a February 17, 2019 unveiling, with a highly-anticipated Year 4 roadmap. Windows Central will be on the ground, with coverage of the latest news as it happens.

While Ubisoft is yet to discuss Operation Burnt Horizon's release date, rollouts of past seasons outline what to expect. Following a two-week Technical Test Server (TTS) deployment on February 19, expect a public release around March 5, 2019, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PCs.

New Operators: Mozzie and Gridlock

For Operation Burnt Horizon's initial unveiling, Ubisoft has confirmed two new playable Operators planned for the expansion. Hailing from Australia's Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) counterterrorism unit, a new attacker and defender is joining Team Rainbow's ranks.

For those with the Rainbow Six Siege Year 4 Pass, both Operators will be available on launch day for free. Seven days after the season's deployment, these Operators can be purchased by everyone using Renown or premium R6 Credits.

Although Ubisoft remains tight on Burnt Horizon details, numerous leaks establish a foundation for these Operators. Mozzie and Gridlock look to be the latest additions to the roster; a duo of Australian grease monkeys with new trap gadgets. While initially backed by an alleged leaked menu, official assets have since prematurely surfaced on the Rainbow Six site.

Operation Burnt Horizon's most significant leak surfaced in late 2018, centered around two supposed Operators for an Australian update. The report details an attacker named "Gridlock," equipped with deployable proximity-based "red web tracker" gadgets. Once triggered, these devices will damage foes and alert nearby allies. Similar to Wind Bastion's Nomad, Gridlock indicates a push for offensive trap Operators from Ubisoft, locking down defender rotations.

"Mozzie" is Burnt Horizon's rumored defender, with a deployable drone-hacking gadget. Once offensive drones enter its radius, the Operator gains control and repurposes them for defensive use. Official translation files hosted by Ubisoft further back this leak, uncovering references to unused Operator dialogue. Featuring the phrases "Drones Hacked" and "Trax Deployed," these bolster the source's legitimacy.

The Operator leaks still hold up, with Ubisoft currently teasing gadgets that keep "roaming Defenders on their toes" and "leave Attackers at a bit of a loss."

New multiplayer map: Service station

Operation Burnt Horizon is also slated to debut a new Australian multiplayer map, themed around an isolated gas station in the Outback. Early assets tease a weathered aesthetic, across interconnected buildings housing close quarters combat. Ubisoft provided a small tease of the setting during its initial reveal:

That doesn't mean they've left the sunburnt country completely behind them, though – there's a slice of the red desert coming with them. A high-stakes chase has ended in a standoff at a service station halfway between here and nowhere, resulting in a map that's packed with twists, turns, and Australiana. Try not to get distracted in the gift shop or dream of sampling the national specialties available at the fast food counter. Your teammates will thank you.

As with previous post-launch locales, the map will be free on launch day for all players regardless of owning the Year 4 Pass. And during the initial launch period, a dedicated playlist should serve up 24/7 access.

Operator rework: Fixing Lion

Since Rainbow Six Siege's debut, few additions have proved as controversial as Operation Chimera's Lion. The offensive Operator's global wall-hack ability has faced intense criticism in a tactical setting, even ousted from the official Rainbow Six Pro League. Ubisoft has acknowledged its flaws, with a rework underway.

Progress is being made on the Lion Rework. We have tested and validated the design changes that we would like to implement, and are in the process of tightening up the parameters, as well as UI and Audio feedback. We will have more information available for you during the Six Invitational!

Despite few details on Lion alterations, his Six Invitational debut can't come soon enough. Expect more information on the refreshed gadget, potentially with a rollout alongside Operation Burnt Horizon.

Match Making and Rating (MMR) Roll Back

Ubisoft has also discussed a new Match Making and Rating (MMR) Roll Back feature headed to Rainbow Six Siege alongside Burnt Horizon, with the aim of combatting cheaters. Once enabled, player ranks won't be affected by games where cheaters were identified, "rolling back" any gains and losses. Ubisoft hopes to compensate affected players with the system while penalizing booster accounts. While first tested during Operation Wind Bastion, the next season marks its player-facing debut.

More on the horizon

Operation Burnt Horizon is a fresh start for Rainbow Six Siege, marking the game's fourth year of updates. With a new wave of content ahead, there's no better time to get started with the shooter. Let us know your thoughts on the update in the comments.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.