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Rainbow Six Extraction: How to rescue MIA Operators

The new threat, called Archaeans, in Rainbow Six Extraction are more than just mindless alien parasite things. These creepy creatures have begun infecting and taking over various regions in the world, which are the zones you and your team are sent into to complete various tasks in the hopes of finding a way to get rid of them once and for all. Your team consists of a total of 18 iconic Operators taken from Rainbow Six Siege, only now made a part of the Rainbow Exogenous Analysis and Containment Team, or REACT for short. You can select your Operator of choice and go on these missions solo, or in a team of up to three others. These Archaeans aren’t messing around, though, and failing to extract is bound to happen sooner or later.

Unlike in Rainbow Six Siege, Operators don’t immediately come back to life if they get taken out during a mission. If you lose your favorite character, they’re gone until you rescue them by going on a special MIA Rescue mission. These aren’t easy, and can be even harder if you’ve lost your most powerful Operator.

The process isn’t as simple as you might think, with multiple steps and hurdles you should be aware of. To keep your character roster from shrinking too much, we’ll go over everything you need to know about how to rescue MIA Operators in Rainbow Six Extraction.

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What going MIA means

Rainbow Six Extraction enemy spawning.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

It would be wishful thinking to believe that you will never lose an Operator while playing Rainbow Six Extraction. The game is all about risk and reward, and once you start raising the difficulty level, things start to get intense very quickly. It will only be a matter of time before some situation comes up that you and your team aren’t ready for, and you end up getting downed with no hope of revival, let alone extraction. When this happens, that Operator you were playing thankfully doesn’t die, but instead goes MIA as they make a last-ditch effort to stay alive by covering themselves in a special protective foam.

Once they go MIA, you will automatically lose a chunk of the total XP that Operator had earned on that fateful mission. However, manage to rescue them and that XP will be returned to them and they will be back in your roster with some injuries. Until you attempt a rescue, you will be unable to use that Operator in future missions, with one exception we’ll cover at the end.

Starting the MIA Rescue mission

Naturally, rescuing your lost Operator should be your first priority once it happens. These don’t show up as different missions or options on the game menu, but instead will be a new MIA Rescue objective as one of the three in an incursion. This mission will always show up if you have an MIA Operator so long as you choose the same level as the one you lost that Operator on. If you decide to play in a different level, you won’t get the chance to rescue them.

How to rescue the Operator

Freeing and Operator from a tree.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The MIA Rescue objective can be in any of the three zones of your mission, so you might get lucky and have it on the first, or need to fight your way to the third. Either way, there are a few steps to rescuing your Operator you need to be aware of. The basic idea is you need to find a Chimera Archaean tree, cut the character free, and escort them to the extraction zone. As with most things in Rainbow Six Extraction, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Whether it’s the first, second, or third zone, the first step is always to reach the MIA Rescue objective area on the map. Once there, locate the Archaean Tree that your Operator is trapped inside and clear out as many of the enemies nearby as you can. This is a dangerous process and the fewer enemies you have to deal with the better. The process of pulling the MIA Operator free is lengthy, but what makes it worse is that once you start, the tree will reinforce itself via several anchor points. These anchor points will send pulsing cells through the connected tentacle things that, if they make it to the Archaean Tree, will make it harder to pull the Operator free. Thankfully, you can shoot these cells before they hit the tree to interrupt them.

This is where your team needs to track down these anchor points and destroy them, and keep any cells from reaching the tree, to speed up the process. These anchor points won’t stay disabled permanently, though. Once you destroy one, the tree will eventually spawn new ones to try and regain strength. Oh, and of course, there’s also the regular enemies pestering you on top of everything.

If you’re unlucky enough to be attempting this rescue without a squad, you will have to juggle pulling the Operator out as far as you can, then leaving to break the anchor points, and getting back to keep yanking them out.

While pulling out the Operator, you will see a few things on screen to show how close or far you are from actually releasing them from the tree’s grip. This is a representation of the tug of war you’re playing with the tree. The diamond with the hazmat mask icon in the middle is the Operator you’re trying to rescue, the yellow REACT symbol on the right is the point it needs to reach before they’re free, and the red circle on the left is the Archaean Tree’s strength. The more filled up the red circle, which gets filled via the cells we mentioned earlier, the stronger it will pull back, and thus longer it will take to free the Operator.

Once you finally tear the Operator free of the gross tree, all that’s left is the actual extraction. This works just like the rescue missions in Rainbow Six Siege, where you need to carry the body on your shoulder, limiting you to only using your secondary weapon. You also can put them down and pick them back up if you get overwhelmed and need some extra firepower. Carry them to the extraction point, where there will be a special Extraction Pod you can deposit them into. Once secure, get yourself out of there and the mission will be accomplished.

One thing to note when freeing an MIA Operator with a team is that if you and one or more of your squad members also have Operators they are attempting to rescue, the one pulled from the tree may not be the character you have lost. If they’re not, don’t panic. Just completing the mission will restore your specific Operator to your roster even if the one you rescue in the mission is one of your teammates.

Consequences of failing a rescue

Character with parasite in Rainbow Six Extraction.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Again, Rainbow Six Extraction isn’t easy. When you’re running a mission with an Operator you may not be as comfortable with, or is not as high a level, it can be even tougher. If you happen to get on a losing streak and get wiped while attempting to rescue an MIA Operator, there are a few things that happen.

First, the Operator you failed with will, as expected, also becomes MIA. This can lead to a dangerous series of events, in which you continue failing to rescue anyone as you’re forced to use less experienced Operators. Rainbow Six Extraction won’t let you fully lose, however, and will eventually cycle Operators back to you even if you fail to rescue them in the reverse order you lost them.

In exchange for getting the Operator back for “free,” the Operator will lose about 30% of their XP and come back with 1 HP, so you will need to wait for them to recover before you can take them back out in the field. It’s obviously not advisable to get to this point, so lowering the difficulty down as far as you can for these MIA missions, just to be safe, is a good way to make sure you never get too far behind.

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Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
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