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How to rescue an MIA Operator in Rainbow Six Extraction: Archaean Trees, Anchor Points, and Cells explained

Here's how to save an MIA character in Rainbow Six Extraction

Want to know how to save an MIA Operator in Rainbow Six Extraction? Your characters in Rainbow Six Extraction don't die when they lose all their health: instead, they're given a lifeline thanks to a certain REACT protocol, which coats them in a foam to protect them for just long enough to mount a rescue mission.

Rescuing an MIA Operator can be a bit confusing, as there are multiple elements that you'll need to understand first. Below we'll explain what happens when you go MIA, and how to rescue an MIA Operator in Rainbow Six Extraction, including information about the Archaean Tree, anchor points, cells, and more.

Rainbow Six Extraction: what happens when you become MIA?

Even the best Operators in Rainbow Six Extraction can sometimes fail. if your Operator is knocked out during a mission they will become MIA. The Operator will be automatically surrounded in REACT Foam to protect them against the Archaeans while a rescue mission is undertaken. This rescue attempt comes in the form of an objective for one of the three sub-zones of the next mission.

If an Operator goes MIA, you'll temporarily lose a portion of the XP you earned while on that mission. The higher your Operator level, the more XP you lose. So if you've been busily following our guide on how to level up fast in Rainbow Six Extraction, just know that it comes with a price!

With the next mission, one of the objectives will be to rescue the MIA Operator. If you succeed, then that temporarily lost XP from the previous mission will be returned to you, and your Operator will be returned to you at low Health. If you fail the rescue mission, your Operator is still returned to you, but you'll permanently lose that portion of XP that was withheld at the end of the last mission.

An MIA Operator, coated in REACT Foam and attached to an Archaean Tree in a Rainbow Six Extraction rescue mission.

How to rescue MIA Operators in Rainbow Six Extraction

To rescue your MIA Operator in Rainbow Six Extraction, you'll need to find the Archaean Tree located in one of the mission's three sub-zones. The MIA Operator is trapped inside this Tree, and must be pulled free.

Here are the important tips and notes to remember.

Deal with nearby Archaeans first

Before you attempt to free the Operator, I highly recommend that you go around and deal with some of the nearby Archaeans - particularly dangerous adversaries like the Apex, Smasher, and Tormentor enemies. You really don't want to be attempting to deal with the Archaean Tree while surrounded by angry Archaeans, so make the sub-zone as safe as possible before you attempt the rescue.

Focus on the Anchor Points and Cells

So, how do you rescue the MIA Operator? Start pulling the Operator free, and you'll begin to weaken the Tree's grip. But the Tree will fight back. See those tendrils leading from the Tree to various big ugly flower-like things nearby? Those are anchor points, and each anchor point will periodically send a glowing red "cell" down the length of its tendril towards the Tree. If the cell reaches the Tree, it regains some strength, and pulling the Operator free becomes harder.

It's unlikely that you'll win an extended tug-of-war against a Tree with all of its anchor points constantly buffing its strength, so you've got two options really. The first option is to shoot the cells before they reach the Tree. A single shot with any gun will do the trick.

The second option is to destroy the anchor points themselves. Anchor Points will open up their "petals" in order to send out another strengthening cell. While it's unfurled, it's vulnerable. A few shots will kill it. This is more efficient than simply popping the cells, because without anchor points, the Tree receives no cells at all. The downside is that the Tree will constantly throw out new tendrils to new anchor points, so you'll need to keep your head on a swivel to keep popping them all until the Operator is free.

At max strength, the Tree is stronger than you are, so you need to spend at least some time shooting either cells or anchor points in order to successfully rescue the Operator. This is easier with two or more players than if you're playing Rainbow Six Extraction solo, because you can have one player continually pulling the Operator free, and the other(s) working on destroying cells and anchor points.

Rainbow Six Extraction: the player attempts to pull an MIA Operator free from the Archaean Tree holding them captive.

Understanding the progress bar

So there's quite a lot going on here, between the Tree strength, the anchor points, the cells, and the overall tug-of-war between you. Fortunately this is all represented by a HUD element (see above) which appears in the middle of the screen when you start pulling the MIA Operator free. It's a bit confusing at first, so here's an explanation:

  • The yellow character icon in the middle represents your position on the progress bar. You need to pull the Operator until that icon reaches the other yellow icon on the far right. But if it reaches the red circle icon, you'll have failed the rescue attempt.
  • The red circle on the right displays the Tree's grip strength. The emptier that circle, the easier it is to pull the yellow icon to the right.
  • The small red icons that approach from the far left represent the incoming cells sent by the Tree's anchor points. If any of those cells reach the red circle, the red circle will fill slightly, increasing the Tree's grip strength.
A rescued MIA Operator being carried by the player towards an Extraction Pod in Rainbow Six Extraction.

Extracting the MIA Operator

Once you rip the MIA Operator free from the Tree's grasp, you simply need to carry them to the extraction point. While carrying them on your shoulder, you can only use your secondary weapon, but you can also place the Operator down and pick them back up as necessary.

At the extraction point, interact with the Extraction Pod to place the MIA Operator inside. Once that's done, they're safe, and you will be free to extract or continue with the rest of the mission, knowing that your lost Operator - and your lost XP - will both be returned to you once you're done.

If you want to take a closer look at this whole MIA rescue process for yourself, the easiest, safest way to do this is to enter the VR Training mode. The final sub-zone teaches you how to rescue an MIA Operator, so you can get some hands-on experience without the tension of possibly losing XP.

A rescued MIA Operator being placed into an Extraction Pod in Rainbow Six Extraction.

And there you have it: that's how you can save an MIA Operator in Rainbow Six Extraction. Elsewhere you can check out our Rainbow Six Extraction tips and tricks - or, if you want to expand your roster, you can learn how to unlock more Operators in Rainbow Six Extraction, so that losing one character doesn't hurt quite as much.

About the Author

Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is known round these parts for having just about the deepest voice in existence. Some say he used to be pretty darn good at Rocket League, but he has since sacrificed that accolade in order to become passably decent at Apex Legends. His favourite pastimes include playing piano covers of his favourite game soundtracks, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

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