Greetings and salutations, Prospectors! 

It’s been a couple of weeks since our last announcement around Season 3 and, if you’ve been keeping an eye on our roadmap, you know it’s time for another article about what you can expect for the new season. 

Let’s do just that then! And without wasting another second, we’re jumping straight into the thick of the matter, with another big change to the game. 

Free Loadout Runs 

Spent all your cash on some fancy attachments? Ended up one too many times on the wrong end of a gun barrel and struggling a bit to properly resupply? Wanna try out new weapons without spending resources on them? Then Free Loadout Runs are made for you! 

Free Loadout Runs allow you to drop down to the surface with a full pre-defined loadout graciously granted to you by one of the three factions. You are not restricted in any way once on the surface and can do whatever you usually do down there. If you manage to evac successfully, you get to keep all that gear and whatever you’ve found on your deadly trek. 

Oh, and we’re using the name “free” because that’s what the loadout is. Free. But you’ve probably figured that out already. 

Why do I want this? 

First of all, it’s free stuff. Free. Stuff. We’re gonna go ahead and assume no further explanation is needed. 

Second, this allows you to drop and go through a proper playing session without having to risk any of your own gear. Sure, you might not be deadly enough to take on an army of Jeffs or another unspecified big monster (wink wink), but you still get to run around and take a shot at your missions with, worst case scenario, zero losses. 

Third, it’s a great opportunity to test some stuff out. The Free Loadouts are randomized and might include a weapon you’ve never handled before, so you get a chance to try it out without regret or worry. 

Fourth, and that’s a very important point, did we mention free stuff? 

Alright, free stuff. How does it work exactly? 

Very simply: go to the drop terminal, choose a map, select whatever free loadout is available at the moment and drop to the surface. No further strings attached! 


We’ve worked out a few more details on what you can expect to be handed out: 

  • Every free loadout will include at least 1 weapon with a bunch of ammo, 1 shield, 1 helmet, 1 backpack and a few health consumables. 

  • Loadouts may include additional items, like attachments or other types of consumables. 

  • Gear rarity will vary from Common (gray) to Rare (blue). Specifics will vary, but every loadout will amount to roughly the same total value. 

  • Free Loadout Runs will be available several times per day, with a cooldown timer between each run. 

  • Loadouts offered to you will stay the same until you drop with them. You get to reroll them once every 24h though, in case there’s something you really dislike in there. 

  • You can’t bring any of your own gear if you’re picking a free loadout. Nothing preventing you from evacuating and piecing out your own loadout afterwards though. 

What’s the motivation behind this? 

One thing we really wanted to introduce is a way for players to enjoy a quick gaming session here and there without fearing for their progression every time. Free Loadout Runs allow for a more carefree experience, as getting foamed won’t incur any loss. 

We also wanted to offer newer and more casual players an easier way to get into the game, understand its mechanics, and explore the surface without being constantly punished for being green. It will also limit the chances of going bankrupt early on and having to rely on knife runs to recoup. 

All in all, Free Loadout Runs will make the experience smoother and allow you to quickly drop again in just a few clicks, without fear or worry. We hope you will enjoy these freebies: the factions are doing something nice for once, so make sure to milk them for all their worth! 

Matchmaking Updates 

Season 3 should also bring additional improvements to our matchmaking system. When we first worked on The Cycle: Frontier, we didn’t think matchmaking would matter too much, as it doesn’t for most extraction shooters. We quickly realized however that, simply put, we were wrong. 

We want every player out there to have the best of times when playing our game. They should experience a good mix of tension and excitement, but also make sure progression remains somewhat fair and linear. Moreover, we want to show every type of player that we value and respect their time, no matter their skill level. And we want our game to reflect that. 

The changes so far 

We’ve mentioned matchmaking several times in the past months and have made significant improvements to the system throughout the seasons to make the experience smoother and fairer: preventing new solo players from running into squads of three juggernauts, ensuring unexperienced Prospectors don’t get to face pro PvP players and trying to fill every server with players of a similar skill level. 

This was done through data analysis, feedback collection, internal testing and, sometimes, pure experimentation. We believe matchmaking criteria are currently in a much better place than they ever were, but there’s still more we want to bring to the table. 

Plans for the future 

With Season 3 we might change additional parameters, to make sure everyone's trip on the surface remains a fair yet tense and exciting experience, especially for newer players still trying to get their bearings.

Of course, fairness doesn’t mean every drop will be a walk in the park. If someone manages to sneak up on you and serve you a face full of shotgun pellets, that’s entirely on you! 


That last enticing scenario brings us to the end of this announcement. We hope you’re getting excited for what’s to come so far, as we can’t wait to bring all that to you. 

Don't forget to join us on Discord ( and our Reddit ( and make sure to follow us on Twitter (

Next week, we’ll be talking about another monstrous addition to Season 3. Bring a lot of insect repellant. Until then, take care of yourselves, have a wonderful day and see you all on the surface.  

Fortuna Favors the Bold!   

Any feedback? Please share it with us in our discord server


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