Gears Tactics, like many strategy games, has a permadeath feature. The three main characters—Gabe, Sid, and Mikayla—are classified as plot-essential Heroes. (Players who pre-ordered the game received a fourth Hero, Augustus “Cole Train” Cole, the popular franchise mainstay.) If any of them die, you get a game over and start fresh from the most recent checkpoint. But if one of your rank-and-file Gears dies, they’re gone for good. Or so you’d think.
It’s possible to “revive” your fallen teammates in Gears Tactics. This isn’t an official revive function; you won’t find a well-hidden Phoenix Down tucked away in the depths of some arcane menu. But by making the most of the tools at your disposal, you can essentially bring a fallen troop back from the dead, or at least create a convincing clone.
As you play, be mindful not to fill up your roster. Keep at least one open spot. The amount of people you can have at any given time will swell as you complete campaign missions, so this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. Beating campaign missions introduces new troops you can recruit during downtime between missions. The rescue mission variety of side quests will give you two recruitable troops, too.
You might be tempted to bring on one of each of the five classes—vanguard, scout, support, heavy, and sniper—to serve as backup. Don’t do that. When you recruit someone new, they’ll be at the same level as your highest squad member. But if you recruit someone right away and let them languish, they won’t gain any experience. For our purposes, it’s far better to hold off on recruitment until you know you need a soldier of a particular class. That way, you’ll be turning a high-level soldier into a clone, rather than a level-two benchwarmer.
When one of your troops is killed, recruit someone of the same class type as the fallen soldier. (If you don’t see a troop of the same class, do a mission to shuffle the deck of potential recruits. Chances are, the one you’re looking for will pop up.) Once they’re in your roster, open up the customization options. After you lose someone, all of their equipment will go back into your inventory. Give all of it to your new troop.
Once your new Gear is decked out in shiny old gear, you’ll need to tweak their skill tree. From what I gather, the troops you unlock after campaign missions start with blank upgrade trees, while those you get from rescue-themed side quests will already be partially leveled-up toward a particular subclass. In any case, use a reset token (you can see how many you have remaining in the upper-righthand corner of your roster screen) to turn their skill tree into a blank slate.
Once you’ve finessed the technical stuff, the rest of the “revival” process is nothing more than a matter of customizing the surface-level stuff. First, change the color of their armor to whatever your fallen Gear rocked (to neon green and vivid purple, obviously). Do the same to their hair style, hair colors, accessories, and tank top, too. In Gears Tactics, all customization options are gender-neutral, so any troop can wear anything you’ve unlocked.
When you’re all done with that, change their name. And even though you can’t customize call signs—military lingo for “middle name”—there’s a long list of options. Select the one your fallen soldier carried with pride, or just choose the most fitting option: “Immortal.”