I have a few side ops on my list that are still bright despite being checked off as completed. Most seem to get darker as you finish them.

Side ops 12 not darkening

The only one that comes to mind at the moment though is one of the prisoner extractions (prisoner extraction 3 maybe?). It still shows up on the map as well (even if not highlighted in the list) and I can still go to that location while in free roam, trigger it, and complete it again.

My guess was that this was a repeatable side op. It just seemed weird that only prisoner extraction 3 is so far, and not 1 or 2. Can anyone confirm/deny this?

Edit: Looks like a similar (if not duplicate, yet differently phrased question was already asked here. Good, additional information on the accepted answer over there as well.

  • 2
    No solid answer, but I've heard from several other players that these are simply missions you can repeat freely.
    – user973
    Sep 23, 2015 at 21:40
  • I've also noticed that after some game time, some of these missions switch from gray back to selectable, which would probably confirm this. The prisoner extractions are probably on a timer for repetition so you can get a free recruit of a given grade every so often.
    – Linear
    Sep 24, 2015 at 3:45
  • I've also noticed this with "Eliminate the Heavy Infantry x", they do seem to be repeatable after a certain amount of time has passed since you last completed it. Perhaps the day/night cycle has some effect on this?
    – ahillier88
    Sep 24, 2015 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


There doesn't seem to be any true consensus on the topic from a number of discussions including here and here.

However, since players are able to complete all 157 side-ops even with these reappearing ones, it strongly favors the fact that these are simply replayable and the ones chosen for replay-ability don't follow expected numerical patterns.

Perhaps the ones chosen have some other values to them like materials/animals that you can also gather.

  • I've heard that the side ops become available as you complete other missions, and that limited ones are available for a given area. So you might, for example, have 2 repeatable side ops available in Afghanistan, then you complete a story mission and another side op becomes available for repeat. Sep 24, 2015 at 13:54
  • There's a theory on /r/NeverBeGameOver that some of these side ops do not cycle through when you replay them, and that the available number does not match the actual number of available missions Sep 28, 2015 at 21:04

The way it works is the map is divided into areas and each side-op is in a certain area. You can't have more than one side-op active (playable) in the same area.

The game will prioritise the yellow side-ops highest, then uncompleted ones and lastly completed ones.

So if you have no uncompleted side-ops in that area, it will just put up one of the completed ones so there's always side-ops available to play.

  • Do you have a source on this? It seems like a very interesting answer and clearly makes some sense. Sep 24, 2015 at 16:43
  • @DangerZone I don't have a source unfortunately- this is just my understanding from wondering the same thing as you. I've seen other people come to the same conclusion as this as well. It seems to hold true. For instance I've had an incomplete side-op disappear and a different side-op appear in the same area (presumably I hit the unlock requirements for the second and it had a higher priority). When completing it and "freeing up" that area, upon returning to the ACC I get the "side-ops list updated" and the old one appeared back.
    – GP89
    Sep 24, 2015 at 16:53

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