The 'Burn-In' was first pioneered by distinguished officers of the newly formed 8th Armored Infantry Division, who discovered this method was most suited to getting large numbers of Armored Infantry into battle with the least risk from enemy fire. Thereafter, this deployment method was standardized for all Armored Infantry units in the USIF.
In order to perform a burn-in, the soldiers who will be deploying must first enter a dropship, which then takes them over the battlefield. Once the pilot has locked onto a landing zone, he ejects the soldiers out of the bottom of the dropship via jet propulsion from tens of thousands of feet above the ground.
Once launched, troopers can guide themselves to avoid incoming fire. When the soldiers are closer to the ground, they have two options: they can activate their jet brakes, which slows their fall and allows for a stealthy landing; or the more dramatic method- continue on at terminal velocity without deploying jet brakes and creating a large crater upon landing, allowing the soldier to enter the battlefield more quickly. There is also a third method that allows the burn-in to be used as a weapon, where the trooper continues on at terminal velocity and deploys the jet brakes at the last moment, allowing him to position himself above his intended target. He then lands on top of his intended target, with the resulting impact able to crush large vehicles or unsuspecting infantry and even smash through bunkers.
While soldiers may be moving faster than the speed of sound, they aren't immune to incoming fire. Anti-Air Turrets can make short work of any soldier foolish enough to fall within their range, and even hand-held armaments can still snipe at incoming soldiers. Once within range, an enemy Armored Infantry soldier can lock-on to gain better accuracy. While the plummeting soldier can activate the jet brakes at the last moment to provide a quicker landing, it does require a small period for the armor system to reboot, making the soldier vulnerable to slug round attacks of enemy infantry.
- As noticeable friction heat trails are seen from falling soldiers whenever at high altitudes, it is possible that Burn-Ins are frequently carried out from outside a planetary atmosphere or at extremely high altitudes, and that the soldiers endured the intense heat of atmospheric re-entry.
- In multiplayer, landing on top of a player while burning in will result in an instant kill, while landing onto a deployable will destroy the deployable, should the player be successful.
- In-game, the player sees the Burn-In from a 1st-person viewpoint in the first Section 8 game. In Section 8: Prejudice, the Burn-In is now viewed from a 3rd-person perspective before switching to 1st-person for regular gameplay.