Getting you Started on Gears of War 4's Hode Mode 3.0 (Part 1):The Basics

Recently I've been playing a good amount of Gears of War 4 since 
it's early release on Oct. 8th(if you bought the Ultimate Edition). Putting the story off while I wait to duo through it with a buddy,I've spent most of my time in Horde Mode 3.0 Since jumping in on Gears of War 2,I found Horde Mode to be one of my favorite modes,with this iteration being no exception.Through my next few posts,I hope to explain the basics of Gears of War 4's Horde Mode as well as offer some tips on what I've observed these past few weeks.

Basically,Horde Mode:
New to Gears 4 and/or Horde Mode 3.0? I'll try to catch you up to speed. Horde mode is a survival game type with a class-based system where you and 4 other people fight to reach wave 50. Every 10 waves there will be a boss wave,spawning at least 1 of 4 bosses: Swarmak, Kestrel, Snatcher & Carrier. Multiple bosses will spawn the closer you are to wave 50*. Randomly,a bonus objective will appear. Completion of the bonus objective can reward weapon caches. Should you partially complete the bonus objective,you'll be awarded bonus score. After completion of a boss wave,you will gain rank experience,class experience and credit based on wave completion and your performance. Should you fail a wave you are able to restart at the beginning of that wave and try again. With that,we'll get a bit more in depth to what Horde Mode 3.0 brings to the table.
*I'm not sure if it's difficulty based but I recall fighting multiple bosses on wave 40 & wave 50 on Casual.Basically,The Classes:You have your choice of 5 classes to play as: Soldier, Sniper, Heavy, Scout & Engineer. Each class has a unique starting loadout and class specific skill cards that define how each class is to be played. Each class starts at level 1 with one skill card slot unlocked.You gain additional skill slots upon reaching level 3,5,7&10 as that class. As previously mentioned,you gain class XP for finishing the boss wave. You acquire skill cards buy purchasing either the Horde Booster pack or the Operations Pack pack in the store,both of which can be purchased with in-game credits. Please note that Horde Boosters only offer horde bounties and skills while Operation Packs are a mix between,skills,versus bounties,horde bounties and customizations(weapon skins,character skins and emblems). Skill cards are acquired at level 1 and can be leveled up through the use of duplicate skill cards to increase their effectiveness. Skill cards max out at level 5 and come in both generic skills and class specific skills.Through the use of the Gears Of War 4's crafting system,you are able to craft skill cards but only those you have already found.So you cannot craft brand new skills*
*Looks like I'll be relying on my luck to get that sweet "Hammer of Dawn Strike" skill for the Soldier.

Basically,The Fabricator:
Horde Mode 3.0 revolves around the fabricator and proper spending of "power",a resource dropped by enemies used to fuel your fabricator.The fabricator is a portable crafting station capable of producing fortifications & weapons with the proper amount of power and even the ability to revive dead teammates should you be carrying their dog tags.With the right class skills equipped,you can activate additional functions such as mass enemy spotting or even calling a Hammer of Dawn strike. The fabricator starts at level 1 and levels by making purchases through the fabricator,capping out at level 4. At level 1,you can only build the repair tool,which takes up your pistol slot and the only way to repair fortifications.Past level two you are able to build more weapons, such as a gnasher or lancer in case you need the ammo. As far as fortifications go,you have access to all of them at fabricator level 1 and come in the form of turrets,manned sentries,barricades,decoys and weapon lockers. Unlike weapons,the effectiveness of the fortifications will scale with the fabricator's level along with the cost. Fortifications deployed prior to the leveling up the fabricator can be upgraded by picking up the buildable and selecting the upgrade option. Last but not least,you can revive a fallen with the use of the fabricator. To do so,you must recover their dog tag and run back to the fabricator. Please note,you can only hold one dog tag at a time.The cost to revive an ally increases by 2,500 power for each revive of that wave*
*I've noticed while playing on Casual,the first revive of the wave is free.I'll have to pay better attention during normal and up to confirm this is the case for all difficulties.

"No One Man Should Have All That Power":The last topic of this post is covering "power". Power is dropped by fallen enemies and is used to repair& restock your fortifications,upgrade existing fortifications,revive dead teammates and purchase items through the fabricator. Like fallen weapons and grenades,any power left on the ground will despawn at the start of the next wave. Any power collected in the field is held in a personal stash and will be deducted first should you be trying to upgrade or repair fortifications. Once you touch the fabricator,it will be deposited for team use.Should an ally die,any power that they held will fall on top of their dog tags. Elite variants and boss enemies will drop more power than weaker enemies. The dropped power will be noticeably larger in size while laying on the ground. Prioritize these drops if you cannot collect all of the fallen power.

For the next post I'll be taking a look at look at each character's starting loadout and skills to give a better understanding of what their roles are.Until then,I'll leave some tips here.


  1. Try to enter a Horde Mode match with at least one engineer and scout on the team.The Engineer starts off with a repair tool & The Scout has a passive ability where you collect double power dropped by enemies during a wave.Between waves any power you collect is not doubled nor is the power you collect from fallen allies. 
  2. THE SCOUT DEPOSIT BONUS SKILL DOES NOT MATTER HOW POWER YOU DEPOSIT AT ONCE. For example,say your deposit bonus skill card gives you+50%.If you deposit 100 power,you will get 50 bonus power.If you deposit 200 power,you will get 100 bonus power.If I were to make two deposits of 100 power(200 total),I would get 50 bonus power for each deposit(100 total). 
  3. You can view how much health&ammo fortifications have and how much power each teammate is carrying by using your "Tac-Comm"/holding left bumper(going by the default controls). 
  4. Each boss has a glowing weakpoint ,hinting where to shoot to deal extra damage:

  • -Swarmak has glowing sores all over its body
  • -Carrier's exposed chest.Only will expose during&after attacks
  • -Snatcher's glowing underbelly
  • -Kestrel's have exhaust fans/engines near its blades.These have an orange-ish glow.

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  1. A couple important notes:
    - The Scout gets DOUBLE the energy if he/she picks it up while enemies are still alive. Any deposit bonus is on top of this.
    - The Engineer starts with the Repair Gun, so dying isn't a problem. If you have another class buy the repair gun and die, they LOSE it permanently and would have to buy another $5000 Repair Gun.
    -Sniper and Heavy classes are the most ammo-hungry. The Weapon Locker is very useful for them, as are the ammo crates.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Yup,some solid tips there. I'm in the middle of writing a thing for each classes as well as what the fortifications do. I hope you'll give that a look as well!