While many people write Gears of War off as just another testosterone soaked and ultra-violent shooter series (which it unapologetically is) its important contributions to multiplayer gaming cannot be denied. Introduced in 2008’s Gears of War 2 as a new form of co-op, “Horde Mode” has become as popular as Team Deathmatch, even going on to appear in other major franchises such as Halo, Call of Duty and even Mass Effect.
The series that birthed this influential mode is back with Gears of War 4’s Horde Mode 3.0, which adds a little more complexity with classes, skill cards, bounties and more. With these new additions comes new strategies that veterans of “Horde Mode” will certainly appreciate. If you’re a Horde Mode noob looking for an explanation of how Horde Mode works, this guide is not the one you’re looking for. This guide is for Horde veterans looking for the best locations to set up shop and mow down all 50 enemy waves.
Regardless of the location you choose to set up your “base,” always remember to follow these simple but crucial rules:
- Always build inwards bt starting with barriers guarding the outermost entry points. Also, make sure to always place barriers between walls that cannot be hopped by enemies.
- Barriers and sentries compliment each other. Barriers slow and weaken enemies, but don’t they won’t last long without some supporting fire. Sentries placed outside of barriers are highly vulnerable to attack and are far too expensive to keep replacing, so make sure to keep them inside.
- The fabricator itself cannot be harmed by enemies, so don’t worry about defending it. Instead, just make sure it’s in a location that is easily accessible, but not in the way. Also, it can be used as cover!
- Engineers are vital and a good engineer knows to monitor and repair their structures continuously. If your engineer leaves mid game, someone should create a repair tool via the fabricator and become the impromptu engineer. Also, don’t forget that you can check the condition of all your structures from a distance with the left bumper.
- To upgrade existing structures once your fabricator is upgraded, press Y to pick them up. If you have enough power, you can press X to upgrade, which is far cheaper than building a new one from scratch.
- If you can finish the current wave without reviving your dead teammates then do it. Repeatedly using COG tags to bring teammates back to life is costly and the power is better spent elsewhere as they’ll come back after the wave ends anyway.
While elevation is usually your friend in a firefight, in this base you’ll be going low. Block off each of the two entry points with barriers and place your fabricator in the very middle, once the lift stops. This base is a little tight for a weapons locker, but if you can find a place to squeeze one in, I wholeheartedly recommend it. Finally, this is the only base I recommend forgoing a turret for four sentries, with one in each corner. By angling them correctly, you’ll be able to cover the barriers and the low windows to chew up enemies who get too close.
While many players set up shop in the Control Room, this area is far too cramped and vulnerable to Dropshot fire as a result. Instead, the ideal base location here is one of the rooms adjacent to the Fuel Tanks. It offers elevated site lines, lots of cover and two choke points atop the stairs. On the wide staircase side, place your single barrier at the bottom of the first stair set, before the low divide. On the opposite side, place the barrier approximately halfway up the stairs, so enemies cannot hop the low wall into the base. Make sure to cover each barrier with a sentry. Place your Fabricator outside the structure, near the top of the wide staircase, to be used as cover. Position the weapons locker safely inside and out of the way and the turret facing out one of the windows.
The Control Tower is a great Horde base location as it offers protection from choppers and cannot be entered by Swarmaks. Place barriers near the bottom of each staircase entering the tower with each spot covered by a sentry. Since they will be firing down the stairs, sentries placed behind the low walls atop the stairs will not shoot at enemies and so they should be placed off to the side. Make sure to put them far enough back into the base and away from the stairs, so they don’t get in the way of your teammates. Place your Fabricator in the middle of the room so it will be easily accessible and offer cover. Place your weapons locker up near the Incinerator button, but make sure it’s out of the way so it doesn’t take damage. You can place a turret next to the Incinerator button, but its field of view will be limited to about half of the battlefield. You should also place a turret down near the fabricator in order to offer support fire near the barriers as needed.
The Pistons area in Foundation is an ideal spot for Horde. While there are three entry points that require barriers, there’s also lots of room and cover. Place your Fabricator near the front entrance for extra cover, and your weapons locker near the back of the base. Place a turret near the weapons locker, preferably in one of the 90 degree corners of the T shaped console. If placed correctly, you should be able to use it to offer supporting fire at all three entry points. Finally, at the ramped entrances on the sides, place turrets behind the low walls because they can fire over it at enemies attempting to pass through barriers at the tops of the ramps.
The Hotel and Cafe are both perfect base locations for Horde as they offer a great view of the “no man’s land” that enemies must cross to reach you. Also, each of the entrances force enemies into chokepoints with the stairs, which can be fired at safely while in cover. On the wide staircase place a barrier near the top of the stairs that’s visible from the sentry you’ll want to place around the corner. It’s best for this to be further into the base so it’s out of the way. On the opposite side place your barrier at a 45 degree angle so it’s between the top of the stairs and the entryway inside. Then cover it with a sentry that’s positioned along the walkway to the area where the boltok typically spawns in versus mode. The Fabricator can either be placed inside the base or at the top of the wide stairs near the barrier. This allows players to shoot from cover and straight down the stairs. Lastly, place the weapons locker somewhere safely inside with a turret facing out the windows. This softens up enemies before they even arrive at your barriers.
If you’re following this guide then you should be able to you reach wave 50 much- assuming you’ve got a team of competent COGS, of course! If you’ve found a great Horde base I didn’t mention, let us know in the comments!
Just completed Hardcore on Gridlock, setup in the hotel but it was extremely susceptible to explosives. We moved down to the clocktower spawn and setup just behind and on either side of the L shaped Cars. Turrets in front with Sentries behind to assist with any breeches. Only problem with this base was sniper fire, but it worked great against all Swarm enemies.