Gears War 3horde Guide Tips
by Russ Frushtick
In 'Gears of War 3,' there are plenty of multiplayer modes to keep you occupied, but few have gotten a bigger upgrade than Horde. Horde 2.0 now allows 5 players to take on waves of enemies and, as an added layer of complexity, you can now upgrade strategic defenses scattered about the map to help your odds of survival. Way better than making ridiculous shield walls in 'Gears 2,' right?
GEARS OF WAR 3 COMPLETE UNLOCKABLES LIST
Here's the thing, though. Even with five people, and even on the easiest difficulty setting, getting through 50 waves of Horde mode is a true challenge. Which is why I'm here to offer some tips which may help your odds of survival.
TIP #1 - GO TO THE BATHROOM FIRST
Making it from Wave 1 to Wave 50 with 5 people on the easiest setting, Casual, takes about 2 hours, assuming you don't end up dying repeatedly on a number of waves. There's nothing worse than making it to wave 43 and realizing the dog has to be walked. Don't be that guy.
Pro-Tip: If you're just interested in earning the Horde achievement, the game saves your progress every 10 waves. If you completed the first 40 waves in a previous game, you can skip to Wave 41 from the start. You'll miss out on a medal, but you'll nab those 10 achievement points.
TIP #2 - PLAY WITH 5 PEOPLE, IDEALLY FRIENDS
Making it to Wave 50 with 4 people is doable but extremely difficult. Less than 4 is nearly impossible. So make sure you have a full group of 5 people playing. Even better, play with friends, as communication is key when it comes to upgrading defenses and sharing ammo boxes. Friends are also less liable to quit on you at the first sign of trouble...unless they really hate you.
TIP #3 - UPGRADE, UPGRADE, UPGRADE
What's that, you say? You can't build a turret yet? You need to personally unlock defensive emplacements in Horde mode by upgrading lower level emplacements. For example, you'll start with only the ability to build caltrops to slow Locust down. Repair the caltrops enough and you'll eventually earn the ability to build decoys and upgrade your caltrops into razor wire. Later level upgrades include turrets, auto-turrets and even a Silverback mech (as seen in the campaign). Earning these later upgrades may require multiple playthroughs of Horde, and unlocks are persistent. I've played through about 120 waves so far and I've only unlocked the first three items, for example.
TIP #4 - IDEAL MAP: OVERPASS
If you're looking to increase your odds of making it to Wave 50, play on the map called Overpass. It's the map that has the giant, broken stairway in the middle and two city streets on the right and left. When the game starts, run up the stairway and buy the Command Tower at the top. This is where you'll be upgrading the majority of your defenses.
The benefit of this map is obvious. When each wave starts, you'll be able to use turrets and long-range rifles to take out the smaller Locust. As things get harder, the Locust will be funneled up the stairway, making them easy pray for the turret at the top of the stairs.
Once you've got a solid defense on the stairs, you should consider buying the Command Towers to the left and right of the stairs. These will allow you to build razor wire at the very bottom of the stairs, slowing and damaging any Locust who try to come into your base. Don't buy any of the defenses that are beyond the stairs, though. You'll need every dollar to keep your base in working order.
TIP #5 - CHALLENGES, WEAPON DROPS AND BOSS WAVES
Every once in a while, Horde mode will give your team a challenge. These involve mini-objectives like 'Get 8 execution kills in this wave' or 'Make sure no one dies in this wave.' Completing a challenge nets everyone in your team some bonus cash. It'll also cause weapon boxes to spawn, indicated by a dollar sign on the HUD. DO NOT OPEN THOSE BOXES...yet.
Most random guns on the ground will disappear after the end of a wave. Not so with weapon boxes, which will stick around until you use them. Since they generally have a handful of super weapons inside, you'd do well to wait until a boss wave (Wave 10, 20, 30, etc.) before cracking one open.
Pro-Tip: One of the weapons that drops from the weapon crates is the Vulcan Cannon. This weapon requires two people to use it effectively. Basically one person grabs the heavy machine gun while another person grabs the ammo box. The two players will be tethered together but, so long as the person with the ammo box keeps hitting X, the person with the machine gun can just keep firing. It's a great way to take out large bosses, but it requires consistent communication between the two players.
IT'S JUST BEGINNING
Making it to Wave 50 on Casual is a challenge, but it's nothing compared to making it to Wave 50 on Normal or, heaven forbid, Insanity. If you're worried about dialing up the difficulty, you can always turn on a mutator or two. These will make the game easier or harder and will affect your score accordingly.
But, for starters, just focus on getting to Wave 50 in any way possible. It's a great way to spend an evening and is easily one of the best new features in 'Gears of War 3.'