This article is about the Real World

The Hardcore choice - "You know how to pull off a headshot".


GoW 2 Hardcore mark.

Hardcore is the standard level of the 3 difficulty settings in Gears of War, and the "Hard" difficulty in all the following games due to the introduction of Normal in Gears of War 2, and it's usually represented by a Gold Gear with three Stars. In this mode, enemies are accurate and have a considerable amount of health, however players can kill enemies far quicker than on the Insane difficulty level. This is considered to be the "true Gears Universe".

Hardcore allows less for fighting in the open, and the damage that enemies inflict and the effort that it takes to destroy them is increased. Damage is now reasonable, as you can be killed instantly by an explosive weapon (ex. Torque Bow), and melee attacks are almost instant-killers as well, but from Gears of War 3 onwards (with the exception on Gears of War: Ultimate Edition) you will not instantly die in single-player but be downed unless hit by an Instant Kill Attack such as being cut by a Lancer Chainsaw. This is recommended for more experienced players who have completed the main Campaign at least once on Casual or Normal (or at least feel comfortable enough to switch). A first time co-op playthrough will be just perfect on this difficulty.

Enemy health levels on HardcoreEdit

(Gears of War HP left and Gears of War 2 HP right)

Allied health levels on HardcoreEdit

(Gears of War HP on the left Gears of War 2 HP on the right)

Multiplayer AIEdit

Gears of War 3Edit

  • AI now begin with a Roadie Run which matches the speed of the player's version.
  • AI will evade attacks much more often and don't delay with their weapons compared to a Casual AI.
  • AI spot enemies much more often, but not as much as Insane.
  • AI will attempt to get themselves up rather than trying to get to an ally. Allies will also revive the target much faster.
    • Along with this, they usually kill/execute enemies twice as fast compared to a Normal AI, shooting almost instantly at the downed target.
  • AI will active reload much more often and use weapons much better. They will also tap the "B" button much faster when in a Chainsaw duel. They will also headshot more often if given a headshot-capable weapon.
  • AI plant grenades.