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This article is about the Real World
For the Horde mode in Gears of War 3 or Gears of War 4, see Horde 2.0 and Horde 3.0; for the Horde mode in Gears of War 5, see Horde (Gears 5).

Achievement: Dirty Dirty Horde: Survive the first 10 waves of Horde.

Achievement: Horde the Horde: Survive all 50 waves of Horde.

Horde is a gameplay mode in Gears of War 2 that features arcade style combat with waves of enemies. Up to five players can join together to fight against 50 waves of the Locust Horde. The difficulty increases as the players advance through the waves. Horde can be played on any multiplayer map, although players cannot play alongside bots.

Gears of War 2[]

At the beginning of each wave, enemies spawn from various points of the map. Players need to kill all the enemies in order to progress to the next wave. When the last enemy is killed, players who were killed will respawn in the next wave. There are 50 waves of Horde in total. If all players are killed in the same wave, the game ends. They will also be notified if they want to restart the wave if needed. If all players accept to restart the wave, they will end up from the basic weaponry (Hammerburst/Lancer, Gnasher Shotgun, Snub Pistol, Grenades) and in a random spot.

There are a wide variety of enemies in Horde, although they are all infantry units, so larger enemies such as the Brumak, Corpser, and Reaver do not make an appearance. Each successive wave is more difficult than the last, so it is essential that players work together and form strategies to avoid being overwhelmed. Players will remain in their current position when each wave ends, so be sure to take note of where you and the other players are before the next enemy onrush begins. Players should take caution because it's easy to become separated once the enemy begins attacking.

The ammo in certain weapons are refreshed in the player's inventory at the beginning of each wave. Ammo containers located throughout the map also resupply players ammunition (two containers per map). However, some weapons (such as the Scorcher Flamethrower and Ink Grenade) will neither be refreshed at the beginning of a wave nor resupplied from ammo containers.

Every ten waves, starting from wave 11, the horde grows stronger. The following chart shows how strong the Locust are at certain levels.

Locust attributes Health Accuracy Damage
Waves 1-10 1.0 1.0 1.0
Waves 11-20 2.0 1.0 1.0
Waves 21-30 2.0 2.0 1.0
Waves 31-40 2.0 2.0 2.0
Waves 41-50 2.5 2.5 2.5


All enemies are introduced and removed in the waves as follows:

Wave 1

Wave 2

Wave 3

Wave 4

Wave 5

Wave 6

Wave 7

Wave 8

Wave 9 No enemies are introduced or removed in this wave.

Wave 10

For special holiday events, similar to the 2010 Thanks-Gibbing event, Horde is temporarily changed to include only:

  • Wretches (Included in nearly all waves)
  • Tickers (Introduced in Wave 1)
  • Sires with Shotguns (Introduced in Wave 5)
  • Sires with Lancers (Introduced in Wave 5 - Be wary of the chainsaws, because they can use them)

For these holiday events, experience points tend to be multiplied by 10 or higher, sometimes up to 26x XP.

Tips & Tricks[]

  • The best tactic to beat any wave is to go in Co-op and always stick together. Stay behind cover at all times, even in Casual.
  • Use the Maulers shields to block entry to your camping area, put them facing the outside as this will make them easier to save at the start of each round.
  • Due to a title update, shields can be kicked down, no matter which direction they are facing.
  • The multiplayer map Gridlock is favored to use without the above glitches.
  • Be aware of Horde spawn points - enemies will not spawn if a player is standing too close. Having one player hold back is invaluable to keeping your camping spot safe. For example, a player staying near the bottom of either set of stairs in Day One will prevent the Horde from spawning behind your team if they are fighting up on the fire escape walkway.
  • On certain symmetrical maps, including River and Day One, it might not be best to split the team in two groups to hold both buildings. This will possibly prevent the Horde from attacking full force on one location, but it reduced the amount of firepower and support available and so should only be done occasionally and with caution.
  • The Boomshield is your best friend, always keep at least one or two handy. If you must run out of your camp area to pick up ammo, take a shield with you. Better yet, always carry it. When combined with a Gorgon Pistol, a single player can hold of the Horde even as late as Wave 30. If there are a few elusive enemies near the end of a wave, take a Boomshield before going out to hunt them down - they will most likely descend upon you all at once. When not in use by a player, use the shield(s) to block the entrance to your camp. Make sure you pick them up and plant them as soon as a new wave starts or they will disappear within about 15 seconds.
  • Pick your weapons according to the balance they give you. It is advisable to have one short-range and one long-range weapon.
  • Always at least a Hammerburst, or a Lancer, if not both. This is because you will often have your defensive zone far away from ammunition spawns and the higher ammunition capacities will allow you to fight for longer without needing to go for ammunition.
  • Out of all occurrences in Horde, save for shield wall breaches, you are most likely to die while out getting ammunition.
  • When confronted by a Cyclops at close range who is revving up their chainsaw, it is advisable to fire from the hip. While aiming, your movement is slowed down giving the Cyclops a better chance of sawing you (especially on later waves as they can take more hits before they are 'stunned'). At such close range, even firing from the hip guarantees hitting the target, which usually stuns it, giving you time and space to finish it off or retreat.
  • Always pick a narrow spot with good defences and an escape route. Don't try an area with one funnel point and no means of escape, such as the Raven pad on Jacinto. In addition to the funnel point and no areas to escape if you get overrun, you will also have Snipers firing on you from the spawn areas.
  • Practice throwing grenades 'from the hip' - it's much faster. The area of effect damage radius means that you do not have to be particularly accurate.
  • If you have extra Boomshields to spare, plant them randomly around your base camp. It blocks all types of Boomers from going through. Drones and other similar enemies usually go out of their way to run at them to kick them over, even if the Boomshield is not blocking their path. This tactic is excellent for diverting the enemy and buying you more time to take them out. However, remember to pick up the Boomshields at the end of each round, as at the beginning of each round they will disappear.
  • A useful tactic for any map is to spare at least a Wretch at the end of a wave in order to gather ammunition. Snipers can also be "spared" but are a bit more dangerous. After the player (or team) is fully stocked on ammo, simply kill the last Wretch (or whatever you spared) in order to move on to the next wave with full ammo. Otherwise, you can leave any infantry units incapacitated, as you can have time to find ammo and swap weapons if needed.

Horde Map Strategies[]

The following is a list detailing strategies that can be used in Horde alone or in a group on regular and higher difficulties. The strategies are not guaranteed to work exactly as described. It is advised that once players are at the location to stay put until the wave ends or the number of enemies is drastically reduced. Boomshields are essential for any defensive strategy.

  • Day One: Go the blue building (the arcade) and hide behind the cover at the top of the stairs, let the bigger locust come to you and kill the smaller ones far away with a Longshot Sniper Rifle or Torque Bow. Alternatively the opposite building is an equally good spot to camp as the Hammer of Dawn and Mortar spawn there. It is advised when playing with 4-5 players to split into separate teams and take control of both locations. Both offer easy access to the ammo boxes which spawn on the street below. Bear in mind that a Boomshield spawns inside the arcade (the blue building).
  • Pavilion: Go to the tunnel leading to the Boomshield spawn and set up shields at the entrance of both entrances and also an extra one blocking access to the 'garden' where the Boomshield spawns. This gives you an extra place to fall back on if you are breached. Be wary when fighting in the middle of the tunnel though, as you can be fired at from both ends. This position is excellent as it gives players easy access to a Boomshield and the large ammo box, which respawns quicker than on other maps (due to there being only one large ammo box on this map).
    • Note however that despite the apparent safety of the Boomshield spawn point area, it is not advised to fight from the garden only as even though you are surrounded by walls, enemies will throw grenades. In the case of Kantus, the limited space makes their poison grenades especially lethal so by all means guard off the two outer entrances and only fall back into the garden as a last resort.
    • You could also use the staircase areas (pistol spawns), since there are two choke points (the staircases), which can be well guarded by players using Boomshields.
  • Avalanche: Go to the upper level in front of the avalanche zone, plant Boomshields facing you at the bottom of the stairs at both ends on higher difficulties. The Mulcher and Mortar spawn atop this building while there is also a large ammo box below. This position offers an excellent view of most of the map. Another place is to go to either one of the houses on the side and block the entrances with Boomshields which will buy you enough time to kill the big enemies while drones and wretches will go through the windows.
  • River: Either one of the houses is the best place for height and viewing. As the upstairs is fairly open to enemy fire from multiple directions it is advised that players place their Boomshields downstairs blocking the main door to the house AND at the bottom of the stairs. This gives players some space to maneuver - the player upstairs can fall back down stairs if they need to and players guarding the door downstairs can fall back upstairs if they need to. If playing with a 5-person team, it is advised to control both houses, with two players positioned upstairs in both houses as sniper. The third player should remain on the bridge with the Mortar with the snipers calling out enemy positions from their vantage point. The remaining two players should guard the doors of their respective house and provide medical and fire support to the player on the bridge. It is also advised that in later waves the player on the bridge set up Boom Shields (when available) at either end of the bridge next to the sandbags to avoid being blindsided.
  • Blood Drive: In one of the rooms at either side of the map at the top of the stairs, plant a Boomshield facing you so bigger locust can't get by. The disadvantage of this is that ammo supplies are quite far away. Always resupply before the round ends. If you can secure enough Boomshields it is advised to take control of the entire side of the map, placing Boomshields at the bottom of the stairs and at the door leading to the grenade room. Be wary of the enemy spawning upstairs in your start position though. It's usually a good idea to set a grenade mine there.
  • Hail: Go to one of the train carts and jump in so they can't get you or go to the bridge, which creates a chokepoint while giving a vantage point for sniping and has a Bolo Grenade spawn.
  • Gridlock: Go to the little house-like building where there's only two side entrances where the Longshot Sniper Rifle spawns. Equally across the map there are two raised structures that are also decent camping spots. Similarly they can only be accessed via two sets of stairs on either side and can easily be blocked by Boomshields and offer a good view of the map. An ammo box and Boomshot spawn between these two structures so you have fairly easy access to supplies from here. When playing with 4-5 person teams it is advised to control at least two of these said positions to maximize your field of fire. All positions are elevated and so are ideal for sniping.
  • Canals: go any of the bridges connecting the two sides and plant Boomshields at either end.
  • Ruins: The bridge where the Scorcher Flamethrower spawns is possibly the best place to camp as it is relatively close to the ammo boxes. Use Boomshields to block the ends of the bridge. Be aware that the middle of the bridge (right where the Flamethrower spawns) is open to fire from many directions though although equally it is excellent for sniping too.
  • Jacinto: Go to the landing pad where the King Raven is located and camp out there, when a Mauler comes try and set his Boomshield up so they can only go in one direction. Once a Grinder appears take his Mulcher and go to the very end of the landing zone behind a brick wall and set up camp there. Be aware that you are vulnerable from fire from your start positions though. Alternatively another camping position is in the towers where the grenades spawn. This allows for players to split up into smaller teams. Use Boomshields to block the stairs. Beware though, that Bloodmounts can still vault over the sandbag wall, so it is advisable to place extra Boomshields further up at the top next to the concrete block structure. There is also another set of stairs which lead down into the garden so you can retreat if you become overwhelmed. This escape path is one-way though - you can escape FROM the tower area into the garden, but cannot access the tower from the garden.
  • Flood: Gather all the ammo you need and head to the broken bridge/road where the Mortar spawns and hide behind the car or use your Mortar. Set grenades at the start of the road so bigger enemies get weakened or killed depending on how many grenades there is. Once a Boomshield becomes available, use it to block off access to this area from the two tunnels.
  • Underhill: There are two possible locations to camp on this map. The first is up the bridge where the Mortar and Mulcher spawn, although it is quite open to enemy fire from below. Access to this area is through a duel-carriage way which in itself is quite wide so you would need several Boomshields to block it off completely. Alternatively, the garage downstairs where the Scorcher Flamethrower spawns is excellent for camping too. It has one door which is easily blocked with one Boomshield, is direct opposite an ammo box and offers two windows on either side to fire out of too. The garage door (which leads outside to the bridge) can also be controlled from the inside, so you're unlikely to get ambushed from behind as long as you remember to close it in-between waves (it opens up on occasions between waves).
  • Security: The obvious place to camp on this map is where area where the Mulcher and Mortar spawn. You can control the laser fences from there and the grenade spawn points are very close. Always remember to have one team mate stay behind inside when you leave to collect supplies, in case you get locked out. The only other control panel for the laser grid is directly opposite inside the building. The ammo boxes are also relatively close.
  • Subway: Arguably the best place to camp, is the area behind the main structure upstairs on the surface where the Torque Bow spawns. Access is limited, so there is no chance of getting blindsided and you can block it using a single Boomshield, while the little concrete blocks give you plenty of cover. The disadvantage is that the nearest ammo box is positioned in the direction of where the enemy will approach from (by the abandoned vehicles). Another good camping spot is the empty subway cart downstairs (not the ones with doors, the one you have to vault over the window to enter). This position is only effective with multiple partners to guard both windows so that their partners do not take crossfire from behind. This is still an ideal camping spot as NO enemies except perhaps wretches can enter, as well as being within 10 meters from grenades and a flamethrower that can be very effective to flushing enemies away from the cart. Maulers, if they get close enough, can swing their explosive into the cart, but very rarely are they smart enough to realize that. Bloodmounts are much too large to vault into the cart, so the only threat they pose are the riders on their backs. The only real threats impeding your progress are grinders, grenadiers, or Kantus, as grinders and Kantus are tall enough to shoot into the cart and will often shoot enemies on the far side of the cart, as well as the fact that grenadiers and Kantus will throw grenades into the cart, which will usually be very effective, as the carts are very small and offer maneuverability.
  • Fuel Station: Arguably the best place is atop the fuel station where the Scorcher Flamethrower spawns. It can only be accessed via the elevator and the stairs at the back. Use a Boomshield to block off the stairs and the entire roof offers an excellent view of virtually the entire map and is perfect for sniping. The use of the lift is limited as it cannot be recalled from another floor - if you are downstairs and the lift is upstairs you cannot recall it down to you and vice-versa.
  • Stasis: There are two possible locations to camp on this map. The first is atop the walkway/bridge structure in the main chamber where the Boomshot and Mulcher spawn. It gives players a good view of the main chamber, but is equally very open to enemy fire. Alternatively one of the start positions is also good. One start position has an ammo box spawn right next to it so this is definitely the preferable one to go for. Use Boomshields to block off both stairwells to restrict access and fire through the glass window into the main chamber. The view is not as good, but equally enemy fire is restricted as well.
  • Grindyard: There are three recommended places you can camp. The first two are just ahead of your start position up the stairs leading into a little building. There is an ammo box on the balcony by the stairs. As the map is symmetrical so there is another identical position at the other side of the map. The advantage is that the room offers a decent sniping point and easy access to ammo boxes, but you will need two Boom Shields to block access - one at the bottom of the stairs and another to block access from the walkway on the other side of the room. The third place to camp, is in the middle of the map on top of the platform with the little room where the Boomshot and Mulcher spawn. The room has large windows so is quite open to fire from multiple directions, however access is limited to a single walkway from the ground which is easily blocked by a single Boomshield. There is also a landing between the first walkway/entrance and the upper platform/room with some cover to use as well.


  • The amount of the enemies killed can be as high as 900+. The number of enemies faced is usually randomized on certain waves, meaning that some waves will have anywhere between 25-30 locust and will change sometimes.
  • Most enemies's face can be seen when being picked up as a meatshield: Theron Guard, Bolter, Drone variants, Flame Grenadier.
  • There's a very rare chance that a Cyclops can spawn on wave 10. (20, 30, etc.)


This is a list of weapons known to regenerate the reserve ammunition in a player's inventory to a certain amount at the start of new Horde wave:

If you are hosting a Social Match of Horde it chooses your difficulty based on the last campaign checkpoint. Example: If you just got to a checkpoint on insane mode your next Hosted Social Horde would be on Insane.

Tip: Unlike Horde 2.0, players can start from wave 1 to the current wave they are up to (ex. wave 1 - 39)