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For the Horde mode in Gears of War 2 or Gears of War 3, see Horde and Horde 2.0.

Horde 3.0 is Gears of War 4's new incarnation of Horde. Horde 3.0 introduces several new gameplay elements such as skill and ability progression.

Horde 3.0 marks the return of co-op play up to five players, where players fend off 50 waves of enemies. A boss wave is triggered every 10 waves just like Gears of War 3's Horde mode.[1]

Unlike Horde 2.0, players can utilize a Fabricator, which allows for building fortifications, defenses, and weapons anywhere on the map at any time instead of building in static locations near a command post's vicinity.

Gear Cards can be used to add bonuses to their character, such as improving the damage of specific weapons or an increase in maximum ammo that can be carried.[2]


The first wave will not begin until player(s) deploy a Fabricator somewhere on the map after obtaining it from the center of the map, or if 5 minutes have passed. As soon as it is deployed, a 30-second countdown to the first wave of enemies will begin. The players can place fortifications wherever they like, whenever they like, but everything built is done so at the Fabricator.

Points, Power and Death[]


Like Horde 2.0, the team gets points for every wave survived. Additional points are rewarded for players still left standing at the end of a wave. The set difficulty will boost the amount of points earned each wave if set on anything above Casual.

  • Casual = 100%
  • Normal = 200%
  • Hardcore = 300%
  • Insane = 500%
  • Inconceivable = 700%


Power (or Energy) in Horde 3.0 is the same as money in Horde 2.0; it is used to buy fortifications. However, unlike Horde 2.0, when a player kills an enemy, they only receive a small amount of Power. The remainder is dropped in the form of a pickup where that enemy was killed. Enemies killed while spotted or with an execution will drop slightly more power. When interacting with the Fabricator, the player has the option to deposit power in increments of 1000. If a player is killed, they will retain all their power once they respawn. In the Rise of the Horde update, a new on-screen feature was added that shows how much power and how many pickups are left on the field.


Dying during solo play will result in failure of the wave. Dying in co-op will result in being out of the round. However, a teammate can pick up the COG tags on the spot where you died and bring them back to the Fabricator to resurrect you with your initial class setup. The first time is always free, but later resurrections will require an increasing specific amount of Power each time.

Active Poisons[]

After each Boss Wave, the enemies you'll face become harder, gradually becoming more accurate, having more health, and dealing more damage.

  • Wave 11-20: Enemies have twice as much health.
  • Wave 21-30: Enemies have twice as much health and are twice as accurate.
  • Wave 31-40: Enemies have twice as much health, are twice as accurate, and deal double their normal damage.
  • Wave 41-50: Enemies have 2.5 times their normal health, are 2.5 times as accurate, and deal 2.5 times their normal damage.


You will be presented with a bonus objective every 4 waves, as long as one player survives each consecutive wave. Boss waves can never have a bonus challenge. While completely optional, completing them will give you much-needed supplies such as weapons, ammo and even more power. If you fail to complete the challenge, you receive a partial amount of the promised power depending on how good you performed with the exception of challenges to complete the wave in X time and complete with no players dying; these are either pass or fail. If completed, the team will earn 2000 - 10,000 power depending on the wave. The cash will be divided by the number of players participating, so everyone gets the same amount. Two supply boxes drop the moment the challenge is complete near the Fabricator.

Unlike dropped weapons, the supply crates will stay permanently with you, and can stack up. The rewards will disappear if the box is open during the beginning of the wave after the box is opened. Example: If you open a crate just before Wave 3 begins, the contents will not disappear when Wave 3 begins, but will wait until Wave 4 begins.

List of Challenges[]

  • Kill 6 enemies with the Chainsaw or Retro Charge
  • Complete the wave in x time (1:15 – 3:45)
  • Execute 8 enemies (Chainsaw, Bayonet charges and Grenade tags count)
  • Kill 7 enemies with headshots
  • Kill 7 infantry units with a manned turret (If a player gets a sentry kill while on the manned turret, it will count)
  • Kill 10 enemies in any 30 second window
  • Complete the wave without dying

In the 30 second window challenge, if you fail to kill enough in time, one more enemy is added to the required kill list with a specific time. Failing to kill a target before the time ends adds one more needed (so 9/10 would turn to 8/10 if you failed to kill a target in 30 seconds). Once you kill a target the timer starts going.

List of Rewards[]

A crate may contain one of the following:

  • Instant full ammunition for the weapons the team is carrying the moment the crate is opened and one grenade if the player has less than two
  • 5 RL-4 Salvos
  • 5 Dropshots
  • 5 pairs of Shock Grenades
  • 5 pairs of Incendiary Grenades
  • 5 pairs of Frag Grenades (either type)

Combat Classes and Skills[]

Unlike previous takes on the mode, Horde 3.0 will introduce five combat classes to choose from. It will be the second time Gears of War utilizes a class-based system in a game mode. The first was Gears of War: Judgment's OverRun mode. Unlike Gears of War: Judgment's class system, combat Classes let the player choose their multiplayer COG/Outsider character rather than being restricted to one character representing that class. Each class will have unique abilities and usable Skill Cards intended for use on a specific class.[3] Any class can also pick up any weapon in the game, and build any fortification in the game.

In addition to the Classes, there are 5 General Skills that can be equipped by any class to provide further versatility to your build. These Skills are especially useful if your team is missing a Scout or Engineer, as they offer additional ways to bolster defenses or Power gain. The final skill is a Fabricator option called ‘Team Revive’, which can bring your team back from the brink in tight situations.[4]


The role of the Engineer is to focus on fortifications - they can make their fortifications more effective and repair faster at a reduced cost compared to other Classes.

Building the Engineer is up to the player's decision. They can have a varied defense by building lots of fortifications at a reduced Power Cost, or focus their Skills on buffing particular fortifications to make them more effective than before.

The tradeoff of the Engineer is their lack of personal firepower. They have no Skills that boost personal damage, and rely entirely on Power to keep their impact on the fight at its most effective.


The role of the Heavy is all about dealing big damage to enemies, through the use of more powerful explosive weaponry, Heavy weaponry, or Turrets.

The Heavy has some interesting options to mix-up gameplay. Focusing on taking down big targets fast? The Marked Damage boost makes you deal extra damage to marked enemies, allowing you to take down high priority targets marked by your team. If in need of emergency support, call in the Mortar Strike to decimate a number of enemies fast.

The tradeoff to the Heavy is the focus on bigger, slower weapons. While the Heavy class can deal large hits of damage to enemies, you’ll need to make sure you’re consistently stocked with ammo to have the most impact.


The role of the Scout is to grab Power mid-fight from across the battlefield, capitalizing on its passive bonus of Double Power when picked up during combat to get resources back to the Fabricator. Combat wise, the Scout's Skills focus on close quarters shotgun combat.

The Scout can be built in a number of ways, from focusing on the Power return, to recon for your team with X-Ray vision, and even to become a tanky powerful close quarters combatant.

The tradeoff to the Scout is the inherent risk that comes with the role. While powerful in the early stages, the Scout has a much tougher time gathering Power in later waves when multiple poisons are active. The Scout needs to be played smartly, looking for opportunities rather than rushing out into the battlefield without careful surveillance.


The Sniper is all about headshots and threat identification, using its long range weaponry to weaken or kill targets before they reach the defensive line.

The Sniper can attribute its bonus to any precision weapon, offering versatility on the battlefield. While you can take the Headshot Damage boost, Markza focused players can take general damage boosts and reload speed to reduce the reliance on headshots and increase their DPS (damage per second). The Sniper also has two unique Fabricator skills, either for eliminating targets en masse through a Sniper Strike or marking enemies with a Radar Ping.

The tradeoff to the Sniper is the reliance on precision. Especially with masses of enemies and under pressure, the Sniper’s damage per second can drop off if they aren’t consistently landing important shots. If both starting weapons are kept, enemies like Juvies are a much bigger threat to Snipers than any other Class.


The Soldier is the ultimate in core Gears combat, dealing consistent damage over time with a variety of abilities that make them tough to kill and hard hitters.

The Soldier’s skills mostly focus on increasing your damage over time with assault rifles, either through bigger clips, more damage per shot, active bonuses, or a combination of those skills. The Soldier can increase its time firing from cover to damage opponents with the Cover Boost Skill or focus more on Grenades for area of effect damage or planting minefields. The big hitter in its skill arsenal is the Hammer of Dawn Strike, costing a lot of Power to activate but dealing massive damage across the field.

The Soldier’s core combat focus means any build has few outstanding strengths or weaknesses, but assault rifles are the "bread and butter" of this class if you want to maximize its effectiveness on the battlefield.


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The Fabricator can be moved to any place on the map, and is where fortifications can be bought from, along with weapons. Fortifications and weapons require power, which can be acquired by killing enemies. Using a certain amount of power at the Fabricator will upgrade it by itself meaning the player does not need to manually upgrade it, allowing for higher level fortifications to be built, although any fortifications built before the upgrade must be manually upgraded. Weapons can be built after level 2, and heavy weapons can be built after level 3. If a player is killed and their COG Tags have been retrieved by another player, they can be brought to the Fabricator to bring the dead player back into the game.

Power requirements for each level:
Level 2 - 30,000
Level 3 - 90,000
Level 4 - 120,000

Weapons and heavy weapons purchasable through the fabricator[]

Level 2 (normal weapons): 

Level 3 (heavy weapons):



Barriers slow or block enemies that try to pass through them, as well as dealing small amounts of damage. The electric and laser wire fortifications earned at higher levels have been improved since Gears of War 3, only disabling for a very short period of time when players pass through them - rather than when the player is in close proximity.


Decoys draw enemy fire, resulting in less pressure on your team and a great way to funnel enemies into powerful defensive locations. Later versions of the Decoy are mined with frags that explode when enemies destroy it, killing or damaging any nearby enemies.

MG Sentry[]

The MG Sentry helps provide additional damage on the battlefield in a limited area. MG Sentries cost Power to maintain due to their reliance on ammo, which can be restocked with the Repair Tool.

Shock Sentry[]

The Shock Sentry is similar to the MG Sentry, but focuses on slowing and stunning approaching enemies in a narrow area of effect rather than damaging (although later versions deal a decent amount of damage). These are great for a defensive choke point where teammates are around to deal damage.


These player-controlled Turrets deal a massive amount of damage, but need to cool down regularly and drain Power fast due to needing to be restocked. Later variations come with additional barrels and more protection for the user.

Weapons Locker[]

Weapons Lockers allow you to store weaponry from round to round, and will slowly refill the weapon’s ammo reserves. Smart teams will put rare high damage weapons into these Lockers to use whenever things get hairy. Later variations add more slots per Weapons Locker to be utilized. Pistols cannot be stored in a Weapons Locker.

Repair Tool[]

A replacement for the Pistol that allows the player to repair fortifications and restock fortification ammo at a cost of Power. The Engineer gets this for free and can take Skills to make repairing more effective, but any player can purchase the Repair Tool should they choose.

Horde Progression[]

In Horde 3.0, there are two types of progression.

Class Levels represent your experience with each of the five classes in Horde 3.0, up to a maximum level of 10. You earn experience for a Class by using it in Horde 3.0, which can be further boosted through the completion of Horde bounties. As you level up, you’ll unlock more Skill slots for that class to take into battle with you – up to a maximum of 5.

Skill Levels represent the power of your current Skill. You unlock Skills through Skill Cards, which can be equipped in available Class Slots. Skill Cards can be upgraded by finding duplicates of Skill Cards you currently own, up to a maximum of Level 5. Each level increases the effect and bonuses of the cards incrementally, reaching peak power at Level 5. In the Rise of the Horde update, a sixth skill level was added to further increase the effectiveness of skill cards.

You can find Skill Cards in a number of various Gear Packs, earned through play via in-game Credits or purchasable if you feel the need to accelerate your progression. You can destroy unwanted cards of any type to earn Scrap, and use it to create the cards you want if you’re chasing the progression of a particular skill.

Everything you do in Horde 3.0 also earns you experience to your overall Gears of War 4 Level Progression.

Horde 3.0 Premiere Trailer[]


Gears of War 4 - Horde 3.0 Premiere