An Idea for a shorter Horde mode variant

So, right now public Horde matchmaking seems to have a problem with players quitting. A lot. They quit before the match starts, they quit right after the match starts, they quit in the middle of a good match and cause everyone to lose, etc. And I’d like to propose a solution by focusing on why they’re quitting and how to address those issues without changing the core 50 wave horde experience for players who just want to play Horde as-is: give them a new, shorter, more specific Horde mode variant. And I’d like to draw inspiration from my other favorite PvE mode: Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer.

Here’s what I would propose:

  1. 20 Waves.
    In short, I think 50 waves and 2+ hours is a big ask for anyone who isn’t fully sold on the mode. For people who are simply joining to fulfill medal requirements/achievements, it’s too much. Similar to how Gears 4 players would quit after fulfilling their 10/20 wave cards, I think many Gears 5 players quit after fulfilling their daily challenges or current medals. 20 waves makes for a shorter commitment and more opportunities to play-- and it would offer players who want to play Horde but can’t be available for over two hours straight a way to scratch their itch without leaving midway through. (As an added bonus, 20 waves would inevitably be less Engineer-focused throughout the latter half, which has been one of the primary complaints since the launch of Gears 4. For players trying to earn kills with other classes, this is appealing in itself.)
  2. Choose your faction.
    As part of the matchmaking process, like ME3, you would choose what faction you want to fight when selecting your difficulty. This would allow players to choose between DeeBees, Swarm, or a mix of both. The reason for this is to give players whose goal is to meet medal requirements (like killing 2500 Juvies, etc.) a more direct means to do so, and to entice players who like fighting a particular faction over another. This wouldn’t be appealing in a 50 wave game type, as enemies would get far more repetitive if they didn’t change throughout the match as they currently do, but in a 20 wave format, it’s much more enticing. (For example, how we’re okay with fighting nothing but really tall T-800s in the Terminator special event right now, because it’s 20 waves.)
  3. Bring back objective waves.
    Objective waves break up monotony by offering players something else to focus on besides killing every enemy on the map. Gears 3 & 4 had them, and Gears 5 does not, While it somewhat makes sense because Gears 5 offers more to do during and between waves with the Forge and energy taps, and now has 5-wave mini-bosses, I think that bringing back objectives in a shorter game mode helps alleviate the tedium and act as pacing for the game. ME3’s multiplayer was paced with objectives at waves 3, 6 and 10, with the 11th and final wave being an extraction. I think this version of Horde Lite could follow something similar, with KOTH/Guardian aspects thrown into various waves to give you something new to do and a different focus that benefits specific characters (like Fahz sniping for headshots, or Kait ghosting and killing the target, etc.). The assets are already there for Versus, and I think they would do a lot to enrich the experience for a shorter Horde mode.
    NOTE: These objectives would replace energy taps. Teams would earn a similar amount of energy by completing these objectives in adequate amounts of time, and the objectives would accomplish a similar goal of “make the team leave their fortified area”.
  4. Allow duplicate characters/classes.
    It’s obvious that TC doesn’t intend to change this for regular Horde, but why not a shorter variant? Part of what leads to people prematurely quitting their game is not getting the character they want-- whether it’s because their other characters aren’t high enough level, or they’re trying to get a medal with a specific character, or simply their favorite character was already taken by someone else, many Horde matches are killed before they even start due to character choice. While a proper team balance makes sense for a 50 wave slog, a 20 wave variant wouldn’t require such a rigid team makeup, and could offer casual players an avenue to play was whatever they want and get experimental. But with the right objectives from no.3, teams would still be somewhat motivated to vary their team makeup in order to handle specific objectives should they arise.

And that’s it. What are the community’s thoughts? Would this extra Horde variant be an appealing extra option? Do you think it would draw players who currently quit out of regular Horde matches prematurely? Would you play it?


This would be a very good Horde mode. Probably won’t happen but it’s better than 5 atm.

I didn’t even know they got rid of the objective waves on 4s and 8s.

To me the biggest issues are Class-character lock and a limited number of characters. Both are ■■■■■■■■ and should’ve been in 5 like they were in 4.

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The problem i found is people quitting for challenges .

They’ll drop into a Horde lobby, rather than making a custom game of their own, for the daily’s or totem challenge and as soon as it’s obtained they quit.

Lost count of the times someone playing as Del has quit early and left the room with nobody else who can build fortifications.


I feel you on this. Tried to finish up an insane run for the Terminator challenge with a friend and every game our Del would not buy us a weapons locker despite asking via chat or flat out left and killed the run on the spot.

I believe if you have no Del, or had a Del and they decide to bail, then fortifications should become available to other players in the fabricator…even if they are at a premium energy cost at least it gives you a chance to continue. Even a designated player getting these rights would be better than nothing.

On topic, I would love the option of enemies. Swarm and Locust would be getting my votes all day.

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I agree with all your points and would love for tc to make a horde version like this. I haven’t gotten to play as much horde because I don’t have the time to sit through 50 waves, and it does become a little monotonous. The taps help a little, but having objectives and switching up the enemies to fulfill medal requirements sounds fantastic.

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  1. allow players to buy any weapons they like form the fabricator,

  2. add extra ammo boxes so people could have fun for once , since ammo its scarce and we need. it.

Or have other players be able to buy stuff AND upgrade it. don’t know how many times being able to upgrade a weapons locker or a decoy would have been clutch, or as JD be able to buy a weapons locker and uprgrade it to three and basically tell del to ■■■■ off cuz he thinks lvl 3 barriers and his sentries will win the day

PS we lose anyway cuz everyone is running out of ammo or need heavy weapons because our lancers isn’t doin enough damage to anything stronger than a regular drone

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  1. Unlock the fabricator so we can build whatever we want unless there’s a Del

I appreciate the feedback, guys.


Some good ideas, but why not bring back the 25 wave variant like in Gears 4? Every 5 waves is a boss wave.

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I wanted to avoid a simply more condensed version of the current Horde, because it would likely suffer from the same inherent problems Horde has had since Gears 4: over-reliance on fortifications and Engineers.

In my mind, new unique objective waves that put other classes in the spotlight are a good way to get more characters involved and help balance the issue of “I’m only joining to get my medal/achievement”, which IMO is currently muddying the matchmaking pool for regular Horde.

I didn’t mean to just add the 25 waves and call it a day. I mean, instead of 20, just make it 25, and add whatever you think would help.

I get it. The 20 waves was inspired by the new Terminator event, to be honest, but I kind of like it.

Mass Effect 3’s “horde” mode was only 11 waves, but it felt fulfilling all the same and matches ended in 15-20min on lower difficulties, 25-30min at higher difficulties. A large part of that feeling of fulfillment, I think, was the different enemy types, the randomly selected objectives and the satisfaction of building your character class. While Gears is nowhere near the same level of customization, I think allowing enemy type selection, introducing new objectives and making it shorter will draw casual players who aren’t that enthusiastic about Horde as it is now, and leave the normal Horde playlist to people who just enjoy playing Horde. Everybody wins.

That’s the idea, anyway. I’m no game developer. Just drawing from experience because ME3 ate up thousands of hours of my time for a reason.


exactly man … I missed that = )

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I don’t know if they plan to expand the map creator outside of escape but I would enjoy being able to craft a horde the way I want using that…even if it means I can’t edit the existing maps.

Decide the number of waves, enemies that spawn in each wave, tap locations, starting powers, ammo box spawns, mutators for difficulties, whether you could have duplicate characters or not, etc.

That would mean everyone could make horde the way they want it made and then share it with the world.

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1 and 3, yes. 2 yes, but just call it beast mode again lol.

4, no. I think it’s fine as is. It’s just being limited by the lack of characters. Im not counting the terminator or halo characters because they’re not very fun and lack cards compared to the actual horde characters so will be subpar.

A handful more characters and its resolved.

New offensive character, randomnamedcharacter1 that focuses on stealing jd his gls from the locker and smelts them. Whenever he gets angry your ult recharges faster.

New engineer, Baird, that can upgrade Jack with flamethrowers and seize control over him so the player who played Jack can Jack it off.

Cole train as new tank. His ultimate summons the giant robosuit from campaign.

DB playable in horde as scout. During db waves he can use his ult to blend in and control every deebee to destroy the cog base.

Very good synergy between DB and randomnamedcharacter 1. DB his ult will lead to more rage which fuels rnc1 his ult faster.

If that’s what they mean by map editor, that’d be awesome. Would they give us that much freedom though?

The editor for escape is literally placing existing chunks of escape maps down to craft a hive. You can then edit weapon, ammo, enemy spawns, adjust lighting, speed of the venom, points that trigger spawns of additional enemies…so is it possible to expand that over to horde, I don’t see why not other than they don’t want to develop that functionality for horde.

as far as I know I was promised by TC to give us horde map editor… However they haven’t release it yet.

I just don’t see them allowing us to change character starting powers, difficult mutators, or whether we have duplicate characters. The rest does seem possible from what the escape map builder has