Calling all Horde Masters, place your best advise and strategies here

Hey all,

I have never been the craziest about Horde, but have always played it and appreciated what it brings to the series. Personally, most of my free time in Gears has went to versus, really because that is where my passion is. However, sometime in the middle of Gears 4’s lifecycle, the versus lobbies were so messed up and poorly matched that my frustration got the best of me and decided to spend my time pretty much exclusively in Horde, and I really liked it.

My friends and I ended up developing our own strategies and playstyles. We were able to beat most (if not all) maps on inconceivable, all while not really spamming turrets or sentries. It was safe to say after maxing out all classes, and most cards, I was very capable of handling my own in Gears 4 Horde. Fast-forward to Gears 5… and I feel like I have no idea what I am doing.

Granted, I don’t have the same teammates that I had in Gears 4, but I just feel like I am doing something completely wrong. The enemies feel like they take more damage, they are more aggressive, they spawn less predictively, and the new enemy types can really make things tricky.

So, here I am. After reading through many threads of people who know way more about the intricacies of this new Horde than I can even scratch the surface of, I am here to ask for your support. Help me!

As the game is right now, what is the meta?

  • what characters comprise the ‘ideal’ team?
  • from an engineering standpoint, what is the normal fence and century count/setup?
  • what is the best place to setup base on most maps?
  • are cards that cause bleed a must have/game changer?
  • does most of your energy come from enemy drops or the forge?

Answers to these, and any other advise is appreciated.

Surprisingly i have always been a versus player but in gears 5 i have spent more time in horde.

I don’t think i really have any decent tips, most of the time i play custom and everyone knows what they are doing, if not a simple text to chat resolves any issues.

Don’t get me wrong there has been a lot of matches that required the need for people to be kicked.

Engineer(usually baird now), jack, JD, the other 2 vary depending on difficulty and modifyers active.

I usually see one fence on every opening to the base, so usually 3-5 barriers depending on the map and setup location, as far as sentrys, as many as will fit in the given location.

Usually the versus spawn areas, due to the 2 or 3 lanes that enemys can come at you.

Yes, these cards are very powerful, always use them.

Forge, hands down, you probably get 4X more power from the forge than enemys.

As far as any other advice, what characters do you mainly use?

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This game is changing all the time and not for the good always. Things changed with the last update. Not really gonna go into it as it will take ages.
Baird is hands down the best engineer so far and I would go as far as to say the most powerful in the game due to his bleeding barriers. You will out score JD most waves for damage. A must have in a team. JD is still the boss killer. Use his active reload with the legendary card on a boss and if done right you will get up to three ultimates under 30 seconds. You will kill any boss, even the Swarmak which can be a pain in the butt. Jack is a must to revive and print you the money by smelting weapons. Get your Forge to lvl 4 ASAP and help by running weapons to the forge for Jack to smelt when you have one downed enemy. That’s your must 3 for your team. The next two I would suggest at this point in time would be Keegan as he has a bleed card for explosive weapons and with a weapons locker full of salvos he will make easy work of those Guardians/Sentinels, which are your #1 worst enemies in the game. They will ■■■■ you up on on anything above Ellite. Lizzie would be another chose instead of Keegan but she is bugged at the moment and can cause your game to crash. Kait is one of the most powerful characters and is in the top 3 along with JD and Baird. Once she is leveled she will deal massive damage with shotguns and overkill’s. That’s your team mate for best chance to finish on master, but I’ve done master with all the characters on all maps. It all depends on your team. Can be done with any characters.

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If you don’t have many characters leveled up, my best recommendation is to run with a decent team for a while. The game definitely changes as you acquire more skill cards. I would also recommend that you try to get a group (at least 2) to help unlock all the map modifiers. That will allow you to host games on any map just using the modifiers you desire.

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That boomer/grinder should have been walking through multiple patches of spikes/wire, reducing it’s health by about 10-20%

On top of that an MG and a Shock should be covering its lane of approach, taking another 20-30% of it’s health away.

Past that, for large enemies you are not intended to solo them, there should be team crossfire for these enemies wherein each person is responsible for only half or a respective proportion (In regard to number of players participating in the crossfire) of the remaining 50-70% of health.

On top of the fortification/coordination you should only be utilizing active reload hits for larger enemies. What this entails is swapping your weapons off to active reload- using non active bullets on the drone/flusher type enemies, and swapping back on large target with the actives once up again.

If possible, you take it down with a concentrated fire of non active rounds when the large enemy presents an urgent threat to the fortifications or team via positioning, which should happen very little in a coordinated squad with a proper field of fortifications.

^ a reply I made elsewhere.

Basically you want multiple patches of spikes/wire, maybe a laser barrier behind them, a shock and mg or a couple of each on every lane/entry to the base, and maybe a few decoy around your laser barrier line, or slightly in front.

The idea is that the enemies will be slowed/cc’d/damaged/distracted by your fortifications to the extent that trash mobs are ignorable, or need very little damage, and the big enemies are most of what you must focus on.

Ideally you will place fortifications out of the line of fire of enemies, meaning that wherever your team is positioning itself, don’t put them there. The enemies never shoot fortifications except decoys, so you need to not get them shot by the enemies.


Id say at least 4-5 on each lane/entry, with at least 1 mg/shock, 2 is fine, more is redundant. There are certain bases where you may do more than this, but most need no more than a line of 2 shock/ 2 mg to shut them down with several barriers. Especially if you have laser barriers behind the slow barrier patches.

The dead ends can be strong, but the bottom side of the map is the best spot on most maps. You will want to imagine the area of the base to be the entire bottom border of the map, and there will usually be 2-4 lanes to cover. This spreads out the enemy, offers greater room to operate, usually a couple power taps, and ultimately better area/protection to fight bosses in. Some maps are exceptions to this, but most have a great bottom border base setup to defend.

Bleeds are not a must have but they are a game changer. The amount of expertise you will require to overcome various groups of enemies/bosses will be much lower with the heavy damage bleeders present. Doable without them, but not without extreme mastery of the mode, or at least a very capable engineer.

Mostly from the forge, however the enemy drops are worthwhile in their own right. If you have a good kait, she can earn up to 40-50k throughout the match which is about 200k between the team. a Forge will yield about 3-5x this amount if you get most guns every wave. Still worth it to get the power fast/protect taps if you can though.

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