Fastest way to level characters that can't play in Escape?

I guess it’s fairly common knowledge that the fastest way to level up characters is to do speed runs on Escape, either Insane on The Surge or Inconceivable on The Clock. All well and dandy. Unless the character you want to level up is a Horde-only character.

It’s been a while since I played as Kait, and am keen to take her up to max cards. But not being able to speedrun Escape means I have to play “normally”. I know - what a travesty!

With that being said, any tips for efficient use of my time to level Kait up (she’s at Lvl 12 currently) would be appreciated.


Spend any scrap you have to get her bleed skill card as high as possible and play on Master. Kait can hold a lane by herself if she has a locker.

If you want to play solo, you can do waves 1-5 over and over again on Insane. I don’t find this fun.

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Might be obvious but the absolute quickest way is to play complete 1-50 games on the highest level.

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Exhibit speedruns on either inconceivable or master. An inconceivable run nets you around 20k character xp with boost, and you can complete that in around 80-90 minutes, sometimes faster.

Otherwise, doing 41-50 runs are good for character XP.


Yeah thanks for the tips guys. Being Lvl 12, I would have thought I’d have a rotten time of it in an Insane or higher run. I’m in that annoying middle ground area where she was fun to play on beginner but now is struggling, but if I persevere, she’ll probably be fun again!

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Remember that you get 1 skill card per 5 waves completed

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Didn’t The Coalition say that they were going to put the rest of the Horde characters (besides Jack) into Escape at some point? They added Marcus back in the beginning of Operation 2 but haven’t added anyone else since.

I think the problem is that all the OG characters apart from Marcus would have fairly game-breaking experiences in Escape, mainly due to their Ultimates:

  • Kait: Cloak at the right (wrong?) time and can skip really hard bits or maybe not trigger certain mandatory events
  • Fahz: Xray shows the entire map and all the enemies - messy / potential to wipe the enemies out from the spawn area
  • JD: No Lancer GLs so can never use his Ult
  • Jack: Just doesn’t really work
  • Del: Ultimate theoretically useable but not that helpful

If they could find a way to work around these, it’d be great. I’d happily take Kait with no ultimate, into Escape, just so I can boost some of her cards.

? I don’t get it

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I got all my characters on 18 and I mean all of them, even Grace. With most cards on 5. My way was I played on Forge as I find this map the easiest to defend when you setup in the control tower. Host a game and open up the lobby to let others join. Make sure you ask for an engineer in the description, if your not playing one. Play on insane or inconceivable with the health mod off. This will make your game go faster.
People will always join and I found that most of the times you get a full team that can take you all the way. The best thing about this method is when you host no one can kick you out but you can kick others.

You can use JD’S ult without his GL.


Ah my bad. I have never played as him so must have got confused. All I know is that when a JD is playing in Horde, the air is constantly being bombarded with his artillery shells so it’s hard to make the distinction. But I guess my point stands, most of the original characters would be a problem in Escape unless they made some changes.

It’s funny that you brung this topic up because I’m in the same situation as you, lol. I have to play Horde in order to get Kait higher. I was playing Horde Frenzy on Master. And I just repeated it.

I really like these ideas. I’ll put these into consideration myself next time.

Before I go on a rant about the complaints or issues people have about bringing other Horde only characters to Escape… I thought TC intended Horde Frenzy to be the fastest way of character leveling, regardless of whether there’s an XP boost or not. Why not give that a try? Now on to the main thing…

The only one I see a real issue with is Fahz, since he can wipe out practically any enemy with little issue(as long as they have spawned in) while he has X-Ray and ammo available. Cloak doesn’t magically make Scions, Wardens, Bastions and Stumps disappear and would only need some consideration for it having potential to skip encounters outside a saferoom or at the exit, but then you’d have to consider the fact that there isn’t just Kait on the team. Ideally you wouldn’t want your Keegan and other guy to die and lose whatever explosive weapons you had. Besides that, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t just bypass a large enemy spawn by using Cloak due to the way the game makes enemies spawn in Escape, eg they come out of a spawner when entering a certain tile. They’ll almost certainly go after you when coming out of Cloak, so what did you achieve with it?

If anything, I’d have more considerations towards the damage that Kait can potentially deal, even after the whole “fix” of her shotgun bleed thing.

But I don’t see why people are so overly concerned with the game breaking aspect of this all. Why do ultimates exist? To make otherwise difficult encounters easier or possible. Players already do this with Lizzie, Mac, Lahni, hell Keegan just wipes entire rooms clear with his explosives since he can afford to do it easily with venom Resupply for them. And it still requires a certain amount of player skill. I don’t see how any of those besides Fahz would allow players to just stumble through hives with no clue of what to do and succeed regardless of character. And then the Fahz player would still have to be competent to achieve results. And relies on precision weapons. I can already easily carry players through Insane, Incon and certain Master hives by playing Lahni. And her Electroblade can render her temporarily invincible to all types of damage with the right build. What difference does it make if I did that as Kait?

Now, Jack… his heal would be the only issue I see. He wouldn’t be able to flick switches if TC didn’t implement it for him. The healing beam providing infinite health regeneration and revives even through walls would need looking at.

Besides… the option to play without them in Custom is always available. But TC wants their precious “balance” anyway, judging by Twitter posts from Octus on the state of bringing other Horde only characters to Escape. So don’t worry about it too much… I’d actually be more worried about TC pulling the trigger on the “balancing” too much and making the character bad for Escape.

But I really don’t understand the whole “game breaking” concern of people, players can now already make Master hives be relatively easy if they’re good enough, with the right characters. Heck, I’ve soloed Incon and Master hives on certain maps with Lahni, without major complications. But people are concerned with how some other characters who would not even be that easy to make work could potentially be game breaking? Please illustrate me, because I’m not really seeing it.

All that aside… Del’s ult is pretty pointless besides being a short lived distraction. Wouldn’t change if he got into Escape, Baird’s DR-1 is infinitely better than two rolling, exploding balls.

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Gotcha. His Ult works indoors too I believe and he doesn’t need a GL to use it. And some Escape maps have a GL, like The Clock.

But in general, I agree that it does seem like the launch horde characters do not fit in Escape and were added as an afterthought.

Same here. I’m having success in getting cards for Kait on Insane.

A lot of people are using Kait because of the medal.

All good and fair points. I don’t think players are complaining about the game-breaking issues, I think they (myself included) are thinking that this is the reason The Coalition haven’t/won’t put them in. Because it’d be easier for them to not do anything, than to have to think about it and re-work and test and optimise.

Heck, I’d like to have DeeBee in Escape as well. The more the merrier. I don’t mind if some characters are better than others, that’s our choice.

Fahz’s X-Ray and its effectiveness will depend on what weapons he has at hand. Any weapon can be used, but some are far more effective than others.

JACK would be the ultimate support and medic type. Your team would extremely hard to kill. Hijack would work, but I’m not sure how effective it would be.

Kait - yes, it’d definitely be very powerful, probably over-powered. When you use Cloak Battery and Chain, you can easily get 8+ kills per cloak use. I guess it would make sense if TC reduced how long it lasts for in Escape.

Del - yeah, he doesn’t really have any combat cards etc.

JD - he wouldn’t have the same access to explosive weapons in Escape so his general character wouldn’t be overpowered, although depending on how his Launcher Capacity card interacts with newly picked up weapons, he would potentially end up getting a full Boomshot with 8 shots straight off - TC would probably have to adjust this to that this doesn’t happen. If JD saves his Boomshot and picks up more explosive ammo later, then that’s fair enough.

Great tips in here, especially since I’m not really an Escape player - I only play it to clear dailies and for the TOD medals.

I’m pretty sure their plans still have it on the radar somewhere but that the whole (re)working of the characters or whatever for Escape isn’t a high priority or coming along more slowly due to work on the characters that aren’t in the game or MP yet. A tweet from Octus a while ago said they were taking time with bringing the Horde characters to Escape because of “balancing”, whatever that means in this case. But also that they wouldn’t have to be tied to an Operation release. It’d be a bit dumb to only bring Marcus over(and he’s not really that great of an Escape character), but then none of the others, particularly since Rod said they had plans to bring characters like Kait to Escape eventually, before launch, around the time of the E3 Escape reveal.

I’m just waiting for the when, really. The way I see it Kait could certainly make a decent addition to the mode. All I really want right now is for her to be added to the mode. Couldn’t care much else for the rest. It’d at least go to some way of making me play… a little bit more at least, since it won’t fix Horde issues or a certain lack of replayability.