Gears 5 Horde Mode Improvements

I have been waiting for an update all month, but only seen fixes for Horde. While I wait, I decided to share my thoughts on Horde. I predominantly play Horde mode unless I have a bounty/tour objective. I didn’t like 4’s Horde on release and stopped playing, but I am seriously enjoying Gears 5 currently. Yet there are somethings (some serious and some meh) that is detrimental to Horde. Here are some of the things I think need to be improved.

  1. There needs to be a quit penalty.
    It is very frustrating to get a full squad, and have people quit in-game. It is possible to complete all 50 horde waves on beginner because there are no modifications and survivor is not active(more on that one later). I suggest a quit penalty for when they are in game, especially since they had 60 seconds to quit in the lobby. Joining in progress would also help with the problem up to wave 3-5. It should be possible since the amount of games I join in progress in Quick Play Versus is high. Just simply give them the total power they should have that wave so they can help with fortifications( or buy themselves perks).

  2. Survivor (Team Wipe=Fail) needs to be a higher modification.
    Part of the fun of Gears 3 Horde mode was constantly trying to win even when the odds were stacked against you. Going to wave 40 and having to start over from 1 is extremely discouraging. Especially since that modification is arguably harder than double health enemies, and double damage. I would place it as an Elite modification. This would allow newer players the room to fail, and slowly rank up common mods as they learn the formula. This also does not hurt the tour of duty achievements since completing horde on Beginner counts anyway.

  3. Ammo economy could use some work(as in increased gains)
    There are 5 of us. Assuming there is a Jack, 4 of us are fighting for ammo. Not everyone communicates, and even if they do, not everyone cares if they are hogging the ammo. 3 Ammo Locations on each map would help leviate this issue. Also, providing more ammo would be a huge help. Specifically for lancer, retro lancer, and longshot (maybe go from 3 to 5), I have only completed Horde on 4 characters so I ams till learning. Also, mentioned below are ammo pilfers(drops certain characters get from headhots). The pilfer ammo is not a solution to me because it drops little ammo, and you have to go leave cover to get it. Also takes time during prep phase to look for these tiny ammo drops.

  4. Updates to existing characters would be nice.
    Specifically, providing more cards and fortifications for specific characters formore flexibility. For example, Kat is similar to Del, and it would be nice to see her stand out a bit more. Also, each character should be able to build barriers (it would be nice if they could also upgrade it to lv. 2, but I think Im asking for too much). I’ve experienced games where our engineer quit early or was not picked, and I was carrying as Kait. Having her being able to build barrriers would have been a huge help… or any defense really. A card that increased retro lancer damage for her would be cool. Sarah has few cards, and I am sure other can list how their characters are limited to a very specific role. These were just examples from the top of my head.

  5. This is a … Controversial one. The locked character system.
    Now this is a huge part of the reason people are leaving, Most of the time people just want to play a specific character to level or they like them. Yet if you are doing Tour of Duty it is annoying to randomly choose a character. I kept getting the god damn reach character if the game chose for me and instantly loaded me in. Now I suggest three solutions:
    a) Unlock it so everyone can play whoever. Unbalanced teams fail then that is their fault. Only problem is that this can hinder balancing.

b)Seperate Characters and Classes. So basically go back and create class bonuses, and keep character ultimates. Hell have a character passive and an ultimate. This way each character is unique, and can play any class they choose. Obviously certain characters would be better at certain classes, but this would add variety and cause people to quit less.

c) Give characters more options similar to b on this list, and provide each character with an alternate classes. So if I am Kait, I can be an Engineer or a Scout. Then depending on my class selection I get a certain loadout. (Instead of retro lancer I get enforcer and repair tool). This would allow people two people to play as Kait, but one is a scout and one is an engineer. So instead of complete seperation, specific character get two specific classes.

Nit Picks:

  1. Elite Drones with the claw could decrease your speed about 50% less in my opinion.
  2. I get multiple bosses in a row. (ex. Carrier: 30,40, and 50.)
  3. Too many damn leeches, and they are increasingly annoying when enemies can spawn two feet from me sometimes.
  4. Tour of Duty says complete Horde with each Horde Character… when every character can do horde (and have unique builds) on the COG side. Think this should be changed to different characters or be more specific.
  5. Idk if this is a bug, or this is supposed to happen… notice this most with GL Lancer, but I shoot drones and grenadier in the headshot and it refused to be a headshot. I’ve gotten headshots on them before, and I know I am not crazy. I tested this on Beginner so it isn’t a modification.

What does everyone else think? Agree, disagree, suggestions?

From Replies:

  1. One big change they should implement is to allow the engineer to lock the fabricator so people cant use it as an ammo box this practice drains the money quick and hurts the team. I don’t necessarily agree with this solution, but I thought that a) limit the amount of ammo characters can get from the fabricator, but you would have to increase the dropped ammo even more. b) Allow Engineers to collect power from the fabricator once people donate (and potentially allow them to share the same energy pool).
  2. Apparently Weapon Lockers are bugged??
  3. Take Out Tour of Duty for Horde so peopple stop leaving early? I completely disagree with this, but thought I would put it here anyway.
  4. Custom Games Links back with One sort of. People either troll, don’t communicate, or afk. Which is very frustrating. If no Penalty than a Vote To Kick Option Would Be Great
  5. A desire for original content for Horde. Pointed out by @Thief000 . (I just learned you can at people) A lot of content has come from Gears 4. He listed some original ideas below, but bossees are mostly the same as 4. New Ones would be sweet. @Duffman_GB also pointed out that they can bring back the locust. OJ pointed out that more variations for ultimates and such would be good too.


  1. @x_ShadowsBane_x Custom Games allow for a lot of my original issues ot be fixed… You also keep your progress(Which I personally did not know). In my opinion, Custom Games really is not a solution, but it is a mitigation. Also thought it was like COD and other games where progress is not saved. Custom games still have problems as well. I personally only play pubs because no friends play Horde, and so randoms is the way to go usually(as with most games).
  2. Add a 25 Wave Horde(even though this might seperate the player pool even more depending on implimentation). Also adding a return to wave 25 horde option(which would probably require survivior being moved higher or being changed to toggle as someone suggested).

Wow this thread blew up. Thanks. Glad there a lot of people that are have passion for Horde like me(even though we don’t all agree.) Sorry for not replying to a lot of you, but this forum does not allow replying to mutliple people for a long time. (I waited five minutes and nothing) It is hard to hold conversations with a limit of one reply for however long it is rn.


How to improve 4.0…scrap it and just port 2.0 over with all characters and mutators! :slight_smile:

Actually, I totally agree with point 2. How stupid to have that one as the level after beginner. Horde is supposed to be fun, likewise the ammo boxes (point 3) don’t give anywhere near enough ammo and they need to be increased in number.

Nit picks.
2: Agree, awful that this happens. I bemoaned and bemoaned about how rubbish Gears 4 was in only having four bosses and one of those would not appear on an indoor map! At least we have a couple more now, you should get 5 different bosses per match…we have 5 boss waves after all. Again look at Gears 3/Horde 2.0 for how it is nailed on.

I think it is the worst implementation of Horde thus far. I also would rather play Survival over it any day. I had such high hopes for the new Horde, but somehow TC have gone backwards.

I hope that with 5.0 (3 years away maybe ?) we get the Horde we all, well most of us want. HORDE 2.0 part 2. I want every enemy we have ever had in it, NO class restrictions etc imagine how great that could be.


Lack of Ammo boxes is part of problem to be fixed by the team, means the engineer has to balance getting weapons lockers out for all the players and they need to learn how to use them properly


Even with that, there should be more ammo available. I kind of understand Escape, although that is also stupidly short on higher difficulties.


I think the biggest reason people quit early relates to them doing daily challenges. The best way to fix that is to stop having them relate to horde mode. Unlock all defences only if there is no engineer.
I’m not sure if any characters drop pilfer boxes like Lahni? That would make certain attack characters more useful and provide ammo per ultimate kill.

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Or they could do them in custom Horde. You can complete almost all daily’s and Horde specific medals on your own. I have done this for a few. Whack some PF on the stereo and away you go for an hour odd.

Oh Yeah!


Fahz drops pilfer ammo too


JD does as well


I agree with points 1, 2 and 3 and the nit-picks, however, I don’t particularly agree with 4 and 5. In my opinion, I greatly enjoy that each character has a specific role to fill in the team and that non-engineers are unable to build all fortifications. This puts an emphasis on how important the Engineer’s role plays in a horde match. I would like to note that I am a very casual player, as I do not have time to play as much as back in the day since I work 12 hour shifts and only have one close friend to play Horde with. That being said, I am very happy with how Horde is regarding the locked character system and the character roles. I mention that I am a casual player because you might think that this style of horde would be detrimental to me as a player with incredibly limited time to play and have good matches, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. I appreciate what TC is doing (or at least trying to do) with this iteration of Horde despite my limitations as a scrubby casual. Regarding your solutions to point 5, I feel as thought option B would be the most ideal if a solution was even implemented to assuage many of the player grievances.

Perhaps my opinion of Horde might change with time in regards to the locked character system, but as of this particular moment, I feel that it was a good thing to try out on TC’s part, at the very least.

Thanks for you post and the insight it provides regarding Horde mode concerns. Stay saucy.


Thanks for mentioning this. I just recently experienced this hullabaloo of annoying behavior. I had just thrown about 10,000 points into the fabricator for the Engineer and then Marcus used it all for lancer ammo in a single wave. SMH. :sob:

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Seen this behavior a fair bit as well as the tanks not donating to the Fabricator as they want to perk up to get the big scores. If Del and Jack know what they are doing (even better if they have comms) they can also stop dropping Energy in the fab and hang on to it for the early waves , Jack/ Clued up Players can drop energy straight to Del and then the forge gets funded first, then perhaps the first locker. Hopefully folk then start realizing who is clued up and by wave 10 the team starts to work together

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Ammo is the biggest problem for me. Engineer needs to build weapon lockers and keep them stocked with heavy weapons. A lot of times I have no ammo and no weapons, so I am gone.


Another problem is players holding power and building stuff instead of turning in for engineer. I see it a lot now, Baird puts up barrier, engineer is gone.


1: 2 hours to go from waves 1-50 is a big commitment. Sometimes I only have like 40 mins to kill before I need to cook dinner and I just want to play a bit. There should be a soft penalty for quitting and it should get progressively worse the more you do it.

2: I’ve suggested moving that team wipe modifier to a higher difficulty too. IMO it feels like some of the harder modifiers are at the lower lvls. Wipe=fail, more health, more dmg. Enemies regen and downed enemies must be executed sounded bad but when I tried it I didn’t have a problem. Regen is only a pain on bosses and tri shots can kill downed enemies anyway. By the end of the 50 waves that’s what most people are using.

3: It would be nice if there were more ammo boxes. Considering there’s only 2 for a team of 5 and enemies can take 1-2 entire mags of ammo to kill.

4: This has been one of my biggest grips about horde. I like playing as the engineer so I lvled up Kat first. By the time I realized Del gets almost every perk she does and twice as many I already had her lvled up so I stuck with her. IMO the only thing she has on him is she starts with an embar which can kill downed drones with execution rules, the halo perk and her ULT has more practical applications. Dels forts get more health, armor, higher discount, weapon lockers reload faster and benefits of being near Jack. Kat needs more perks unique to her or give her some more of Dels perks to compensate.

5: I actually like the no duplicates rule. In gears 4 the optimal build was 1 engineer, 1 scout and 3 heavies. Then salvos got nerfed and it was 3 snipers. This current system sort of forces people to lvl up several characters instead of just their favorite. Most people imo tend to play JD because of the GL and razorhail. If we removed the no duplicates I can see 1 Del, Jack and 3 JDs all with weapon lockers filled with lancer gls.

Nit Picks: FIX THE GOD DAMN WEAPON LOCKERS! The last 2 nights I tried playing horde with my brother and his son. Our tri shots kept disappearing from the lockers. You know how difficult it is to go through waves 40-50 with your default weapons? You know how much ammo that takes? This bug wasn’t even here until the last patch.
Upgrade the custom horde search screen. Often I try to join a lobby that only has 3 people in it and it says “Unable to join. squad if full” I refresh the page and that lobby is still there with only 3 people.

Balance the classes a bit better. Fahz and Marcus damage feel under whelming compared to JDs explosives and Kaits shotgun. At the higher difficulties we damn near NEED to bring a Del/Kat and a Jack.

I miss the manned turrets

Look into frozen Wardens. I’ve frozen them then dropped my gun to unload in their face and yet they don’t seem to take any dmg.

Look into the values of guns and perks you purchase during horde. Paying 8k for 1% more health is horrible and makes zero difference after experienced difficulty. The amount of ammo needed to kill something with most weapons is insane. Only makes it worse when you look at the scarceness of ammo.

Fix Jack please. I love using him but there’s too many bugs that force me to get downed and revived to try to fix them.

Add some more weapons to the enemy. I hate that if I want a chainsaw I need to grab one from Marcus. I used to be able to wait for us to find a drone using one, kill him and take it.

Just remove the mulcher already. It pales in comparison to the trishot.

Theres other ways to make the game more challenging besides giving the enemy double health and dmg. We have classes with different play styles but at the end of horde were all sitting behind fences, sentry turrets and unloading weapon lockers. Why? Because if we step outside our base were going to get dropped in 2 bullets no matter how many health perks we purchased.


They can do custom horde to get the kills etc they need for challenges. Unfortunately they don’t have the intelligence to work that out.


That would not make sense imo. The purpose of those challenges are to a) get people to try other content in the game, and b) it allows people that play Horde additional objectives to grind out, and allows them to level the Tour of Duty in their favorite game mode.

Make the rarer skill cards easier to obtain ; it doesn’t help with all the times that at the end of a 50 wave run on higeher settings the error message appears and no skill cards get awarded at all.

Being able to scrap all the duplicate cards would be useful to then be able to generate enough scrap to update actual useful cards

Get rid of those waves with non stop leeches or whatever they’re called .

Allow delivery driver Mac skin to be used. .

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Go to custom lobbies you guys problem is trying to play horde in public
it’s dam near impossible go to custom lobby 80% of those games people know what they doing and the other 20% those guys get booted and someone joins a wave later

stay away from public

Agreed. Believe we have played before and it was fun. But yea, those Pubs are brutal.

  • We need a kick feature for players who host the custom games. im sick of getting AFK’ers collecting XP from joining and sitting or guys that come in and move your base builds and start spending all the money in the fab on 9 forges. people are real ■■■■■■■■ and we need a function to remove them. horde is a time investment and people will want to ruin it as much as possible.
  • changes are being made to the leaderboard screen after every round. this is good. it is much needed. let us pickup ammo, collect power taps, etc.
  • RNG needs work. the fact ive been sitting on lvl. 1 on some cards for weeks now is just ridiculous. ive done dozens of horde runs now. this is something that irritated the ever living ■■■■ out of me in gears 4. i went through 167 horde crates once until i got an explosive headshot card. thats complete B.S.
  • Where are we on custom Horde maps or horde maps in general ? i feel these maps are not built for horde mode at all.
  • more variation for del to build. flame turrets ? decoys that emit electrical pulse that stuns deebee’s ? lets see some more creativity in the fab. hasnt really changed at all.
  • secondary abilities/ultimates for the characters. let the players choose. JD for example can call the mortar strike. why not have an option to call hammer of dawn ? sniper strikes ?

Horde is the reason i still play this game. it’s the reason i played 4. i love the idea of fighting waves of enemies with friends and random players. it’s great teamwork, great accomplishing feeling to have after hours of playing. it’s a good challenge. the game mode though honestly misses SO MUCH. it needs more support. it just seems pretty bland. we need more customization, more creativity to it. it is lacking but not far off if support correctly. I hope TC can come through and show some love to horde. it was definitely on the backburner in 4. hopefully that wont be the case for 5.