Horde Leaderboards: How to compete guide

HOW TO: Achieve the #1 spot on the Horde Leaderboards

As many of you may will know, the Horde Leaderboards are dominated by a small circle of players who consistently work to knock each other off the top spot. For a long time, I was one of those players who spent countless hours attacking the leaderboards and gaining the highest score. The method used to get the #1 score has changed several times over the course of the game’s history in order to adapt to changes made to the game, however, the current method being used has remained the same since the last time the leaderboards were reset.

In this post, I’m going to explain the method used by leaderboard runners to attain the #1 score so that anyone who would like to try it but doesn’t know how it’s done, can give it a shot. (feel free to check me out on the leaderboards if you like in order to verify that I am legit, however with Gears 4 at the end of it’s life cycle and Gears 5 coming out just around the corner, my interest in grinding the Gears 4 leaderboards is pretty much gone and I’ve not played much in the past few months, as a result many of my top scores may be knocked down a place or 2, that said, I’m probably still in the top 15 on most maps and the method I’ll be outlining in this post today is one that I’ve mastered and the one which is still being used by current leaderboard runners).

The method is basically an exploit used to farm power to get the highest score and is best attained by playing out the game in a specific way. You will need a full squad of dedicated players to do this, and I do mean dedicated, because the goal is to score approximately 15 million points in a time span of around 12 hours. Fair warning, this is one helluva grind.

For reference sake, I’m going to split this guide into two parts: part one will be called “Prepping”, as this is the term us leaderboard runners use, and this part will outline the actual exploit itself. Part two will be called “Completing”, and this part will outline how to complete the run after the “prepping” portion is done.

Let’s begin…

Part 1: “Prepping”

1.) Fill the squad with like-minded and DEDICATED players. (Ensure everyone is on board with the time and effort needed to complete the run, it is not for the light-hearted casual player.)

2.) All 5 players will need to run Scouts with the following cards equipped: Brawler, Execution Bonus, Health, Rage, and Health Regeneration. (personally, I prefer the Speed card over the Health Regen, but I’ve not met anyone else who does, so that’s a personal preference and it’s up to you to decide which fits better with your play style)

3.) On your map of choice, start a private horde match on inconceivable difficulty, beginning at wave 7 or 8, either is fine though it’s probably best to start at wave 7 in order to see what enemies will spawn, I’ll explain why in a moment.

4.) As soon as the game starts, all scouts need to go to the fabricator and TURN OFF auto deposit; this is a very important step.

5.) The Scouts (ie everyone) should now go out and kill all the enemies except for the last one; trying as best as possible to melee kill them rather than shooting them because melee kills will drop more power (since everyone should have the appropriate card equipped.)

6.) DO NOT kill the last enemy and, ideally, going back to step 3, you want that last enemy to be a Guardian. This is why it’s smart to start on wave 7 and see if the Guardians will spawn.

7.) Once everything except the last enemy is dead, all the Scouts need to die in close proximity to the fabricator. So have everyone gather round the fabricator and wait for the last enemy, which is hopefully a Guardian, to kill you all.

8.) At this point, if everything has gone to plan, you should all be dead with all the power you picked up during the wave lying near the fabricator. The proximity of the power to the fabricator is crucial because when the wave restarts, you’ll need to quickly pick it all up and repeat exactly what you just did: Melee kill everything except the last enemy, die near the fabricator, restart the wave, quickly pick up the power, and repeat. And repeat. And repeat.

You’ll need to repeat this over and over and over, literally for hours and hours until you have accumulated at least 2 million power, which is the amount required to score enough points for a top spot on the leaderboard. If you manage to kill all the enemies except the last one without dying, you can pick up approximately 30,000 power on each iteration of the wave.

Part 2: “Completing”

1.) When you’re satisfied with the amount of power you’ve EXPLOITED, you’ll then need to take turns leaving the match in order to rejoin one at a time with a more suitable loadout.

2.) Decide amongst yourselves who will play as what, but the following loadout is recommended:

  • 1 Engineer using the Decoy Cost, Decoy Health, Team Revive, and Sentry Cost Discount cards. (The 5th card is up to the engineer and is irrelevant to the method.)
  • 4 Scouts with the same cards as before EXCEPT swap the Rage card for the Deposit Bonus card.

3.) While each player takes turns quitting and rejoining, the remaining players in the match can continue to farm power in the same way as was done in the “prepping” portion. Each time a player rejoins, make sure to remind them to turn off the auto deposit.

4.) Once everyone is back in the game with the recommended classes/loadout, you’ll need to take the fabricator to an ideal defending location and mutually agree that everyone is now ready to play the game more or less as it was intended to be played.

5.) Have one of the scouts pick up and deposit the power (this by itself will make up a massive chunk of the score). All players can now turn the auto deposit back on.

From this point forward, you want to play the game as flawlessly as possible. No more dying on purpose.

6.) Have the engineer buy as many decoys as possible and have 2 of the scouts start placing them far enough away from the fabricator to keep the engineer safe and to prevent the horde from getting too close. You’re aiming to have a small army of decoys on the frontline, as this will help the scouts continue to get melee kills to maximize the power drops. The enemies will focus on the decoys and the scouts will have an easier time ending them. Simple in theory, surprisingly difficult to do in practice, so patience and dedication is key.

7.) The engineer needs to build himself a small protective bunker made up of barriers and a few sentries, however, the sentries should not be in range of the enemies because you still want the scout’s melee kills to be the primary method of eliminating them. So facing the sentries backwards, away from the enemy spawn direction, is recommended.

8.) The scouts will be picking up and recycling the power dropped by the destroyed decoys, but their main focus should be to melee kill as many enemies as possible while they’re focused on the decoys. No point standing around watching them destroy the decoys, get in there and get those melee kills! There is also no reason for the engineer to try to prevent the destruction of the decoys by attempting to repair them mid-wave since the scout will simply recycle the power back into the fabricator for new decoys.

9.) The primary goal for the remainder of the game in order to maximize the high score potential is to spend all the power over and over until finally you’re on wave 50 with no fortifications left on the map, no power left to buy anything, and only the boss left to kill.

“Prepping” Tips:

  • The “Prepping” part is quite difficult, and because you can die very easily, it’s important to play near each other in order to be able to revive one another if you go DBNO. If someone fully dies, take their tags to the fabricator for one free revive, but make sure everyone else is aware you’ve used the free revive.

  • Don’t stray too far from the fabricator because when you respawn after the team wipe, you’ll only have 30 seconds to pick up all the power. It’s a massive let down if you’ve spent 4 or more hours “prepping”, only to have the player with the massive amount of power die all the way across the map and on respawn not being able to get to it fast enough to pick it up before the 30 seconds are up. If you lose that power, there’s no point carrying on, you’ll have to start all over and will have just wasted x amount of hours.

  • To help prevent the scenario described above from happening, the last person alive at the end of each wave should pick up all the dropped power and then they can go die near the fabricator so that upon restarting the wave, the power is all in one lump near the fabricator where you’ll all spawn.

  • Ideally, you want to be in a wave that spawns Guardians because they can kill you easily and they help prevent mistakes like accidentally killing the last enemy from happening. To ensure you get Guardians, start at wave 7 to check if they spawn and if they don’t, simply progress to wave 8 where there should definitely be Guardians spawning. Another reason a Guardian is the ideal last enemy is because, as buffed scouts, an enemy such as a hammerburst-wielding swarm drone will struggle to out-damage the Scout’s health regeneration rate. In other words, you’ll heal faster than he can hurt you. If this does happen, you can always pick up grenades, Boomshots, or Dropshots that may have been left on the map and take them to the fabricator where you can then use them to easily kill yourself.

“Completing” Tips:

  • Getting the decoys out and placed is crucial, and time is of the essence here, so try to leave the last enemy alive while the rest of you hurriedly place more decoys. It helps to drag the fabricator closer to where you are deploying the decoys during this time so that it’s all hands on deck to place the decoys.

  • Melee killing is tough and you’ll probably go down often, it’s recommended the scouts move as a group, allowing 2 scouts to do the killing while the other 2 revive them if they go down or return the tags to the fabricator for the free revive. Once the free revive has been spent, the engineer should keep a keen eye on the battlefield and be ready to use the team revive option in order to keep the team alive. There is a ton of power at this point, so it’s okay to use it for this purpose since a team revive is preferable to a team wipe.

  • Once the fabricator hits level 4, decoys become explosive when they are destroyed. This explosive damage will steal kills and points from the scouts, so when you do put out a level 4 decoy, try and place it in a corner and then surround it with backward facing shock sentries (so the sentries are not facing the direction the enemies approach from). This will force the enemies to beat on the sentries first as they try to get to the decoy, basically you’re trying to keep them distracted which is what you want so that the scouts can continue to melee kill them more easily.

  • During the level 20 and 30 boss waves, if you’re lucky enough to get a snatcher or, even better, a carrier, then the engineer should build a fair amount of turrets that the scouts can carry and place in front of the boss. This will result in the boss immediately destroying them and the scouts can run back to the fabricator with the recycled power for more points. It’s a more efficient way of getting points than waiting for the boss to smash a million decoys.

  • After the wave 30 boss, it’s a good idea for one of the scouts to leave the game and rejoin as a sniper with the Team Revive, Ping, and Sniper Strike cards equipped (the remaining cards are up to the sniper and are irrelevant to the method, but the sniper will be sitting at the fabricator to spam the ping option, so he’s not likely going to be killing anything, therefore cards like explosive headshot are pretty pointless here. The Called Shot card might be a useful option however.) The host can pause the game while this class switch is happening and then when the sniper has rejoined the game, the host can un-pause and bring the sniper into the wave using the team revive option. As mentioned, the Sniper’s job is to just spam the ping option in the fabricator to help the remaining scouts by marking the remaining enemies, and later in the game he can hit the odd sniper strike if things start getting hairy. Since he’ll be sitting at the fabricator for the duration of the game anyway, he might as well be in charge of the team revive since you don’t want a team wipe this far into the process.

  • When you get to wave 48 and 49, it’s a good idea to start pushing out all the fortifications closer to the enemy for them to be destroyed so the power from them can be recycled. The reason for doing this now is that, occasionally, on wave 50, you’ll get Kestrels as the boss and they are notoriously bad at destroying the fortifications, so it’s best to go into the boss wave with very few items left to be destroyed.

Awareness and game sense is of the utmost importance when attempting this leaderboard run technique. There will be a lot of trial and error as your group adapts to the method. It’s very easy to get caught up and overrun and finding yourself team wiped, and this will probably happen on the first few attempts, but don’t get discouraged and keep at it. Be smart, be careful, be vigilant. You control the horde.

I’ve tried to be as concise as possible with this description but I’m sure there are plenty of details I’ve inadvertently left out, you’ll still need some initiative of your own but if any of you are daft enough to actually consider even attempting this, I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. I’ll even try to add some screenshots to better outline what I’ve described herein.

So come on then, I wanna see some 20 million scores up there! Show me what you got!

Disclaimer: For the record, I don’t think this is a particularly clever nor legit method of reaching the top of the leaderboard. It may not take a whole lot of skill, but it definitely does take patience, teamwork, and a few brain cells. Personally, I view this method as cheating, so there’s no need to waste your time informing me of what I’m already fully aware of. I’ve made this post simply to expose the method being used by leaderboard runners so that everyone can have a fair shot at attempting it, and also maybe to get TC’s attention so that they can fix this exploit or so that, at the very least, it doesn’t reappear in Gears 5.

Furthermore, I’m not liable for any misfortune that might befall you for attempting this method, up to and including such things as: getting banned, getting fired because you’ve missed work or been awake all night and slept-in, any break-ups or divorces that may result due to your spending more time on the game than with your partners, or even death because you’ve forgotten to eat, sleep, or drink, lol you get the idea.

If the mods on here delete this, which wouldn’t surprise me, then I’ll just go post it on all the other websites where the community hangs out. =) In fact, we should all work together to spread the word, so copy this post and paste it anywhere you like, all I ask if you do is that you give me credit somewhere in the post, since this did take a considerable amount of time to type out and I’m also likely going to incur the wrath of all the current leaderboard runners for revealing their dirty little secret.

I have this typed up in an word document file if you want, just hit me up and I’ll send it to you.
Big thanks to my best friend in the world <3 she helped me get this lot into a readable fasion for you all


Uhmm nice i guess but if it’s an exploit there really isn’t any sense of accomplishment to be number 1 or even a high score. The whole sense of “OH look i got it i’m proud” wouldn’t really feel the same to me as if i were to actually get an achievement i’d like to do it fair and feel accomplished. Simply grinding wouldn’t feel that awesome for me anyway.

I never said it was but thanks for the opinion

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oh my bad i must have missed that part it was TL:DR sorry haha :sweat_smile:

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ALL i can say is wow!

Thaits some process and time commitment for one sitting.

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I’m lost here. Not with the methodology, as that was fully explained. I’m lost with why you did this for two years, and now when you’re done, turn around and call it an exploit you want others to try and TC to stop.

Sounds like an axe to grind, but maybe that’s just me. Personally I have no interest in 12 hr marathons, but let the people who do have at it. The whole problem is not the process, it’s the “leaderboards” themselves. Pointless and serve no purpose in distinguishing anything.

I hope Gears 5 has no leaderboards, and if they do, I hope it’s based on something different like the least number of bullets fired per 50 waves.

I always knew it was an exploit and nothing to be proud about. The circle of friends I played with just play the game this way. I don’t really care if TC do anything about it or not I’m simply just telling all how its done. It’s up to people what they do with the knowledge,

when I look through this forum personally my post looks like its the only constructive post that’s been put on here for months the rest are just people complaining about one thing or another and its no wonder its this way when so called “community veterans” reply to posts in the way they do. Still I appreciate your opinion even though it sounds more like an opinion on me than what i’ve posted.:roll_eyes:

Leaderboards should be determined by the amount of full 50 waves one has completed ie. 1 point for 1 full game and there should be a separate board for each difficulty. Like the Survival boards in GoWJ. Please don’t listen to this guy for gears 5 and determine by something silly like he suggests. We don’t want team mates idling for 50 waves to top the boards nor do we want a full team of snipers because they can one shot one kill lol they are better off as they are now than that