Horde question - late to the game

I’m starting to play Horde a bit more after mostly playing PVP for the last year or so. My question is, what level should my characters be at if I want to tackle a Masters run? Also, what level do you recommend my character get to before I move on from Beginner?

Given that I haven’t played a whole lot ,most of my classes are ranked rather low. My highest is an Infiltrator at level 8. I don’t love being an Infiltrator so I may start with a new class from level 1.

I did look at @Hu1k_Daddy guide to Horde classes to see a nice breakdown of each class and recommended cards. So thanks for putting all of that together.

I’m a Horde vet. I played lots of Horde in G4 especially and was a solid player. Played as a Heavy, Soldier, Scout and Sniper. My favorite was probably Heavy or Sniper though. I always hated playing as Engineer.

It is a bit less about what character level you are, and more about what level your cards are. With all the double and triple xp events we have had, and the various ways to boost character xp through speed runs that don’t result in cards, you can easily find lots of level 20 characters running about with only level 1 or 2 cards. There is no golden rule but you will generally want your most important cards at at least 5, though it can depend on what your team mates are running and what the overall strategy is. It even depends on map. If you are on Overload and your team is willing to carry you a bit you could get through it with mid level cards.

Infiltrator is a great class once you start getting your blood resonance and laceration cards up a bit - the reaper card is the other important one and that is a green so it is common therefore easy to level up.

My only other advice is don’t waste coins levelling green, blue or gold cards. Spend them on purple ones because although purple is more common than gold, you will always have more purple cards than gold therefore the odds of the one you want dropping as a reward are less. And don’t waste coins once you get a card to level 5 because you can bet that the moment you spend to upgrade to level 6, you will get a stack of duplicate cards as a reward in your next game, with no way to use them effectively meaning your investment was a waste.

Have fun.


It really depends on the class. Some classes have very useful skill cards that don’t unlock until much later. Also Horde and Escape differ alot too.

JACK is very useable even on lower difficulties if you stick with a support medic role for example.

For Escape, the hivebuster characters/classes are excellent, but some of their more useful cards are the venom-based ones and are unlocked much later like Venom Boost, Venom Blade etc.

But even amongst the other classes, some classes’ more useful cards are unlocked later.

The Infiltrator is one whose better cards are unlocked relatively early on. From memory I think it you should have most of them by around level 11 or 12.

Broadly speaking, you should ideally have most of your cards levelled to around level 4 at least. Class-wise, I reckon level 14-15 is a good average across the board give or take, but it varies from class to class.

Also depends on your team mates too. If you’re going to be playing with friends who are higher level and more experienced with PVE, and you’re using mics to communicate then it makes the whole thing much easier.

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Leveling is much faster with a competent team (take it from someone who rarely plays with teams).

A good duo class combo can take on much higher level challenges at lower levels.

For example, since Tactician gets explosive reload as a perk instead of a card, any level Tactician can turn a Demo class into a boss-melting monster, even at low levels.


Well, that’s impressive when players are willing to ask for questions.

I would say you don’t need to go for Beginner Difficulty since I used my level 1 character to play on elite or insane difficulty, but it’s based on the host if he/she says “All Welcome”, that’s good.

I think you can choose the class you’re going to favorite and have a look on the Cards, and try it on.

For me, I start leveling Infiltrator since Op 1, and then Demolition, Robotic Expert, Mechanic, Tactician etc. I love the way you can easy to controll and easy to kill, so you can try to figure out the play style in Horde.

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It takes a loooooong time to get a character close to max, in terms of cards… A good question is: what type of game STYLE do you enjoy? Pick a class which matches that, and work on that.

I dont enjoy CQB in Horde, so my blademaster and brawler are super low. Couldnt care less.

Dropshot was my fave gow4 weapon, so i love playing as Pilot, with max cards…

Do you like to stay back and snipe? Marksman is very strong… Do you wantbto mix sniping with chsinsaw executions? Nomad is the way to go…

Do you like spamming boomshots, salvos, etc? Tactician is amazing…

There are classes which have perks which make up for kack of skill cards, for example Anchor with a locker if trishots is very good, even without the buller chsin card: just the damage snd crit damage cards will carry you…

Etc, etc…this is a multi dimentional problem, which has no simple “classX” answer :grin:


Hulk’s guides are likely outdated/less useful than they were when they first came out.

Beginner is for absolute novices, if you came from PvP and were already an high level player (hit Masters, understand movement mechanics and so on) then you probably want to start off on Insane or something (turn off extra damage and maybe health)

Overall the promotional classes are kinda weak (with some notable exceptions) but you really can’t go wrong with any class, I always tell people to just slowly get accustomed to 1 class, try to understand how to use 1 class then after you feel like you have a great grasp on one move on to another, this is important because having a base is really useful. Lots of players will just skip from one class to the next every match and what ends up happening is that they never fully understand any of them so don’t be one of those guys that has a level 18-20 class that has absolutely no idea how to use them.

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Hey man,

I would say that most classes will need to be in the 12 -14 level range.

And yes, many of my guides are outdated and I’ve moved on from the game as it currently.

Thanks for the mention though. A lot of time went into making those.



Thanks for the input. When I played Horde on G4 my favs were Heavy or Sniper. Sometimes I liked to play as a Soldier too, because they weren’t as OP as some of the other classes.

With Heavy I liked loading up with my Dropshots and wreaking havoc with that. Sometimes I’d use a Heavy weapons card and spam Salvos all round. ( I think the card had a 40% damage bonus).

As sniper I liked using the Embar as my main, and either a Longshot or Markza as my backup. With the cards I used the damage was pretty insane for ranged weapons. I’d also use Explosive Headshot and rack up a lot of multi kills when I 'd snipe. I had a lot of fun with this class.

When I ran as a soldier I usually used cards to buff my assault rifles (either lancer, Retro or Hammerburst) . I’d use my cards to load up on a huge reservoir of ammo and an extended magazine. I could fire my rifle for a ridiculously long time without having to reload and with the damage buffed , you could just shred things for the first 30 waves. Later on when the active poisons got a bit tougher , I’d kind of move back to a support and cleanup role. It wasn’t the sexiest class but it was fun just shredding things with rifles.

So based on my preferences, any other recommendations you have would be much appreciated.

Broadly speaking, I would personally say that the minimum level which you ideally need for master Horde, based on unlocking skill cards, is:

BLADEMASTER - Level 10 (Thrill Of The Hunt)

DEMOLITIONS - Level 12 (Razor Hail)

INFILTRATOR - Level 12 (Stim Batteries)

MARKSMAN - Level 7 (Modified Longshot)

NOMAD EXECUTION - Level 13 (Execution Shield)

NOMAD SNIPER - Level 15 (Consecutive Shot)

ANCHOR - Level 3 (Bloody Shot)


GUNNER - Level 5 (Bait Armor)

PILOT - Level 10 (Bleeding Mulcher - the first truly decent Silverback weapon card).

VETERAN - Level 10 (Focus)

COMBAT MEDIC - ahahahaha!

JACK - Level 1 no cards are really needed for a supportive healing medic role

MECHANIC - Level 7 (Overclocked Locker I guess, but Efficient Fabrication at level 10 is pretty standout amongst engineers).

ROBOTICS EXPERT - Level 11 (Precision Repairs)

TACTICIAN - Level 12 (Shredder)

I won’t mention the promotional classes as I don’t really use them, and I think they’re a bit rubbish anyway. The above is just general advice and recommendations. Obviously the higher the level of these cards, the better, but as I mentioned I think level 4 is pretty solid, but it varies from card to card. Also, the skill card mentioned above is the most useful one unlocked at the latest stage, so there will be other very useful cards unlocked at earlier stages. Also some classes have in my opinion, much more lower levels of master viability purely because they have perks which compensate. The Anchor for example has 4 perks which are all pretty useful and give damage resistance, extra damage, ammo regeneration etc.


Perhaps give the Marksman a try. It is versatile for both Escape and Horde and of course the sniping skill is useful to practice. You will be able to make a sizable difference even as you are leveling up, more so in games with extra health turned off.

As far as efficiently leveling your cards, I believe Escape is more efficient for cards obtained given time spent. The Clock is an excellent map on which to learn Escape and to level your Marksman. Escape is not for everyone but those who like it really like it. You may just find that it’s more fun than Horde. Personally, I really enjoy the team work of Escape (calling enemies and plays, planning ammo use, prioritizing targets).

Lastly, the PvE experience with a squad is different from playing with randoms. I have a regular squad so often one person is leveling a low level or promotional character on Master runs and nobody gets upset. Much of the frustration that you will read about on the forum relates to the behaviour of randoms. Once you find a list of potential squadmates your Horde experience might get even better. No squabbling over depositing, early perks, locker priority, fortification placement, weapon stealing, etc.



Pilot for dropshots and marksman for longshot and markza… Embar in this game is much weaker, for some reason…

Both classes are very strong and fun, once you level them up.

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:disappointed_relieved: :cry:


cool. thanks. I appreciate it. One more question. What is your take on depositing? In G4 you would obviously deposit because you couldn’t buy perks. Aside from buying a weapon you wanted , there was no other choice. In G5 since you can buy perks, you can spend coin in those instead of depositing. So what is the better way to go?

If you have an Engineer in the squad then I can imagine depositing some would be helpful. With no Engineer would it be better to not deposit? Lacking an Engineer I’d think you’d still want to build a little bit. Things like cowtrops at the very least. What are your thoughts on on all this? Thanks in advance.

If you join a inconceivable or master game and your class is low level despite having cards at level 5 or 6 because you accidentally purchased upgrades with coins lol…people will leave or the host will kick most likely lol

I could say it depends on the people you play with. But in general, is better if everyone deposit in the earlier waves for the engineer to buy fortifications or even if you have not an engineer, so someone can start buying barriers, lockers, etc (for the team, of course, not just for him).

If no one is building a base, most probably you will be killed by an infiltrated Juvie in higher difficulties. :sweat_smile:

Try to spend a bit on your perks, for example, every wave, buy one or two perks and put the rest on the fab, preferably, try to spend the less energy possible in your perks, but in case your team is not doing its role, then consider saving a bit more for you.

And one last tip. Always have energy for emergencies in the fab. I would say at least 10,000-15,000 to repair lockers, buy a cryo canon, or in case the fabricator gets destroyed.

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I’d say since you’re a Horde veteran you could skip the lower difficulties from the start. The thing is that the classes does not get the full use of some skills until they’re at least upgraded some. You could probably do master runs with a low level class if the team is good but you and the team would not benefit from it or appreciate it as much unless you have unlocked some of the class specific skills.
Since some of the classes in 5 are tweeked, or kind of hybrids between the classes in 4 you could probably appreciate most of them, except for the engineery ones. I appreciated scout and heavy in 4 and prefer Infiltrator and Pilot (dropshot-style) in 5. But I can also go for Demolition-class, Anchor or Nomad depending on map, mutators, other classes picked etc.

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Long & short class lvl 15 but I’ll explain below. Also to note you can do most hives at advanced to elite with lvl 10 classes just depends on your play skill lvl in the game.

I’m going to just use Brawler class as my example but it’s the same for any class so you can use this method for any class of your choosing. Now low level classes isn’t so much the issue (it is kinda but for a different reason) it’s more about the cards that you want to get to a higher lvl (as some of the better cards unlock at the higher class lvls and that is the main reason I mentioned above) but for example you could have a lvl 10 Brawler and as long as his cards are lvl 4-6 then you should be adequate enough for most incon/master game modes (again though the lvl 10 Brawler won’t have access to some of his beefier cards at this point as they won’t unlock till class lvl 15+ and so there is the catch). The best way to lvl cards quickly is by completing escapes. Surge is a great easy run through escape map that you can do on insane and run though in about 5mins that will net you 4 cards each time but it’s not the greatest for class xp. That leads to my next point though which is to watch out for daily hives/hordes that will net you 15,000 class xp apon completion these are great for lvling your class faster however the down side is you will probably need to find 2 teammates(escape) or 4 teammates(horde) that don’t mind giving you a carry through the map. Hope this helps you out.

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Once I unlocked for the pilot (currently levelling up)

  • bleeding mulcher
  • the hammer
  • cold finish

I felt more than ready to tackle master runs with others. Think all unlock before level 15 too which is nice and fast.

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Might add though that a level one card can be pretty different from a level six card. Even though you unlock a skill at level 12 you might not get the full benefit from it until you’re level 20 and beyond

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