Operation 4: PvE Update

JUL 10, 2020


Two COG soldiers shooting at a Brumak

Here we are with the last feature blog before Operation 4 drops next Tuesday, July 14.

Giving players more freedom has been our guiding philosophy in our approach to PvE. Earlier this week, we revealed that in Operation 5 you’ll be able choose whatever character and class you want.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the changes to PvE in Operation 4 are enough to weigh down a Derrick. Let’s get into it!


All those duplicate Skill Cards you’ve been sitting on? Get ready for Level 6 Skill Cards. And believe us these are a serious upgrade.

We’re aware that many of the Skill Cards were previously tuned as a steep ramp with what felt like diminishing returns. In Operation 4, many of the Skill Cards have been rebalanced to soften this curve which will means every Level 6 version is a significant upgrade. And before you ask…it takes 20 duplicates to upgrade a Skill Card to Level 6.

The team is working on a solution to sell any unusable duplicate Skill Cards for Gears Coins in a future update.


Custom lobbies. Unique stats and Leaderboards. ‘Nuff said.


With over 40 playlist options, PvE matchmaking could be a lengthy and potentially unsatisfying experience. In Operation 4, we have streamlined the amount of difficulties from seven to three (Beginner, Advanced and Inconceivable) to improve the quality of matchmaking. All seven difficulty options will continue to be available in the Custom Lobby.


Let’s go!!! Kait, JD, Del and Fahz are making the Escape debut. In order to make this work, we have tuned some Ultimates differently depending on which mode you are playing. For example, we’ve shortened Kait and Fahz’s abilities in Escape.


With the unique gameplay in Escape, we gave Lahni, Keegan and Mac select skills that only worked in venom. We know how powerful skills like Venom Blade and Explosive Resupply are; so we’re bringing them to Horde as perks on their respective classes.


As a first step to giving players more freedom in PVE, we have removed restrictions around the Fabricator in Horde. All Classes can now purchase all weapons and fortifications as well as upgrade fortifications. With this change, it’s now way easier to get what you want when you need it.


Energy Taps have been a valuable addition to Horde in Gears 5. The challenge is that it’s always been difficult to justify defending Energy Taps – especially as the difficulty rises and for taps in vulnerable locations.

We’re adding a new perk to owning an Energy Tap – global team health. That’s right, now your entire team (including AI) will get a global health bonus per level of the tap – this benefit stacks with every added. The progression per Level of the Energy Tap is: +15% HP > +20% HP > +25% HP > +30% HP. We’ve also boosted the amount of energy you gain from Taps by 50%, roughly doubled their health and made them much faster to capture and interact with.

Looks like power taps just got a lot more valuable!


Operation 4 features a significant balance update for PVE. Gears is a cooperative game, and PvE is at its best and most fun when every player feels they are a making a significant contribution. In Operation 4, we’ve done a lot of work to balance the Classes. Here’s what you can expect:

  • 13 new Skill Cards
  • Seven new perks
  • Rebalanced perks and passives for most classes
  • Buffed weaker classes to make them more viable

We’ll provide the full details in the full patch notes on Monday. We can’t wait to hear your feedback.

Stop by our Developer Stream today as Michael Shannon, Lead PvE Designer, will go over PvE in more detail.


I’m excited. These are wonderful changes. Wow


Kait’s going to wreck house. I mean, her Blood Resonance and Laceration cards are so powerful, and there are plenty of shotguns to be found in Escape.


I need to see the actual patch notes on the character balancing, but I’m very happy with what’s listed here. Great changes!

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This is all good stuff. Buffed Horde characters, more skills, more Escape characters. As a PvE player who was a bit disappointed earlier this week, this look like a good update.


Surge should be busy next week with everyone levelling cards.


Now I won’t waste my 6,000 scrap on cards! But and the big but here: who is the new Hero? Surprised no word of that here…

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Big steps in the right direction.
Actually starting to get a little excited. :grin:


Great, but… announcement of announcement of all the balancing changes in Monday’s patch notes. Yay😕

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Some great updates in here.

Power taps give more incentive now for people to capture and defend.

More characters to use in Escape, I can see Kait potentially being a powerful character with a Gnasher in play.

Great that people can buy all weapons and fortifications, I hope this doesn’t go down the Gears 4 route though where a level 3 Marcus comes in on Master and buys 5 barriers.

Venom cards in Horde, really good.

Level 6 cards, ehh, not too sure we needed it, but OK, I guess Monday will bring a little more info on this. Sad that we won’t have card scrapping until a future update though, I think that was the bigger issue rather than the level 6 cards.

On the whole, it sounds like a great update.


Can already see the new lobby titles “only engineer buys or kick”


What concerns me about Level 6 more is this :

Without proper detailing this makes it sound like skills will be the same as prior to Op 4 but instead they will be spread out over 6 levels, which if true would be lame asf and beyond words.


This lol


My money is on Paduk. He’s been in existence since before launch, so TC have had the most time working on him. Not official of course, but if I were a betting man, this is where my money would go.


I don’t play much PvE in Gears 5, but it looks like the people who do are liking these changes which is great.

The only thing i want to know though is will the intro cutscene for Escape be removed or possible to skip?.
It’s the biggest gripe for me when it comes to Escape, watching it once is fine but seeing over and over is really off-putting and a huge waste of time.


This is the biggest reason I don’t play Escape. I wasn’t blessed with patience :+1:

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I didn’t see the word nerf used at all.

If a nerf or nerfs are forthcoming in the patch notes, TC can kiss transparency claims goodbye forever.

I must say I’m intrigued at this point.


It was strongly alluded to that balancing will come from buffs.

We will see.

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Horde basically became an absolute breeze now, can you imagine how OP level 6 cards will be for Master runs? Was hoping they’d add a higher difficulty setting :pensive:

Overall these changes are great because they give teams far more freedom in terms of how they build fortifications and how they setup, overall though just makes Gears 5 Horde into the easiest horde mode by far.

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