Ranking Escape Hives by Difficulty

There’s always vids of people doing things like this on YouTube as well. If you don’t know how, or aren’t good at something, you can “study” their vids, then try to recreate it yourself. Here’s one I found.


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This was all that it took to get Afghan Whig’s “Gentleman” going through my head. :roll_eyes:

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Thanks for the write ups. These are my usual strats, along with running strong cards.

Embar is the predominate weapon on The Split, and compared to the longshot ‘it’s feel’ or ‘response profile’ is more sudden, which makes it tougher to string shots during the ultimate. I suppose i could toy around with the sensitivity’s on a map based weapon basis. After having played it a bunch, and in horde, and escape in general i’d have to give the flyers my vote for most annoying enemy. You work and work to get the shield off, and the damn thing sneaks behind cover and waits to recover, or zooms around suddenly throwing your rhythm off, or it’s got a sliver of health left and you’ve poured your clip into it, and bork an acitve and it’s got it’s shields back up again. I hate them.

Left field candidate for The Split? Linda Hamilton. She’s got huge ammo count for the trishot (and salvo) which can work off the flyers shields, and a deep pouch full of amped up grenades for softening herds of enemies, especially at the end. Which she can chuck from cover. She has a melee resist card, and her ultimate can stymie a pack of trouble. Pity she doesn’t have some bleed on those frags.

A thing with Fahz. I’m on a master horde, and a Swarmak shows up. Cleaning up the lower health enemies is happening while the gigaton beast rambles on top of our base. The map is foundation. The setup is neither spawn but around the elevation platform. It’s on us, and as Fahz, i go under the platform, hit the markza active, pop my ult, looking up through the floor - big purple everywhere, and without much in the way of aiming slay the beast in a matter of moments. Is there something special about the markza and this monstrosity? Ended the round with nearly 900k damage.

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Hmm, let’s see here, lets have a look at this fine piece of effort.

I do agree with most of them.

I think The Labyrinth is getting a little too much credit here. Once you get pass the invincible wardens and learn where they are, it isnt too difficult. One that requires a bit of practice. But once you know where the spawns are, it is quite easy, and RNG isnt a big factor in this hive.

The Blight getting 1 star also might be a little harsh, at the time it came out it was a very frustrating hive. Still is to a degree.

Ice Queen was certainly difficult when it first came out. Now with Fahz and Cole in Escape, and the general Escape buffs to all characters since then, I dont think it’s as difficult now. I’d rather play this over some of the hives in 4 star, like Last Stand or The End.

Op4 has had a good balance of maps in terms of difficulty. Some difficult and some not so difficult maps. Some that are par for the road. Definitely better than Op3 which had a lot of “easier” maps.

A tier list I mostly agree with, not something I see often. Nice.

EDIT: ah, you want my most difficult and easiest hive do you? Well then, here you go:

Easiest: The Descent
Most difficult: The Onslaught

The top 3 hives for me are probably

  1. Onslaught
  2. The Split
  3. The Surge

Your OG post is very detailed. Thanks for that.

I certainly wish that Onslaught became the standard for hives to come.

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If we ignore the broken spawns, I’d agree with you. The Split is also nice (maybe slightly overkill with the Sentinels but I actually like it lol).

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Imo, making all hives like Onslaught for challenge will just significantly reduce their replay value because they will require a very specialized team instead of allowing players to experiment more on higher difficulties with what does and doesn’t work.

And in all honestly, Onslaught is ridiculous. My team can literally be holding off the enemies even until the lethal venom starts to come in at the second act and they will still be flooding in regardless. My team just beat it once on Master where only Cole survived due to some BS on the game’s behalf and the Fahz using X-Ray in the wrong spot for the second fight in act 2.

Split would be a better pick minus having to fight 4-6 Sentinels in the second act instead of either the two in the middle or the swarm of DR-1s and then the Sentinels in the final room with some Drone Elites and Deadeyes.


I think we have enough easy hives for people to test stuff like that on. More than enough.

If you play onslaught straight up I think the only “mandatory” character is Keegan (I say that because I only play frag popper spawn before safe room). But I think the other two could be anyone. I recently did onslaught with team Scorpio. I don’t think you are locked in to certain characters on onslaught.

the split sometimes can kill my confidence to be totally honest. It’s not an easy clear for score for me. But if I’m being objective, that type of difficulty needs to continue. The mist was a regress from what the split was.

It’s seems that they improved the spawns slightly. Still very easy if you abuse Clays Ulimate Battery in combination with Fahz and Kait/JD/Keegan.

Oh yeah, I loved shooting at enemies with the Turret for 3-4 minutes every run when chapter 2 ■■■■■■ you over.

Why? Cole can easily carry the map by himself and as long as you bring flashes he can deal with the Salvo if he seperates them from the Mulchers first. Oh yeah, and the map is VERY generous in terms of ressources in chapter 1.

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I guess I wasn’t obvious in my meaning. I want them to be as difficult as onslaught and the split. Those are the only difficult ones. The surge is the hardest of the remaining. When I run that map I use the JD/Keegan combo. Spotter support combined with interrogation makes that map fun for me.

Cole can carry any map so based on your logic I shouldn’t even have a list. It’s pretty rare I play with Cole on any map. And the list is a matter of opinion. My list could say

  1. The descent
  2. The clock
  3. The hive

And I still wouldn’t be wrong.

And It’s about the players more than it is about the characters.

If a player isn’t that great, they can make overpowered characters look trash.

If a player is really good they can make trash characters and make them look overpowered.


And what if you’ve already done most or all the things you’d like to try on every hive or on those where it works(given that some builds and characters require specific weaponry to work)? What are you then gonna say? Tough break, because the new hives don’t allow for freedom in characters as much?

Beat Onslaught, and the second act namely, with Baird while you get no EMBAR and it is RNG to even obtain an Overkill, and no Fahz and Kait while there is no Salvos for a JD or Keegan to use. Then I’ll be convinced of your claim that the hive isn’t more than a total clustertruck. The first act isn’t really difficult.

And The Split is a better hive to use as an example in terms of difficulty because it doesn’t overdo anything except the Sentinels.


Fair point. I just don’t want anymore easy hives. That’s all.

For me I don’t use the split as an example because the sentinels are simply too overpowered. And in my opinion much more overpowered than anything that happens in onslaught.

But I’d still never request for lower powered sentinels or an easier time on the split. I just need to improve.


This is the truth.
They say Cole is OP and can carry everyone and solo each map. Yes but only if the player is a badass.
I recently played with a random who was Cole on the Split and the first thing he did was to run out, get frozen and die. So, yeah, it’s all about a player.

Edit - some may not agree with me but it also takes skills to repeat another player’s gameplay.
I’ve seen numerous solo runs by different players but sometimes I can’t re-create what they’ve done. Even when I have all the cards etc.
So skills is something that you have to work on constantly. Skills is what defines great players. Not cards, not a map or Ult.


In the game’s current state, I’d only consider The Split, The Onslaught (if you attempt to kill everything in Act 2) and Forever (if all the enemy sets actually spawn in) to be difficult hives.


I’m probably unpopular in this but I hardly even believe in “overpowered” characters as a concept. There are good players and players that aren’t as good. It’s that simple. I’ve even gotten comments that Paduk is “broken” because of my solo on “the end”. As if that solo is a common occurrence. I’ve gotten the same comments about lahni in operation 2 and 3.

  1. A character with a good combination of cards is not a broken character
  2. “Overpowered characters” are more of a compliment to the user than anything else.

So still not completely fixed? You can still get missing spawns?

Yup. More unlikely than before but still exists.

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I just think Onslaught would be less of an annoyance if the game either spawned a few less enemies or the venom was slowed down enough that you could actually reliably clear the waves. Instead of it being you successfully hold down the area against the onslaught, pun not intended, but you’re getting screwed anyway because the lethal venom is right around the corner while you still get bastioned Salvo Scions and Grenadier Elites or DR-1s coming at you alongside a few more Poppers.

And like I said, having the 4-6 Sentinels on Split is overkill, when the two on either of the paths in the second act would’ve been enough while you also have that big swarm of DR-1s at the end, or the DR-1 spawn could be halfway through while the Sentinels are what you fight towards the end much like the second act.

I do agree The Mist is rather boring. It’s not even difficult(although @Ektope tells me he thinks otherwise), just repetitive and I don’t like the reflective shell Scions because all it does is encourage bleed characters to… not shoot them, at least until someone triggers the shell, or Fahz just straight up immediately obliterates them. And there is quite a few of them.

Also, the Carrier is quite franky a total joke which feels like it has no health. Only times I’ve had many real problems is when I wasn’t aware the Warden triggered a reflective shell as Kait, if my internet decided to have a lag spike at the worst possible moment(aka Matriarch charging around) or whatever third teammate we had wasn’t performing well or doing dumb things.