There Must Be a Secret to Leveling Skill Cards

I have been hesitant to create this topic, as I know there are others similar. However, those other topics were created shortly after launch, and haven’t really been updated in the last month or 2.

Anyhow, on to the issue at hand. Anyone who has played regularly since launch, has the same concern/complaint about skill card drops: “I never get the cards I need”!

I understand the whole card drop thing is random. I also know that the game itself knows exactly which cards each player has, and the number of each card. With Gears of War 4, you could go to the Gears website, view, upgrade, and scrap your cards. Although we don’t have the same option in Gears 5, the game still maintains a complete account of all player statistics, such as skill cards, unlocked characters, which game modes and maps we have completed and on which difficulty.

Although card drops are random, the randomness is controlled by the game, and ultimately by the developers. Since the game knows which cards we have, it also knows which cards we don’t have, or better yet, what we need to level up.

With all that said, there is no reason why it should be such a difficult and time consuming grind, to max out the skill cards needed. If we play a lot, we should be fairly rewarded.

There must be a trick to better card drops. Some combination of a specific character, on a specific map, on a specific difficulty?

As an example, my Del character is level 18, and has been since last November. All of his green cards are level 5, and each cards has a minimum of 20 duplicates. Half of the blue cards are level 5, with a minimum of 3 duplicates. The other blue cards are level 3 or 4. None of the Purple cards, nor the gold card is at level 5

Over the course of the last 3 nights, I played 150 waves of Horde as Del, on Elite difficulty. Each map was different. Out of the 30 skill cards I earned, 26 of them were green (all duplicates), the other 4 were blue. 3 of the 4 blue cards were duplicates.

What can be done about this? I know there are quite a few players that do weapon performance testing and things like that. Has anyone figured out a way to increase the chances of getting non-duplicate cards?

I’d like to hear from the masses.

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It’s totally RNG. The number of mutators / difficulty determines the likelihood of card drops based on rarity.

But cos it’s all procedurally generated what you got last time on the same difficulty is irrelevant. Every game you get a fresh roll of the dice and even if you got lots of green cards, your next game could equally drop lots of greens too.

What I will say is that it seems easier to get gold legendary cards on Master difficulty cos it’s the only one. Most characters have multiple epics so once you factor in drop rates of epics you still only have a 1/4-5 chance of getting the specific epic you want/need.


I feel ya. As I posted yesterday, TC has no concept of gratification/motivation theory, and your post is just more evidence of this fact.

With no reasonable expectation that a 1-50 run will yield a card that I actually need, and with zero value to the cards that you get instead, there’s no motivation to play. Sure, the gameplay is mildly fun, but it’s the character development and buildup of scrap to purchase future cards/items that would provide incentive for me to play. Otherwise, there are other games I’m more interested in at the moment, where I can actually develop a character, earn achievements, etc.

As to RNG, when did TC ever say that each rare card has the same probability to drop? Never. Maybe on Master there’s a 10% chance of any card being a Rare (just as an example), but maybe they don’t want Razor Hail to drop as often, so they program it to drop less that the other Rare’s. It’s still “Random” in terms of how many Rare’s drop, but they tweak the drop rate of certain cards.

You pointed out that they know exactly which cards you need, and maybe they give lower drop rates on those specific cards, thinking you’ll play more to keep trying to get them. TC has made so many tweaks that we don’t know about that I would easily believe that this could be true.

Your experience is just like mine, and I suspect many others; playing long stretches and getting nothing in return. You finish a match and feel like you wasted your time. TC doesn’t know how to motivate people to play, and doesn’t seem interested enough to listen to those of us who genuinely want to help them make the experience better. Wish it wasn’t true, as I’m a big fan of the franchise.


Thanks Ashton. This is a very well-worded and thoughtful response.

Your comment: “Sure, the gameplay is mildly fun, but it’s the character development and buildup of scrap to purchase future cards/items that would provide incentive for me to play.”

I really enjoy playing Horde. However, without a realistic chance at rewards, and no other real incentive, the game is rapidly losing its’ luster.


Nothing needs to change. If you want to farm cards do wave 1-10 speedruns on inconceivable.

The grind is ridiculous in this game.

10 hours to unlock a character and then another 15/20 hours to level them up. Then you just need to hope you get lucky and get the cards you want.

G4 had multiple ways of earning cards and even if you were playing versus you could put credits earned towards horde packs. Before I’ve even really started to use the engineer class I had a number of high level cards.

In G5 you start from the bottom every time. You either need to keep playing the lower difficulties over and over again or go on at a high level with an under prepared character and hope the rest of the team carry you.

The cards that are applicable to more than one character shouldn’t need to be levelled up again. In G4 there was cards shared across the different classes.


I’ve tried this method several times. By myself, and with 2-3 other players. I normally get 2 green cards. Every once in awhile, I’ll get a blue card.

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Yeah the RNG for cards is doo doo cheeks

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What I hate is that despite playing every gears for many many hours, I just don’t care to sweat it out on insane or whatever to have “fun”. I want a bit of a challenge and a lot of fun, so I keep it to 0 to 2 modifiers at most, anything more isn’t fun for me. So my odds of ever getting MORE than just unlocking the better cards is fkn near impossible… yay waste of time…
In gears 4 I could play how I wanted, get random cars from any level, and upgrade the ones I needed to without much hassle. Not so much in 5 though. Almost not at all.


I have gotten fairly lucky with the RNG but i only play on insane and higher, once you get used to it, it ends up being easy because you know what to expect.

Obviously being any new character i only play the lower difficulties until between level 8-10 then i start jumping into insane+.

Thank god for the custom lobby

Maybe TC will do a special horde variant in the future that locks out green cards from dropping.

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That would be fantastic.


To solve this, I only play Inconceivable/Master on The Clock. I normally always get the epic and/or legendary cards I need. Especially if you have two good players that can constantly run matches, you’ll get those cards in no time.

Do you find that incon grants purple cards you need more often? I found that master often rewards the gold card too often. I was lvl 5 on my gold card before any of my purples hit 3-4 due to always getting golds/blue/green instead of purple on master. Had to drop to incon to farm my purples.

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Yes that’s the case for me.

I think it’s purely a mathematical probability thing.

Basically each character has what? 4-5 purple epic cards; and just 1 gold legendary.

So even if an epic card drops, the range it covers is larger (4-5 cards) whereas for legendary ones you always get thay same one card. Percentage-wise legendary cards don’t drop at a rate of 4-5 times more frequently so broadly speaking you will almost certainly max out the legendary first.


I’m aware of the spread, I’m saying that in master they do drop that much more often for me.

My golds were dropping at an excessively higher rate than purples. I’m not referring to maxing gold first only, I am taking stock of my results screens. Seemed to me that playing master always gave golds greens and blues, very few purple. Ime insane/incon are the purple card difficulties.

I think it also depends on the character played. For me with Baird on insane/ inconceivable, I cultivate gold (26 discarded) instead of purple (missing more than 2)

Always the gold after having succeeded the Surge hive in Insane (33), therefore, I started to kill and die before the door closed, and, I was able to farm the purple for Baird and Lizzie

I feel like they’ve patched the surge from giving out gold cards. Over 20 runs on insane and not one given

It’s probably just very unlucky, I did a Master run on The Blight a few days ago that got me 5 common cards.

Like, 5 common cards, for completing a Master run? I know its getting changed, but I don’t know how this got into the game at all, and how its taken this long for it to be changed.

It’s just the RNG. With it being from an infinite pool of cards what you got last time is irrelevant as the probability is reset per card (if you know what I mean).

There are some east hives to do on Master and Inconceivable which increases the probability, but even then it’s RNG.