What is your "algorithm" for prioritizing Horde targets?

An offhand comment came up about everyone going for “the big kills” instead of teamwork but replying there felt like it was straying a bit too much from the original topic (and exceeding TL; DR size).

Speaking personally, I don’t choose targets for glory hogging/damage scoreboard bragging rights. It’s a function of trying to help the team best with my class/(cap)abilities. Obviously, a lot of factors go into what to take on first: my and the team’s class makeup and competence, “lane ownership”/expectations, current enemy/base conditions, etc.

To make it more concrete, the original context was about Marksman in X-Ray, which I think consensus tolerates “roaming” the entire map, within reason (e.g., CQC impact). I’m among the least qualified to talk about that situation, but FWIW, after making a quick list without dwelling on it too much, I believe my priority targets when in X-Ray are probably something like:

1. Guardians / Sentinels 19. Stumps
2. Bastions 20. Snatchers
3. Wardens 21. Cyclopses
4. Boomshot Scions / Mulcher Scions 22. Locust Hybrids
5. DR-1s 23. Hunters
6. Pouncers 24. Sires
7.Palace Guards 25. Shepherds / Lambent Drones / Locust Drones / Drones / Imagos
8. Elite Drones 26. Flame Grenadiers
9. Theron Elites / Hunter Elites 27. Swarmaks
10. Lambent Grenadiers / Locust Grenadiers / Grenadiers 28. Poppers
11. Dropshot Scions / Buzzkill Scions 29. Juvies
12. Locust Grenadier Elites / Elite Grenadiers 30. Carriers
13. Elite Snipers 31. Wakaatus
14. Locust Snipers / Snipers / Deadeyes 32. Matriarchs
15. Lambent Therons 33. Rejects
16. Theron Guards 34. Flocks
17. Bolters 35. Leeches
18. Kestrels 36. Trackers

Those are primarily a function of the weapons I’ll have (precision), and the specific value I can bring (one-shotting large health enemies, or shooting through barriers).

Some of that lower stuff (particularly bosses) fluctuates if I do/don’t have Icy Precision, where stopping the boss (especially potentially obstructing the path of another boss behind it) has more value than weakening it, or Critical Parade where chaining one-shot kills quickly has more value than non-guaranteed shots.

Come to think of it, my priorities probably aren’t much different when out of X-Ray… it’s more that you make extra effort to go for things not visible to the team or shielded. And you can clearly see that outside of shielding, in most cases, my priority mostly follows the enemy “difficulty” (as proxied by the wave #s at which the game spawns them), so this probably has a lot of similarity to lists for other classes too.

What are your own “rules” for how you pick among available targets?

Similar to OP. Flyers really get top priority. Anything else is whatever poses the biggest threat at the moment and in cases of the threat not being in my lane I try to keep my eye on it in case whoever covers that lane needs help.

Not every class can handle a flyer quick. If you’re a Marksman and you hit a flyer and MISS it just pisses them off and they fly into the base and down everyone. Marksman is a great flyer killer but that was just an example. Anyone who bothers them and doesn’t finish the job will perish.

I legit just handle whats in my lane. Whatever is big goes first Scions, pouncers and bosses.

Funny story, back in the days where I still played on Advanced I got a melee kill on a Guardian that way once. Reduced it to 1% health and it decided to fly right up into my face.

My usual target priority really just depends on the class and circumstances so I can’t really give a particularly accurate answer. For example bosses are something I will occasionally ignore in favor of killing the trash mobs and other backup that may be liable to kill you instead of the boss itself. More applicable with Carrier or Matriarch present unless you get an unlucky spawn or one of those classes that just wipes the floor with them. Headshotting Drones as Anchor for Bullet Chain stacks, or killing/disrupting a Sire to prevent grabs even if other more annoying enemies are nearby.


What I do, with some exceptions. Lambent camping spawn side to fight other enemies is super boring and annoying so I may look to dig them out of there if possible without too much risk. Or if my BM ult still has enough time running on it to take a few enemies further into the map out and nothing is nearby.

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Its a real thing for sure! I am upset it took me so long to realize how their AI works but after so much trial and error it became very apparent to me that the reason flyers would grief my runs was because I started it and didn’t finish it. Usually because I’d be distracted by something else, but thats the old player in me, I am much better at it now lol.

All this horde speak makes me want to play some horde :muscle:

One of my friends frag tagged a Guardian in GOW4 during a speedrun on Foundation. The Guardian had spawned pretty much next to him, and it was just a reflex sort of thing.

To focus an enemy with X-Ray, it depend on many thing. The 1st rule I use is: Does my team are getting zoned/pushed ? If yes, then I clear the enemies that make’em struggle. 2nd if I see team mate getting laser by some drones, I take’em down. 3rd it depend many thing. Guaridan & Sentinels are a problem for your team, but not as much. A mulcher in your base is way way more deadly than a Guardian that take 10s to start shooting. So if we’re talking about target only I would say EVER kill some drones because your allies would see Scions & Guardian but not the elite drone that gonna kill’em all. Then once you killed some drones, take care of scions/bastions then guardian/sentinels then Warden. About boss ignore’em it’s not your role, unless you can kill it quickly like a Stump.

It also depend a lot of your aiming capacity & ammo. It also depend where are your allies & if you’re in a solo run, try to think which enemies is more threatening to you, escape solo could help you with that. You can always hide from a Sentiel due to the reaction time it got. But an elite drone is always going to 3 tap you then your team.

If you’re not using X-Ray just focus big target to get your ult back quickly as possible. So aim for Scions/Warden then Drones.

Sorry my english isn’t that great but I hope you get the idea.

True, though the gambling game of guessing when they (or any enemy) will actually decide to start shooting is something I certainly lose a lot. :slight_smile:

You can ignore the fliers and bosses that are idling or aggroed to someone else just fine… until you can’t. Enemies switch targets the instant a player goes down, so you frequently won’t have time to intentionally adjust if you weren’t already set up for success at that moment. Ask me how well it went the other day attempting to pick up the whole team when the Wakaatu was hanging out above one Allfathers Arena spawn doorway and I tried to run out the other. I failed to do a proper “serpentine! serpentine!” maneuver so of course perfect homing acid spit took me out.

Yes, this is probably where I diverge from typical/good Marksman players, since being in (and prolonging via Critical Parade) X-Ray is only modest value to me. I go for big targets simply for preventing their damage, not really the resulting X-Ray recharge.

Maybe this would have been the more personal/diverging version of the targeting question (I think I expected more scoffing that I put DR-1s so high on my original list. :slight_smile: ).

“How do you even pick a lane?”
“What factors into you leaving your lane (and subsequently returning)?”

For my part, I effectively pick lanes at random (one symmetric insufficient-boomshot-protection ledge is as good as the other) or whatever remains uncovered when others set up first. And I generally only leave for DBNOs, even despite boredom.

On a smooth Village run last weekend, the first tap spawned “ceremonial lodge”/left side and Engineer set up at spawn, so I imagined others would want that action and went right/bridge hut. Other than for “5 left!” cleanups, I only went all the way to the left side twice, when I’d had no enemies for a while and it seemed like the others were taking a bit more time than usual to pick up a DBNO safely that they might value clearing help. Though each time I was in fact useless other than for moral support; 1 or 2 easy kills that they already had in hand by then anyway, and I never picked the person in that lane up. So no reason to linger and risk anything in my vacated lane (though there never ended up being any enemies there when I got back).

Tap spawns(if I play BM, more so, but some donkeys don’t get the hint and decide to camp the spot I am most useful in as Marksman… another reason I have banned the class from my lobbies now, certainly if played by randoms). Otherwise, either my preferred hangout on the map or what isn’t covered by teammates(though sometimes that is difficult to do since some people just refuse to stay in one lane even as a ranged class).

Will only abandon it to look at other lanes if literally nothing is coming along or I only see Juvies and stuff that I can kill when they get a little closer, or if others require support*. Might sneak in a Drone kill or two or stun a Scion if I play Pilot or Gunner before going back.

*Requiring support also includes playing BM and the Warden spawn of the match/wave deciding to go down the lane of the player least adept at killing them.

Yes, as I said X-Ray with Critical Parade, is based on aim I do it because I know I can handle the wave by myself if X-Ray is up. But when I play MM, I already know my team mate wont get some fun because I’m here to clear everything thats moving & if I play a class where I’m playing only for fun, I’m kinda annoyed when the MM in my team can’t handle some enemies.

About my mindset, in escape I’m restarting every game if I miss 1-2 Longshot bullet but in escape I only do solo run or w/ friends.