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Big changes are coming to Gears Of War 4 horde mode

From a class-based system to earning abilities through booster packs, horde mode is about to be shook up!

The wait is excruciating, but we're now down to less than 30 days to go until fans can finally return to the best aspect of Gears Of War: the relentlessly difficult horde mode!

If you've missed out up till now, horde is a cooperative mode that forces players to work together (creating a very fun and supportive community on the still-awesome Gears Of War 3) over 50 waves of increasingly tough enemies in increasingly larger numbers.

While that basic idea will stay the same, there are many changes coming to this updated horde mode you need to know about before you pop that disc in!

Map Changes

According to a press conference at E3, players without DLC installed can still play maps they don't actually own in horde mode, so long as they join a host who does own the maps – meaning everyone can potentially get in on the horde action no matter what expansions they buy.

Speaking of maps, there are far more in general to be  played this time around, as horde mode is now available on all multiplayer maps, not just a select few maps as was the case in Gears 3.

 New maps and new enemies await!

Class System

While the previous horde modes in Gears 2 and Gears 3 had essentially no difference between characters (and only minimal options in changing between lancer / hammerburst or gnasher shotgun / standard shotgun load outs), this time around there will be big distinctions between each player.

In a change towards a different style, horde mode is now class-based, offering five different options for each player: Soldier, Sniper, Scout, Heavy, and Engineer. Each class features a different base weapon load out (although any class can eventually use any weapon as you progress through the levels and unlock content).

The main difference setting classes apart is in their map role, with Scouts grabbing collectibles dropped by enemies that unlock new fortifications for everyone on the team, while Engineers gain quicker access to abilities that increase the utility of fortifications. The remaining classes then focus on different combat options: basic mid-ranged shooter, long range sniper, and heavy weapons expert.

Cards and Booster Packs

Increasing replayability and offering more tactical options, horde mode 3.0 now has a new card-based system, with booster packs earned after completing rounds. 

These randomized cards offer new abilities and upgrades, covering everything from additional weapons to increased damage all the way up to devastating hammer of dawn strikes.

There are only a small number of slots available to use the various cards in your deck at the beginning of the game, with your “hand size” expanding as you level up over time. For those who grab every piece of game content right off the bat, the Gears Of War 4 season pass contains 5 extra horde booster packs to give you an early edge.

Fortification Changes

In probably the most major change to horde mode, fortifications are now controlled by the Fabricator, a device that can be moved to different areas and is the heart of your defensive capability.

New options at the fabricator unlock as you progress through the waves, and now you can set fortifications built at the Fabricator anywhere you please on a map instead of only using pre-determined positions. Needless to say, this opens up the strategy possibilities on every single map in massive ways.

 This will be the lifeline of your horde team!

Gears Of War 4 is set to land October 11th and is part of Microsoft's “Play Anywhere” initiative meant to bridge the gap between Xbox One and PC players.

This "Play Anywhere" system allows save data and achievements to transfer between both versions, and you can play online with groups of players from either device. What change to horde mode are you most look forward to trying out when the game lands?

Published Sep. 14th 2016

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