In Gears of War 4, Horde Mode has returned with a plethora of new features and mechanics. It’s not impossible, but it’s much more difficult than it appears at first blush. Here’s a few pieces of advice to help you get started.

Pick a Defensible Location

When you first start a match of Horde, your team will have to go pick up the Fabricator and place it somewhere on the map. When you do, make sure to pick a location you can easily build and expand from over the course of the match — don’t just lay it down anywhere.

For the first 20 or so waves in Horde, odds are you’ll be fine with only a line or two of fortifications to keep enemies at bay as you pick them off with stock weaponry. Once you’ve hit the mid-20s, the waves start to ramp up in difficulty thanks to increased numbers of elite enemies with better weaponry. Here, you’ll want to have a few different lines of fortification to fall back to as you slowly kill off the enemies pushing forward. During my time with Horde, we often built outward in a series of defensive lines from the Fabricator with a few turrets and barriers lining each; that way we had a few different locations we could retreat to when things got dangerous.

Designate an Engineer as the Team Architect

Fortifications are a massive part of Horde 3.0 — helping keep you alive during difficult waves or when your team is being swarmed by larger numbers of enemies. While turrets and weapon lockers may not seem too necessary for the first 20 waves or so, they’re paramount to your success as you dive into waves 25-50. As such, you’ll want a designated builder playing as an Engineer to maintain them.

The Engineer serves as a fortification specialist, spawning in with a Repair Tool and a set of skills that allow them to manage fortifications more efficiently than any other class. Since Engineers can build fortifications with higher base HP and at a lower cost, you’ll want to have a designated builder (or two) as the only player building and maintaining your fortifications. While repairing them does cost Power, it’s much cheaper than building replacement fortifications in the long run — and trust us, you’ll need all of the Power you can get to amass a solid defense.

Have at Least One Scout on Your Team

While the name may not directly imply it, the Scout is one of the toughest classes in Horde 3.0 when it comes to survivability. Armed with a Retro Lancer and Gnasher Shotgun, Scouts excel at dealing damage in close quarters combat while staying alive with health regeneration skills.

More importantly, Scouts pick up double Power during combat — which makes them more efficient at collecting Power than any other class in the game. Because of this bonus, you should always have at least one player rolling Scout so that your team can stockpile a massive amount of Power to spend on fortifications.

Stockpile Weaponry

Having a massive array of weaponry is crucial to surviving the more difficult waves in Horde 3.0, but instead of spending your precious Power to craft them with the Fabricator you should work on stockpiling them with weapons lockers instead.

Whenever you eliminate an enemy in Horde, they’ll drop whichever weapon they were carrying for you to use. But, when each new wave starts? All of the weapons dropped in the previous wave will disappear from the map completely unless you store them in a weapons locker. When you have a decent amount of Power, make sure to have your designated builder craft a few lockers so that you can begin to stockpile more powerful weapons for those difficult waves.

Stick Close to Your Teammates

While playing Horde, not every wave will be a difficult one to manage with your team. As a result, you’ll often feel confident roaming around on your own during waves filled with basic enemies and a few elites. But, in the long haul, you’ll want to stick close to your teammates even if you’re playing as a Scout.

Regardless of the class you choose, make sure to stay aware of your surroundings while navigating the map. In the late waves of Horde you can be overwhelmed very easily by larger groups of enemies with better weaponry if you stay far away from your teammates and fortifications. If you do end up getting downed and killed, you can be resurrected by your teammates too — but only if they can reach your body safely for your tags and get them to the Fabricator. So as tempting as it may be, don’t be a hero in Horde.

Photos via Nicholas Bashore, gearsofwar.com

Nicholas is a writer and content creator in Knoxville. He frequently covers video games and other consumer electronics. When he's not writing for Inverse, you can usually find him tweeting about Star Wars or streaming on Twitch.