Gears of War 4 brings with it the latest version of Horde mode, which looks to be the most sophisticated incarnation of the beloved wave-based co-op mode to date.
If you're looking for the best tips & tricks to help you reach Wave 50 then check out our comprehensive Horde 3.0 guide here. But you won't get far without knowing how to upgrade your Fabricator and how to best utilize its defensive fortifications.
Find a good spot to place your Fabricator
Unlike the Horde mode found in previous Gears of War games, players must get to grips with the Fabricator, a device that lets you build fortifications, as well as buy, store and upgrade your weapons.
The first thing you'll want to do is find a good spot to place your Fabricator. This serves as a base for you to hold the line against 50 waves of enemies, so it's a good idea to find an easily defensive spot with few access routes and flanking positions.
As soon as it is deployed, a 30 second countdown to the first wave of enemies will begin. Players can place fortifications wherever they like, whenever they like, provided they've collected enough power from downed foes.
Leveling up your Fabricator
To level up the Fabricator you'll need Power, which is dropped in the form of a pickup every time an enemy is killed. Returning to the Fabricator will deposit all the Power that a player has accumulated. The accumulated Power can then be used to buy improved fortifications or to revive fallen allies. You'll learn to love the Fabricator like your life depends on it (because it literally does).
You'll earn the ability to build and upgrade more powerful fortifications and weapons as the Fabricator's overall level increases. These are the Power requirements for each level:
- Level 2 - 30,000 Power
- Level 3 - 90,000 Power
- Level 4 - 120,000 Power
To upgrade your fortifications, head over to the fortification that you want to upgrade and pick it up. If the Fabricator is already a higher level than the existing fortification, there'll be a prompt to upgrade it before placing it back down. So long as you have enough Power in your Fabricator, you’ll be able to upgrade the fortification and also to change its location. Here are the fortifications and upgrades on offer.
Barriers start out as strips of spikes and are used to slow or block enemies that try to pass through them, while also dealing a small amount of damage. They are crucial for map control, and clever players will use them to set up killzones for incoming enemies.
- Place these strategically to form choke points for the horde. Keep the pressure on the enemy by combined team and turret fire on them while they're slowed at the barriers.
- At higher levels, these become electric and laser wire fortifications which disable for a short period of time when players pass through them.
- Barriers can act as distractions, as enemies will melee them if they have no other viable targets close by.
These are dummies that draw enemy fire. They can be difficult to maintain because of the beating they end up taking from the enemy, but better them than you.
- Use them combined with barriers to lure enemies into vulnerable spots where your team can hammer them from safety.
- Higher level Decoys are covered in frag mines that explode and deal damage to any enemy who gets close.
MG Sentry Turrets
These are automated machine-gun turrets with a simple yet effective role in your defense.
- At higher levels, they benefit from more health, a wider area of effect and larger ammo capacities.
- They operate automatically but DO rely on ammo, so you'll need to spend Power on them to restock their supplies.
- Place them with care to make sure they hit enemies when they're most vulnerable - i.e. stuck at your barriers and decoys.
Shock Sentry Turrets
These are also automated turrets, but with an focus on crowd control. but they slow and stun approaching enemies in a narrow area of effect rather than causing damage.
- Use these to create a defensive choke point where the team can deal damage to vulnerable enemies.
- As they level up, their area of effect increases, along with health and ammo.
- Higher level shock turrets will also end up doing a decent amount of damage.
These are hugely powerful player-operated turrets that deal massive damage. However, they need to cool down regularly between use and you'll find yourself spending Power on them quickly in order to restock your ammo.
- At higher levels, their health and ammo capacity increase, along with their rate of fire.
- They are expensive to set up and maintain, so treat them like prized possessions and don't let the enemy destroy them!
- Upgraded versions come with additional barrels and extra protection for the player using the turret.
These lockers let you store weapons from round to round. Normally After each wave any left over weapons disappear off the ground, but if they are in a Weapons Locker then they will be saved for later use.
- Lockers slowly refill the ammo of any weapon that's stored in it.
- At higher levels, a Locker will gain more health and be able to store more weapons.
- Put rare high damage weapons into these Lockers to save for when you really need them.
Tools and Weapons
At its first level upgrade, the Fabricator stocks the repair tool - a replacement for your sidearm that allows the player to repair fortifications and restock fortification ammo at a cost of Power.
- At level 2 and beyond, players can also purchase any other Horde weapon from the Fabricator.
- The Engineer actually starts with a free Repair Tool and has class skills that make repairing more effective, but any class can purchase one from the Fabricator.