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Gears 5 Horde Mode Tips - Character Abilities, Classes, How to Upgrade Fortifications

Here's all the Gears 5 Horde mode tips you need, including characters classes, weapons, bosses, how to upgrade Fortifications, and more.

There's a lot to unpack with the new Gears 5 Horde mode, including new set abilities and weapons for each character. In this guide compiling all the Gears 5 Horde tips you could need, we'll be going over the full list of Gears 5 character classes, their weapons, how to upgrade Fortifications in Gears 5 Horde mode, and more.

Gears 5 Horde Tips

Just in case you're new to Horde in the Gears of War universe, we'll run you through our list of beginner tips below. Further down the list, we'll get into the more advanced Gears 5 Horde tips, for those who are returning veterans of the Horde.

  • Gears 5's Horde mode consists of 50 total waves, no matter which difficulty you're on.
  • Every 10 waves, there's a special boss round, where a boss enemy with minions will appear.
  • The boss can include the Flock, a Warden, a Swarmak, and more.
  • After you've defeated the boss, a new difficulty modifier will be introduced.
  • The difficulty modifiers include increased enemy health, damage, and accuracy, and all of them stack on one another.
  • When choosing your characters, make sure to choose a range of character roles.
  • These include Offense, Tank, Support, Scout, and Engineer (more on them below).
  • Use your time before the waves wisely: you can reconstruct destroyed Fortifications by spending power.
  • You can deploy new Fortifications and weapons from the Fabricator, by spending Power that you accumulate from killing enemies.
  • If you don't pick up Power by the time a new wave starts, it'll disappear entirely.
  • Always buy a Repair Tool from the Fabricator, for 10,000 Power, which you can use to repair Fortifications.
  • Turrets burn through ammo incredibly quickly, so make sure to refill their ammo between waves with the Repair Tool.
Cover image for YouTube videoGears 5 Gameplay - 16-Minute Preview of the Horde Mode

Gears 5 Horde Split Screen

If you're wondering whether Gears 5 Horde mode has split screen capabilities, the answer is yes, but on the Xbox One only. If you're playing Gears 5 on Xbox One, you can play Horde mode split screen with up to three players on a single screen.

But if you're playing Gears 5 Horde mode on PC, you're out of luck. The Coalition hasn't enabled split screen play on the PC for Horde mode, so you'll be confined to online play if you want to take on the Horde with other players.

Gears 5 Horde Characters

There are a ton of Gears 5 Horde characters for you to choose from in the extensive mode. Below, we'll list out every playable character, then their set class role, and then both their passive and ultimate abilities, so you know which character suits you for Horde mode.

CharacterRolePassive AbilityUltimate Ability
KaitScoutPower from kills increased by 25%Camouflage - Hidden from enemies while active
DelEngineerFortification builds are discounted, and you can carry fortifications fasterReinforce - Summon Deebee trackers that target enemies
J.D.OffenseEvery sixth headshot kills drops ammoArtillery Strike - Drops 5 artillery rounds on a deployed marker
MarcusTankDamage taken recharges your Ultimate AbilityLiving Legend - Automatically fire at the heads of enemies in sight
FahzOffenseEvery sixth critical hit drops ammoX-Ray - See and shoot enemies through walls and cover
JackSupportEnemies that die with your mark reduce your Ultimate Ability cooldownHijack - Take control of enemies for a short time
Emile-A239OffenseEvery sixth headshot drops ammoDrop Shield - Deploys a shield that obstructs projectiles
Kat-B320EngineerFortification builds are discounted, and you can carry fortifications fasterHologram - Deploys a holographic decoy that moves forwards
Sarah ConnorTankDamage taken recharges your Ultimate AbilityHeavy Hitter - All hits with ranged weapons knockback and stun enemies

Gears 5 Horde Classes

With each character in Gears 5 Horde mode, there are classes. Below, we'll give you the rundown on which characters belong to which classes.

  • Scout - Kait.
  • Offense - J.D., Fahz, Emile.
  • Tank - Marcus, Sarah Connor.
  • Engineer - Del, Kat.
  • Support - Jack.

But what do these classes mean, gameplay-wise? Each Horde character starts out with two main weapons, and one sub weapon. Although you can change up weapons by picking up guns from fallen enemies, the three weapons that a character starts with are the only three weapons that they can purchase from the Fabricator.

The Horde Fabricator. | Hirun Cryer/USG, The Coalition

There's also a difference between the Fortifications that characters can build. Only Offense and Engineer can build Fortifications like barriers and turrets. If you're playing as a Tank, Scout, of Offense class, then you unfortunately can't build any Fortifications, but you can still purchase weapons from the Fabricator.

Gears 5 Horde Power

Power is the currency used in the Gears 5 Horde mode to determine the Fortifications you can build at the Fabricator. The only way of earning Power is by killing enemies, and each enemy will drop Power after they're killed, which you then need to run over to, in order to actually collect it.

Power markers on the map. | Hirun Cryer/USG, The Coalition

Although you automatically pick up Power when your character passes over it on the ground, it's still easy to miss it. There's a number on the top right of the screen that lets you know how much Power is still "on the field." In other words, how much Power is left on the map for you and your team to pick up.

Remember that when a new wave of Horde starts, all the Power that's still left on the ground will disappear. This means you always need to be on the move before a Horde wave kicks off, tracking down any Power that's left unused on the battlefield.

So once you've got Power, what can you do with it? You need to take your Power back to the Fabricator. Press X once you're in the Fabricator menus, and you can deposit your accumulated Power into the Fabricator so your teammates can spend it too. Remember, sharing is caring when it comes to Horde mode.

Gears 5 Horde Fabricator

The Fabricator is where you deploy your Power in Gears 5's Horde mode. It's at the Fabricator that you can then spend your acquired Power, be it on Fortifications on the battlefield or new weapons for your character. Below, we'll detail all the purchase options at the Fabricator, as well as how much Power they each cost.

  • Repair Tool - 10,000 Power.
  • Incendiary Grenade - 500 Power.
  • Shock Grenade - 500 Power.
  • Frag Grenade - 500 Power.
  • Retro Lancer - 2,000 Power.
  • Gnasher - 2,000 Power.
  • Talon - 2,000 Power.
  • Overkill - 2,000 Power.
  • Enforcer - 2,000 Power.
  • Lancer - 2,000 Power.
  • Hammerburst - 2,000 Power.
  • Barrier - 2,000 Power.
  • Decoy - 3,000 Power.
  • MG Sentry - 5,000 Power.
  • Shock Barrier - 4,000 Power.
  • Weapon Locker - 5,000 Power.
  • Forge - 10,000 Power.
Some purchase options in the Fabricator. | Hirun Cryer/USG, The Coalition

Gears 5 Horde How to Upgrade Fortifications

But the Fortifications that we've listed above are all purchased at level 1, and only the Engineer class (Del and Kat), can upgrade them beyond level 1. Below, we've listed all the Power requirements for upgrading Fortifications to higher levels.

  • Barrier Level 2 - 2,000
  • Barrier Level 3 - 3,000
  • Turret Level 2 - 5,000
  • Turret Level 3 - 7,000
  • Turret Level 4 - 8,000
  • Weapon Locker Level 2 - 5,000
  • Weapon Locker Level 3 - 5,000
  • Weapon Locker Level 4 - 5,000
  • Decoy Level 2 - 3,000
  • Decoy Level 3 - 3,000
  • Decoy Level 4 - 3,000

Gears 5 Horde Power Taps Explained

At wave 11 in Horde mode, a Power Tap will spawn somewhere on your current map. You can see the Power Tap below, which needs to be captured by one or more players, in order to begin working.

The Power Tap. | Hirun Cryer/USG, The Coalition

Once you've captured the Power Tap, it'll be on your side for the rest of the Horde match. During this time, it acts as a Fortification that enemies can attack in an attempt to destroy, but you can use the Repair Tool to patch it up if it does take damage.

At the end of every wave that the Power Tap is on your side for, you can walk up to and hold X to acquire Power from it. The Power can accumulate over multiple Horde waves, so you can always go back to it after 5 waves for a bigger payout than you would after just 1 wave, for example.

If you want to see what we made of Microsoft's latest entry in the franchise, you can check out our own Gears 5 review. For guides to the sequel, you can head over to our Gears 5 collectibles guide, or our guide to the Gears 5 Matriarch boss.

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Hirun Cryer