‘Gears Of War 4’ Horde Upgrade Incoming With New Skills, ‘Inconceivable’ Difficulty Levels And More

The Coalition delivered on long-promised improvements to Gears of War 4‘s Horde Mode Thursday. The Xbox One and Windows 10 PC shooter will receive its biggest update yet next week to deliver “Rise of the Horde” with new skills, difficulty levels, achievements, and maps. The developer is delivering major balancing updates and a free trial week.

The Gears of War 4: Rise of the Horde update will be released for the Xbox One and Windows 10 versions of the game on Tuesday, June 6. This will be followed by a free trial version of the game available to download for everyone on both platforms. The trial will offer 10 hours of free play, which includes the entire first act of the campaign, plus complete access to the Versus multiplayer mode and Horde co-op multiplayer mode.

The Coalition is turning Double Class XP on during the entire month of June along with a 20 percent bonus XP in Horde Matchmaking. Gears of War 4 players will receive rewards as they level their classes up to level 30. Most of the rewards are Trainee Packs, but the loot at level 10 is a Second Wave COG Gear Pack while Level 15 is a Second Wave Swarm Gear Pack.

Gears of War 4 Horde Update

The new Gears of War 4 Soldier skills from the Rise of the Horde update.
[Image by The Coalition/Xbox]

All five Horde mode classes will receive three new skills with the Rise of the Horde update. Additionally, The Coalition is adding a sixth level to skills, along with making tuning updates and loot drop changes.

Here is a breakdown of the Horde mode changes courtesy of the official Gear of Warcommunity site.


  • Flow – Take reduced damage while repairing fortifications
  • Overclock – Increase the rate which Weapon Lockers replenish ammo
  • Salvage – Enemies killed by your sentries have a chance of dropping ammo magazines


  • Thick Skin – Take reduced damage from explosions
  • Berserker – While carrying a heavy weapon you deal more damage as your health gets lower
  • Last Stand – While carrying a heavy weapon you take less damage as your health gets lower


  • Dodge – Take reduced damage while roadie running
  • Speed Loader – Roadie running will reload your equipped weapon automatically with Active Reload rounds
  • Cloak – Being stationary and in cover for seconds will cloak you from enemies – leaving the cover or shooting will remove the cloak. Shoot enemies from Cloak for a small damage boost.


  • Steady Hand – Take less damage and have reduced camera shake (when being attacked) while aiming or scoping
  • Magic Bullet – Critical hits with precision rifles (Longshot, Markza, EMBAR) penetrate through enemies and increase the damage of the next shot
  • Called Shot – Targets you mark take increased damage from all sources


  • Siphon – Planted grenade kills cause enemies to drop more Power
  • Resupply – Regenerates one grenade every [X] seconds (up to starting loadout number)
  • Assault Rifle Accuracy – Assault Rifles become more accurate the longer they are fired while in cover

Loot Drop Changes

First, Scouts will no longer wonder if they have picked up all the Power drops at the end of a Horde mode rounds. The Coalition has added a new UI element that lets players know how many drops are left on the battlefield and how much they are worth.

Boss waves will now drop loot too. Defeating the boss at waves 30, 40, and 50 will drop one random Horde Skill. The higher the difficulty that is being played, the greater the chance it will be a rare drop.

New Gears of War 4 Difficulty Levels

The new Inconceivable and Ironman Difficulty levels in Gears of War 4.
[Image by The Coalition/Xbox]

Gears of War 4 already offers the extremely tough “Insane” level difficulty, but the Rise of the Horde update will add more to both the Campaign and Horde modes.


The new Inconceivable difficulty level will unlock in Horde mode after beating 50 consecutive waves in Insane. Once unlocked, this will make players even weaker while the Swarm enemies will be even stronger. Raising class skills up to the new level 6 skill level is highly recommended.

Inconceivable will also be present in Campaign after beating the Insane difficulty level. It doesn’t just give less health than Insane difficulty; it also lowers your character’s health to less than the enemies. Additionally, weapon and crate drops will supply less ammunition.


Just as the name suggests, this is a “get killed once and you are done” modifier that can be added to any difficulty level. In Campaign, biting the bullet will send your all the way back to the very beginning to start over. Meanwhile, there will be no COG tag drop in Horde mode when a player dies. If all players die during a round, the match is over. If just one player survives to the end of a round, all will be resurrected for the next.

Aside from making Gears of War 4 more difficult, the Ironman modifier also offers a 5 percent XP bonus for Horde mode and any bounties completed. There are also some brand-new Achievements.

New Gears of War 4 Achievements

The Coalition has added 20 new achievements with the Gears of War 4: Rise of the Horde update worth an extra 500 Gamerscore points. Many of these are tied to Horde mode, along with the new difficulty level changes. You can check out the community post for the complete list.

Two New (Old) Gears of War Maps

The Avalanche map in Gears of War 4.
[Image by The Coalition/Xbox]

The Rise of the Horde update brings back two classic maps from previous Gears of War titles. The snowy “Avalanche” from Gears of War 2 is back with a battlefield-altering avalanche during the middle of the match.

The second returning map comes from Gears of War 3 with “Rust Lung.” This close-quarters map comes with a platform in the middle that can be raised or lowered with the push of a button.

Balance Updates

Rise of the Horde comes with numerous balance updates as well, mostly to Horde. However, the Gnasher receives some additional tuning to create “a more consistent Gnasher up close.”

As for the Horde balance update, Turrets were hit with cost increases both for building them and refilling them with ammo. Additionally, the level 3 and level 4 Turrets will see their damage dropped by 12 percent.

Most importantly, zombified playable characters in Gears of War 4 will finally be less annoying. They will only say “Braaaaains” when landing a headshot and will use normal dialogue otherwise. A huge improvement over the constant refrain of “Braaaaains” that resulted in players asking others not to use zombie skins in matches.

Once again, the full list of balance changes and other fixes can be found in the community post.

[Featured Image by The Coalition/Xbox]

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