‘Gears of War 4’ multiplayer guide: Tips and tricks for victory in versus mode

gears of war 4 multiplayer guide gears4 versus escalation
Gears of War’s competitive player-versus-player multiplayer — PvP for short — is the ultimate test of skill for many players. It’s been an integral part of the Gears games ever since the original, even before the series introduced its now-iconic “Horde” mode. And it’s back in Gears of War 4.

In some ways Gears 4’s PvP is the same bloody crucible it’s always been. The Gnasher shotgun still reigns supreme, skilled movement is key, and your screen gets splattered with bloody bits regularly (yours and your enemies’ alike). However, there’s enough new in Gears of War 4 that even longtime Gears players could benefit with an explanation, not to mention a few tips.

Whether this is your first Gears of War or you’ve been wall-bouncing for years, our Gears of War 4 multiplayer guide should get you started on the right frag.

Getting started in Gears of War 4 PvP

Let’s start with the basics. Gears of War 4 pits two teams, usually consisting of five players each, against each other. The weapons, maps, and modes can vary wildly, but the goal is generally the same; keep killing the other team until you win. You can play locally over a LAN connection or splitscreen, offline with computer-controlled bots, in private matches with friends, online against strangers, and in multiple different combinations of those (for example playing splitscreen with a friend and hopping into an online playlist).

You may feel like you understand how to play Gears of War 4 because you finished the campaign or played a bit of horde mode, but PvP is a very different game with its own demands and skills to master. Keep these general tips in mind before you start:

Get comfortable: You’re not going to hop into Gears 4 multiplayer for a quick game before work. Single matches in many modes can last as long as 45 minutes, so get comfortable and hunker down for long sessions.

Equip a bounty: New to Gears 4, players can take on “bounties,” which offer in-game currency in exchange for achieving specific in-game goals. Make sure you have a beneficial bounty card equipped before jumping into a match. Many bounty cards only work in specific modes, so don’t equip a “King of the Hill” bounty if you’re playing “Escalation.”

Change loadouts: Before a game starts you can often change your loadout slightly by pressing “Y.” Want to start with the Hammerburst or the Lancer? You decide.

Stick with your team: It can be tempting to go off alone to try to flank your opponents, but in team game modes it’s almost always better to stick with your squad. Doing so without support is a great way to get picked off in “Dodgeball,” or cause your team to lose objectives because you wandered off. If you want to try something fancy like a flank, get on the mic and sound off to your teammates.

gears-of-war-4-beta-1461360492

Use the Gnasher: There are a lot of different weapons in Gears 4, but, as in the previous games, the Gnasher shotgun still trumps them all. Master getting in close and one-shotting opponents, and you’ll be off to a good start.

“Competitive” vs. “Core”: Weapon balance can vary depending on the playlist you’re in; Gears 4 features both “core” and “competitive” tuning. In competitive tuning modes weapons generally do less damage individually and aim assist is reduced to make up for the high skill factor in competitive play. Read more about the details of the two tunings on the official Gears of War blog.

Active reload forever: The Gears of War series’ famous active reload system has changed a little bit in Gears of War 4. Active reloads give you bonus damage if you hit the reload button again at the exact right time. In Gears 4, you can active reload whenever you want, even when the weapon’s magazine is already full. There’s then a cooldown before you can do it again. It’s a big change but one Gears 4 players are acclimating to.

Wall bouncing: Another staple tactic returning to Gears 4 multiplayer is the wall bounce. This technique lets you move across a map with great agility by lunging into cover, then strategically canceling that movement just before posting up against a wall to increase your movement speed. It’s easy to do but hard to master.

Keep it in context: If you want to come out on top in Gears 4 multiplayer don’t forget to use special context-sensitive maneuvers available to you, like the ability to grab people who are on the other side of cover from you, yank them to your side and stab them in the face. They can be quite useful when an opportunity presents itself.

Get to know the maps: There are currently 10 maps in Gears of War 4, with plans to add at least another 24 as DLC. That’s a lot of battlefield to keep track of in your head. Luckily they’re all similar: Most maps are symmetrical, with players spawn point on either side, and power weapons to pick up in the middle.

To give yourself an edge, open the scoreboard while playing on a map, then press the “B” button to see an overhead view of the level. Use that to quickly get the lay of the land. It pays to know where power weapons spawn and keep various routes in mind. Over time, you will learn the nuances of each map and have a serious advantage.

Gaming

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ will make Blackout mode free to play this week

Treyarch and Activision are offering Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode as a free trial download for a limited time. The mode will be available from January 17 through January 24.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Gaming

Latest ‘Fortnite’ update channels Halo with a scoped revolver

The latest update for Fortnite, update 7.20, is now available, and it brings a new Scoped Revolver weapon to the game alongside the returning Glider item and a limited-time Snipers-only mode.
Gaming

‘Battlefield V’ adds Squad Conquest mode in ‘Lightning Strikes’ update

Electronic Arts and DICE have detailed what is included in the Battlefield V update Lightning Strikes. The update includes access to the mode Squad Conquest through the end of January.
Gaming

Console wars are so last-gen. Check out all the games that support crossplay

Crossplay is still in its infancy, but a growing number of games support online multiplayer between competing platforms. Here's a list of all games that support console crossplay.
Gaming

Want to trick out your PlayStation 4? These themes will get you started

Personalize your gaming experience with some of our favorite themes for the PlayStation 4, including free, paid, static, and dynamic options.
Gaming

‘Mortal Kombat 11’ is even gorier and crazier than we expected

NetherRealm Studios unveiled Mortal Kombat 11 on January 17 and the game looks to be just as gory and over the top as fans have come to expect. Former MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will appear as Sonya Blade.
Gaming

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a MicroSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.
Gaming

Get your pilot skills up to snuff for this week's 'Fortnite' challenge guide

The Fortnite season 7, week 7 challenges are now available. The major challenge this week requires you to visit all the Fortnite expedition outposts in the game and we walk you through how to get to each.
Gaming

Get extra life with our tips and tricks for 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a much more difficult game than you'd believe based on its adorable art style and 2D perspective. Here's how you can master the game's toughest challenges.
Gaming

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has two distinct Mario experiences in one package. In this guide, we'll show you how to find all of the secret exits in New Super Mario Bros. U, that lead to hidden levels and let you skip worlds.
Gaming

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Luigi U Deluxe'

Just like all other 2D Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe includes secret exits and world skips. In this guide, we'll show you how to get to all 12 secret exits in New Super Luigi U.
Gaming

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.
Gaming

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.
1 of 4