Monday, 26 September 2011

Gears of War 3 Multiplayer Tips

Here are some tips I thought I would share that will help you improve the way you play Gears of War 3. Gears 3 is the most accessible Gears yet, but that doesn't mean that newcomers won't have a hard time fitting in and nabbing those good scores.

Getting pummeled game after game ruins the enjoyment from this game. I really think Gears is one of the deepest shooters out there and has a lot to offer.

I'll try to keep these tips more general and not applicable to only one setup or only one game mode. Here we go...

1) Make the most out of your rifle

There is a reason Epic made it so you start the game with a rifle in hand. Whatever your rifle of choice happens to be, use it and don't switch to your shotgun from the start. You will only invite death and frustration if you do so.

The rifles in Gears 3 are more poignant than ever before. Take advantage of this by honing your targeting skills. Learn to track moving targets consistently. Practice burst firing at distance to maintain accuracy. Gears 3 functions on a hit scan system. You will register a confirmed hit by pulling the trigger when the target reticule turns red, confirmed by blood spurts on the target you are shooting. This is true for all weapons in the game. See red? Pull that trigger.

Generally, the Lancer is the most balanced rifle in the game, functionally speaking, as well as being my personal favourite. Its hefty clip size makes it great for laying down suppressive fire, a valuable tactic and an asset to your teammates in battle. Don't be afraid to lay down continual fire just above an enemy in cover. You will pin him down to his cover allowing teammates to flank and take him out. The Hammerburst excels at long range. Feather the trigger rapidly to drop still targets in a heartbeat. The Retro Lancer dominates CQB and is regarded as a rifle counterpart to the shotguns. If you're accuracy is sub par, you can revolve your play style around getting up close and personal with it and dropping multiple enemies. Just make sure you are comfortable with its recoil.

Whatever you choose, there is something for every play style.

2) Shotguns and grenades are situational

Your shotgun is best thought of as a secondary weapon. Equip only as a reaction to CQB situations such as inadvertent enemy advancement, navigating tight corridors and getting up close and personal where it is warranted. Using your Gnasher for example as a replacement for your equipped rifle is a lesson in futility.

About the shotguns, my personal preference is the Gnasher. The Sawed-off Shotgun (aka DBS) is a great weapon for beginners and those who just can't get to grips with the Gnasher. But from a skill perspective, you will hit a glass ceiling with the DBS. The Gnasher opens up a plethora of engagement styles and is easily capable of dispatching multiple enemies at once in the right hands. From up close gibbing engagements, to medium range supporting fire, getting comfortable with the Gnasher is key to improving your gameplay in Gears 3.

The best way to learn the mechanics of the shotgun is to test where the hipfire regularly lands on a wall. You will find the shot lands slightly off centre to the left. This is where you'll want to keep your target in when engaging the enemy in both aimed fire and firing from the hip. Combining momentary aiming with a pull of trigger, pop-shotting if you will, to gain the benefits of accurate fire and the mobility of firing from the hip. This usually wins Gnasher fights if you are consistent enough.

Below is a rough illustration of where to expect bullets to land when firing from the hip. Keep your enemy in the red box area relative to the middle of your screen to land one shot kills from the hip with your Gnasher. A good tip is to use your Crimson Omen damage indicator to indicate the center of your screen when engaged in a shotgun battle.

3) Orientate your gameplay around the power weapons

Power weapons are being shamefully ignored more and more by Gears 3 players.

If you look at the way all Gears multiplayer maps are designed, they all have some form of symmetry. This is how Epic structured the maps and hence structured how they wanted the game to play out. Recognise this and you will become a better player.

The symmetry of the maps lie squarely on the location of often 2 or 3 map defining power weapons. When the round starts, every good player in the game will be rushing to obtain them as well as fending off any opponent attempting to do the same. Try to develop game plans before the round actually starts by making use of the given overhead map. Epic have included a detailed blueprint of the map you are playing that also shows where every single pickup is located.

Once you have made your action plan, draw your route to the power weapon. Ideally, you want the quickest route possible. A good tip when doing this is to also consider an escape route. Not all power weapon skirmishes will end in your favour, so when you are outnumbered and the enemy team is showing some flanking strategies that will spell your demise, retreat and regroup. The best escape route when things get hairy is usually the exact way you came from.

4) Offense and Defense

Recognise when to push forward and when to retreat.

When you reach a battle zone for a power weapon, the first thing you should do is take a safe overlooking position. You don't want to be too close to the actual pickup itself that you have no time to react if the enemy overpowers you, nor do you want to be so far away from the power weapon that you won't be able to influence the outcome of the ensuing skirmish between your teammates and the enemy. Afterwards, comes the time to take action.

The behaviour of the enemy team is a tell tale sign as to what will happen next at any given time. If 3 of 5 are fighting your team at one power zone, you are in for a real battle. If the enemy team move very aggressively, don't stay in the same spot and attempt to take them on. It is okay to fall back in Gears 3, there is no shame in retreating to a more advantageous position.

In the case of being outnumbered/overpowered at a skirmish, as stated previously, lay down as much rifle fire as you can, particularly on high priority targets i.e. the individual who is going to pickup the power weapon. That window where he is in the animation of picking the weapon up is more than enough to accurately drop the enemy and force his teammates into a vulnerable situation. One takedown can force the enemy team to lose their tactical approach and leave them vulnerable for attacks such as crossfire, grenade throws or even rear ending by your own team mates.

In situations where your team are successfully pushing for the power weapon, there are a few things that will prove vital in helping your team take the weapon smoothly. Make sure you make good use of your smoke grenade. Everyone spawns with one; if you can make use of yours better than the enemy team does, you automatically gain the upper hand in skirmishes. Take care to throw smoke grenades between aggressive enemy attackers and your team mates, not behind them nor at them. A smoke screen blocking the sight of an enemy is easier to handle than a temporarily stunned enemy that can still see your team's movements. Key targets will be enemies often poised to target whomever on your team will be picking up the weapon.

Secondly, watch your flanks and rear. Often you will be fooled thinking you have little resistance to the power weapon when all the while, at least one clever enemy is reducing your numbers from behind.

Finally, always ALWAYS make use of your Tac-Com by pressing LB. It is essential that the Tac-Com becomes a naturally incorporated part of your gameplay, by checking where your team mates are on the map at all times.

5) General Tips

Some general aspects of the game to consider include the use of melee. If an enemy is rushing you aggressively, use the Lancer's chainsaw without hesitation. It's very effective at surprising enemies as they often won't see it coming. If you are struggling to deliver final shots to an enemy that is too agile, smack him down with you B button. Weapon melees should only be used as finishers against damaged opponents. Melee'ing an opponent is inadvisable, allowing them to escape and giving away your position.

If you find yourself inescapably threatened while you have the power weapon in your hand, switch it to any other weapon in your arsenal by pressing the corresponding D-pad direction. In Gears of War, the last weapon in your hand at the time of going down is the weapon you will leave behind on the floor, for anyone to come and collect. This applies to grenades as well. Keeping a grenade in your hand until the point your go down will allow you to detonate it while you're crawling on the floor. Great for baiting enemies into an explosive death.

Another great tip to put into practice is regarding your weapon loadout. When you are picking up a main weapon from the floor, you will have to replace it with either your shotgun or your rifle. Just as your grenades and pistols swap out with the corresponding grenade or pistol you choose to pick up, so will the weapon in your hand drop to the floor. I find that it is a wiser decision to drop your rifle for the power weapon, not your shotgun. It is far more effective to force the enemy to combat you in shotgun territory after you've depleted your power weapon. Rather than being relegated to distant combat with your rifle if you dropped your shotgun, force your enemy to enter your shotgun's territory by carefully using cover to navigate the map and baiting your opponent to getting close up.

In previous Gears games, you used to benefit from rolling in between roadie running to get from A to B slightly faster. This was useful in getting to the power weapon quicker than the other time and was widely used by good players. In Gears 3 however, that was fixed; uninterrupted roadie running is the quickest way to get to your destination so don't bother rolling when travelling.

Escaping a combat scenario however is a different matter; rolling can save you and put off the enemie's aim. When rolling, press A to initiate the roll and then hold A alongside a desired LeftStick direction before you complete the roll to start roadie running immediately. This is a valuable mobility technique that will help you get out of thick situations.

With a coordinating and communicative team, you can expand on these general basics and develop strategies of your own.

Above all, practice is the best way to fine tune your strategies and have fun winning more matches than losing.


  1. you can see players through smoke with tac/com

  2. I have never gotten into Gears online but this might make want to do it, seeing how the retro lancer can stop someone with the gnasher. The shotguns in this game kept me away from the normal multilayer.

  3. Your tips sound very useful for using Gears of War multiplayer. I love what you have shared, this is the best way to learn how to use the sources and play game.