Gears of War's multiplayer is infamous for being one of the most unforgiving to new players. For many people who unwittingly jump into online for the first time, their taste of Gears is quickly soured within their very first match when they get completely steamrolled by experienced players.
"What are these people even doing?" one might ask. "What the hell is even going on?"
The online in Gears of War is unlike any other third-person cover shooter, and so it usually takes some explaining by a veteran to break down what is actually happening and what you need to do to start succeeding.
Below are some basic but effective tips that will ensure you do well in Gears, but more importantly, that you'll have fun. There might be some growing pains starting out, but once you get a grip Gears' online, it's one of the most rewarding and exhilarating multiplayer experiences on console.
This might seem dumb and obvious. But it's by far the most important tip on this list, as a team that's consciously staying together increases their chances of winning exponentially.
If you don't yet understand how to handle one-on-one shotgun battles, roll with a buddy. Two players who are at least somewhat competent at the game will almost always beat one lone great player. Having someone else for the enemy to shoot is also a huge plus, as all eyes aren't immediately on you as soon as you encounter an enemy player.
But the key to this tip is to make sure you're always making a conscious effort to stick together. It's really easy to break off as players make a run towards the power weapon or they get into an engagement. The best way to remedy this is to assign one person to lead and the rest (ideally just one other partner) to follow.
2. Wall-bouncing 101
If you've played any Gears of War title online for any amount of time, chances are you've seen people who are practically flying around the map, and moving impossibly fast for normal means. What they're doing is called "wall-bouncing", which is essentially just exploiting the game's A-button cover mechanics to move fast and unpredictably.
The best wall-bouncers are people who have a commanding knowledge of the maps and their cover, and players that understand the furthest distance you can enter a cover slide from.
The "cover slide" is the most important maneuver to understand when it comes to wall-bouncing. It's simply the quick "slam" your character performs when you almost magnetically attached yourself to a wall when taking cover using the "A" button.
So when an enemy approaches you, you can fake them out by quickly sliding into the nearest wall, assuming you're near one.
Beyond that, you can also cancel a cover slide by flicking down on the left stick, again adding to your unpredictability.
Always make sure you're close enough to a wall before you try to cover slide, or else you'll roll. In one-on-one situations, it's almost always a bad idea to roll, especially in an open field. You're a sitting duck until the slow roll animation finishes, so try just sticking to covered areas.
There's plenty more to understand when it comes to moving effectively in Gears, but the rest will come with experience. This is just to give you a fundamental understanding of what people are doing, and get you started on your path to becoming proficient with the Gnasher shotgun.
3. Abuse the Enforcer
If you still can't get a grasp on what to do with a Gnasher, then maybe the new Enforcer submachine gun is what you'll need to start producing online. Its design purpose is to counter cheeky shotgun users trying to get away with murder, namely recklessly rushing players over long distances with their shotguns.
The most important thing to understand with the Enforcer is that it won't beat a Gnasher once the enemy's in your face; the ideal situation to be in with the Enforcer versus a shotgun user is for them to be at a medium-short distance away, charging at you. Firing a full clip as they try to run up on you will drop them before they can get any quality shots off. The sniper platform on Gridlock (pictured below) is the perfect spot to demonstrate the Enforcer's effective range.
It's a great beginner weapon as it works well in a group, with the Enforcer providing cover to a teammate battling with a Gnasher. Also, remember you can mix any combination of starter weapons at the beginning of a match, so you can swap out your shotgun for an Enforcer and still retain your preferred rifle in order to stay effective at long range.
4. Don't. give. up.
Part of the reason people give up on Gears multiplayer is that it's so unlike any other shooter that they can't can't bring in many of their outside skills and be good at the game immediately.
Because they expect to be great starting out, new players give up without spending time to learn the game. Don't be like this.
Take your losses as learning opportunities. If you keep dying after trying the same cover movement, stop doing that movement in that situation.
No matter how much you lose, you'll inevitably gain an understanding of the game at some point. And if you follow these tips closely, you'll be that much closer to being competitive.
If these tips helped you and you'd like to see more, let us know in the comments sections what you think!