How to Become a Better Gears of War player.. (no, really)

gears player tips

Disclaimer: This guide represents over 40,000 matches worth of experience. 165,000 kills in multiplayer from Gears of War 1, Gears of War PC, Gears of War 2 and Gears of War 3. This guide will tackle all the aspects of becoming a highly effective Gears of War player.

First things first. You need to keep practising! This guide wont make you the perfect player after reading it, you need to put in some hours practising all of these techniques over and over.

There is a lot to take on board but keep coming back and you will soon be able to take in additional information that will make you a better player.

Ok got it? lets start..

There are a lot of really bad players out there on all the Gears of War games. The game is huge and a lot of people are playing the game all the time, even though it is now an old series, people are still playing the older versions, and there is no reason why you cannot match their skill level with a bit of regular practice and following this guide

At first you may lose patience and the reason you have found this guide may be because you have typed into Google “ways to improve as a player on Gears of War” because you are getting destroyed constantly by some top players who seem to know exactly what they are doing and effortlessly take you down time again.

The skill level on the game can very vastly, but you can still be an effective player without having the same technical ability as some players. You may be tempted to learn wall bouncing, but this comes with practice and is a technical skill that on its own will not get you far on a consistent basis

How to measure your ability
Your Kill/Death ratio shows a general idea of how you perform in each game. If you look at your statistics in your War Journal or in game stats you can see a rough idea of where you are at.

If you are in the 0.1 – 0.5 region you should definitely read as much of this guide as you can manage. By the time you are done with it, your brain should be packed full of information that will make you a much better player! But this wont happen immediately, give it time and keep practising and keep referring to this guide to take it all in.

Your K/D ratio, the difference in your kills vs your deaths should increase in time as you become a better player.

Increasing your win/loss ratio is also important, and as you become a better player this will also increase. I tend to try my best to win, opposed to my keep a high k/d ratio. Winning is what the game is all about, but for a team to win someone has to lose.
To take your game to the next level, you need to learn how to win matches and avoid being on a team that loses! sounds simple right, but the art of winning is a journey that you must take one step at a time.

Winning matches is important because if you are on a winning team, everything becomes a lot easier!

But how do you win matches?

1. you don’t get killed so easily
2. you add value to your team

Q. But how do you do not get killed so easily and add value to your team?
A. this is a long answer so lets get started…

These are the subjects we will cover to make you a better player

  • Awareness,
  • Adding Value
  • Evasion
  • Positional Defending
  • Cover Manipulation
  • Power Weapons
  • Boltok Pistol
  • Smoke Grenades
  • Hammer of Dawn
  • Torque Bow
  • Sniper
  • Lancer
  • Gnasher

Mastering these will make you a better player.

Awareness: probably the biggest error in Gears of War multiplayer, not being aware of what is going on around you.

Being aware of enemies around you is very important. If you can eliminate all the ‘oh i didnt know they had…’ and the ‘oh i didnt know that guy was there’ then you will remove the majority of your deaths in future matches, meaning you are more likely to win more matches and be a better player because of it.

This is a problem for everyone to a certain degree as you can never know exactly what everyone is doing at all times, however it is possible to improve your awareness and become a fountain of real-time knowledge and this is a skill you must learn if you want to avoid un-necessary deaths and add value to your team.


To give an example of what we mean about awareness in Gears of War. If you are playing team-deathmatch, each death you commit means one less life for your team. Avoiding deaths when playing team deathmatch is what it is all about. This means you need to be more aware of your surroundings, and spotting those rushing players that try and get as many kills as possible but end up getting 15 kills and 15 deaths.. you dont want to be one of those players. They dont offer as much value to your team as a conservative risk free player could.

One of the easiest ways to be more aware of what is going on is to learn from your mistakes. After every death, think to yourself ‘why did i just get killed?‘ be honest with yourself.

After analysing why you died, the majority of the time it will be because you were not aware of that guy, or you did not know he had a boomshot, you didnt know he had a retro lancer, you didnt know there was a guy sniping from the other side of the map.

Something along these lines sound familiar?

At the start of every round, instead of having a set plan such as ‘going to the grenades first‘ or ‘lets all go left‘. Base your plan on what the opposition are doing..go straight forwards and find an area where you can overlook as many people as early as possible.

Here is an example of this basic concept in action. (really short video, no ads)

Look at where they are going, if they all go left, then you know that no one is on the opposite side of the map. This then allows you to run up behind them all, or pick up the power weapon on this side of the map. Its a simple thing, but something that will give you the upper hand straight away on the battlefield and make that mountain much easier to climb.

There could be an opportunity to get behind everyone right at the beginning of a round! You could be a hero, and you dont have to do anything except use your brain rather than your instinct.

You need to know where you are free to roam around. By doing this you’ll be able to use your brain to figure out weaknesses of the opposition. If they are all heading to one area of the map, then you could overlook the whole area and just down them all with a lancer knowing that you wont be getting shot from behind!

Obviously the opposition wont always all go the same way.. If someone has picked up the sniper rifle on the opposite team, then you need to know where he is, is he camping in the tower? If you don’t know where he is, then potentially he could snipe your head off if you stand there holding LT with any weapon in his view. You need to know what he is looking at as much as you can manage without it directly effecting your defending of a position.

You also need to know if anyone has picked up the other power weapons, such as the Mortar, the Torque Bow, the Boomshot and the Hammer of Dawn. These are called Power Weapons, and can quickly take teams apart. By being aware of where the sniper/boomer/mortar/hammer of dawn enemy is you are much more unlikely to die from it.

Less deaths = more valuable player

Being aware of your own teammates is a lot easier. You can simply hit LB to find out a direction your teammates are in. If you watch the better players of the game, they will always be hitting this button. Always taking in information and looking for a potential weakness of the enemies position.

Staying alive offers value to your team. If you are aware of what is around you then you are less likely to die and be part of a winning team. You are less likely to die if you are killing people too. The less players on the other team, then the better chance of surviving you have. Dont go looking for kills, instead stick with your teammates and if an opportunity arises to kill someone then you should go for it. Dont go looking for kills, the kills will find you because everyone is looking for kills, be prepared and keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel.

Adding Value
Adding value to your team is also a very important thing to be aware of in Gears of War. What will make you a ‘winning’ player. A player who wins most of their matches. A player that can get a result when up against the odds.

What we mean by adding value is simple. You as a player having the ability to put as much consistent pressure on the enemy as possible.

If you, or your team do not put enough pressure on the opposition then your team will lose. If you don’t put pressure on them at the start of the match then the opposition will pick up all the power weapons and be much more likely to win and then it is harder to apply pressure and you will be very up against it as a team.

All too often players in matches will go straight for grenades and plant them to ensure they are ‘tagged in‘. This technique can be effective for the individual, but it is not something that should be done at the very beginning of the match and it doesnt offer as much value as throwing them at the enemy as early as possible to win the first key position on the map can have the biggest effect on the outcome of the round and the ongoing match.

One person should collect the grenades and join forces with the other members of the team to THROW the grenades at weak enemies. If you get one kill with 2 grenades early on in a match then you have done a great thing for your team and adding value to your team. Targetting enemies who are being shot at and throwing 2 grenades at the same time ensure that you get the most value out of the 2 grenades.

Of course this is just a very specific example of adding value, there are many general ways you can do this. Such as, shooting anyone who is not in cover.

If there are guys rushing towards you, then you need to stop them in their tracks. If they are not in cover then pile the lancer/hammerburst bullets into them. You will be surprised how little the good players have to do on Gears of War. They can literally just sit there on cover and use the lancer to mop up bad players.

The lancer is the best weapon for using these techniques. Its accuracy is very steady the clip is longer and the active reload is more effective when used like this.

Here is a metaphorical way of looking at this idea:

Imagine you are a photographer, your lancer is your camera and your mission is to take as many photographs of people out of cover as possible. The more photographs the better Gears player you are.

This may sound silly, but it is true. The team with the most photographs would be the team that are more likely to win. Try this technique out and see how many downs/kills you are getting! Just be aware of those snipers and boltok pistolers as you are standing still a lot of the time while doing this.
Of course you have to remember there are enemies who are taking photographs of you too, so dont forget to keep aware of your surroundings!

Positional Defending
The scenario: You have 2 men dead, it is 5 v 3. At this stage, the team of 5 are much more likely to win. If this scenario was played out 100 times, how many times would the team of 3 win? probably in the region of 15 – 25%?

Now what if the same scenario exists but the team of 3 were aware that they were 2 men down, they fortified a position by covering each area the team can come from, and stuck closely together. They would be more likely to survive for sure right?

You can defend positions on your own, but it makes it much easier to do it with team-mates. You dont have to be ‘against the odds‘ like in the scenarios above. But it makes it much easier if you have at least one other who is watching a direction you cannot. In turn you cover his weak side.

This video covers King of the Hill and each hill can be looked at an exercise in positional defending. I recommend you watch the whole of this video now, then continue reading this article!

Dont have time at the moment? Then save it for later. We took a lot of time to create this video and it explains a lot of what we have talked about so far with real examples and therefore it is now the perfect time to watch this video!

The maps on Gears of War are setup in a way that there is always at least one weakness to every position on the map.

There is no perfect place to camp.

  • Gears of War 3 is more focused on team work than any other of its predecessors, which is why you get a lot of ‘hardcore’ players who moan about the gnasher and sawed off and retro.. these weapons were added or tweaked to stop those players who could cause new players all sorts of problems by rushing and doing it effectively.
  • To take down teams you need to think your way past and not force yourself past! Similarly if you are defending then taking out a key player can have a dramatic effect on who wins control of the area.

A simple positional defending example can happen at the beginning of every round on Warzone/Execution.

Everyone wants to grab the sniper rifle but the other team wants to as well. This means that a team who can defend the position around the weapon the best will come out on top.

Multiple angles on the position is important. The more you have the better. You shouldnt have two people using the lancer/hammerburst in the same position unless the other team are rushing fast towards the weapon.

For prolonged battles involving the power weapon, the weapon that comes out on top the most is the boltok pistol.

The active reload on this gun is deadly to anyone, and it is arguably better than a sniper in some ways. It can keep an enemy in their place and will not allow them to come out of cover, which is perfect if someone on your team tries to pick up a power weapon that is being guarded by one guy.

Usually the reason for a loss of a power weapon at the beginning of the round is because one or two guys rush in quickly and get downed very quickly or after losing the first round, one team is too worried about entering this main battle again so then all fight for grenades to tag around the place.

You have to keep entering the battle, at the beginning to stop the other team becoming more dominant. Use the lancer a lot. Shoot as many bullets into enemies as possible, even if they dont get downed they will run for cover enabling your team to advance or be in a better position.

It only takes one person to make a mistake on one team to unlock the door for the other team, make sure you are not that player unlocking the door for the opposition. If the other team get hold of the digger launcher then get out of the area as quickly as possible.


There is no point staying to battle someone holding this at any kind of range except for long distance. The torque bow, and boomshot is also a weapon you need to stay away from if the enemy manages to pick it up. Be aware of it and be a nuisance to them if they aim at team mates. Make them waste bullets by teasing them. Every bullet they waste is of benefit to your team. Count how many bullet they have used (awareness). Be aware of when they run out and be ready for the re-spawn. Ensure your team know this information (communication)

Just like in the movie the Matrix. Aswell as focusing on other things in the game, you also need to know when your opponent is out of bullets.
Agent Smith: You’re empty.
Neo: So are you.

Positions that are easier to defend are ones that have 2 doorways/openings. Any more than this is difficult to defend against. Any less means that you dont have an exit if things arent going your way. If you are overrun by enemies, you need to learn how to get out effectively.. read the section on evasion below to learn about staying out of sight and getting away from enemies. Or see this old video for a GoW2 video on evasion techniques. (still relevant even today!)

Before you learn how to evade, you need to know when you should decide to evade. It is usually either, when you are outnumbered, when your team offer little resistance at the start of each round and the other team rush. Evasive play is very difficult on Gears of War, but can be done successfully. Canals was a great level to evade enemies on. Watch this video for a guide on evasive play

Evasion tips:
DONT ROLL! The sound gives you away!!
Save active reloads
Try to grab power weapons. Grab a flamethrower, swap out your shotgun for it. (Its a shotgun upgrade, you need range of the rifle)
Save ammo when possible.
Rolling will give you away. You can tell where a player is on the map by using your ears. The graphics in Gears of War are amazing, the sound is just as good, turn music off and you can listen to find out where people are. Use a turtle beach headset and you can hear footsteps everywhere and get a sense of where they come from.
Don’t use active reloads if you have nothing to shoot! It doesn’t take a second to reload a gun. save the active reload by switching your weapon. you are much more likely to win a battle and get out of the area quickly if you have some ‘pre-actives’ saved up.

Cover Manipulation

Cover Manipulation is important to give you the upper hand in battles. You can be in a great position if you are looking out of cover to your right hand side.

Its a fairly simple concept and shouldnt take long to master. So watch the video and then return here!
Watch this video to see exactly how to manipulate cover to your advantage.

Power Weapons
Power weapons will help you become a great player, mastering each one can take time and practice. But once you master these weapons you can become untouchable. If you get messages from people saying that you are terrible without power weapons then its a good sign that you are using them well.

If they weren’t able to take the power weapon from you at any point then you don’t need to use another weapon much at all! this wont be possible every round, and every time.

Killing people with the power weapons can be difficult. But dont be afraid of them. Each power weapon has its weakness as-well as its strength. Read below to see tips on the weapons and weaknesses of these weapons.


  • you can aim this from distance. Just aim slightly above the target. The boomshot grenade will be affected by gravity so the longer distance you shoot it the more it will be effected by gravity. you should aim at the feet of the person you are targetting.
  • The active reload round should be saved as this blast is very deadly. To save active reloads, fire one round and change weapon before you reload.
  • The boomshot works well as a surprise weapon. Wait for a big battle to commence and you can wipe players off the battlefield with one blast near the feet.
  • Weakness: Only 2 Rounds, one active round, not very effective against players who are aware of it.
  • If you pick it up and replace ammo you get 2 active rounds, dont reload straight away 😉

Torque Bow

  • Very deadly at short, medium and long distance.
  • Aim at players who are not paying attention to you.
  • You can aim at the enemies feet to take them out too, which is great if the player is sitting on the edge of cover.
  • Make sure you only charge the trigger when you have something to aim at. Or you will constantly waste ammo 🙁
  • You can also fire ricochet shots with this weapon by bouncing them off walls. Look at this video for a basic example of ricochet shots in Gears of War
  • Weakness: 5 Bullets, Sniper Rifle comes up on top when scenario is Sniper vs Torque bow, not very effective at players who are aware of the weapon

Hammer of Dawn

  • This video guide will help you out big time, even better players do not know how to do the ‘drag shot’ which allows you fire between two targets.
  • Aim at the floor near the enemy for general use. Don’t hold the trigger once the gun is active as you will waste ammo. Only do this if necessary.
  • Watch out for sniper rifles and boltok pistols as these weapons are the hammer of dawns weakness!
  • weakness: sniper rifle. boltok pistol. Short range battles. lengthy time to fire

Important info about power weapons

If you get into trouble with power weapons in hand and are not ready to fire, then make sure you change your weapon before you die. This ensures the opposition will not take the power weapon! you can then pick up the respawn if you are in a respawn gametype.

Boltok Pistol
This weapon is not a power weapon, but it does have a section of its own in this guide.

  • Use this weapon to keep enemies in cover and to defend positions. It can stop enemies using the lancer  and make the use of LT redundant. When using this gun, you are zoomed in a lot of the time, so be careful and be aware of what is going on around you as much as you can.
  • Aim for the head! This weapon will take the heads off any enemy that has been hurt by someone elses gunfire. You can fire just one shot to get a headshot with this weapon. It is deadly as they come.
  • Create angles! If you and a teammate both can get your hands on a boltok, you can both fire from long distance at an enemy and take them down very easily by creating wide angles on the enemy allowing him little or no cover.
  • Active Reload! Make good use of the active reload on this gun. It allows you to fire bullets almost twice as quickly and with twice the damage! Time your shots well, even though you can shoot quickly make sure you are accurate with your shots.

Smoke Grenades
You may think you dont need to read this section, but smoke grenades are one of the most overlooked items in the game. On Gears of War 2 they will not kill an enemy, they will not stun an enemy. They simply put smoke in front of the face of an enemy.

  • These can be used extremely well to enable yourself or your team-mates to take power weapons much more easily if used correctly.
  • Simply throw a smoke grenade at a point in the map between a typical place an enemy will fire lots of lancer/hammerburst rounds at someone who wants to take the power weapon and the power weapon itself.
  • You can also use grenades to slip around the side of a map unnoticed. These work well if your team are up against the odds against a good team who like to rush straight down the middle and take your team out as quickly as possible. You can throw a smoke and go underneath or around to another section of the map without anyone seeing you.
  • You can also use smoke grenades as an early warning system for someone who is coming around a side that you cannot monitor by tagging them to a wall

Use your brain and use smokes wisely.
You can also kill people with a smoke in Gears of War 3! But you have to down them twice and then tag them in order to do it 🙂

This Gnasher/Shotgun guide is a strategic guide based on playing the percentages against enemies. It is not a wall bounce tutorial. If anyone tells you that you need to wallbounce well to be a good shotgun player then they are wrong. You should only wall bounce when the space between you and the enemy has become very close. Even at this stage you should be wall bouncing your way out of this close up range to ensure that you survive. If you keep rushing in with the shotgun then you will die a lot.

To use the shotgun well, you must keep a reasonable distance away from players in most situations. The winner of a 1v1 battle should be the person who gets the most shots on another player and not just one deadly shot. If you are playing for the one shot kill then you will struggle to get a k/d above 1.1 – 1.4. Even the best players in Gears of War will know not to get close unless absolutely necessary!

Watch this video for a better explanation of this concept. You will have much more success if you use this guide than any guide involving the word ‘wall bounce’

Thanks for taking the time to read this guide. Be sure to bookmark the guide and return again. It should be enough to ensure you climb up the leaderboards quickly and it should mean that you can attain a good k/d ratio and win/loss ratio.

Let us know how you get on after reading, or if you have anything you would like to say then give us a mention @GoWPortal


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here