Welcome to Horde v3.0. Please read the tips and tricks section first as here we'll specifically cover the achievements and assume you know what you're doing in Horde mode.
The Gears of War 4 horde achievements will be a very time consuming endeavor as there are 4 separate objectives you'll be trying to accomplish.
1) Map based achievements. This is the easiest of the bunch as it can be done on any difficulty, but games need to be won all 50 consecutive waves on each of the 10 starting launch maps:
Dam, Fallout, Forge, Foundation, Gridlock, Harbor, Impact, Lift, Reclaimed, Relic
The achievement tracker indicates progress, but it's up to you to remember which ones you've completed so make a list and cross them out as you go. You can see your highest score in the War Journal, but doesn't tell you whether you've made it all 50 waves.
There were 24 post launch maps released(see list in Versus section) and you will need to win the 50 consecutive waves on 5 maps that are not part of the aforementioned 10 in the launch list. Here one member of your party will need to have the Season Pass or individually purchased maps for:
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde in a squad on any Post Launch map
1 guide Around The World
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde in a squad on five Post Launch maps
2) Difficulty specific achievements. Each class has specific achievements for Insane, Inconceivable, and Ironman(Hardcore or above, but stackable just like the campaign) completed 50 wave runs.
3) Leveling all 5 classes to level 10. This class experience is separate from the experience your character gains and your own personal performance does not in any way impact the class exp you gain. Whether you kill every enemy in the wave or sit in the corner AFK makes no difference for class exp as it is given only upon successful completion of waves.
4) Leveling class skills via packs purchased from the store. You will need to upgrade at least 5 skills to level 6, but one class will need to have every single skill maxed out. This will take the largest amount of time of all three simply due to the massive amount of credits and scrap needed.
On top of that you also need to keep an eye out for season events just like you did in the Versus matches to collect skins(don't scrap them):
Better Than Bacon
Collect 5 Midnight Omen Weapon Skins from Horde Special Events
But before you load up your first Horde game you should spend all of your credits to buy Horde packs at 400 credits a pop. Then go into your Horde skills tab and upgrade as many of the skills as possible. It only takes 1 to go from level 1 to 2, 3 to go from 2 to 3, 5 to go from 3 to 4, 10 to go from 4 to 5, and a whopping 20 to go from 5 to 6.
As you open these you'll notice the majority of the cards are green(common), with a few blues(rare), and occasional purples(epic). The gold legendary cards are only skins for cosmetic purposes and you'll convert any you have to scrap. Don't scrap any Series 3 cards you earn just yet. You'll be buying Horde packs for quite some time until you start getting all of your green skills to level 6, at which point you will switch to Operation packs, which cost 800 credits, but have better odds to get the purple skills you'll most likely be lacking. Don't bother with Versus packs unless you want to make the game take considerably longer than it already does.
This should easily unlock:
If you find yourself close to increasing a particular skill to the next level you can craft a card to upgrade it.
Now you're ready to play your first game of Horde. Take a look at the Seriously 4.0 section to know which ribbons you should keep an eye out for. I strongly recommend you find a core group of individuals to play with that are achievement minded or just find people interested in horde from TA or the LFG tool. The reason why playing with randoms can be very frustrating as people leave after the first 10 or 20 waves to complete easy bounties or leave once you fail a wave. The experience gained from these early waves is very poor and not a good use of your time. Considering you need to do 15 maps worth of 1-50 runs this doesn't help your progress either. So to start off, just pick from one of the damage classes of Soldier, Heavy, or Sniper based on the one with the best cards or whatever you feel comfortable with. Heavy is a solid beginner choice as the Boomshot is always effective and Marked damage is great regardless of which weapon you're using. The Scout and Engineer classes are very skill dependent you won't be much help to the squad at a low level until you beef your cards up. In these early levels when you only have 1 card slot available with low level cards, turrets are your friends.
All you need to do is survive 10 waves and you'll receive:
Watch for people dying and bring their COG tags back to the fabricator. This may not happen too often on the easy difficulties but rest assured you'll easily unlock this at some point later on:
As you progress through the waves the fabricator will level up and you'll eventually get:
Once you make it through all 50 waves you'll unlock:
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde in a squad (any difficulty, any map)
You'll also be well on your way to level 3 and also receive:
There's a few easy achievements to introduce you to the concept of your class, all easily and inadvertently attained in the thousands of rounds of Horde you'll end up playing. For the Heavy just utilize a weapons locker to refill ammo in either a heavy or launcher weapon. You need to refill 50 ammo, so a trishot or mulcher will make this happen almost instantly.
Know Your Role: Heavy
As a Heavy, add 50 ammo for launchers or Heavy Weapons in a Weapons Locker in one Horde match
For the soldier, use your lancer and stay in cover.
For the sniper, you need 30 headshots on DR-1s, Pouncers, Scions, and Snipers in one game. If it doesn't happen for you, a solo game on Monster Mash can be an option once your card level is high enough.
Know Your Role: Sniper
As a Sniper, kill 30 Scions, Pouncers, DR-1s or Snipers with headshots in one Horde match
For the engineer, you need to build 10 fortifications for an item you have a card equipped for.
For the scout, all you need to do is pick up 10000 energy worth of money.
From hereon out you're on a long journey of grinding personal exp for 10 reups, class exp to get all 5 to level 10, and credits to level up cards to level 6 for one class. Try to knock out the map achievements while you're just starting out because most of the higher difficulty strategies are done on the same few maps (eg. Blood Drive, War Machine, Security). Once you've got every class to level 5 or so try to focus on one class as your main so you can start working on the higher difficulty settings as this is where the credits and exp are, but remember almost every successful run to 50 above normal difficulty will require both a scout and engineer. Double exp weekends will be your friend. Continue melting down any skins you've acquired but don't spend scrap to level up your skills yet, unless it's for the engineer. Don't stress about whether to go for credit bounties or xp bounties yet as you will need plenty of each, so just equip whatever you've got available for now and keep plugging away.
You might be tempted to jump into the harder difficulties to knock out the difficulty achievements sooner but failing a wave can put a serious damper on your class and experience progression. That's because there's an additional consecutive wave bonus for waves completed without failures. Going 1-50 flawlessly on insane can triple your total exp gain, but all it takes a few failed rounds and you might've been better off breezing through hardcore. So if your squad can't get through 50 hardcore waves without failing don't attempt insane as you could be handicapping your xp gains, both player level and horde classes.
For frame of reference here's how much class xp you need per level:
2 1,000 CXP
3 6,000 CXP
4 15,000 CXP
5 25,000 CXP
6 36,000 CXP
7 56,000 CXP
8 80,000 CXP
9 120,000 CXP
10 200,000 CXP
As you can see level 7 is a little over a quarter of the way to your final card slot and so you're going to need that insane/inconceivable consecutive wave bonus otherwise level 10 will take a long time. Once you've got your 4th card slot at level 7 and if you've farmed enough credits to get some level 5 cards you can start working on the Insane achievements without being a detriment to your squad. I know the achievement description mentions maximum level but prior to DLC release level 5 was the max.
Depending on the skill, composition, class levels, and cards of your teammates you can continue to farm Insane horde runs quickly. If you really want the achievements ASAP, take turns having 4 high level team members carry one low level class through. Remember a level 4 turret can make anyone combat effective regardless of class. But don't fret as you'll max your horde classes before your 10th reup anyhow. The heavy's role is the most straight forward, just kill things with heavy weapons/turrets.
I Choose ViolenceThe soldier's Hammer of Dawn skill or grenade skills are sometimes key to accomplishing speed runs and you may need to level up those cards to be of use to the speed run. Now I mentioned don't spend scrap except for the engineer because we need to max one class out entirely and it just so happens that the engineer is cheapest. However, this is partially luck based as well as you cannot upgrade cards you have yet to find in packs, so you may be waiting on some of the purple skills to show up just once. I would recommend holding off on blowing lots of scrap to beef up one class unless you're sure it's the one you want to max out at the expense of all of the others.
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Heavy on Insane in a squad (any map)
The sniper skill Called Shot is key to the sniper's utility.
Certain speed run tactics(they're always changing as The Coalition nerfs any shortcuts players find) will call for specific setups such as 2 engineers (one barrier/one sentry). This is an opportunity to get the tougher achievements done with minimal cards on the engineer as your green barrier cards are easier to level than the blue sentry cards.
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Engineer on Insane in a squad (any map)
While leveling up your scout you should've gotten your deposit bonus card as high as possible and you probably should've unlocked
Deposit 1,000,000 power in the Fabricator lifetime
after a few runs. But certain strategies also have 2 scouts and you've got a very easy job of just fetching money.
Somewhere along this point as you start your Insane horde runs the credits will start to roll in with several thousand a go and you'll become a real estate mogul and should consider running for public office:
If you've got the strategy to take out Insane without hiccups give Ironman a go, whether you do it on hardcore to ensure success or stack it with Insane is up to you. You're not allowed to fail a single wave so ensure one person(usually the sniper/soldier hanging out by the fabricator) carries team revive. The additional reward for Ironman is minor and usually not recommended unless you've got a solid strategy and everyone has decent cards.
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Soldier on Ironman (Hardcore or higher) in a squad
You Win Or You Die
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Scout on Ironman (Hardcore or higher) in a squad
At this point you should be nearing level 10 for one class:
Your green skills for that class should also be nearing level 6:
Once all of your necessary green skills are level 6 you're done buying Horde packs. As you've probably noticed by now the drop rate for epic cards in horde packs is very low. From hereon out we're interested in Operation packs hoping for epic skills and scrap. Any level 10 class with level 6 cards is now a solid candidate for an inconceivable run(and possibly combined with Ironman if you haven't finished it yet as you'll want the slight bonus in your final stretch of farming):
Nothing Is Over!
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Heavy on Inconceivable in a squad (any map)
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Sniper on Inconceivable in a squad (any map)
You. Shall Not. Pass!
Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Engineer on Inconceivable in a squad (any map)
Find some friends or TA folks to fire up a private game of Horde Frenzy on Insane. You can change the horde options using the start(hamburger) button. This is only 25 waves with bosses every 5. I personally would recommend the map Blood Drive, place the fabricator in the door, and don't let anything in by using scouts with the Brawler card in the windows.
In and Out
Complete 25 consecutive waves of Horde Lite or Frenzy on Insane Difficulty
Now you can do the same exact strategy for the next piece one so private Blood Drive again, this time you only need Hardcore difficulty. Bring at least one soldier with a decent Hammer of Dawn and a sniper with a decent Sniper Strike. Budget enough energy for the boss waves and save Sniper Strikes for the waves where they start dealing double damage.
School of '08
In Private Horde, complete 50 consecutive waves on Hardcore without the team building fortifications
And as you progress towards your 10th reup you'll eventually cap out all of your classes.
Now just play your favorite/best class or whatever the squad composition needs while you grind experience and credits. At this point while buying Operation packs it's time to assess which class you hope to cap out. The engineer or soldier are the easiest while the scout and heavy will take forever simply due to the number of epic skills they have. I recommend tracking via spreadsheet how much scrap you have available to you if you would like to complete horde sooner. For example, if you need 60k scrap to complete engineer then be ready to scrap your 5/20 Hammer of Dawn cards as getting an extra second to your HoD is not worth the potential scrap unless you really see yourself playing enough Gears to get use out of it. Also don't blindly upgrade awful skills you will never use such as X-Ray, Berserker, or Last Stand.
Then you will complete the last time consuming achievement:
Upgrade all Skills Cards for one Horde class to Level 6
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