Gears of War


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Beast Mode Completed screen

The screen shown upon completing all twelve waves of Beast mode.

Beast is a multiplayer game mode introduced in Gears of War 3 where players take control of different creatures in the Locust Horde in an attempt to kill all enemy humans; it is thus a reverse of Horde 2.0[1] with several key differences, such as having more than one life per wave, non-regenerating health, and a strict time limit that can be increased by killing enemies and destroying fortifications.[2]

Up to five players can choose to be anything from a Ticker to a Berserker.[1] The objective is for players to kill a certain number of humans each wave, from the ill-equipped Stranded to the well-trained Onyx Guard, before a Hammer of Dawn strike kills all players once the timer fully counts down. Killing enemies and destroying fortifications unlocks cash and tiers of stronger Locust creatures.[1]


There are twelve waves in total. Each wave begins with a one minute time limit, with bonus time added for killing humans and destroying fortifications (such as barriers, decoys, turrets, and auto-turrets). If players fail to kill all enemies in the time limit, they will be instantly killed by a Hammer of Dawn strike and given the chance to retry the wave with a time penalty being added onto their total time played.

As well as having to buy Locust creatures, players will also have to unlock different tiers of more powerful Locust by killing a large amount of enemies, attacking fortifications, and progressing through the waves. Even if players have the money to buy a powerful creature, they will have to wait until later waves to unlock that creature. There are four different tiers to be unlocked.

Like Horde 2.0, the enemies get more difficult to overcome as the waves progress. Waves begin with players fighting against Stranded, who rarely use cover, are ill-equipped, incredibly weak, and have little combat experience. Eventually, the Stranded are replaced with regular COG Gears, who do use cover, are better equipped, and will put up a fight. On the final (twelfth) wave, Richard Prescott and the elite Onyx Guard appear as a "grand finale" of sorts.

After the first wave, unique characters from the Gears of War franchise appear, labelled as "Heroes". Heroes can only be killed by executions once they are downed, including all possible melee attacks, while they are immune to bullets from "normal" weapons like the Mk 1 Lancer Assault Rifle or Gorgon SMG. Note that explosive weapons like the Boomshot and Bolo Grenade can kill them when downed.

Certain Locust bear unique characteristics in terms of player experience; for example, the Berserker has reduced vision for the player, but is incredibly resilient to damage and extremely powerful - able to kill all enemies in a maximum of two hits, and most fortifications in just one attack. The Kantus is able to heal or revive Locust on the battlefield and can use Ink Grenades to kill or prevent humans from moving to a certain area or using a turret or Silverback. Almost all the humanoid Locust can perform executions on downed humans.

Playable Locust creatures

There are fifteen playable Locust creatures. Each one has unique abilities and cost a certain amount of cash to play as. Locust creatures are split into tiers, and individual players will unlock later tiers depending on how many enemies they kill and fortifications they damage. The stronger (and more expensive) Locust are unlocked in the later tiers.

Due to their different abilities, certain Locust creatures support different playstyles; whereas some Locust are powerful and are better at killing enemies with large area-of-effect attacks, others excel in destroying barriers and other fortifications with their speed and accuracy.

Unlike Horde 2.0, rewards only stay unlocked during the current play-through and will need to be unlocked again during subsequent sessions.

During the week of Easter Sunday, there was a unique limited-time add-on to the creatures to pick from in Beast. All tiers had a unique variant of the Savage Grenadier, which all had different weapons (e.g. 4th tier with a Torque Bow, 2nd tier with a Sawed-Off, and so on). The enemies you faced were also different, not to mention tougher. 1st wave had some Onyx Guards, last wave had 20+ enemies, etc. To date, everything is back to default.

Tier 1

Beast Mode tiers

The four tiers are presented as rows, with the top row being the first and the bottom row being the last.

Beast Mode original interface

The original Locust interface in Beast mode.[3]

Tier 2

Unlocked at $1,500 earned

Tier 3

Unlocked at $4,000 earned

Tier 4

Unlocked at $7,500 earned [request verification]



Ordinary enemies


Heroes boast more health than other enemies and can only be killed by executions. Each Hero has a set weapon. They show up at Wave 2 and increase in number until Wave 11. At Wave 12, only Richard Prescott is present, accompanied by the elite Onyx Guard, who possess many of the Heroes' traits.

Behind the scenes

Crimson Omen
Gearspedia has 4 images related to Beast.
  • There were originally twenty playable Locust creatures rather than the fifteen that are present in Gears of War 3; the Grenadier Elite and Grinder were originally in Beast mode (as seen in the E3 2010 gameplay) but were later removed from the final game.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 IGN article: E3 2010: Gears of War 3 - Beast Mode
  2. E3 2010 Stage Demo: Gears of War 3 - YouTube
  3. Gears of War 3 Gameplay: Beast Mode Part 1 - E3 2010 - YouTube
Multiplayer modes

Annex · Arcade · Assassination · Beast · Breakthrough · Capture the Leader · Dodgeball · Domination · Execution · Guardian · Horde · Horde 2.0 · King of the Hill · Master at Arms · OverRun · Submission · Team Deathmatch · Warzone · Wingman

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