Gears of War 3 Beta Guide

Maybe you've been chainsawing your way to the top of the Gears of War 3 beta leaderboards – or maybe you've had your face kicked in and body dismembered a few times too many. In either case, we're here with some tips and tricks that may just give you the upper hand when it comes to curb stomping the competition. We've got the basics on the new weapons, multiplayer maps, and even a rundown on the unlockable items that can carry over to your gamer profile once Gears 3 goes live.

Note: We will update this guide as new maps and game modes are added to the beta.


General tips

-A new feature to Gears 3, players can “tag” members of the opposing team a la the Battlefield: Bad Company tagging system. When other players are in your crosshairs, click the left-stick to tag them for a few seconds and alert your team to their location.

-Choose your weapons loadout based on the current map. Ranged weapons like the Hammerburst and Lancer are good for wide open boards while the Retro Lancer and Sawed-off Shotgun are reliable choices when a map forces you to get up close and personal.

-When hiding behind the same piece of cover as an enemy, press the A button to jump over to his side – doing so will temporarily stun your opponent as you come crashing down on his head, giving you ample time to introduce him to your shotgun.

-During a match, you no longer have to guess where your team is or memorize the location of every weapon's spawning location. Pressing and holding the left bumper activates the Tac/Com mode, highlighting the location of each of your teammates and every weapon on the map. Additionally, you can check a map's overview at any time to see its general layout and weapon locations.

-Smoke grenades briefly stun any enemies caught in the blast radius and even inflict mild damage to the competition and breakable cover. Tagging enemies with smoke grenades automatically downs them, allowing you to quickly finish them off.

-Maps have preset spawning locations for weapons, though each location spawns different weapons every round. Check your map overview or use the Tac/Com feature to see which ones are currently available.


New Weapons

While Gears vets will be familiar with a lot of the game's weapons, some new tools of destruction have found their way into the multiplayer beta. Guns like the Lancer, Hammerburst, Boltok and Torque Bow have returned, but here's a list of the new toys you can expect to add to your arsenal – we've even recorded some footage of each one in action!

Digger Launcher: This gun has a targeting reticle similar to that of a grenade. Firing the weapon releases a creature that burrows underground and quickly digs in the direction it was launched. Upon  sensing a nearby enemy it surfaces and detonates, killing anyone unfortunate enough to be within its range. If you see a spray of dirt torpedoing toward you, quickly roll out of the way or risk enduring one hell of an explosive enema.

Oneshot: Making its beta debut on the Trenches map, the Oneshot is just as powerful as its name implies. Landing a hit with this supercharged sniper rifle typically results in instantaneous bad guy obliteration. The downside? It takes a few seconds to charge up before it can be fired and its field of vision is incredibly narrow when zoomed in. Have your teammates tag some enemies for you if possible, allowing you to zero in and dish out some death.

Retro Lancer: Ripping people to shreds with a chainsaw is undoubtedly fun – but so is impaling them with a rather large bayonet. The Retro Lancer hits a lot harder than the traditional Lancer, but its accuracy suffers at long range. It's a great mid-range choice – ideal for enemies just outside your trusty shotgun's reach – and can down foes with only a few shots. Holding the melee button allows you to initiate a charge and connecting with your targets means you'll be exploring their innards in no time.

Sawed-off Shotgun: There's nothing quite like making your friends quiver in rage by exploding them into chunks via shotgun. Though it has a limited ammo supply (four shots!), the Sawed-off Shotgun packs a hell of a punch. It's a bit stronger than the Gnasher, though its range is even shorter (think melee-range) and its reload time is abysmal – make each shot count.

Gorgon SMG: The Gorgon Pistol from Gears 2 has been overhauled into a deadly SMG. Though it doesn't have much range, it's useful when you need to quickly swap to a sidearm.

Incendiary grenade: These are grenades. They catch people on fire.

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  • theodore-james-david-freeman - January 3, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    can any one tell me how to get the arm rip achievement ?
  • ensabahnur - April 27, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    Nice job on the article.
  • Yeager1122 - April 27, 2011 1:21 a.m.

    This would be great if i was i the Beta.
  • RobonHood1991 - April 27, 2011 1:09 a.m.

    @ObiliqueZombie I tend to agree with you on your statement about the sawed-off, you do have to watch your corners. The major problem I've encountered though is the hit detection on the bayonet charge. I've been killed from 4 feet away by being jumped in front of a bayonet charge witout actually being in front of it. Also, even though I love the Retro Lancer with all my heart, any COD playing Modded Controller Using Jerk, can use his mod to avoid the kick from the gun due to the cycling rate of his rapid-fire mod. Other than that I love the Beta and can't wait to get my hands on the Golden Retro Lancer =P
  • ObliqueZombie - April 26, 2011 7:53 p.m.

    @p0wnd, if that's the case, make sure you check your corners. Also, it's the RETRO Lancer, and as being "overpowered," it's a fair as they come. It's strong as hell, at a short- to medium-distance. If that's the case, put away your Gnasher and fire at them from a distance. Plus, have you SEEN the inaccuracy of that gun!? And thirty bullets?! Fairest gun is I've ever seen one. Oh, and as a passing note to Epic, please, at least decrease the starting ammo of the shotguns, or its clip size. I just want people to use other guns, it makes the game infinently more fun.
  • ObliqueZombie - April 26, 2011 7:50 p.m.

    I've come to any epiphany the other day. Just yesterday, in fact, that there are NO cheap weapons in any game that isn't Call of Duty. Getting owned by the Gnasher? You probably keep missing your shots, while they hit you, OR they have an active reload. Sawed-Off getting annoying? Don't get within kissing distance from them. Every gun has it's counter, and every gun can be used effectively in their own way. I gun isn't "cheap," simply annoying to those of us who get killed by it a lot, or is overused by the whole damn community. Look, I'm not saying pull out the UMP, or switch to your Gnasher at the start of the round (if you do, just stop and think about your life), but I'm saying USE the guns they put into the game when the time is right. If THEIR whole team is using the Sawed-Off, you know what? Screw "legitimacy," I wanna win and have fun. No sense in screaming at the TV and cursing every 12-year-old who kills you. Oh yeah, graet article, by the way! Been playing it for a week now, and Gears is definently my favorite multiplayer next to Battlefield.
  • PotatoAbuser - April 26, 2011 12:47 p.m.

    If anyone's still interested in getting a Gears Of War 3 beta key, I found some being handed out on a blog. I don't know if any of the keys are left, but you can try here:
  • p0wnd - April 26, 2011 12:12 p.m.

    Damnit GR just tell people to stop using the rancher and sawn-off alltogether, hate it when I turn a corner then just get gibbed by a gun which a brain-dead lollipop could kill with. And people just seem to free-lance all over the place, and thats because the vintage lancer is over-powered to hell and back. And there is no Raven-own in Gears 3, harumph harumph harumph
  • kor2disturbed - April 26, 2011 5:12 a.m.

    lol ViolentStCannon, There's a guy who has been at the end of the sawed off quite a few times.
  • ViolentStCannon - April 26, 2011 4:41 a.m.

    For those that haven't played it yet, I'll say this - you are going HATE the Sawed Off. You thought the Gnasher was bad between Gears 1&2? I'd say it's "a bit stronger" than that, GR. I can't express how ridiculously overpowered it is. The Gnasher was fine for being the workhouse as it was the most balanced on Gears 1 and I give Epic for bringing it back, but the SO needs to be heavily nerfed or removed period.
  • Mortis - April 26, 2011 3:13 a.m.

    i have a beta key from pre-ordering Bulletstorm but i've been up at work for the last three weeks....aaaaarg! i can't wait to get home and play this.
  • BiiGMaC - April 26, 2011 3:09 a.m.

    Virgins^^^^ But hell, wish I was in the Beta! Is there any other way to get in before release date?
  • bitchassafriBLAMamericANTISTA - April 26, 2011 2:45 a.m.

  • harrisongeorge - April 26, 2011 2:33 a.m.