Gears of War 3 multiplayer weapons and maps guide

Gears of War 3 is upon us, and with it, the most polished and varied Gears multiplayer experience to date. So it only makes sense that this is the game you should get halfway decent at, right? Well, that’s where we come in. We’ve got analysis of the weapons, layouts of every map, and general tips on how to make online play less intimidating. Together we shall overcome our fears and rise up against the roly-poly shotty fiends that haunt our nightmares! Or, you know, learn to become one of them... 

Skip straight to the Maps Guide

Skip straight to the General Tips


For reference, players have 600 hit points. Headshots do more damage than listed for certain weapons, but for others (like the Hammerburst & Retro Lancer) there is no bonus damage for headshots.

Damage: 55 (72 w/perfect reload)

Headshot Bonus: Yes

Fire Rate: 550

Magazine Size: 60

The Lancer is a COG’s bread and butter assault rifle. It sacrifices damage per round for a very high fire rate and decent accuracy, and as such should be the rifle of choice for open maps. In place of a standard melee attack, the Lancer has an attached chainsaw which will instantly kill anything in melee range. Just be warned: it takes a second to rev up, you cannot run or shoot when the chainsaw is revving, and any damage you sustain while running the blade will cancel the rev. The noise it makes also serves as a warning to any nearby enemies, so try to time it so that you rev just before, err, trimming the hedges.

Above: “I could have just shot you in the face, but gas was cheap this morning”

When to use the chainsaw -

- You have the drop on someone

- An opponent is reloading

- To trump a Retro Lancer charge

- You are about to be chainsawed yourself

- Under cover of smoke

When NOT to use the chainsaw -

- The opponent has a shotgun drawn and has already seen you

- During an assault on a defensive position

- Trying to flank a position quietly

- All the freakin’ time

Damage: 90 (108 w/perfect reload)

Headshot Bonus: No

Fire Rate: 500

Magazine Size: 30

The Retro Lancer is significantly more powerful than its younger brother, and as such, kicks like an ornery mule. At a distance, this weapon should be fired in very short bursts. At close range, hold the trigger and keep your right thumb pushed forward (or back for you non-inverted weirdoes) to combat the recoil. This weapon is especially useful for taking out shotgun players before they get close enough to do any real damage. The Retro Lancer features a standard melee attack, but the bayonet can also be used to charge into and instantly kill opponents. Simply hold B to start the charge and watch the meter that appears in the upper right hand corner. When the meter turns red, you’ve gathered enough steam to skewer anyone.

Be warned that when in a full charge, enemies can hear you coming, seeing as a gratuitous bloodlust roar is unavoidable. While enemy fire will not cancel your charge, it will slow you down, so it’s best to use this move on unsuspecting opponents. In certain situations it is actually better to charge in place of the roadie run, especially when backed up by multiple team members.

Above: Remember - looking this studly won’t protect you during the lengthy execution animation

When to use the bayonet charge -

- Your opponent is distracted

- To sometimes replace a roadie run

- Under cover of smoke

When NOT to use the bayonet charge -

- During an assault on a defensive position

- Your opponent is firing at you

- Your opponent is revving a Lancer


  • MyCoolWhiteLies - September 27, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    A helpful tip with the Torque Bow is that you can start charging your shot without aiming. A lot of people don't seem to know this. If you're behind cover, walking around, or running, and think you'll need it soon, start charging it, and by the time you aim it will be ready to shoot.
  • Slayer11496 - September 27, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    i have a big tip thats absolutely crucial to my game in gears 3. therefor i will not tell it :P
  • elpurplemonkey - September 27, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    Very helpful guide all around.
  • CommandantOreo - September 27, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    Smoke grenades ARE YOUR FRIENDS!!! REMEMBER THAT! For example, if you rush the Mulcher/Mortar on Trashball, plant a smoke on the entrance to where it is. That way nobody can ninja their way in and gnasher you in the back while you are determining how far to shoot your mortar. Smokes are great traps because you hear the "beep beep beep beep BOOM"
  • PolarBearsInHeat - September 27, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    Alright gamesradar (shakes head). The snub pistol is the s**t (really guys?). Get good with the snub, you'll dominate. Also, to readers, the sawed-off is not for gears vets, and there's a reason for that. The gnasher is for the skilled guys, so new kids; stick to sawed-off.
  • KillerTofu - September 27, 2011 11:42 p.m.

    Nice I will be using this guide extensively, thank you! I suck at this game, though I have the occasional perfect rounds when I'm not constantly getting blasted in the face Gnasher style....Any one else prefer Warzone over normal TDM?

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