Gears of War 3 multiplayer weapons and maps guide

General Tips

- Weapons lose their bite at longer ranges. Sometimes it’s just not efficient to try to kill someone from across the map using only a Lancer. Either grab a longer range weapon, close the gap, or simply spot and move on to another enemy/objective.

- Spotting is new to Gears 3. Click the left stick when your crosshairs are over an opponent and a marker will appear above their head for your whole team to see. You can only mark one opponent at a time, and the mark only lasts for a few seconds. Still, spotting is a very useful tactic that nets you exp (if the spotted opponent is killed) and helps your team, so you should learn to do it reflexively.

- At a certain point we get tired of telling people to work and move as a team during team multiplayer games, but it still has to be said. Going lone wolf in Gears is different than in first person shooters simply because the third person perspective allows players to see around walls and over cover, mostly negating stealthy movement. As a result, it is much easier for a group of two or three to lie in wait while that lone moron enemy dashes for some power weapon bait. Traveling as a team also increases the number of targets your opponent(s) have to engage at once, increasing your chance of individual survival.

- Cover is not quite as useful during multiplayer as it is in the campaign. It should be used more as a place to catch your breath and heal than a place to hold out. Enemies can easily see you when you’re in cover, and can even damage you with some precise shooting. Not to mention they may be waiting eagerly for you to pop your head up for a brief moment so they can remove it with a Longshot.

- Mantle kicking is when you hop over a piece of cover right into someone who is hunkered down on the other side. This action knocks the enemy away and stuns them for a couple of seconds, which is more than enough time to vaporize them with a shotgun or saw them in half with a Lancer.

- Gnashers and Sawed-Offs play a crucial role in Gears multiplayer whether you like it or not. Even if you think the weapons are unbalanced and/or overpowered, you’ll need to learn how to use them and how to avoid them if you want to have consistent results in this game. Read the tips for each in our weapons section, then simply go out and practice until you feel comfortable using shotguns.

- If you still refuse to use shotguns, the Retro Lancer is your best bet for short-range combat. This weapon is incredibly powerful at this range.

- The best time to move on an enemy or enemies that are holding the high ground is when they are distracted by your teammates. Use this opportunity to flank from a side or back route.

- Know when to run, and how. Rolling around and snapping in and out of cover allows you to move way faster than a 300-pound dude in 100 pounds of armor should rightfully be able to, and will make you a very difficult target. Usually falling back to where your teammates are hanging out is good enough, as any pursuing enemies will have to deal with them while you catch your breath behind some cover.

- Don’t forget about Tac/Com (left bumper). Not only does this show the location of your teammates, but it also tells you where the weapons spawn. Just know that this will not tell you if the weapons have been picked up yet, and you cannot fire while in this mode.

- Before rounding a corner it is better to turn the camera to take a look as opposed to snapping to cover. The latter would make you visible to any enemies approaching, ruining your chance at an ambush.

- Perfect active reloading is essential for high-level play. For most weapons, it increases the power of the reloaded bullets. At the very least it gets you ready for action much more quickly. Since the timing varies for each weapon, practice during the campaign or during quiet spells, even if that means just reloading a single round.

- Don’t shrug off powerful handguns like the Boltok or the Gorgon SMG. While they’re definitely not as good as an assault rifle or shotgun, they are very useful for when you grab a downed enemy as a meat shield and have only one hand to spare.

- That brings us to meatshields. Grabbing a downed enemy by pressing x is such an effective yet underutilized technique. The meatshield renders you nearly invincible from the front (until the shield turns into sloppy hamburger), and if you can time things right, press up on the d-pad just before your shield disintegrates to slap a grenade onto your foe and kick him/her forward, further increasing the effectiveness of this concept.

- Press B with a grenade equipped to tag it to a wall or the ground. This is a great way to set traps when you need to defend an area, or to catch someone off guard by hiding an explosive right underneath a power weapon. You can also tag chickens, essentially turning them into exploding roombas.

- A smoke grenade detonation will destroy any grenade traps nearby. It’s a good way to start an assault on a defensive position, even if you don’t know for sure if there’s a grenade trap or not. You can also simply shoot grenade traps if you can see them.