Gears of War 4 Title Update arrives, balancing Horde and bringing new maps

The latest update brings Glory and Speyer maps to the developer playlist for Season Pass owners. The new maps will roll out to the public on December 13th.

The patch notes also contain balance changes to Horde mode's mounted turrets, mountains of bug fixes, and an update on quit penalties. They also contain a reminder that the Leaderboards will soon be wiped to make them fair for players who didn't use exploits to top the charts.

The full patch details are as follows, and are available now on Xbox One and Windows 10 at around 4.7 GB.

New Maps and Map Rotation Update

Glory and Speyer will be available in the Versus and Horde Developer Playlist from December 6th for Season Pass owners. Both maps will be available in public playlists for everyone, and Private Matches for Season Pass Holders, from December 13th.

When both maps arrive on December 13th, Gridlock and Relic will be rotated out of all public playlists. Additional to these two maps, Fallout has also been removed from Competitive Play to bring these playlists in line with the official Pro Circuit settings. As all of these maps are from the original 10 that shipped with the game, both maps are still available to play in Private Match for all Gears 4 players.

Updates to the Developer Playlist

This month's Versus Developer Playlist will contain Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill with a squad size limit of three. The Horde Developer Playlist will feature Normal difficulty Horde.

With this update, Season Pass holders will earn additional XP and Credit rewards when playing the Developer Playlist during the week it's available. Season Pass holders will continue to get early access to new maps and have access to all DLC maps permanently for use in Versus and Horde Private Matches. We're continuing to look at adding even more benefits and value for our Season Pass holders in the future.

Horde Balance Update

Mountable turrets are now less accurate, do less damage and have lower maximum ammo reserves. Players using turrets receive less damage mitigation. Level 4 turrets also have reduced health.

Mounted Turrets are designed to be powerful fortifications that need to be used sparingly to deal with tougher enemies or a large wave of opponents storming your base.

After observing how players are playing Horde in the wild, we wanted to tune the Mounted Turrets to be a little less powerful to reduce the viability of only using turrets and barriers on tougher difficulties – while retaining the Mounted Turret's role as important powerful part of your defenses.

Windows 10: Vertical Campaign Split Screen

We've completed work on Vertical Split-Screen support in Campaign for our PC players! You can change the split screen format in the Game Options screen.

Fixes and Improvements

Xbox One and Windows 10

  • Added support for First Win of the Day bonuses for Versus. Your first win in Versus Multiplayer will now grant an additional 1000 XP and 100 Credits.
  • Added support for Daily Rewards, a new system that allows us to grant Bounties or other types of Cards as a gift on login. Daily Rewards will not be available on December 6th when this Title Update launches, but we're planning to introduce them in the near future. We'll share details on the Daily Reward system soon.
  • Audio levels for friendly footsteps have been reduced, and enemy footstep audio levels have been increased to make them slightly louder than friendlies. DeeBee 'joint' movement noise has been reduced to make them audibly on par with other characters.
  • Shotgun hit blood effects have received visual feedback improvements to relay damage dealt, allowing a better read of the percentage of damage done to an enemy. The more blood you see, the more damage you dealt. Note: This visual feedback can only be seen by the player dealing the damage at this time (ie. a user observing your shotgun hits will see the old blood damage effects).
  • Added a new Inventory screen, accessible from the main menu, that shows all Cards owned (split by category) in one location.
  • New Cards in your collection will now be marked with an exclamation mark (!).
  • Audio and Video settings are now retained if the game is closed
  • Fixed an exploit where a grenade could be planted prior to the end of the round and still be present in the following round
  • When highlighting a Core or Competitive playlist, you can now see the Tier or Placement Match status of every member in your Squad
  • Class icons now display in the Horde Scoreboard
  • Player Cards have been moved closer to the edge of the screen in Spectator Mode
  • Removed the option to quit from the menu in Core and Competitive playlists
  • Fixed an issue where campaign completion achievements may not correctly unlock. Completing all chapters not registered as completed again should now unlock the achievement.
  • Re-Up achievements should now be unlocked the next time the game is loaded if they did not correctly unlock.
  • Fixed an issue where movement could enter a broken state after sliding into a piece of cover that another player is already traversing
  • Power weapon pickups are now prioritized over ammo pickups
  • When in the death screen roundup, you may have seen 100% damage or 0% damage dealt. This is due to 'rounding up or down' the decimal point in damage – the death screen information will now round to 1% or 99% in these situations to better reflect the actual damage situation.
  • An issue that could cause players to warp or teleport when evading or mantling has now been fixed.
  • Unequipped weapons can now be seen on squadmates / teammates in Campaign, Versus and Horde. Unequipped weapons on opponents in Versus Multiplayer are hidden by design.
  • Players will no longer spawn facing the wrong way at round start
  • Players getting up from DBNO on LAN had a chance to have an invisible weapon. This is now fixed.
  • In Splitscreen, Player 2 will now correctly show their unequipped weapons on their body
  • Fixed an exploit where a user could be idle-kicked in a no respawn game mode by being held as a meatshield
  • The Out from Under ribbon can now only be received one per round
  • Repair Tool executions are now affected by the Execution Bonus Skill Card, and now count as an Execution for Bonus Objectives
  • The Phat Loot ribbon will now be correctly awarded when completing a Survive or Time Limit bonus objective
  • Bonus objective score now counts towards total team score
  • Guardians should no longer get trapped outside the map on Reclaimed
  • Kestrals should no longer get trapped above the control room on Forge
  • The Snatcher can no longer be lured in a position where it cannot move on Reclaimed
  • Bosses will no longer get stuck on cover in Fallout
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed players to be on a turret while automatically reloading and repairing it
  • Fixed an exploit to allow users to farm Power at the start of a Horde match
  • Fixed an exploit allowing players to move before the wave has begun after a Boss Wave
  • Prolonging the placement of the Fabricator no longer awards additional resources based on the wave it is placed
  • Equipped Skill Cards can now be upgraded without having to unequip the Card
  • Using the Forge incinerator on a DBNO enemy in modes with Execution rules will now kill the enemy
  • Fixed a geometry issue on Reclaimed that allowed grenades to fall out of world at the construction area
  • Players can no longer launch each other out of bounds
  • Players can no longer use an exploit to increase the accuracy of weapons beyond their intended settings
  • Players can no longer time a weapon pickup in order to duplicate multiple versions of the weapon
  • Buzzkill saw blades will no longer get stuck in mid-air on Dry Dock
  • When failing to join a user in campaign due to NAT type, a new error will now inform you of the issue
  • Escalation Rings now have instructions based on their status (Defend / Break)
  • Bounties will now display a fly out (similar to Ribbons) when completed during gameplay
  • A Skull icon now appears on the Overhead map when a player dies
  • When a Re-Up is available, the War Journal will display an exclamation point '!' icon
  • Escalation: Improvements to weapon selection icons in Escalation
  • Guardian: Team Leader's Gamertag now displays in Tac-Com
  • Torque Bow reticle now supports Color Blind mode options
  • Chain Lightning ribbon now correctly awards when shocking two players with one shock grenade
  • Added Offline Customization support, allowing the use of owned customization items (excluding emblems) on LAN
  • Removed Point of Interest from the Alternate and Tournament Alt control schemes
  • Fixed a rare issue where a player could appear invisible to other opponents
  • Characters will now speak a line of dialogue when stuck with a Torque Bow
  • Users should no longer sometimes get a time out error when completing a Private Match, and should now return to the Lobby correctly
  • Switching to the Overhead Map while holding Tac-Com will no longer cause the Tac-Com effect to be permanently enabled
  • The Sudden Death timer now correctly disables in Dodgeball when the situation is no longer 1v1
  • A rare occurrence causing consoles to reset during matchmaking has now been resolved

Other miscellaneous bug fixes

Windows 10 Specific Updates

  • Player 2 can now set their own FOV in Split-Screen
  • Fixed an issue that could cause cinematics to freeze the game
  • General UI improvements for various resolutions
  • Motion Blur now functions correctly in Multiplayer modes

Future Updates

Quit Penalties

This continues to be our top priority. We are working hard on developing larger features that will majorly discourage quitting, and as such, these bigger features take time. We hope to introduce these new features as soon as possible.

We recently identified a bug on the services side that would cause a match to begin in a 5v4 situation (or alternatively cause your customization character of choice not to load in some circumstances). This would lead to more quitting from players who were starting a match with uneven teams.

We deployed a server-side update for this yesterday which we believe will cause this issue to be extremely rare. Please let us know if you continue to encounter matches in Core and Competitive starting unbalanced.

Competitive/Core Lobbies

We're continuing to work on Core and Competitive pre-game lobbies. This is a big feature to develop, but it will be coming in a future Title Update.

Horde Leaderboards

We are still intending to wipe the Horde leaderboards sometime in the near future. Due to a number of exploits - the majority of which are fixed in this TU - we postponed the Leaderboard wipe to make sure any future scores are legitimate.

King of the Hill / Execution Time Limit Adjustments

We are looking to bring the King of the Hill Round Limit down to 1 in Social play, and reduce the Execution time limit. These changes will be made in the near future via server-side update.

Gears of War 4 has already received numerous bug fix patches, but this is the second "large" update delivering on The Coalition's promise to support the game with free content long after launch. Let us know if you're still rocking Gears 4 in the comments!

Gears of War 4 is available on Xbox One and Windows 10 as a buy-once, Play Anywhere title. It's currently on sale, so pick it up for cheap using the link below!

See at Xbox

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!