Gears of War 3 Best Weapons Guide
What is the best gun in Gears of War 3? The fully automatic Lancer, the improved Hammerburst or another mellee weapon like the fearsome Cleaver? Find out in our new Gears of War 3 weapons guide…
This rifle needs no introduction. Fully automatic, highly accurate and packing a chainsaw bayonet, the Lancer is your starting rifle at the beginning of each chapter throughout the Gears of War 3 campaign.
It’s not the most powerful weapon in the game by some way, but with a high rate of fire, you can suppress enemies effectively. Holding down B readies the chainsaw, so that anyone foolish enough to walk into you will be sliced into bloody chunks.
Lancers used by Locust a lot more in Gears of War 3, so be aware that they can do the same to you. So if you see a Locust holding one and getting dangerously close to your position, ready the chainsaw and chances are, you’ll enter into a chainsaw duel. Just hammer B to win the struggle.
This Locust weapons used to be the second-choice among Gears of War players, but now it’s bloody excellent. When aiming over the shoulder, pressing in the left stick lets you look down the iron sights in first-person mode, deliver devastating accuracy at long range.
It’s also more powerful than the Lancer now, but fires much, much slower than before. So there’s a trade-off in the name of balancing, but it’s still a superb weapon. The only downside is that there is no bayonet attached, so close-quarter encounters should be avoided.
Before Lancers had chainsaws, they had a good, old-fashioned bayonet welded to the front. The most powerful assault rifle in the game so far, the Retro Lancer is also the most inaccurate. The key here is to burst fire by tapping the right trigger slowly to fire, rather than holding it down.
Aim for the head or chest and you’ll down someone in a few shots, but always let the aiming reticule close after each shot before firing again. Also, if you roadie run while using the Retro Lancer, anyone caught in your path will be stabbed by the bayonet automatically.
This used to be the basic fall-back weapon in the Gear’s arsenal, and it was only really used when your decent guns were out of ammo. That’s not the case anymore. Not only has the Snub Pistol significantly stronger than before, it’s also deadly accurate. It’ll still take a fair few shots to down someone, but it’s great for clipping people hiding behind cover.
Gears of War’s resident revolver; the Boltok Pistol is a real monster. You can take an enemy’s head clean off with it if your aim is good enough, but a slow rate of fire and painfully sluggish reload time demands that you hit with every shot fired. Miss at close range, and you’re dead meat.
Popular with Kantus troops in the campaign, the Gorgon Pistol is a fully automatic handgun that boasts a fierce rate of fire, but also has a middle of the road power rating. In short, it’s a powerhouse, but as you fire, the reticule arches up, so if you need to lay down constant fire, keep nudging the crosshairs down to keep them centred.
The Gnasher used to be the bane of the multiplayer arena because it was overpowered, but it’s been downgraded slightly in Gears of War 3. Weaker, but boasting a faster rate of fire and longer range than before, it’s a good suppression tool. Shoot someone at long range, and chances are you’ll at least clip them lightly.
They won’t die, but they’ll most likely crap themselves and scarper for cover. The Gnasher now takes a good three clean hits to down someone at medium range, so it’s still advisable to get in close for a guaranteed kill.
The Gnashers mean and ugly bigger brother, the Sawn-Off is the most powerful standard weapon in Gears of War 3. Get close enough with this bad boy and you’ll kill someone in one shot. Miss, and you will be killed in seconds due to harsh kickback and a crushingly long reload time. It even cancels out Lancer chainsaw executions 99 per cent of the time, so it definitely needs patched post-launch.
The Torque Bow remains unchanged from Gears of War 2, but it’s still highly effective. With pinpoint accuracy, sticking someone with an explosive bolt will guarantee a kill each time, unless you’re trying to kill a Butcher or Brumak with it, in which case you’re mental.
It’s also a good proximity weapon. Simply fire at a wall near cowering enemies and watch as they get clipped by the blast. It won’t kill them, but will surely leave them hurt and disorientated.
Favoured by Locust Boomers, the Boomshot also remains unchanged from previous instalments. Usually picked up with just four shots, you can kill someone with a rocket first time if you hit them dead on, or use the splash damage to suppress targets. Just be aware of the rocket dip as you fire. Always aim higher than the enemy you’re pointing at.
This is possibly the best new weapon in the Gears of War 3 arsenal. The Digger Launcher burrows underground then explodes when it comes into contact with an enemy. It also digs under cover, instantly killing anyone hiding behind it. If you find yourself being shot at with a Digger Launcher, don’t stick around. Staying mobile is the key to avoiding this monstrous weapon.
The COG flamethrower returns and it’s distinctly less powerful than it was in Gears of War 2. The range has been extended however, so you can use a constant stream of flame to engulf specific areas, forcing enemies to take alternative routes, or to shepherd them towards the rest of your team. Not a decisive killing machine, but useful nonetheless.
Hammer of Dawn
While the Hammer of Dawn hasn’t changed since the first Gears of War, it’s still an utter beast. It appears in multiplayer too, and is particularly useful in the Sandbar map. In this beach arena, there is a cliff edge in the centre of the map that is frequently used by snipers. Simply grab the Hammer of Dawn and train it on the cliff to wipe out any campers up there for a sweet multikill.
The COG’s resident sniper rifle returns and will take an enemy’s head clean off with a single shot if you can get a clear shot. Each Longshot you pick up will come with very few bullets, so stay patient and pick your shots wisely. The reload time is also lengthy, so refrain from using it as close quarters if possible.
Another new Gears of War 3 weapon, the One-Shot is a hulking scoped cannon that can shoot through cover. It takes a bloody age to charge up and fire however, so use it at a distance and only when you’re 100 per cent sure there’s no enemies lurking nearby. Get a clean shot however and you’ll cut through a pack of enemies in one shot.
Useful for clearing out whole sectors of land, the Mortar is a powerful weapon that rains explosives down on a set position. The Mortar frequently appears in multiplayer too, so it can be used to bombard camping spots or spawn points for cheap, but satisfying kills. It’s also a great way of clearing out paths for your team to advance as well, but always use it at range as you’re a sitting duck while using it.
This COG minigun is the same as it ever was, but still packs a hefty punch. You can volley off rounds at high speed while standing, or resting on low cover – which renders it more accurate. Just make sure you keep on hitting reload to cool it down however, or else it’ll jam for ages.
Another new Gears of War 3 weapon, the Vulcan cannon is similar to the Mulcher minigun, except it fires insanely powerful incendiary ammo in a wide arc, slaying anything in its path.
You can use it solo, which renders you immobile while firing, and constantly having to reload. Alternatively, you can have a second player stand behind you, feeding in bullets so that you never have to manually reload, and you can move while firing too.
The classic explosive device, Frag Grenades can be thrown in a specific arc by holding down fire, or thrown quickly by tapping right trigger. Alternatively, if you find yourself up close to an enemy, simply hit B to tag an enemy for an instant kill.
Just be sure to run away before it detonates to avoid getting caught in the blast. Another neat trick is to tag walls, creating proximity mines that go off in the face of anyone walking by. This is an excellent defensive strategy for tighter maps.
Ink grenades are more potent than before, spewing out a poisonous vapour across a wide area. This is effective when looking to block off areas of the map, so that attackers are forced down another path. Tagging enemies has the same effect, turning them into a walking gas bomb.
In multiplayer, everyone starts with one smoke grenade. While they don’t cause damage, they are a useful way of lowering your enemy’s visibility, and creating confusion among their ranks. Simply throw a smoke grenade on a powerful path or walkway, then, find a vantage point to pick off enemies as they try to navigate through the cloud.
Another useful grenade, the Incendiary variant burns anything caught in the blast, inflicting damage over time to anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby.
You definitely want to place these in walls as proximity mines, because nothing causes panic and confusion more than being burnt to a cinder unexpectedly. They also hit really hard, so they’re definitely a valid grenade choice.
Picked up from dropped Butchers, the Cleaver is a hulking, six-foot blade capable of slicing enemies clean in half with one blow. They can only be used a finite number of times however before the blade breaks, but the golden rule is to always use this close range, and if you’re 100 per cent certain your target isn’t holding a sawn-off shotgun or Lancer. Because both of these will kill you before you even get close.
These massive metallic shields are back, and provide mobile cover. Boomshields are ace if you want to advance, but there isn’t enough cover for you to move up the map unscathed. They’re also great for pushing enemies back toward their spawn, but only if you have friends covering your back however. Never use this tactic solo.
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