Gears of War 4's April Update and Maps Arrive

A new month means two new maps for Gears of War 4. Or, in this case, two old maps. The maps went live today for owners of the season pass via the developer’s playlist. As usual, there is also an accompanying update, this one bringing changes to weapons and gameplay balance. If you’re looking for events, there will be an Easter event starting on April 14th with Horde and Versus events going live on April 21st and 28th respectively.

The maps are already in the developer’s playlist, which offers double XP and a 20% credit boost. Remember, if the host of the party owns the season pass, they can bring all of their friends into the developer’s playlist to play on the new maps and earn the increased rewards. The maps will go live for everyone in public matchmaking starting April 11th.

The first new map is an altered version of Hotel, a Gears of War 3 favorite.

Hotel is now set on a misty cliff-side, with a long-abandoned reclaimed beauty look that feels right at home in Gears 4. Combat still has a distinct feel between the inside and outside environments, with the longer-range street fight clearly separated from the frantic cover-to-cover battle on the interior. New weapon swaps like the EMBAR now appear on the map, freshening up the familiarity of Hotel and having you learn an old favorite all over again!

Then there’s The Slab, another Gears of War 3 map. This one was not a launch map like Hotel and was instead brought to the game though the “Fenix Rising” DLC. Now players will be able to revisit it in Gears of War 4.

For Gears 4, we’ve honored the originals look while cranking up the detail, including a windflare coming dangerously close to the prison. The Slab has a unique two-lane opening separated by an interior courtyard, encouraging plenty of Gnasher and ranged combat despite the smaller size of the map.

In addition to the maps that are already live, more changes arrived in the form of weapon and gameplay tuning. The Coalition says these changes are based on feedback they’ve received since Gears’ October launch. The following changes are being applied to the Core and Casual playlists:

Gameplay Changes

Weapon respawn time increased to 60 seconds (was 30s)
Vault stun time increased by 15%
Yank stun time increased by 25%

Gnasher Changes

Close range damage falls off 25% faster
Active reload effect time decreased to 5 seconds (was 8s)
Active reload cooldown time increased to 11 second (was 8s)

Lancer Changes

Lancer damage increased by 5%
Headshot damage decreased by 10%
Magazine size decreased to 40 (was 50)
Total ammo capacity reduced to 400 (was 500)

Hammerburst Changes

Damage increased by 8%
Headshot damage increased by 3%
Stopping power increased per bullet by 33%
Close range stopping power modifier decreased by 60%
Medium range stopping power modifier increased by 7%
Long range stopping power modifier increased by 400%
Weapon recoil per shot decreased by 25%
Magazine size increased to 27 from 21

Buzzkill changes

Magazine increased to 15 (was 10)

Retro Lancer changes

Damage decreased by 5%

There are also changes to the Competitive playlist, which you can view here. Also going live at the same time will be the ranked rewards and changes previewed at an earlier date.

The Easter festivities, which start on April 14th, include “an Easter-themed game mode that brings back the oversized Bunny Heads from previous games into a new variation of Guardian.” Players will also be able to unlock chocolate Easter Egg-themed weapon skins. Also later this month, the Kantus Locust character will be available in Gear Packs and so will a COG character who remains a mystery as of now.

If you’re enjoying the Versus and Horde events (like the One Shot, One Kill Versus event and the Heads Down Horde event) more are already on the menu for April. The Coalition is promising a new Horde event on April 21st and a new Versus event on April 28th. As always, we’ll be sure to let you know about those when they’re announced.

To wrap it up, the important dates to watch out for are: April 11th for Hotel and The Slab to make their way to public play, April 14th for the start of the Easter event, April 21st for a new Versus event and April 28th for a new Horde event. The two new maps are already live in the developer playlist and the weapons tuning and gameplay update is already available.