A comprehensive and updated guide for new and experienced players on Mordhau’s Horde mode, to share experience and tips from many of its veteran players, understand it and master it.
At the time of writing this guide, the gamemode’s main objective recently went from defeating 21 waves of enemies to protecting a “Noble” NPC from said 21 waves of enemies, so a player should NOT fight near the Noble. Not much changed from the previous version, you just have a Noble to protect on the side, but still, always keep the chaos of battle away from him, make sure you are in the way of the dung covered enemies trying to end everyone’s fun and keep this in mind before anything else. I’m sure you knew this already, but I see this is often overlooked and made the first point up here.
Ogres, a huge boss enemy taller than the rest and armed with a big club, are Noble’s enemy number 1, and they should be a top priority when spotted. If you must choose between letting any amount of other enemy bots to the Noble and letting even a single ogre to him, go for the former because these giants do 10 damage with every strike to the Noble. No other threat will even come close to how much damage even one of them can do, not a group of 10 knights, not 2 great maul bosses, not even Seymour, so slay the giants first.
For example, in Camp, fight in front of Noble’s camp, not in it, and as seen here keep the ogres outside at all costs; see, that’s a great player there in the distance, keep that ogre away from the ramp.
As it is now and very differently from how it used to be in the past, the basic way of fighting an ogre boss is by staying a split second in front of him to bait a strike and then quickly move behind him as seen in the image below. They will destroy in 1 hit any unlucky player caught in a 180° arc in front of them, so you are safe and able to do damage if you stay outside of that AoE killzone.
Also, note that you will be damaged even if you hug them while being behind them, so keep at least some distance while striking. Good luck out there and develop your own heroic style of fighting them starting from this solid base!
Armor never affected your movement speed in Horde and still doesn’t, also players are able to perform dodges with the spacebar while moving backward or to the sides, but I would advise against using this feature since I always thought of it as a cheap alternative to the great dodges you can learn by controlling your in-game character, also known as the art of matrixing. You don’t get this feature in Pvp by default so on top of all that even I, a Horde-only player, don’t feel comfortable recommending making this move a habit for your own sake.
Just in case it’s not like this by default, you can press “H” to show the teammates nicknames from a great distance, and even through obstacles; useful to know which sides of the battlefield are guarded and which ones aren’t. May the cursed example image of mine here on the right haunt you in your dreams.
Archers can be a threat if you find yourself unarmored in front of 8 of them, but just like the old game mode, the best defense against enemy archer spam is still diving in melee and slaying them all. The incoming damage simply won’t match how much you will heal, provided of course that you keep getting kills consistently in the confrontation.
8 archers behind a group of peasants or even medium armor bots = Stay in melee and leave the archers for last, gotta love that built-in vampirism.
You will be outnumbered in this game mode most of the time, keep in mind the rules of 2v1, such as footwork (Give yourself extra seconds, move away from the enemy that is swinging at you from the left to dodge his attack and strike the one in front of you on the right) and target switching (Parry the attack of the enemy in front of you on the left and riposte the enemy that would have hit you seconds from now from the right).
If ogres are public enemy number 1 for the Noble, Yellow knights are your own nemesis. They have all the tools to kill isolated players, such as the best armor, high damaging weapons, speed, the surprise factor, and the numbers since they always come in groups of 4. Seeing them coming and having a plan is usually the best defense against them, but be prepared for a good fight.
The recent Horde overhaul added a skill tree with plenty of perks that modify gameplay to which you can assign from 1 to 5 skill points, increasing that perk’s power.
There are stronger and weaker perks, and there are borderline broken combinations of course, and here is where it gets malicious, let’s get into it.
The Key Role Of Ultimates
This section will focus on the ultimates of each skill tree, which do indeed succeed in being game-changers. I won’t spoil the broken builds that a player can come up with and I won’t spend time talking about every single perk in the skill trees since most of them are good, but there are just a few exceptions that will be discussed in the feedback section. Back to topic, ultimates; are perks that in my experience are crucial in 90% of the builds you will play and experiment with. Putting 5 points in one will never and should never feel like a waste because they will pay you back, lets’s see how.
The following tests were run with full points in the ultimate.
- 1 minute cooldown
- A solid ultimate overall, meant for getting you out alive of fatal situations, such as yellow knights surrounds or multiple bosses that need to be stopped.
A great addition to any melee build, especially for new players given its average cooldown and how much survivability can give to a player when he can become “too angry to die”.
Note that it will not save you from fall damage so you still need to care about gravity.
- 30 seconds cooldown
- At first glance, it looks weak, but it quickly became my favorite ultimate.
Upon activation all enemies, bosses included, will ignore you, but this will only happen 2 seconds or so after you activate it, so take that into account.
It can be used for combat (Combining it with backstab and other damage boosting skills will turn you into a boss killer), but my favorite use of this skill is using it to revive fallen players, thanks to its effect and its short cooldown; given this and the horrible opinion I have of Divine favor, Vanish is easily the one true medic ultimate in my mind.
- 1 minute and 15 seconds cooldown
- Average ultimate, great for every melee build; it’s good because it’s fun and straightforward, but its extremely long cooldown brings it down.
- 30 seconds cooldown
- Short cooldown and the match saving power to lure all enemies and bosses away from the Noble, its best possible use in my experience, or from a surrounded player; easily one of the best and effective in nearly every build, often used in combination with Recoil.
Its power makes you wonder why this has a 30 seconds cooldown while for a weaker one like Shockwave you need to wait more than double that amount of time, but more on this in the feedback section.
- 1 minute and 10 seconds cooldown
- Well, we had to come to this one eventually, the worst ultimate in the game.
A longer-than-average cooldown on an ultimate that heals everyone to full health upon activation. The issue is that this is supposed to be used in a frenetic game mode where you need continuous healing over a big wave of it that happens once every solar eclipse. The long cooldown only adds insult to injury, wouldn’t force my worst enemy to play a match with this ultimate, more on this in the feedback section.
- 30 seconds cooldown
- Great ultimate, fits with every build because every build, and your fun most of all, will benefit from calling fire support in a location, even after its nerf from 100% damage to 50% it still ensures high damage on the unlucky enemies caught in the circle. Its short cooldown makes it even better and brings it up amongst the best.
- The only ultimate to which you can assign only 1 skill point and be happy with it; it’s still weird to me how game-changing being able to move while reloading a crossbow feels, even at 10% speed.
- A solid choice overall, 1 point can be enough, 5 is even better.
- One of the best, it should be prioritized over Keen sight and Yeoman due to how much more damage it can add to your arrows; to use the words of a friend of mine, Flandrien, it truly turns you into a Total War siege defense tower, nothing survives for long.
Moving on, this wouldn’t be a proper Horde guide without updated maps of all the items locations, on most maps things are not hard to find, true, but still i was glad to put in the extra work to make these if they can help, for that extra utility.
Feedback and Improvements
The following section will be aimed to provide constructive feedback to some aspects of the game mode that needs to be worked upon; ideas from the players around me and that I agree with, and from myself.
Of course, an effort is always made to keep in mind that this overhaul turned Horde into something more casual and accessible, but at the same time deeper and more open to future content.
Shockwave vs the Taunt tiranny
- Going back to the skill trees, the previously mentioned issue with Shockwave’s extremely long cooldown for an average ultimate that will kill 5 enemies at best vs Taunt’s extremely short cooldown for its tremendous power; the huge difference in value makes you feel like Shockwave’s cooldown should definitely be reduced while Taunt’s one should be increased. A compromise at 45 seconds for both maybe? Possible.
The Divine favor issue
- An instantaneous healing ultimate with an extremely long cooldown is not really suited for a game mode where few players fight an overwhelming horde of enemies. A much better ultimate I can think of for a healing skill tree would have been a version of it with 5 healing charges that you would get back with time, and you could spend one to fully heal the ally you were looking at. It would be a more flexible skill that can be used more often, its effects would be more noticeable and it would introduce a new mechanic to the game for future content, skills with charges.
Leech, Guardian, Discipline, Padding, Fletcher
- The skill trees have overall good perks, which is why it’s quicker to talk about the perks that are subpar or problematic. The first 4 skillshares have the same problem, extremely low percentages, and obscure niche bonuses; Leech giving you a 5% vampirism based on the damage you inflict, which is abysmal compared to the heal on kills players get by default, and the other 3 that give you very small damage resistances. Moving from subpar to a skill that encourages bad behaviors, Fletcher; is a perk that gives you a chance of recovering the arrow you lose on the enemies, with a 100% chance at max level. Useless because archers are never far away from their ammo shops in this new game mode and on top of that this kind of perk encourages camping, a bad practice that should remain in the past. The common theme here is that these skills are a waste of slots and skill points and every player I’ve seen giving them a chance remained disappointed, no doubt they need to be reworked or replaced.
About this new direction
- Something many players have noticed, including me, is how easy a match can get when a group of experienced players finds themselves together in a lobby. It gets to the point where only 4 players, or even half of the lobby, is truly needed to win the match which I believe is a consequence of the casual direction this game mode took and of how powerful players can get with the right skills, which is all great in my opinion, but it would be even greater if the mode could be made harder, a sort of callback to how the old Horde was and a compromise between the two.
- Another common complaint is that on some maps such as Mountain Peak, Noria, Castello, or Feitoria 80% of the map will never be seen given where the Noble and the enemy spawns have been placed. It might be something worth considering for the future to move the spawns. In the case of Feitoria for example, the Noble could be moved to the inner castle and the enemy spawns could be moved to the docks; the fighting would then happen through the beautiful town instead of only near and outside the gates.
That's everything we are sharing today for this MORDHAU guide. This guide was originally created and written by Chaplain Steland. In case we fail to update this guide, you can find the latest update by following this link.