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Gears 5 boss fight guide

Each of the Acts in Gears 5 offers an intense battle against impossibly powerful foes. Use our guide to get the upper hand in these boss fights.


Microsoft and The Coalition spent more than two years building Gears 5, giving it the biggest campaign in series history and delivering what is arguably the Xbox Games Division’s greatest technical achievement. The Gears 5 campaign is loaded with moments that will awe players with the power of the Unreal Engine and the amount of detail the developers got out of it. The boss fights in Gears 5 offer some of the campaign’s biggest spectacle but can be very challenging. Most of these fights are hectic in nature, with increased challenge and time constraints compared to most enemy encounters.

With this handy guide, you’ll be able to topple all of the bosses in Gears 5 and take back power from the Swarm and Locust hive. As you would expect, there are heavy spoilers beyond this point, so if you have not yet played the Gears 5 campaign, tread carefully.

Boss fight 1 - Theater lobby Swarmak

Towards the conclusion of Act 1, our heroes will find themselves battling the Swarm across the street of Settlement 2, ultimately moving into the local theater. After a rather novel mini-boss encounter with corrupted bots, the crew will enter the theater lobby. At this time, Cole and Fahz dart into the lobby from the street and explain that they are bringing a world of pain with them. In this case, that pain will be delivered by a Swarmak, who enters the scene by tearing down the entrance to the theater lobby.

While this boss fight can be intense and takes place in very close quarters to the giant Swarmak, it is very manageable if you know how to approach it. The Swarmak will open fire on any target out of cover, so try to keep your head down. You’ll notice that the beast is covered in yellowish sores, particularly near its knees and thighs. Shoot these weak points to damage the Swarmak. There are also weak spots hanging from its chin and the lower portion of its back, should you manage to successfully flank the creature. 

Once you bust up enough of the weak spots, the game will enter a cutscene where Cole Train drives a motorbike off a ramp into the Swarmak’s mouth. Thankfully for you, the bike has explosives attached. Simply shoot at the red-colored explosives on the rear section of the bike to win the fight. Bonus points if you go full Jaws and do a Roy Schieder impression while shouting, “Smile, you son of a bitch!” as the Swarmak explodes.

Boss fight 2 - The Matriarch

The second boss fight of the game occurs as Kait and Del attempt to escape the frozen underwater base at the end of Act 2. You will enter a frozen cavern on the way out of the self-destructing base and be cut off by The Matriarch, the hulking beast that happens to be partially made of ice and psychically linked to Kait. The fight starts as The Matriarch crashes through some thin ice and is subsequently frozen for a short period. Quickly run behind the creature and unload into its back to cause damage. 

Now that you have the blueprint on how to hurt The Matriarch, your first concern should be to put space between yourself and the creature. If you let it get to close, you’ be pulled apart like a cheese stick at Applebee’s. The Matriarch will charge you and pull ice spiker from its back to throw at you. Your best bet is to roll to either your left or right to dodge these attacks. Make sure there is some thin ice between you and the creature and when it begins advancing, shoot out the ice (or use a grenade). Once the creature falls back into the water, it will freeze and you again unload your magazine into the soft spot on its back.

If you get too far away, the room will go orange and fill with a dust storm, making visibility low. Be careful not to bump into The Matriarch during these times and keep dropping it into the water by shooting the ice. Eventually, the creature will fall and you earn a ticket to Act 3. 

Boss fight 3 - First Kraken fight

As the journey across Act 3 draws to a close, our heroes must help assemble and escort a satellite guidance system attached to a rocket to a launchpad in the desert. Once all the hard work seems to be done and the heroes stop to take a breath, a giant subterranean worm eerily familiar to the Grabboids from Tremors decides to interrupt the rocket launch. As the team scrambles to descend the launchpad scaffolding towards the ground, the giant worm, which the game identifies as The Kraken, wraps its tentacles around the structure. 

Dealing with these tentacles is a straightforward affair as you look around for the dark, circular openings known as spiracles. Once you see the chocolate-esque shell on the spiracles begin to move, unload your weapon into them until they open and expose the juicy Kraken steak innards. Keep shooting until the spiracle bursts. Repeat this procedure, while also dispatching a swarm, to move our heroes towards terra firma. Sadly, reaching the sand is not the end of the fight as the Kraken decides to try and eat the team under the soon-to-launch rocket.

After the Kraken opens its mouth, glowing peach-colored tentacle ends will stick out and try to grab anything it can find. Shoot these as soon as possible and make sure to give priority to the tentacles that already have your teammates in their grasp. If they hang too long, the fight ends and must be restarted. If your aim is strong, a single magazine from the Lancer can burst three of the tentacles. Once you destroy enough of these, the rocket begins liftoff, giving the Kraken a nice outer sear and opening a small window where our heroes can escape into Act 4.

Boss fight 4 - Final Kraken battle

Act 4 finds the team back inside the walls of the final human settlement on Sera defending the remaining population from an intense Locust and Swarm invasion. The battle culminates in a final stand at one of the settlement’s gates where Kait and company must fight off swarms and a returning medium-rare Kraken. Kait and the team ascend the outer wall and begin eliminating swarms while a railgun mounted to the wall goes through the process of firing and recharging. Once the swarms are mostly cleared, the Kraken posts up against the edge of the settlement wall for the final battle.

Like the first time the team duked it out with the giant worm, making sure to shoot the glowing throat tentacles and they try to grab folks is the correct path to victory. There are ammo piles on the lower level of either side of the battlements, should you need additional rounds (you probably will). If you destroy enough of the throat tentacles, the huge mounted railgun on the left side of the battlements can be used. Once activated, simply drag the aiming reticle towards the Kraken until it goes red and fire. It will shoot off part of the Kraken. 

guide boss fights Gears 5.
The Kraken is one of the tougher boss fights in Gears 5.

As the railgun recharges, the Kraken will begin sucking everything towards it. Aim your weapon at the back of its throat and try to shoot the orange-colored bits to make it chill out. Once again, you must destroy multiple tentacle ends as you did previously. Do enough damage and the railgun will once again recharge. Run to it, aim at the Kraken, and fire once more. This seems to really piss off the beast, as it goes into a super-suck mode and gets dangerously close to eating our heroes. 

Out of nowhere, Jack, the support robot, decides to be helpful and sacrifices itself to fire the Hammer of Dawn satellite weapon that was set up at the end of Act 3. This mortally wounds the Kraken by way of exploding it into a million pieces. Cue some sappy music, a wink and a nod towards a Gears sequel, and finally the credits. You did it!

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Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

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