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How to kill the Gears 5 matriarch

The matriarch is one of the toughest bosses in Gears 5. Here’s how you put her down.

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retro lancer gears 5 matriarch

The matriarch is one of the toughest bosses in Gears 5. Here’s how you put her down.

The second chapter of Gears 5 – don’t worry, there won’t be any spoilers – sees our heroes exploring a semi-open world environment, like the jeep in Uncharted 4, or the boat in God of War. They’re looking for a specific location by searching for radio signals, but there are also a bunch of other optional objectives to explore.

When you find the main objective, the game warns you that you won’t be able to proceed, then you’re funnelled into a more traditional Gears of War locale. In short, the open area is switched for an enclosed one, full of corridors and waist-high walls.

At the end of that sequence, which also features a lot of exposition, you’ll have to fight your way out. (It may be a thoroughly modern Gears game, but it’s still a Gears game.)

The majority of the enemies are standard swarm drones, combined with some of the frightening, Predator-like sires we’ve seen before in Gears of War 2. To do this, you’ll have some of the retro COG equipment, including the first-generation Lancer (with a traditional bayonet and no chainsaw attachment), the gnasher shotgun, and a metal pipe. Yes, a pipe. You’ll also be treated to a new heavy weapon, the cryo cannon. This is especially handy for freezing the speedy sires and slowing their approach.

Then comes the matriarch. She’s a big beast, somewhere in the region of 3-4 metres tall, and probably weight as much as half a tonne. She’s an analogue of the berserker from earlier games. Like the berserker, the matriarch is blind, so she locates enemies by sound or smell. And when she finds you? She charges and attempts to pummel you to death. Which she does, with so many one-hit kills.

You’re going to have to kill the matriarch if you want to complete chapter 2 and progress the story in Gears 5. Here’s how you do it.

Killing the Gears 5 matriarch – first phase

When you first run into the matriarch in Gears 5, she’s introduced of being vulnerable to cold. Then when she bursts through the wall into a confined atrium for the final confrontation, she steps onto an icy pond, falls through the surface, and freezes solid. Temporarily, at least. That’s clue number one.

She’s also heavily armoured, covered from head to toe in solid spikes and spines. A head-on attack will do no good here. But you get your second clue when she turns around – she has one of those glowing red blisters in the middle of her back.

In the first phase, that’s all you really need to know. Stand across the opposite side of an icy pond – there are three in the arena – then when the matriarch charges, shoot the ice beneath her feet to plunge her into the frigid waters. She’ll freeze solid for 5-10 seconds, so hotfoot it behind her and unload everything you’ve got onto that glowing red weak spot.

When she unfreezes, she’ll charge, so get ready to dive out of the way, then position yourself on the opposite side of a pond again. If you’ve been quiet, she’ll be disoriented and unable to locate you. You can take an opportunity to ping her once on the weak spot with a high-powered weapon – like a oneshot or boltok if you have one – to deal a little extra damage. But really, this is to encourage the matriarch to run back over the pond again, so be ready to shoot that ice.

Once you’ve dealt enough damage, and chiselled her health down by about a third, she’ll disappear into the distance and exercise some telepathic powers to interfere with Kait’s vision. The tactic remains the same – wait for the matriarch to approach, shoot the ice – but your visibility is significantly reduced. It’s here that playing co-op with a human Del really comes in handy.

Drop her back in the ice, hit her again, then you’re onto the second phase.

Killing the Gears 5 matriarch – second phase

During the second phase, the matriarch will have picked up a couple of new tricks. The first is a piercing scream, which can temporarily phase and incapacitate players. The second is a ranged attack, where she rips one of the spikes from her back and throws it at one of our heroes.

For the most part, you’ll be repeating the ice pond/shoot the weak spot strategy from the first phase. But when you hear a loud crack – of the matriarch pulling a spike from her back – get ready to dodge. The thrown projectiles home in a little bit, which doesn’t seem very fair, and immediately knock down the target. You’ll have to remove the spike by mashing the ‘B’ button, before either the spike kills you, or the matriarch flattens you while you can’t move away.

Lather, rinse and repeat, until you’ve knocked another third off the Matriarch’s health, and she’ll wield those telepathic powers again. Be patient, ping the ice when she gets close, then you’re onto the third phase.

Killing the Gears 5 matriarch – third phase

In the third phase, the matriarch mixes things up a bit, and changes the patterns we’ve grown familiar with. (A bit unfairly, we might argue.)

For starters, that single thrown projectile has turned into a fan of spikes that fire in every direction. That means she can hit any and all of the players on the field at once.

What’s more concerning, however, is that consistent, direct running approach has been swapped for a jumping aerial attack. This means you can’t rely on dropping her into the ice so easily, just by positioning a pond directly between you and her current position. One of the best techniques we found was to stand yourself in the middle of a pond, then let the thrown projectile hit you. When you hammer ‘B’ to remove the projectile, she’ll set for an aerial attack, as she can hear you struggling with the spike. That should give you just enough time to remove the spike and roll out of the way; then she should be standing on some fragile ice and you can drop her in as normal.

When the matriarch is whittled down to low health, then she’ll use that telepathic power to impact Kait’s vision again. This time, it’ll stay that way until the end of the fight. Again, this is a scenario where it’s incredibly useful to have a human playing as Del. When you’ve dealt enough damage in this final phase, the matriarch will be down, and you’re free to progress the story.

General tips for the Gears 5 matriarch fight

  • If you’re like us, you carry any heavy weapons you find with you, just in case. The only heavy weapon you’ll have for the Gears 5 matriarch fight is the cryo cannon, and it’s a bit of a red herring. Yes, you can technically use it to freeze her in place, but it takes a lot longer than dunking her in the icy water, and you’re far more vulnerable when lugging a heavy weapon around (as you’re unable to dodge and roll).
  • Likewise, don’t try to attack the matriarch when she freezes in the pond as part of her scripted entrance. That’s also a bit of a red herring. By the time you’ve run around behind her and unloaded a few rounds, you’ll be standing right in her path – she always leaves the icy waters in the same direction at the start of the fight – and it’s not worth the increased risk.
  • Jack is fairly useless in this fight, sadly. His upgraded shock ability – if you find all the cooling tech in the semi-open section – can deal some cold damage, but it’s not enough to freeze the matriarch in place. Meanwhile, he can’t help players who are downed by the spike projectiles, and pretty much any direct contact with the matriarch is an instant kill, so his revive abilities are also negated.
  • Stick with the retro lancer for this fight. There are a few other weapons dotted around, but the lancer is your best bet. It’s not as accurate and has stronger recoil than the modern version, but it’s still your easiest way to do damage in a short space of time. If you’re quick, you can almost unload two full clips into the matriarch’s weak spot before she breaks free of the ice and escapes. There are also ammo boxes dotted around the edges of the arena, if you need them.
  • How long the phases last, and how long this fight takes, is dictated by how quickly and how much damage you can inflict while the matriarch’s frozen in ice. If you work fast, you can get onto the second phase with just one dip in the ice. Don’t be greedy, though – if you’re still firing (and making noise) when she unfreezes, she might change direction and jump straight towards you.
  • As we mentioned before, it’s much more difficult to complete this section as a single player. AI Del is far less adept at following the plan – shoot the ice, run around the back, hit the weak spot – than a real player.
  • Thankfully, the cut scene at the start of the Gears 5 matriarch fight is mercifully short. You’ll probably be seeing it quite a few times.
  • It’s cool to drop the difficulty if you need to. Honestly, it is. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

Guides

How to re-pair a PlayStation 4 controller

Has your PS4 controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant PlayStation 4 controller.

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how to re-pair a PlayStation 4 controller
Sony / Thumbsticks

Has your PS4 controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant PlayStation 4 controller.

There are lots of nice things about the PlayStation 4 controller. They’re all wireless for a start, which means you don’t have to sit cross-legged in front of the telly like in the good old days. They’re also rechargeable, which means you’ll never need to fumble for a battery.

Also, they light up! (That’s not important, particularly, but the first time you see the light bar react to something in-game is pretty neat.)

You can also use your PS4 controller to wake up your console. That’s ideal because the buttons on the front of the console itself are both hidden and completely baffling. Am I pressing the power button? No, I ejected the optical drive! Am I pressing the power button? No, that’s not, in fact, a button at all! It’s just one of the plastic ridges.

But if your PlayStation 4 controller – or DualShock 4, to give it its Sunday name – becomes unpaired, you’re going to have a bad time.

How does a PlayStation 4 controller become unpaired?

You can pair your DualShock 4 with other devices via the universal standard, Bluetooth. (Interestingly, the name – and symbol – for the technology is after Harald Bluetooth and his written rune, because he united the clans of Norway and Denmark, and Bluetooth unites devices.)

But if you do use your PS4 controller with something else – like your mobile phone or your PC – then you might find it doesn’t want to talk to your console any more.

What’s worse is it can happen entirely by accident. If you plug your DualShock 4 into your PC or laptop to charge it up, because it’s a USB port you have to hand, then it might pair up with your PC and not want to talk to your PlayStation 4 any more.

It can also happen if you haven’t used your PS4 in a while. If the battery in the DualShock 4 runs out and isn’t recharged, when it charges back up, it might struggle to talk to your console.

So if you’re all charged up with nowhere to go, here’s how you fix it.

How to re-pair a PlayStation 4 controller

Unlike the Xbox One controller, which couldn’t be more straightforward, re-pairing a PlayStation 4 controller is a bit more fiddly.

  • If you have another controller that is still paired:
    • Turn on your console with the working controller
    • Wait for your un-paired PS4 controller to go to sleep (if the lights are on)
    • Go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth devices from the PlayStation 4 menu
    • Select the controller you’re having issues with and hit ‘Delete’
    • Plug the controller into the USB ports on the console
    • Hit the ‘PS’ button in the middle of the controller to wake it and pair it up
  • If you don’t have another controller you can use:
    • Power off your console
    • Wait for your un-paired PS4 controller to go to sleep (if the lights are on)
    • Grab a paperclip (yes, a paperclip)
    • Use the pointy end to press the recessed ‘reset’ button on the back of the controller
    • Hold the paperclip in there for a while (let’s call it 10 seconds to be safe)
    • Plug the controller into one of the USB ports on the console
    • Hit the ‘PS’ button in the middle of the controller to wake and pair it up

When the controller turns back on it should both power on the console and re-pair it with your PS4. Problem solved.

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How to know if you have a shiny Pokémon in Sword and Shield

Getting a shiny Pokémon in Sword or Shield isn’t easy. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you might not even notice. Here’s how you can tell.

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Shiny Pokémon in Sword and Shield
Game Freak / Thumbsticks

Getting a shiny Pokémon in Sword or Shield isn’t easy. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you might not even notice if you catch one. Here’s how you can tell.

The chances of getting a shiny Pokémon are fairly slim, with odds of 4096 to 1 of encountering one. And unlike last year’s Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu!, and Let’s Go, Eevee!, it isn’t possible to tell if a Pokémon is shiny before you battle it.

Here’s how to know that you are battling a shiny Pokémon, and how to tell if you already have one in your party or box.

How to know when you are battling a shiny Pokémon

When you encounter a shiny, it will be surrounded by sparkles. It looks, well, shiny. Most shinies can be spotted by a change in colour, but if you’re not familiar with the full Pokédex, looking for the sparkles is the simplest method of identification during battle.

In Pokémon Sword and Shield, there are two types of sparkles to look out for: normal, and square. Square shinies are all new and ultra-rare. If you encounter a shiny there’s a 1 in 16 chance it will feature square sparkles. That means a 1 in 65536 chance overall. Eek!

How to know if you (already) have a shiny Pokémon

If you capture a shiny, or want to know if you’ve already obtained one without realising it, press [X] and navigate to the Pokémon menu. Select Pokémon, then Check Summary. You will see a range of details, including its name, type, original trainer, and ID No. A red symbol comprised of two stars is displayed in the Markings section if the Pokémon is shiny.

Shiny Pokémon symbol

There are shiny variants of almost every Pokémon in Sword and Shield. However, some can never be shiny and others are shiny-locked, meaning they cannot be bred.

None of the game’s Legendary Pokémon can be shiny, and all Pokémon obtained via gifts are locked.

Shiny versions of Sword and Shield‘s starters – Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble – can only be obtained through breeding. Unlike previous generations, they cannot be obtained at the start of the game.

Increasing your chances of encountering a shiny during normal play is an art all of its own. Instagram user, shinyinstinct has created this handy cheat sheet to help you get started.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4-b4yvlOKz

Visit our guides section for more useful video game tips, including details on how to get a Galarian Slowpoke. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

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How to re-pair an Xbox One controller

Has your controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant Xbox One controller.

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how to re-pair an Xbox One controller
Xbox / Thumbsticks

Has your controller stopped talking to your console? Here’s how to re-pair an errant Xbox One controller.

One of the nice things about modern consoles is wireless controllers. You don’t have to sit three feet from the TV! You don’t have to get off the sofa to turn the console on! We may not have flying cars and hoverboards, but it’s still the future, dammit.

But if your controller gets disconnected from your console, it can be frustrating. For starters, you have to get up and press the button on the front of the console, but it only gets worse when you try to actually play a game.

How does an Xbox One controller become unpaired?

Sometimes, an Xbox One controller will become unpaired from its console purely by accident. Maybe there was just a technical gremlin, or perhaps the battery ran out and the controller hadn’t been turned on in a while. These things happen.

But usually, if your Xbox One controller becomes unpaired, it’s because of something you’ve done.

Sometimes that will be on purpose. Maybe you’ve taken your controller to a friend’s house to play some multiplayer and you paired it to another console. Or maybe you’ve used it to play games on a PC, or paired it with a smartphone.

Or sometimes, it can be entirely by accident. If you have a rechargeable battery pack and you pop a USB cable into your Xbox One controller into a USB port on a PC or laptop to charge, it’ll pair itself up with the computer. Then when you come to hit the button to turn your console on, the controller won’t know which console to talk to, and nothing will happen.

That’s when you’ll need to know how to re-pair an Xbox One controller.

How to re-pair an Xbox One controller

If your Xbox One controller has fallen out with you, for whatever reason, the operation to re-pair it is wonderfully simple.

  • Turn off your Xbox One console
  • Grab a USB cable (that’s Micro USB, not the newer USB-C standard)
  • Plug the big end (the USB-A adapter) into your Xbox One console
  • Plug the small end (the Micro USB adapter) into your Xbox One controller
  • Press the big ‘Xbox’ button in the middle of the controller
  • This will wake up the Xbox One console, and re-pair the Xbox One controller at the same time

That’s it. It’s really simple. Just plug in a USB cable, hit the big button, and let the pairing process work its magic.

(And if you were looking for how to repair an Xbox One controller – that’s repair, as in physically broken, not re-pair, as in pair it up again – then this guide doesn’t cover that. There can be lots of things physically wrong with a controller, far too many for one guide to cover, and if you take it apart you might just make it worse.)

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Guides

How to get a Galarian Slowpoke in Pokémon Sword and Shield

The Galarian Slowpoke is now available in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Here’s how to catch it.

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How to get the Galarian Slowpoke in Pokémon Sword and Shield
The Pokémon Company / Thumbsticks

The Galarian Slowpoke is now available in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Here’s how to catch it.

January’s Pokémon Direct revealed details of a two-part expansion pass for Pokémon Sword and Shield. The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra will be released in June and fall, adding two new areas to the Galar region, plus 200 extra Pokémon to discover.

A new update Pokémon Sword and Shield teases the expansion pass by introducing two new trainers, and a Galarian Slowpoke to catch.

To get your hands on the Galarian Slowpoke follow these simple steps.

How to get a Galarian Slowpoke

  1. Head to Wedgehurst train station
  2. Depending on which the version of the game you are playing, you’ll meet one of two new trainers – Klara in Sword or Avery in Shield – in the station lobby
  3. A Galarian Slowpoke will follow them into the station
  4. You can battle and catch the Slowpoke in the usual way. Use a Quick Ball to make swift work of it
  5. You can now add the Galarian Slowpoke to your team

It’s worth noting that the Galarian Slowpoke won’t be added to the Pokédex. We expect this will happen when The Isle of Armor DLC is released in June 2020.

Following the release of the content expansions, the Slowpoke can be evolved into a Galarian Slowbro in The Isle of Armor and a Galarian Slowking in The Crown Tundra.

Pre-purchase of the expansion pass is not required to catch the Galarian Slowpoke. However, if you do pay up front, you get access to a bonus Pikachu or Eevee uniform. Head to the Mystery Gift menu to redeem your new threads.


Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for daily video game news updates. For help with more games, visit our guides section.

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What are the Fall Guys system requirements?

Big, daft, inclusive game cements its place as being inclusive (also big, daft) by having very reasonable system requirements.

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Fall Guys system requirements
Mediatonic / Devolver Digital

Big, daft, inclusive game cements its place as being inclusive (also big, daft) by having very reasonable system requirements.

Fall Guys was one of the highlights of our E3 2020. Hell, it was one of the highlights of most people’s E3 last year. It was an even bigger highlight if you had a golden ticket to Devolver Digital’s trailer park party, and got to experience the game in the soft play area setup Mediatonic had assembled to show off their goofy video game.

We don’t know when Fall Guys will release, yet, though we have a feeling it might be relatively soon. Especially if these tweets from the Fall Guys Twitter account are anything to go by:

We’ve got Fall Guys in our “most anticipated games of 2020” list, incidentally, so we’re pretty sure it will launch this year, too. But if you needed any more of a clue that the game is approaching release, Mediatonic has today updated the game’s system requirements on Steam.

https://twitter.com/FallGuysGame/status/1215296631060549632?s=20

Once a developer starts announcing these sorts of things, it’s a sign the game is fairly far along in the process. They might be polishing and adding content for a while yet, but they’re reasonably sure the core of the game is not going to change by any substantial amount. (Also, if you’re a student of marketing, you’ll notice that the Fall Guys Twitter account has been ramping up its activity recently. That’s also a clue that a release announcement is coming.)

Anyway. Here are the Fall Guys system requirements, extracted from the above tweet and presented in a nice, Google-friendly format.

Minimum Fall Guys system requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64bit only
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or AMD equivalent
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7950
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: Gamepad Recommended

That’s it. There are no “recommended” Fall Guys system requirements as yet. But have you seen it? It’s a colourful, low poly bundle of fun. It’s hardly Crysis. The minimum system requirements will probably do just fine.

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