How to fight off Days Gone’s overwhelming Freaker hordes

Bend Studio offers insight into its massive Freaker swarms, including battle strategies

When Bend Studio introduces the world to Days Gone, it came with a look at the terrifyingly huge Freaker hordes. These masses of foes flow like water and kill quickly. Players manage massive crowds of enemies, trailing them through macabre killing grounds littered with explosive barrels, choke points, and other tools of destruction.

Learn more about hordes in the latest Days Gone Countdown to Launch update with Bend Studio’s Jeff Ross and John Garvin, Creative Director / Writer and Game Director.

Days Gone for PS4

Creating the Horde

“Early in the development of Days Gone, we realized that we had to find a way to create a creature type that was going to be unique to us. And the answer to that was numbers — sheer numbers of them.”

– John Garvin

“We had to figure out a way to make it fun to fight that many creatures. Because it can’t just be, hey, get up on top of a rooftop and rain down explosives, because that’s not going to be fun. And it can’t just be run for your life and all you’re doing is running. It has to be an experience that is engaging and challenging, but ultimately winnable.”

– John Garvin

“Once we revealed the horde at E3 2016. It’s so long ago now. It was the moment where the — I think the team was excited about it, but they were guarded, like, do we really have something here. And then just the — from the presentation we put forward to the reaction of the world was really positive, and I think for people who were sort of believers or on the fence, it gave them permission to come on board.”

– Jeff Ross
Days Gone for PS4

Horde mentality

“They each have their own ecosystem, they each have a place where they live. They hibernate, they drink, the eat, and they sort of have this migration pattern.”

– John Garvin

“So if you stumble into a cave, for example, during the day when Freakers hibernate, you will stumble a horde that’s in there hibernating and it’s terrifying because you can actually kind of walk up amongst them and they’re all kind of sleeping. And if you make a noise, then they’ll rise up at once to attack you.”

– John Garvin

“Where the hordes live, which typically is at mass grave sites that you can find throughout the Farewell Wilderness. it’s really unsettling to see a hundred Freakers sort of swarming over [a mass grave site] like crows at a garbage dump.”

– John Garvin

“Part of the physiology of Freakers is that they have very, very high metabolisms. They run really hot. And that means that at night, when it’s cooler out, they get stronger. And if it’s raining, they will become stronger. And in the snow they become stronger.”

– John Garvin
Days Gone for PS4

The right mindset for facing a Horde

“Against multiple enemies coming at once, shotguns and their spread are really good at killing them outright or knocking them back a little bit. But against the horde, especially against our larger hordes, what you realise is there’s possibly more horde then there is ammo available.

“So we have some guns with increased penetration values. When you get these upgrades, what you’ll find is you’re fighting the horde and you should actually aim in such a way that you’re not only aiming at one, but you’re trying to aim at the guy or the other guy behind him. So you can have a bullet go through two or three enemies at once. And it’s almost essential for defeating the horde efficiently.”

– Jeff Ross

“That’s the key: just thinking about it as a flood. ‘Okay, I’m going to be running from this giant wave. I don’t have a choice, but eventually I’m going to figure out a way to make it a smaller wave and then a smaller wave,’ and eventually you get it whittled down until you’re literally facing that last one — because there’s always a final one — and using your melee weapon to take it out. That’s a very satisfying moment.”

– John Garvin

“One time I saw a guy beat a horde with just three bullets. He had a plan. He had some strategies in mind, and he executed.”

– Jeff Ross

“One of the fastest ways to die in Days Gone is to ride your bike into the middle of a horde. And I’ve seen players do that. If you’re riding down the highway and you aren’t paying attention, then you turn a corner and suddenly there’s like 300 Freakers in the middle of the road, it’s easy to lose it and not turn around fast enough. Next thing you know, you’re being swarmed. I recommend not doing that.”

– John Garvin

“When players are fighting the horde, the emotions I want them to constantly have are a range of different emotions from, “Oh my god. I’m completely overwhelmed. This is impossible” to “I think I can do this” to “I got this” to “Oh no. I don’t got this” to “Oh, holy crap. I’m in trouble. Oh my god.” And then from there it can be, “Oh my god. I totally pulled it off,” or “Oh my god. The last guy killed me.” It’s gonna be the gamut, and that’s what makes it awesome.”

– Jeff Ross

Confronting hordes — from small to enormous — is one of the most satisfying experiences of Days Gone. Yes, clearing out the map, earning experience and finding new resources are big incentives for wiping out hordes, but the sense of accomplishment is unparalleled. Once you exterminate one when Days Gone hits PS4 on 26th April, you’ll want to clear the entire map.

0 Author replies

Close your eyes Tim, here comes the barrage of hate. With reviews of 5/10 I think your in for a tough ride

xenokiller90 25 April, 2019 @ 17:35

If you believe every mediocre review site then you would not play any games.

xenokiller90 25 April, 2019 @ 17:36

This game rocks thanks bend studios looking forward to this 2morow?


Hopefully I get my special edition tomorrow, really wanna play this over the weekend with a bag of cold beers

Since we’re doing quotes today:

“Days Gone is the apotheosis of the more-is-more philosophy: more bars to fill, more gates to progress, more hours of playtime, more zombies per square inch because “more” is supposed to fill the hole where some semblance of meaning ought to be, bridging the gap between one mind-numbing mission template and the next. It’s the purest example yet of the video game as mere content to be consumed, down to the very fact that each storyline you’re supposed to be emotionally invested in is marked with a completion percentage. Days Gone is a void.”

-Steven Scaife


I haven’t been bored once yet. We’ll see.

With all the bugs and glitches I’ve seen in various videos, this title is probably a candidate for a deep, deep sale.


Those were before the patch, people who play the game at release can enjoy a better experience. I have not had any problems at all so far

Grim_streaker999 29 April, 2019 @ 16:49

5-6 hours into the game, and no bugs yet. Only framerate drops sometimes, when riding my bike


Game ran perfectly fine for me at first but TBH the framerate has felt a bit off since 1.05 on PRO…

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Looking foward to play this tomorrow, Days Gone>Weekend Gone thats what will happen, and i can’t wait..

Just had a look at the Diesel clothing…. hahahahahaha – £790 for a denim jacket? £95 for a tee-shirt?


Sick price. Wondering how much goes for those 3rd world children working in their factories. i guess 10 cents raise per hour.


I’ve been playing for 6 hrs and so far so good. Very enjoyable game.

Thank you Bend.

HereComesTrouble 27 April, 2019 @ 15:38

Same here


3 hours here, no major complaints so far and I am so confused by Gamespot’s 5/10 score. The visuals and what Bend managed to do with Unreal Engine 4 engine in a AAA open world game instantly stop any claims of a score that low. It makes no sense and is far below the expected average score this, hated from the beginning, game ended up with.


I dont understand how many critics seem to review open world games, dont make sense. But that only a problem for those who actually listen, I prefer making up my own mind about games Im interested in :)

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Great game so far. Loving the stealth and focus on story. Only wanted to play for a little while but ended up playing all night. Might be a nice sleeper hit as far as I’m concerned.


Got my first proper scare in, like, forever. I get out of a train with this box next to the exit and I hear something but figured I imagined it, and all of a sudden I see this little, lone Newt sticking her head out on the low end of the box and talking to me in an almost normal girly voice. It was so subtly effective it gave me the chills :) I rarely get effected by scares (not counting cheap jump scares) so I had to give props :)

blacksheepwall_ 28 April, 2019 @ 18:13

Looks decent to me. Maybe not a GOTY but not every game has to be. Most critics seem like sjws or youtubers who get clicks for complaining.


Absolutely loving the game. My only grumble is the audio drop-out bug when you upgrade the exhaust on the bike.

As for reviews… that’s why I never pay attention to them. There’s been a huge disconnect between what reviewers think is good and what I actually like for a number of years.

LEFT__4__DEAD__2 29 April, 2019 @ 02:17

I love runner types of zombies especially open world, mmo, co op/singleplayer types games this looks fun :)

Grim_streaker999 29 April, 2019 @ 16:44

I just love this game!

Its been a while since I’ve had this fun playing a game, you might call it gaming fatigue. But this game got me back, to the point that Im realy exited to sit down and play again.

The reasons for giving the game bad or mediocre score, are laughable at most.

Yes they have added alot of familiar aspects in the game, but where other games have been praised for it, this game gets hated? Makes no sense.

And anyway, the game have alot of new aspects to offer, on top of that.

Take the hoards, they are scary as [DELETED]. Even cleaning out nests with 5-6 of them are tense. (Much more than riding around on a horse, picking flowers, just saying.)

Now imagine suddenly meeting 40-50 fastmoving maniacs with only 6 shells for my shotgun, 12 bullets in my sidearm and 3 molotovs.

My first encounter with a horde did not end well, so I have sneaked away, waiting for a better moment to face them.

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