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The Rock Band 4 Brutal Mode Battle

Hey gang,

Right on the heels of our latest and greatest holiday update, including the newest addition of Brutal Mode, we’re introducing the Brutal Mode Battle – a Rock Band 4 guitar competition where YOU can show off your skills and compete for major prizes. See the Official Rules [hyperlink] for full details. You may think you are the best Rock Band guitarist, but now it’s time to put your skills to the test. Things are about to get BRUTAL!


Starting now through 5:00 PM ET on Saturday, December 12, go to to enter the contest using our online entry form. Once you have submitted your entry form and installed the December Feature Update to Rock Band 4, you can compete in the Preliminary Round, which will opens on Tuesday, December 8 and ends at Noon ET on Sunday, December 13. The contestants with the top five aggregate high scores from the Preliminary Round will be eligible to participate in the Final Round to be held in Boston on Saturday, December 19.

The contest will be split into two rounds: the Preliminary Round and the Final Round. The Preliminary Round consists of 10 Rock Band 4 on-disc tracks that you must play and complete, and then upload your high score to the Leaderboards. Only guitar scores in Brutal Mode are eligible for the Contest. You must have the Rock Band 4 December Feature Update installed to your console in order to play in Brutal Mode. You can play these 10 Preliminary Round songs as many times as you desire right up until Noon ET on Sunday, December 13. The five contestants with the highest aggregate Brutal Mode guitar scores on the 10 Preliminary Round songs should expect to be contacted sometime in the afternoon ET that same Sunday. Keep a watchful eye on your phones and/or e-mail addresses at this time. You don’t want to miss the big news! If you are a finalist, you must be able to fly to Boston on or around December 18 in order to participate in the live Final Round on Saturday, December 19.

The Final Round will be a live event where the final participants will compete on stage for the final placings. They will play tracks on guitar only in Brutal Mode. What songs, you say? We’re not ready to reveal them quite yet! You’ll have to wait and find out, just like our finalists.

If you can’t make it to our live event in Boston on the 19th, we’ll be streaming the entire day on our Twitch Channel. Tune into on the 19th for fierce Rock Band 4 brutal goodness!

Don’t know how Brutal Mode works? Check out our announcement video:

The Prizes

No good competition is complete without amazing prizes for the finalists, right? Our top five participants are going to be flown out to Harmonix HQ right here in Boston to meet the Rock Band 4 devs and play Rock Band 4 live for the Final Round of the Brutal Mode Battle. Here’s a breakdown of the prizes you’ll be getting if you make it to the top:

  • All finalists will receive round trip airfare to and lodging in Boston for the Final Battle. They will have the opportunity to meet with some of the Rock Band 4 developers during their stay, and time permitting, tour the Harmonix office!
  • 2nd and 3rd placed finalists will receive one Rock Band 4 PAX East Penny Arcade Limited Edition guitar controller and the 3Rock Band DLC tracks released on 12/8/2015.
  • Our 1st place finalist will receive all of the above, PLUS:
    • One custom skinned Rock Band 4 Xbox One or PlayStation®4 console and controller.
    • The entire 2016 calendar year’s worth of Rock Band 4 DLC FREE for the console of their choice.
    • And, to top it all off, a $1,000 cash prize!

We highly encourage you to stream your Preliminary Round songs and make good use of the new taunt system in the game when you’ve beaten your friends’ scores. We’re super excited to see who rises above the rest and becomes our Brutal Mode Battle finalists!

The Set List

Here’s the list of our ten Preliminary Round on-disc tracks. You must play and complete these tracks on guitar and on Brutal Mode, and then submit your scores to the Brutal Mode Leaderboards for your score to count in the tournament.

  1. Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic
  2. Brad Paisley ft. Keith Urban - Start A Band
  3. Dream Theater – Metropolis - Part 1 - "The Miracle And The Sleeper”
  4. Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds
  5. Judas Priest - Halls of Valhalla
  6. Ozzy Osbourne - Miracle Man
  7. Soul Remnants - Dead Black (Heart of Ice)
  8. St. Vincent - Birth In Reverse
  9. White Denim - At Night In Dreams
  10. Van Halen – Panama

Keep in mind that in order for your scores to be eligible for the Contest, they must be registered under the first-party account that you originally submitted in the contest entry form. Make sure you’re signed in to your respective Xbox Live Gamertag / PlayStation® Network ID for your scores to count!

The Finer Details

For those of you signing up for the contest, you must read and agree to the Official Rules before rocking out! Here’s some finer details to give you the gist of the contest’s rules:

  1. The competition is only open to players in the U.S. and D.C. who are 21 years of age or older. We’ll entertain the possibility of a more global-scale tournament in the future, but we’ll have to keep it close to home for this go around. Only one entry per person.
  2. Participants have until 5:00 PM EST on Saturday, December 12 to complete the submission form for the contest. The submission form will close after this time, so make sure you’ve signed up well in advance!
  3. Your score is linked to your Xbox Live Gamertag or PlayStation®Network ID you provide through the tournament submission form. Only scores registered with your first-party account on the Brutal Mode Leaderboards will be counted towards your total Preliminary Round score. Make sure you’re playing on the same account at all times when competing.
  4. In order to participate in the contest, you must have access to an Xbox One or PlayStation®4, as applicable, an Xbox Live Gamertag or PlayStation®Network ID, as applicable, Rock Band 4 with the December Feature Update installed, a Rock Band 4 compatible guitar controller (and adapter, as necessary) and internet connectivity.
  5. Only guitar scores in Brutal Mode are eligible for the contest. Players can play and post scores to the Brutal Mode Leaderboards as many times as they desire, but only your highest score will post on the Leaderboards. Only your highest scores for the Preliminary Round songs registered BEFORE Noon ET on Sunday, December 13 will count. All scores posted after this time will not be considered for the contest.
  6. If you have been chosen as a finalist for the Brutal Mode Battle, we will contact you following the end of the Preliminary Round on Sunday, December 13. You should respond as soon as possible, but if we have not heard from you and received all necessary information and documentation by Monday, December 14 at 5:00 PM ET, you will forfeit your spot and we will move to the next eligible finalist. We need to get your attendance at the Final Round locked down quickly, so please keep a close eye on your e-mail and phone!

All of these rules listed above are incorporated into the Official Rules, plus more. Please make sure to read the Official Rules before submitting your entry to the competition!


  • The Brutal Mode Battle is starting on Tuesday, December 8. Get ready to rock like you’ve never rocked before.
  • This is a US ONLY competition. You must be 21 years or older to participate. Only one entry per person.
  • The competition will only factor in scores for guitar – all other instruments will not be scored.
  • Play through the 10 selected on-disc tracks in Brutal Mode and compete for your chance to make it to the finals. Post each of your scores to the Brutal Mode Leaderboards for your chance at glory.
  • You’ve got from December 8 until Noon ET on December 13 to get your scores posted to the Leaderboards. Any posting after that time will not be considered.
  • Only scores connected to your first-party account will be counted towards your total preliminary score. Make sure you’re playing on the same account at all times when competing.
  • If you’ve been chosen as one of the five finalists, you will be contacted on Sunday, December 13. Stay close to your phone and/or e-mail at this time. If you do not respond and provide all necessary information and documentation by 5:00 PM ET Monday, December 14, we will move on to the next finalist in line to solidify travel plans.
  • Top finalists will be flown out to Harmonix for the Final Round, and can win prizes based on their placings.
  • The Final Round will take place on Saturday, December 19. Show your support if you’re local to the Boston area, or watch the show streamed at!
  • There is no fee to enter the Brutal Mode Battle! Show us how brutal you really are!

Brutal Mode - Crimson Stars

We’re can't wait until the Brutal Mode Battle gets under way. Have any questions? Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter and let’s start rocking!