- Drums, Vocals, Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Rhythm guitar careers
- more forgiving design changes for career, and party play
- more flexible career mode
- 85 tracks on the disc, all master tracks, with commitment to DLC releases
- release date: October 26, 2008
The drum kit is different than the one found in Rock Band as there are two dedicated symbol pads, with all pads being force sensitive. Force sensitivity means that the harder you hit the drum pad, the harder the game drum will sound.
The traditional guitar has also been upgraded to include a touch sensitive "slide bar" that lets you modify held notes, and acts as a freeform area during solos. A dedicated "star power" button is another new addition to the guitar for players that have difficulty tilting the neck up, or hitting the "select" button.
Other than the obvious change through the addition of more instruments, Neversoft is making changes to how the career mode progresses. Now you can switch difficulty levels without having to restart your career if faced with a particularly difficult song. Furthermore, you can also switch instruments without having to restart your career.
Neversoft is also adding an easy "Rhythm guitar" mode for playing with young children or people that are brand new to the game. The note charts in this mode are extremely simple with very light penalties.
Players can create brand new songs with the "Music Studio" feature, and create the sounds and charts for all the instruments except for vocals, which Activision claims were limited by legal concerns. Activision compares the tool to something like Apple's GarageBand software with loops, effects, and speed control.
It is currently unknown as to how many of the currently available guitars for previous versions of GH and Rock Band will be compatible with GH4. Looking at the history, all guitars released for Guitar Hero franchise should be compatible with one another. The big question mark is over the Rock Band instruments. The Rock Band guitar may be compatible with GH4, but it's almost certain that the Rock Band drumkit will not be compatible with GH4 simply due to the different setup and accompanying note-charts.