Transverse mode emission characteristics of gain-guided surface emitting lasers at 0.85 μm were investigated. Up to six nondegenerate circularly symmetrical modes were observed with detunings between the adjacent modes around 2.5 Å. Numerical simulations were performed. The calculated beam sizes, difference of modal gains to account for the side mode suppression ratio when operated with one dominant mode, and wavelength detunings agreed with experiments. Numerical simulations also predict that the mirror loss due to Gaussian beam diffraction is nonnegligible for the 1.3-1.55 μm devices.