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Halo 5: Guardians will have an overhauled multiplayer thanks to you

3 min read

Halo 5

I’ve always wanted to make a change in the world. Not for a cleaner environment, honest politics or any of that ineffectual nonsense, but in games. By now, anyone with a console has taken part in a beta of some sort. Whether it be the latest one for Battlefield Hardline, Evolve or Hearthstone, those betas are valuable tools for helping to shape the final game. And if you took part in the Halo 5: Guardians beta, then you did make a change. Maaaaaaaaaaan.

Over on the Halo Waypoint, 343 Industries Josh Holmes commented on the changes being made to Spartan skills, weapons and more in the game. “In the past, betas for games on console have typically been used for online scale testing in the weeks prior to a game’s launch. In our case, we provided a true ‘working’ beta that was a snapshot of our game in development,” Holmes wrote.

Halo 5: Guardians represents one of the most substantial evolutions of core combat in franchise history. We felt it was crucial to get it in the hands of fans early to ensure we have enough development time to react to key learnings and deliver the best possible game when we release later this year. This represented a shift for us as a team and a studio by sharing the development process with our community and having you help shape the game.

Here’s a list of changes that will be implemented in the final game:

Spartan Abilities

  • Increase base speed (faster base movement)
  • Increase strafe acceleration (faster, more responsive strafing)
  • Reduce top sprint speed (narrow the delta between base movement and sprint)
  • Modify Ground Pound controls to prevent conflicts w/ crouch jumping
  • General tuning & bug fixes for all Spartan Abilities (Thrusters, Clamber, Ground Pound, etc.)


  • Sniper Rifle: improve scope experience to making it less “clunky” and faster to scope
  • DMR: adjust position of the scope to improve visibility
  • Bring back the SPNKr Rocket Launcher as a legendary version of the weapon
  • Reduce bonuses for automatic weapons in Smart-Link & w/ headshots
  • Remove grenade detonation in mid-air based on weapon fire
  • Ability to turn on/off vibration feedback for weapons
  • General tuning and bug fixing for all weapons


  • Post-death replay: this will become an opt-in feature. After death, players will see a traditional follow-cam and have the option to view a replay of their death from the killer’s perspective (as long as the feature is enabled within the playlist)
  • Medals: decrease frequency and number of medals displayed in the medal feed
  • Spartan chatter: players will have the option to turn this on or off in the settings menu
  • Adding highlights to placed/dropped weapons to make them easier to see
  • General tuning for announcer and Spartan chatter to reduce the frequency of events and focus on the information that matters most to players

Competitive Skill Rating

  • Improved skill detection during placement phase
  • Improved skill matching
  • Improved team balancing
  • Prevent skill boosting
  • General bug fixing & tuning


  • Much faster matches
  • Better skill matching
  • Better feedback to players in the lobby and matchmaking experiences
  • Allow players to set desired datacenter for matchmaking (may impact matchmaking speed and skill balance)
  • Improved party vs party matchmaking
  • Hide CSR ranks until in match to de-incentivize quitting
  • Punish quitters with CSR penalties and matchmaking bans

It’s a pretty comprehensive list of tweaks and balances. And I’m just happy that I can die knowing that I made a true difference to the world…of Halo.

Last Updated: February 6, 2015

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