Halo 5 tips to help you not die (as much)
The next chapter in the Halo series has arrived, exclusively on Xbox One. Halo 5: Guardians is available now, but if you weren’t able to pick it up on launch day don’t worry: people will be playing it for a long, long time. With that in mind, we have some Halo 5 tips to help keep you alive! Well, help keep you from dying as much at least.
As with all Halo games, there is a huge emphasis on the multiplayer. Halo 5 features the familiar 4v4 modes (with a few twists), as well as a new multiplayer mode known as Warzone, featuring 24 players at once. It’s a new way to play, and we have some Halo 5 tips to help you get the most of the multiplayer.
Then, of course, there’s the campaign. The bad news is that there is no split-screen play. The good news is that it is four player drop-in/drop-out co-op. We have a few tips on that as well.
Halo 5 tips and tricks
This guide is a work in progress, and we’ll have more Halo 5 tips, tricks, and secrets to add, so check back often!
This guide will be entirely spoiler free, but there are a few things to know going in.
To begin with, the Halo 5: Guardians campaign is broken up into 15 chapters, and they are all playable solo or co-op. The story switches back and forth between two teams, one led by Spartan Locke and the other by Master Chief. Both are in charge of a four-person fireteam.
The story sort of justifies this, but the real reason for the four person teams is to allow drop-in/drop-out co-op. All eight characters play exactly alike, and you can play up to four in a mission regardless of which team you are.
During solo play, you can direct AI teammates. It is fairly limited though, and you can basically just direct them to a location or to attack a particular enemy by hitting up on the D-pad. Pressing down on the D-pad shows you where the mission objectives are. You can also call for help when you are down using the “X” button.
Depending on how you play, you can rip through the campaign solo on normal difficulty in around six hours. If you really wanted to, you could lower it to the easiest setting and rip through in three to four, if that. Easy mode is for the beginners though, so stick to normal and up, especially in co-op.
There is no matchmaking in co-op, so you will need to invite friends, or jump in one of their games. Once you’ve completed the campaign, you can select any mission you want.
- Unfortunately, online is the only way to play co-op. There is no split-screen due to technical limitations. There is no LAN play either for the same reason.
- You can usually find people to play co-op with on unofficial forums like GameFaqs, and official ones like Halo Waypoint to name a few.
- Easy and Normal may be fun for a quick co-op match, but Heroic and Legendary are a different game.
- While playing as a team, any intel or skulls collected (as well as game progress), are shared by all players.
- You can join a player that is further along in the game (although you’ll probably have to deal with spoilers).
- If your AI teammates die, they will respawn at the next checkpoint.
- There are special weapons hidden throughout the campaign. You’ll know them by their unique names like the “Blaze of Glory” shotgun.
- Intel can take the form of computer consoles or datapads, so look everywhere.
In something of a change from most comparable games, there is no Halo 5 Season Pass. 343 Industries has promised 15 additional maps coming in June 2016, and they will be free to download.
- A new version of the Forge, the in-game map creation tool, will be available to download in December.
The gameplay in Halo 5 has undergone an overhaul. It is something of a mix between the Halo style and Call of Duty.
To begin with, each Spartan now has a boost known as the “thruster pack,” which can propel them in any direction. Use it often as a defensive tool to get you out of the way of incoming fire.
You also have a new ground pound attack, which – like the thruster – can be used effectively in the campaign or multiplayer modes. Just jump up or run off an elevated point and hold down the melee attack. You will see a circle on the ground with a gauge that fills up as the attack powers up. Once it is full, you will automatically hit that spot. You can hold the attack until it is ready, but once you get the timing down, you can let it go manually and initiate the attack.
- Sneaking up behind someone in campaign or multiplayer and holding down the melee will initiate an assassination. In multiplayer, the type of assassination animation can be changed when you earn them through Requisition Packs.
- You can combine sprinting and the melee attack into a powerful “Spartan Charge.” Just hold down the sprint (you must sprint until you see blurring on the edges of the screen), then press the melee attack.
- The controls are closer to the traditional Call of Duty style, including iron sight aiming.
- If you don’t like the control layout, change it.
There are 13 skulls located throughout the game. You will find one skull in each mission, with four exceptions. Mission 4: “Meridian Station,” Mission 9: “Alliance,” and Mission 11: “Before the Storm” don’t have any skulls to be found; Mission 7: “Reunion” has two.
Here is a list of each skull, and what they can do:
- Iron – Cannot revive/be revived
- Black Eye – Shields do not recharge until you melee enemies
- Tough Luck – Enemies berserk, always dive, and never flee
- Catch – Enemies are grenade happy
- Fog – Motion sensor is disabled
- Famine – Weapons drop less ammo
- Thunderstorm – Enemy abilities upgraded
- IWHBYD – Rare combat dialog becomes more common
- Grunt Birthday Party – Head shot a grunt for a surprise
- Cowbell – Acceleration from explosions increased
- Blind – HUD and first-person arms/weapon hidden
- Mythic – Increased enemy health
- Tilt – Enemy resistances/weaknesses enhanced
The skulls are hard to find. They are dark, and located in places that aren’t necessarily difficult to reach, but are out of the way – plus, the skulls are hard to see in most instances. Once you have collected a skull, you can activate it in the Main Menu, prior to launching a campaign mission.
We will update this list with the location of all 13 skulls soon.
The Requisition Packs are the lifeblood of Halo 5’s Warzone multiplayer. You earn packs through playing and earning Requisition Points, or you can drop real cash on the packs, which come in three varieties: Gold (10,000 Req Points/$2.99), Silver (5,000/$1.99), and Bronze (1250). You also earn a pack every time you level up.
The Requisition Packs are where you will find the customization items to differentiate your Spartan from all the others, plus you’ll receive new weapons and bonuses int he form of cards you can spend. Customizing your Spartan is entirely aesthetic, but the weapons, vehicles, and armor boosts you receive can be used in Warzone matches.
Prior to the start of each multiplayer mode, you can select a Boost (assuming you’ve received one in a Req Pack). Don’t hold on to these. They are bonuses for one map only, and you’ll receive more.
The weapons, vehicle, and boots cards you receive for use in Warzone can only be used once, but first you need to reach the corresponding Req level (see the Warzone section for more details).
If you don’t like the weapon, or you have too many, you can sell them for Req points.
- The bronze packs will generally feature common weapons and boosts, with a few exceptions.
- If you want new customizable items – including stances, assassination, armor – your best bet is a gold pack, although sometimes silver will provide them.
Multiplayer – Arena
The Halo 5 game Arena multiplayer features 4v4 game modes (with the exception of free-for-all, which has eight players fighting each other). The game modes are below.
Breakout – Breakout is a new addition to Halo. It features a single flag in the center of a medium sized map, and there are two ways for a team to win: capture the flag and take it to the enemy’s spawn point, or kill the opposing team – there are no respawns. The first team to win five rounds wins the match.
Work as a team or get hunted down and killed. If you are losing, you can always hold your spawn point and make the opposing team come to you.
Capture the Flag – One of the oldest Halo modes returns. As is tradition, you have two teams, each with their own flag. To score, you need to capture the enemy flag and return it to your base. You can only score if your own flag is still at base – if not, you’ll need to wait for someone to kill the enemy with your flag and return it.
Teamwork and speed are key in CTF. There are also power weapon spawns scattered throughout the maps – learn them and take advantage. If you don’t the enemy team will.
Capture the Flag is playable in the “Team Arena” playlist.
Free-For-All – A classic game, where you fight everyone. Trust no one, and keep moving. Learn the power weapon spawns, and remember that if you see someone run by, there may already be someone chasing them.
SWAT – This is as close to a “Hardcore” mode as Halo 5 offers. In SWAT, you have no shields, no grenades, and no power weapon spawns. Kills are easier to come by – and so are deaths. Be careful not to accidentally kill your own teammates. They won’t take kindly.
Stronghold – Stronghold is new to Halo, but should be familiar to FPS multiplayer fans, especially Call of Duty players. It’s essentially Domination, with three points that can be held. Each point can be captured by standing within the base’s target range, as long as the base isn’t in dispute. The more bases a team controls, the faster they score points.
Again, teamwork is key, but less so than in other modes. To take a point, you’ll need to stay in the area until the gauge fills up and it is yours. You can do this on your own, but the more teammates you have at a point, the faster it changes hands. Because you will be stationary, don’t worry as much about your Kill/Death ratio. Taking the points is how you win, not killing the other team (although that helps, of course).
Stronghold is playable in the “Team Arena” playlist.
Team Slayer – A classic team deathmatch multiplayer game mode. You have two teams, and the goal is to score as many points as possible. The Halo 5 twist is that power weapons spawn around the map. They appear in the same locations each time, and there is a timer that lets you know when they spawn. Controlling these locations can make all the difference.
Two players can take out an enemy in no time; going one-on-one is down to who shot first and who has the better aim (and weapon). Stick together and keep moving – campers will get owned.
General Arena tips
- In multiplayer, you can hover – just jump and aim down your sites to hang in the air for a moment.
- Like all Halo multiplayer games, having two or more people shooting the same enemy makes a huge difference. Alternatively, going lone wolf is usually a bad idea.
- The Halo 5 Arena is designed for fast play. Keep moving and pushing forward.
- Power weapons make a huge difference. Control their spawns.
- Use your boosters to get out of the way when you are taking fire.
- The Spartan Charge can be effective, but it won’t always kill an enemy in one strike. Keep shooting and finish them off.
- You can kill your own teammates. If there is a big firefight going on, don’t throw grenades wildly – you may kill them if they are already weakened.
- You are ranked based on your play, and your rank determines the level of competition. This rank will change based on your play. You need to play at least 10 matches in each game mode to earn a rank.
- In a firefight, always switch guns before you reload. Switching is faster and can make the difference.
- If you’re having problems with the controls, change them up.
- Even if you don’t want to talk to your fireteam, listen to the Spartans. They will automatically call out where they see targets and where people died.
Multiplayer – Warzone
There are two type of Warzone, and both feature 24 players per match (12 per team); the minimum to launch a game is 18.
Warzone is a new type of multiplayer mode for Halo, and it offers a different type of play from what Halo fans may be used to. Warzone is also where you use the Requisition items you earn throughout the multiplayer.
Regardless of which Warzone mode you are in, Requisition Packs unlock as you play. Think of them like killstreaks that don’t reset when you die. For each new level you rise during a match, you can use a weapon of that level that you’ve collected. The more powerful the weapon, armor modifier, or vehicle, the higher you’ll have to rank to unlock it. There are nine Req levels in total.
You can also change your basic loadout as you reach new levels. You’ll begin with an Assault Rifle and Magnum Pistol, then you can unlock Battle Rifle followed by SMG. Once you’ve unlocked these, you can replace a default and start with the new weapon with no consequences.
Using a Req item has consequences. If you are on level three, for example, and use a level three weapon or item, there is then a cooldown period. The first level will remain filled (allowing you to still use level 1 items), but you need to wait to refill the second level, and then the third. You can use a level two weapon while waiting, for instance, but you’ll have to wait for level three to fill up.
Each Req card is good for one use only, and when you die it disappears.
Change your basic loadout whenever you like, but choose your higher level items and weapons wisely. Don’t waste the opportunity to call in a vehicle or power weapon when you need it, but don’t just randomly use it for a new gun just because you can.
Warzone – Each team starts in their own base, and before they can exit into the larger world, they need to kill off the Covenant or Promethean enemies nearby. They then open up into a massive map.
Once both teams are in the field, they need to fight over a handful of locations in a tug-of-of war like battle. When one team controls all the outposts, it then opens up the enemy base and their power core.
To earn extra points, which in turns helps raise your Req level, there are enemy AI Covenant and Prometheans that drop into the game. They will be clearly marked, and killing them helps – just watch your back, because the other team might have the same idea.
- Teamwork is absolutely essential here. If you aren’t working together, any wins you get will be pure luck.
- Use the Req stations when you need, but make sure the area is completely clear.
- Fly as often as you can, but know that you can be shot down easily if you aren’t paying attention.
- Save your vehicles until later in the match when you can score more kills from grouped enemies.
Warzone Assault – In this mode, you are either an attacker or a defender. The goal is to destroy or protect the Power Core, and the game ends when time runs out or the Core is destroyed.
As the attacker you will try to hold two forward positions, but it is difficult to do. You will generally get pushed back, but don’t worry too much about it. When that happens, prepare for a massive fight in the power core.
- If you are attacking the core, call for heavy vehicles when you can and make sure your teammates are there to follow you in and prevent someone jumping on the vehicle and grenading it instantly.
- If you are defending, call for a rocket launcher or a similar power weapon when possible.
- Sniping in the final area can net a lot of kills – on either side.
- Use your armor mods.
General Warzone tips
- Headshots help, especially with power weapons like sniper rifles.
- The Magnum Pistol is better at range than the Assault Rifle.
- If you want something close quarters and don’t want to spend a card for a shotgun, equip the SMG.
- The Battle Rifle is a powerful weapon, but you need to have good aim.
- Beware enemy AI marines. They are easy to kill, but they won’t go down without a fight.
- If you see someone with a power weapon, kill them and take it from them.