We’ve known for sometime that video game developer 343 Industries would update last fall’s Halo 5: Guardians on a continuous basis. Previous monthly Halo 5 updates have added the Forge, new weapons and new maps absolutely free of charge. The January Halo 5 Update will add more classic items from the series’ past, two new maps and some fun weapon skins for Xbox One owners to accessorize their Spartan with.
We learned a bit more about what’s in the January Halo 5 Update this morning in a post on Halo Waypoint, the online community for all the Halo games. Looking to not segment the community as past Halo games have done, 343 revealed before launch that every map added to Halo 5: Guardians after launch would be free of charge. The studio shared some on-high plans for this month’s update just after the holiday break, but today it provided more information about some of the smaller things that the upgrade will include.
The January Halo 5 Update will launch sometime next week for sure, the studio says.
Two colorful weapon skins are joining the already extensive list skins that are available to customize battle rifles, pistols and other firearms in the game. Both seem inspired by the explainer video that Microsoft shared about REQ Packs shortly before the Halo 5’s October launch. Both feature rainbow colors and an animated Master Chief and Spartan Locke.
REQ Packs themselves are getting a bit more interesting with three new weapons for players to hope for when they open their REQ Packs. First, there’s the new Halo 2 Battle Rifle that’s rated as Legendary. Rain of Oblivion is a variant of the Carbine Covenant alien weapon that’s already available in the game. This REQ Card will be significantly easier to get since it’s simply Uncommon. The Rare Blood of Saban REQ Card gets players a Carbine that shoots the same needles as the Needler.
Stabbing Yourself and Wind-Up are two REQ Cards that come add Assassinations to Halo 5 characters. 343 Industries has added a complete gallery of every REQ Card it’s adding in the January Halo 5 Update to Halo Waypoint.
We already knew that the update would include two new multiplayer maps for Halo 5: Guardians players. Ripetide is specifically for the game’s classic, Arena multiplayer mode. The second, Urban, is for Halo 5: Guardians’ Warzone Assault mode. Warzone is the only game mode that players can equip their single-use REQ Cards in.
With this announcement, 343 Industries has confirmed that the January Halo 5 Update won’t add any of the new multiplayer modes and playlists that users have requested a lot lately. Replies to the studio’s tweet about the update on Twitter are filled with users asking why their favorite multiplayer modes have yet to make a return despite this being the third update to arrive since Halo 5: Guardians launched.
— Halo (@Halo) January 20, 2016
To be clear, 343 Industries has only confirmed that the January Halo 5 Update will arrive sometime next week. The company hasn’t said exactly when that will be though. The update could launch anytime between Monday and Friday and still meet the studio’s target release window.
Title updates on the Xbox One are completely free and happen in the background if users have the Xbox One’s low-power mode enabled. If they don’t, they’ll be prompted to download the update the next time they open the game.
Halo 5: Guardians is still $59.99 new or used at GameStop. Buyers will get all the content from the updates that have already launched after they install the first-person shooter on their console.