If it seems like you’ve heard Microsoft discuss Halo 5: Guardians for a while now, it’s because you have. The company first teased there was a new Halo in the works in the build-up to launching the Xbox One. Early on, 343 Industries shared nothing. We knew that Master Chief John 117 would be returning, but mechanics, set-up, features and all were a mystery. Last year Microsoft opened the floodgates on Halo 5 details.
We’ve heard the Halo 5: Guardians soundtrack, and watched what seems like a never-ending torrent of Halo 5: Guardians videos from YouTubers and Twitch streamers. The Master Chief has gone rogue, disobeying orders out in the frontier. It’s a Halo game. We knew John 117 was coming back. What we didn’t know was that we’d also be playing as Spartan Locke, a character first revealed in last year’s Halo: Nightfall television series. He and his team are going to hunt down the Master Chief. It’s their hope that he won’t put up much of a fight.
The Halo 5 release date is almost upon us. Here’s a last-minute wrap up of all the things you need to know ahead of the game’s arrival, including pre-order extras details and where you can go to pick up the game at midnight.
Halo 5 Release Date
The Halo 5: Guardians release date is Tuesday, October 27th. On that day anyone will be able to head into a Best Buy, Target or Wal-Mart and purchase the game in person. This is also the same day that digital copies of Halo 5: Guardians sold through Xbox Live will unlock.
If you want to play Halo 5: Guardians, you’ll need an Xbox One to do so. Microsoft confirmed already that it has no plans to introduce an Xbox 360 version of Halo 5: Guardians. What’s more, the company hasn’t announced if Halo 5: Guardians will make it to Windows PCs at all, despite having added Xbox Live integration to Windows 10 in the hopes of building out its services on PCs.
Regardless of whether you buy digital or disc, you should be able to play the game after midnight Eastern Standard Time and 9PM Pacific.
Buy Halo 5 Now for Pre-Downloads & Expect Updates
Anyone who buys Halo 5: Guardians on disc can expect a pretty hefty update. Microsoft says that there’s roughly 9GB of updates waiting for users when they install the game. Developer 343 Industries says that this update adds multiplayer maps and features that users will need before participating in the game’s Warzone and Arena multiplayer experiences. Arena is basically a classic Halo multiplayer experience. Warzone is a massive battle simulation with two teams of players and a lot of Covenant forces ready to do battle.
Halo 5 Release Date Events
The Microsoft Store, Best Buy and GameStop have all confirmed midnight Halo 5 release date events.
800 Best Buy stores will open at midnight Eastern Standard Time across the United States to sell Halo 5, copies, bundles and extras. Those who get there early will receive special bags and an art book they can’t get anywhere else. GameStop stores will stay open all night and begin handing out purchases at midnight EST.
The Microsoft Store will let gamers play Halo 5: Guardians in is locations beginning at 4PM Monday. Anyone who buys something over $25 gets a Halo 5 poster free. Microsoft Stores will also hand-out copies on October 26th at midnight. Xbox Live will air lives-streaming video footage for the game’s launch beginning at 6PM on October 26th.
Halo 5 Limited Editions & Extras
There are a few different ways to get Halo 5: Guardians. Amazon and the Microsoft Store let users pre-order Halo 5: Guardians and get it on release day. The time to take advantage of that has since passed.
A standard edition Halo 5: Guardians costs $59.99. Microsoft has two other Halo 5: Guardians editions available for pre-order too: Limited Edition for $99.99 and Limited Collector’s Edition for $249.99. Both are physical packages with discs.
Include in the Limited Edition is 14 REQ Packs for use in multiplayer, access to the Fall of Reach animated series, a Guardian model, Steelbook case, a copy of Spartan Locke’s order and information cards on each team featured in the main game.
The Limited Collector’s Edition comes with all of those items plus a statue featuring Spartan Locke and John 117. Instead of including a disc game, this very comes with a digital that buyers can trade for a disc if they’d like. Supplies on both the Limited Collector’s Edition and Limited Edition are scarce.
Microsoft also offers a Digital Deluxe version of Halo 5: Guardians in the Xbox Store. This version costs $89.99 and includes access to The Fall of Reach animated series, the standard download of the game itself and the 14 pack REQ Bundle.
Every game comes with pre-order extras these days, and Halo 5: Guardians is no exception, for better or for worse. Depending on which place you shop, you get a different add-on for Warzone.
Microsoft’s own Xbox Store is giving users a single loadout weapon and a custom skin to add some flare to that loadout weapon. GameStop is giving shoppers the Raikou Armor set free of charge. Best Buy is giving users a Longshot Assault Rifle with Recoil Compensator and the Athlon Iccus Armor. Pre-order through Amazon and you get a Projection SMG gun with Long Barrel rifle and a Saturnine Visor.
It’s worth noting that the Microsoft Store is offering $10 Xbox Gift Cards to users who purchase a physical copy of the game at their stores.
Halo 5 Limited Edition Xbox One
Besides all the other different editions of Halo 5: Guardians there’s the Xbox One Halo 5 Limited Edition Console. This Xbox One comes with a 1TB hard drive and controller. That controller and the console itself have paint, etchings and custom sounds taken from and inspired by the game and its characters. The Xbox One Halo 5 Limited Edition Console costs $499.
Buyers of this version still get the 14 REQ Packs and FOTUS class armor extra. Microsoft also includes that physical copy of Spartan Locke’s orders and Steelbook case. There’s a copy of the game included too, albeit a digital one.
No Halo 5 Season Pass
Normally, first-person shooters don’t come with every map. There’s a set to start out with, then the publisher charges you for extras. Playing with your friends on the latest maps a year from release would require a digital purchase. That’s how Microsoft has handled nearly every Halo title thus far.
For Halo 5: Guardians, the company is trying something different. Instead of segmenting players, it’s is giving away every multiplayer map it plans to add to the game. This means that users don’t have to purchase map packs or season passes to get the latest content. It sounds as if purchasable REQ Packs will help the company support the game.
Invest in Xbox Live for Halo 5
A large portion of Halo 5: Guardians is multiplayer. When online players can recruit up to three other people to get battle through the campaign with. Both Arena and Warzone require multiplayer. This being Xbox, that means purchasing Xbox Live is essential. The game itself should come with an Xbox Live trial that lasts a few days.
You’ll need to purchase a month, three-month or year-long subscription to get the most out of Halo 5: Guardians. Xbox Live costs $9.99 a month, $24.99 for three months and $59.99 a year.
Get Free Halo 5 REQ Packs
Earlier this week Microsoft revealed Spartan Companies. Really, they’re clans for Halo players. Joining one now gets you a free REQ Pack to use in Halo 5.
Good luck with your Halo 5: Guardians purchase on October 27th.