Roughly three weeks ago Microsoft released Halo 5: Guardians in the hopes of boosting sales of its Xbox One entertainment console. At the time, developer 343 Industries said it was committed to improving the overall multiplayer experience with a steady stream of updates and upgrades. The first of these major Halo 5 updates are here. It adds a Big Team Battle and more.
What the studio is calling the Battle of Shadow and Light Update arrived on Xbox Live earlier today, for those that own Halo 5: Guardians. There’s a lot contained with the Halo 5 update including new armor, and new REQ Cards for players to use in multiplayer a post on Halo Waypoint says.
In total there are 48 new REQ Cards for players to take advantage in the game’s multiplayer modes. Permanent REQ cards included in the bundle unlock new armor, helmets, visors and weapon skins. There aren’t any completely new weapons, but the Halo 5 update does include new variants of previously existing weapons.
Big Team Battle is strictly for Arena multiplayer or what people are familiar with from previous Halo games. A new playlists inside arena holds all the new Big Team Battle playlist. With that playlist are Big Team Battle Capture The Flag, Big Team Battle Strongholds and Big Team Battle for Slayer. 343 Industries says that each mode is available for custom games and through matchmaking. Matchmaking is when Xbox Live’s servers connect you to other players. Custom games allow users themselves to invite their friends. These new Big Team Battle matches should last no longer than 16 minutes from start to finish.
To celebrate the launch of Big Team Battle, this Halo 5 update contains four new maps: Basin, Deadlock, Guillotine and Recurve. The latter three were created in partnership with Halo 5 community members using the Forge map making tools that are set to debut next month.
Other changes contained within this Halo 5 update include tweaked aiming for gamers using certain controllers and some broad changes to Warzone Assault. 343 says that REQ points earned in Warzone Assault should go farther and that it’s decreased the time it takes to capture a base to 16 seconds. It’s also decreased the amount of grenades that users start out with to just one. Anyone holding a flag is restricted to just the passenger seat in any given vehicle.
Because this Halo 5 update is free, it’s considered a title update. That means users who have the Xbox One’s Always Connected power mode enabled can expect the update to download to their console quietly, even if their console appears to be off. Anyone who isn’t using Always Connected, thus turning their console completely off every time they push the power button, will get a prompt forcing them to download and install the update the next time they open the game.
Halo 5: Guardians arrived on store shelves in October to massive sales. Microsoft said on November 4th that the game had racked up $400 million in sales. In fact, the launch went so well that the Xbox One was able to ride the console to higher sales than the PS4. Halo 5 is designed to help keep sales high over time too. That’s why 343 Industries plans to release free content updates. In theory, fresh content will keep players coming back and the online community fresh. If that happens, the game will be viable long after the holiday season has come to an end.
To be clear, Microsoft is still planning to make money on the game despite giving away content updates. REQ cards allow users to drop better weapons and battle accessories into Warzone. Users can earn them in the game the hardware, or purchase packs through Xbox Live.
Halo 5: Guardians is $59.99 directly through the Xbox Store or GameStop for a basic copy.