Last month, Battle of Shadow and Light, the first free Halo 5: Guardians content update released, bringing with it new REQs and Big Team Battle. This week, the next free update brings Forge in Cartographer's Gift. Since the introduction of Forge in Halo 3, the community has been creating, sharing, and pushing the mode to its absolute limits. With Forge in Halo 5: Guardians, the only limit is your imagination. The new Forge was built with years of community feedback in mind, and arrives just in time for the holidays.


Forge has been rebuilt from the ground up for Halo 5: Guardians. Giving more power and control to the Forge community was the primary goal, and community feedback will continue to fuel the evolution of Forge as we update the mode with new features and content. Here are just some of the features launching with Forge in Cartographer's Gift:

  • Grouping – Groups can be created dynamically with a single button press. Select more objects and press the button again to add to the group or press the button again to split the group up.
  • Multi-Select/Edit – Forgers can select and manipulate up to 64 individual objects at one time (more if combined with Groups); movement, rotation, property editing, everything you’re able to do to a single object.
  • 1700+ Objects – Forgers can expect a variety of pieces from primitive shapes, structure parts, accent pieces, detail props, and gameplay objects custom built for Forge. Mix them in with weapons, turrets, and power-ups makes this the ultimate Forge.
  • Light Objects – Place real light objects in the world to light up interior spaces or just enhance a location on a map. Light objects have a whole slew of properties; point and spot types, light color/distance/falloff, light cone shape/size, lens flairs, and more.
  • Light Fixtures – Additional light fixture objects such as light posts, beacon lights, etc. that come with lights built into them making it possible to set dress and light a space at the same time.
  • Primary, Secondary, & Tertiary Colors – In addition to over 100 colors available, the vast majority of the Forge building pieces have tunable primary, secondary, and tertiary color change sections on them. This allows objects color variations from the blatantly oblivious to very subtle. Many also support changing the matte/metallic reflective properties of the color surface as well.


Few weapons in the UNSC inventory have had such an outsized importance on the battlefield as the classic M41 Rocket Launcher. Though functionally obsolete well before the Covenant War began, when it absolutely, positively, had to be blown into small fragments the M41 could be counted on to deliver the hammerblow.

SPNKr: Make some noise! Twin-tube shoulder-fired rocket launcher with Smart-Link sights. Rockets can lock-on to air targets.

SPNKr EM: Four rockets, two tubes, one launcher. Improved SPNKr Rocket Launcher with four-round magazine. SPNKr EM rockets can home on both air and ground targets.

SPNKr EX: No place to run. No place to hide. Advanced SPNKr Rocket Launcher that fires laser-guided cluster warhead munitions. SPNKr EX Rockets detonate in proximity to enemies, releasing explosive submunitions.

SPNKr PRIME: This pain train has no brakes. Mythic SPNKr Rocket Launcher that fires fast, powerful rockets. Equipping the SPNKr Prime also boosts movement speed, shield strength, and jump height.

New Assassinations

Nice Try

Nice Try

Oh Snap

Oh Snap

Mark IV [GEN1]

This unlockable REQ in Halo 5: Guardians is Mythic in more ways than one. Think you'll be lucky enough to don this historic armor set?

Armor: As the basis for the GEN1 Mjolnir standard, many components of the original Mark IV can be used with GEN2 techsuits and VISRs after firmware updates. This hybrid GEN2/MARK IV [GEN1] suit is still used by select Spartan-II's.

Helmet: A battered Mark IV helmet once worn by the Master Chief is the last thing that SPARTAN-IV candidates see before beginning their grueling evaluation and preliminary augmentation cycle.

New Warzone Map

Battle of Noctus

Battle of Noctus

Battle of Noctus takes place on Andesia and features two garage bases, a first for Warzone! Using vehicles early is a key tactic for locking down base control. Since you can’t spawn ground vehicles at the Monument, it might appear to be less important than either garage, but capturing this base provides quick access to plenty of boss locations and sightlines into both garages. Smart teams will definitely want to hold this position. If you find yourself facing a team stacked with vehicles be sure to use the many man cannons littered around the map to cut down on travel time and perhaps drop in on an unassuming vehicle below.

New Arena Map



Overgrowth is a small-scale asymmetrical map that plays best on Slayer and Strongholds. For Slayer, controlling the Energy Sword is key as the map features tight corridors and small combat spaces for you to slice up your opponents. For Strongholds, the covered bridge offers many tactical options, as it allows players to engage on any of the three stronghold locations quickly, and is the location where the Plasma Caster can be found.

New Big Team Battle Maps





Spartan Company Commendations

In less than two months Spartan Companies has grown to host nearly 30,000 active companies here on Halo Waypoint. With Cartographer's Gift, Spartan Companies is expanding with more integration into Halo 5: Guardians.

  • Service Record: Each Spartan Company will now be able to track their collective stats and performance in Halo 5: Guardians. One for all, and all for one!
  • Company Commendations: Halo 5: Guardians features commendations that track a wide variety of stats and reward players for leveling up. Nearly 50 commendations have been added specifically and exclusively to Spartan Companies. Work together and tackle commendations on multiple fronts to unlock XP rewards and REQ Packs
  • Special Helmet and Armor: [REDACTED]

Social Playlists and Seasons

Social Playlists

Social Playlists

The Cartographer’s Gift update also brings with it Social playlists to Halo 5’s Arena. If you’re looking for an unranked, casual Arena experience, look no further. In this update, Big Team Battle moves to a Social 8v8 playlist, and we’ll also be revealing another all-new social playlist with the Cartographer’s Gift update.



Pre-Season is over Spartans! Season 1 kicks off with Cartographers Gift in ranked Arena playlists. Finish all of your placement matches in a playlist to unlock a one-time only Season 1 REQ Pack at the end of the Season.

Content Update Notes

New Features and Content:

  • Forge is now available!
  • Added a basic implementation of File Browser. Players can now bookmark and share custom maps and modes through Active Roster, by following (or become friends with) a player.
  • Over 30 new REQs including weapons, armor, emblems, and more have been added.
  • Battle of Noctus map added to Warzone.
  • Overgrowth map added to Arena.
  • Entombed and Antifreeze maps added to Big Team Battle.
  • Commendations and Service Record for Spartan Companies have been added, and can be tracked on Halo Channel and
  • Social playlists have been added (Big Team Battle and Holiday Social).
  • Holiday Doubles playlist added (ranked).
  • Advanced controller setting options have been added, including controls for aim acceleration as well as deadzone controls. These settings are automatically set to the previous defaults you've been playing on. Full details here.
  • Added custom game option to enable Machinima controls.
  • Seasons for ranked playlists have been added; The January 2016 Season begins today.
  • Enabled the ability to purchase multiple gold REQ Packs in one single purchase, several of which include free bonus packs. (These will be coming online within the next few days).


  • FFA playlist reduced to 6 players from 8 players.
  • Fixed the Warzone Assault armory exploit
  • Replaced Scorpion on Recurve with Gauss Warthog.
  • Removed Mantis from Guillotine and added a Warthog for each team.
  • Fixed spawning bug that sometimes spawned a player on Red team in the Blue base on Deadlock at the start of a match.
  • Fixed an issue where players could escape Gambol’s normal play boundaries.
  • Added interactive switches to Deadlock to control window shutters and doors for each base.
  • Fixed a bug in Breakout that awarded kills after the flag has been captured.
  • Add Flag Grabs statistic to the post-game carnage report.
  • Fixed a Free-For-All bug where kills were shown in scoreboard rather than score.
  • Added medal for melee’s performed to an enemy’s back.
  • Added in-game text for Flag Driver medal.


  • Improved stability when joining a Fireteam’s Campaign mission in progress.
  • Joining a Fireteam’s Campaign mission in progress will no long force all Fireteam members back to the character select screen.
  • Fixed a bug on Guardians that hindered a player’s movement if they’ve died and were unable to complete the mission.


  • Adjusted CSR placements for SWAT and FFA playlists.
  • Fixed bugs surrounding players being placed too high across all playlists.

User Interface:


  • Amount of REQ Points and number of unopened REQ packs will be visible during intermission and in Lobby.
  • Fixed bug around Fireteam sorting - The Fireteam Leader will now be displayed at the top followed by his or her team in alphabetical order by Gamertag. For Custom Games, all other teams will be grouped together and then sorted alphabetically as well.

Active Roster:

  • Friend Status will now be visible from the Friends list so you can see what your friends are doing in Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Fixed bug around Friend sorting so it sorts online and offline friends alphabetically.

Spartan Hub / REQs:

  • REQ Rarity and Description will be visible for all REQs when opening a REQ pack or browsing your Collection whether you own it or not.
  • REQ Energy Cost will also be displayed for all REQs when opening a REQ pack or browsing your REQ Collection.

Spectate / Theater:

  • Added hidden controls to change player POV for up to 8 players in the match. Holding left trigger will enable the use of the d-pad and ABXY face buttons to change player POV on the fly. Players are mapped to buttons alphabetically.
  • Added ability to change player POV from the Scoreboard. Press the View button to bring up the Scoreboard; use d-pad to navigate and A-button to select a POV.
  • Fixed bug aroundPlayer POV Selector sorting. It will now sort by team, and then alphabetically by Gamertag.
  • Fixed bug around controls for Zooming while in Free Cam.
  • Fixed bug around not being able to hide the Player POV Selector in some cases when toggling UI visibility.
  • Fixed a bug where ending a theater film placed players into a solo campaign lobby
  • Added ability to play and pause film while UI is hidden using the A button.


  • The location callout will now appear when dead, spectating, in Smart-Link, etc.
  • The Highest Score per Column in the in-game Scoreboard will have a visual callout allowing you to see very quickly which player has the most kills, most assists, and least deaths.


  • Added advanced controller options. Full details here.
  • Added custom controls (Default control scheme) for Machinima custom game option:
    • Lower Weapon: Hold X and D-pad down for two seconds
    • Detach camera in gameplay: Hold X and D-pad up for two seconds
    • Toggle camera control mode when detached (Normal and Pan): Hold X and press d-pad left
    • Toggle between Spartan and camera control when detached: Press View button
    • Display Spartan/camera position coordinates: Hold X and press d-pad right


  • Improved ping times to dedicated servers in matchmaking.
  • Improved gameplay quality under network conditions with high packet loss.

Halo API:

  • Seasons end point added to metadata