Big Team Battle Refresh 2019

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The highly-anticipated Big Team Battle Refresh is now live in Halo 5! Our team has been working with the best Forgers in the community to build, polish, and tune these large-scale battlegrounds for the 8v8 action only Big Team Battle can provide. We've also coordinated with the top scripters out there to add the fan-favorite round-based mode, 1 Flag CTF, to the playlist. Keep reading to find out what's been improved with Big Team Battle!

Our Goals

Often times we'll release playlist refreshes and just touch on the maps or modes without providing too much context behind its inspiration. For this overhaul, we wanted to make sure we communicated our goals and explained the why behind many of our decisions. As part of this, we wanted to clearly outline the goals we had in mind when taking on this refresh so that you could see where we were coming from and let us know where we succeeded or, more importantly, where we fell short.

  • Update the game modes to improve the gameplay experience for all skill levels.
  • Improve the framerate performance on all maps
  • Establish consistent settings for weapons and vehicles across all maps
  • Increase the likelihood of Objective modes ending on score rather than on time
  • Maintain Big Team Battle's identity
  • Find a good balance in the delicate dance of infantry and vehicle combat

With that said, let's start taking a look at what's inside the refresh itself!


This might just be our biggest playlist refresh to date: introducing seven new Big Team Battle maps (which may be the best ones yet) and a refresh of twelve of our existing maps.

Crossbow by lneedmorebleach

Fossil by infinut & iforge

Hinterlands by squally dabeanz

Meander by the dark skull

Panic Attack by the psycho duck & MockKnizzle008

Pioneer by squally dabeanz

Voyager by Sir Veyza

Now that you've got a glimpse at the newest maps, let's take a look the refreshes made to the exisitng maps.

Ancestor by D4rkdeath & JurassicWeeMan

Boulevard by Alex quits & MythicFritz (refreshed by Randy 355)

Dead Heat (Deadlock) by runnokyardrun

Dispelled by timedipper

Echoes by the grim dealer

Entombed by Ducain23 (refreshed by d4rkdeath & arpod)

Fracture by Squally DaBeanz

Guillotine by The Psycho Duck (Refreshed by Randy 355)

Port Authority by MockKnizzle008 & The Psycho Duck

Scavenger by CommanderColson

Traffic Jam by Imarollingstone, Stunt artist, & Squally DaBeanz

Viking by no god anywhere (refreshed by d4rkdeath, wyvernzu, commandercolson, & Nokyard)


There have been some changes to exisiting game modes as well as the introduction of an old-school favorite. Big Team CTF and Big Team Assault have received some of these tweaks whereas Big Team Slayer and Big Team Strongholds have remained the same. And, as mentioned at the very beginning, a community-made 1 Flag CTF has also made its debut today.

1 Flag CTF

A classic returns. This community-made round-based mode will have you attacking the enemy base to steal their flag while they attempt to defend it with all their might. Then in the next round, as most of you know, the roles will be reversed for four total rounds. Currently there are three maps that will support this mode: Guillotine, Meander, and Voyager. We hope you enjoy this mode which ExTerrestr1al, CaptainPunch374, Yumudas, and runNOKYARDrun have been working on for over a year. We're exctied to have it back!

Here are some links so that you can download the specific 1 Flag CTF versions of each map:

And of course, here's a link to the game mode and instructions directly from the creators!

Big Team CTF

In perhaps our biggest change to a game mode, Big Team CTF will no longer require your flag to be at home to score. After looking into the data and hearing your input, we noticed that only around half of BTB CTF matches would end on score – meaning half of all matches would end due to the clock running out. We made this change to increase the likelihood of matches ending on score as opposed to time. Now your matches are more likely to end with an epic Warthog flag run across the map, which is just a much cooler way to close out a game.

Big Team assault

Much like BTB CTF, we noticed that matches would only end on score about half the time for this mode as well. As a result of these findings, we've added a spawn influencer on the Assault Bomb, which will prevent having the enemy spawning right next to you as you move the bomb into their base.

Additionally, the bomb can now be scored both by holding it in the goal zone for 5 seconds or by dropping the bomb in the goal for 10 seconds. While holding the bomb will help score faster, dropping it will allow you to defend yourself while trying to score – so now you've got a decision to make. That also means that if you're killed while holding the bomb, the bomb can still detonate if it remains inside the scoring zone. To disarm a bomb, just give it a touch and then start moving it towards their base and go for the score.

We're hopeful that these new game mode additions and changes will help create more memorable matches.

Starting weapon

We know that there has been lots of discussion surrounding the starting weapons in Big Team Battle, and after doing multiple playtests with a variety of starting weapons, Randy 355 has written up a short section of his own to talk about it further.

Several months ago, we created a feedback thread for Big Team Battle. One of the questions we asked was about the player’s starting weapons, keep in mind that we would not be able to tuning how any of the weapons behave. There were a few particular starting weapon suggestions that stood out the most. It was mostly between Magnum Starts, Stabilization BR Starts, or the standard BR Starts. We did some testing with all of these variants to see which starting weapon would best fit our overall goals.

We started our tests with the Stabilization BR. The Stabilization BR does feel great for mid-range infantry encounters. That said, over several tests we found that the weapon’s accuracy over such long distances had a detrimental effect to map flow. It made it difficult to traverse across open maps, especially for less-skilled players. There was less encouragement to move about the map in search of better weapons off of spawn. Vehicle play and specifically Warthog gunners also suffered at the pinpoint accuracy of the players spawning with Stabilization BR. There was fun to be had with this starting weapon, however, it did not fit our goals for the refresh.

We played Magnum starts for a long time. While Magnum starts did feel really good, we noticed a lot of players didn’t feel the need to pick up any other loadout weapons. BR and AR variants weren’t finding much use, and it is still quite easy to shoot out a Warthog gunner with Magnum starts. Magnum starts is also a trait seen in our Arena offerings and we feel it’s a plus for BTB to retain its own style of play with BR/AR starts.

After all of our testing, we eventually chose to stick with the BR/AR loadout we’ve always had. We know there are some players that will not be happy with this decision, but we took each request very seriously and gave them all a fair chance. Now every map in the playlist has a variety of precision weapons to use and will feature 5 or more Magnums. Sometimes you’ll even find a Tactical Magnum to use! The BR still allows a player to defend themselves off of spawn, but they can now find a Magnum variant if they prefer that crisp, precise kind of action. We feel it’s a great compromise and it feels good to tear it up with the Magnum when you find one.


In order to further establish a consistent Big Team Battle experience across all our maps and modes, we dug into the details for each weapon and vehicle. Below you can find the respawn and ammo properties for these items on every single map in the playlist:


  • Shotgun: 10 Second Respawn on Death/Deletion – 0 Spare Clips
  • Scattershot: 10 Second Respawn on Death/Deletion – 1 Spare Clip
  • Sentinel Beam: 10 Second Respawn on Death/Deletion
  • Hydra: 60 Second Respawn on Death/Deletion – 2 Spare Clips
  • Gravity Hammer: 60 Seconds on Death/Deletion
  • Chaingun Turret: 2 Minutes on Death/Deletion
  • Plasma Turret: 2 Minutes on Death/Deletion
  • Splinter Turret: 2 Minutes on Death/Deletion


  • Rocket Launcher: 2 Minutes – 1 Spare Clip
  • Plasma Caster: 2 Minutes – 2 Spare Clips
  • Incineration Cannon: 2 Minutes
  • Grenade Launcher: 2 Minutes – 4 Spare Clips
  • Rail Gun: 2 Minutes – 4 Spare Clips
  • Sniper Rifle: 3 Minutes – 1 Spare Clip
  • Beam Rifle: 3 Minutes
  • Binary Rifle: 3 Minutes – 2 Spare Clips
  • Spartan Laser: 3 Minutes


  • Mongoose: 30 Seconds on Death/Deletion
  • Chaingun Warthog: 60 Seconds on Death/Deletion
  • Rocket Warthog: 60 Seconds on Death/Deletion
  • Ghost: 90 Seconds on Death/Deletion
  • Gungoose: 90 Seconds on Death/Deletion
  • Scorpion: 2 Minutes on Death/Deletion
  • Wraith: 2 Minutes on Death/Deletion
  • Anti-Air Wraith: 3 Minutes on Death/Deletion
  • Wasp: 3 Minutes on Death/Deletion
  • Banshee: 3 Minutes on Death/Deletion
  • Mantis: 3 Minutes on Death/Deletion

Closing Remarks

This complete refresh to Big Team Battle would not have happened without the hard work of your fellow community members. Their community-made maps, modes, and dedication are what truly helped make this update possible. To recognize the effort of those who went above and beyond to lend a helping hand, we wanted to give them a special shoutout here. From helping other Forgers with their maps, to participating in countless playtests, to never giving up on a 1-Flag CTF mode, these individuals proved to be truly legendary members of the Big Team Battle Refresh:

Now get out there and enjoy the latest playlist update to Halo 5 with some Big Team Battle fun. I'll see you out there!


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