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Ranked Update | Season 5

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  -  8 months ago

For nearly two years we’ve watched the greatest Halo players on Earth wield their Battle Rifles to duke it out at over a dozen global events for millions of dollars in the HCS, as well as each of you inside the various ranked playlists inside the game. This has been some of the most amazing Halo we’ve watched—thank you.

And now, nearly two years later, Season 5 for Halo Infinite launches on October 17 and with it brings big changes to ranked—and we couldn’t be more excited for you to play and compete.


When the M392 Bandit was introduced in Season 3, we knew it had the potential to capture the hearts of the competitive community. Sure enough, it did. And we heard loud and clear from you that competitive Halo needed a single-shot fire starting gun, something that made you giddy when you got a Perfect kill, something that made you jump out of your chair when you turned around and outgunned someone who had the drop on you, something that rewarded your individual skill more.

That something is the Bandit Evo.

The M392 Bandit that shipped with Season 3 was designed to be an on-map pickup weapon in the “Assault Rifle” class, and we felt it fit that role just right. However, if we wanted to adapt the Bandit to be the starting gun, it needed a complete overhaul as it was going to fill the utility role.

Competitive Halo requires a utility starting weapon, it is the cornerstone of the entire experience. You need to be able to fight off your spawn even when your opponent has all the power on the map. This meant it needed range so we gave the new Bandit Evo a 1.6x sight so now you can knock that sniper out of scope. It also needed to be reliable in its firing mechanics so we’ve drastically reduced the bloom and recoil. It also needed to fit in a similar time-to-kill to that of the BR so that players always have a chance to come back in a fight and so we’ve decreased the rate of fire a bit. At the same time, it’s important that weapons are balanced against the Bandit Evo, so of course it has descope.

Halo Infinite screenshot of a Spartan aiming the Bandit Evo

Here's the full list of changes from the M392 Bandit to the new Bandit Evo:

  • Rate of fire: 3.0 -> 2.9. (rounds per second)
  • Rounds total initial: 45 -> 60
  • Rounds total maximum: 60 -> 75
  • Eliminated progressive recoil
  • Reduced bloom/error angles
  • Zoom magnification 1.4x Iron Sight -> 1.6x Holopoint Sight
  • Added descope
  • Reticle rework

Additionally, the red reticle range has been increased for both Bandit Evo and M932 Bandit.

When you combine all of these elements together, you get the new starting weapon for Ranked Playlists as well as the Halo Championship Series in Year 3.

Now, some of you might be thinking, “Well, I liked the original Bandit, what does this mean for that gun?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The original M392 Bandit with the normal tuning will still be available in the game and across the various social playlists it’s featured in.

Additionally, all of your Bandit customization will work for the M392 Bandit and the Bandit Evo—you just need to customize it once and the game will automatically apply the changes to both Bandits for you when you load into with a Bandit Evo and pick up an M392 Bandit.

With a new starting weapon in ranked, this is a great opportunity to jump back in and prove yourself in time for the Year 3 of HCS kicking off in 2024.


Halo Infinite screenshot of a Spartan holding an Extraction Device

Halo 4’s mode, Extraction, returns to the franchise for the first time in Halo Infinite. Extraction is a tried-and-true, battle-tested game mode that went through the rigors of many tournaments from 2012-2014 and we’re excited to bring it forward to Halo Infinite.

How does it work? In Extraction, teams must enter a zone and plant the Extraction device. Once planted, the device will take 60 seconds to extract and the planting team must defend it while their opponents need to convert the device to Extract for themselves and reset the 60 second timer. Once a team successfully extracts the device, they will score 1 point and the zone will then move to a new pre-determined location. The team that scores 4 points, wins.

Extraction will be played on the following maps in the Ranked Arena playlist when Season 5 launches:

  1. Live Fire
  2. Recharge
  3. Streets

Extraction will be a totally new dynamic to the ranked and HCS rotation and we can’t wait to see all of the strategies start to form when it releases on October 17.


Forbidden is one of the new maps coming to Season 5 in Halo Infinite.

Introducing Forbidden, a brand-new Halo Infinite 4v4 map built for ranked play. Forbidden is not a remake, but rather a totally new design that harkens back to classic Halo with not only its map layout but also its artistic approach. Forbidden is a symmetrical map and will be featured in the Ranked Arena playlist with Capture the Flag (3 Captures to Win).

In terms of power weapons and power ups on the map, each team receives access to a S7 Sniper which is well suited for the map with its longer sightlines but distinct cover and routes to traverse through the map.

Forbidden is one of the new maps coming to Season 5 in Halo Infinite.

Forbidden will indeed be going into the HCS rotation for Year 3, and we’ll announce the final rotation in January before the competitions kick off. There will be some map and mode combinations rotated out in order to make room for Extraction and Forbidden.

Forbidden will be making its way into the Ranked Playlist in the coming weeks after Season 5. We are still fine-tuning weapon layout, equipment, and spawning and want to ensure it's a great experience that the competitive audience enjoys instead of releasing it in ranked before it's ready.

Please note that the list of map and mode combinations in Ranked Arena for Season 5 will not be indicative of the final list for when the HCS Year 3 season begins. We will be keeping a close eye on the performance of all the map and mode combinations in the playlist and then making the final decisions in January 2024.

HCS Year 3

As announced at the Halo World Championship, we’re excited to confirm that a Year 3 of HCS will be taking place starting in 2024 which leads up to yet another $1 million HaloWC. Until then, we’ll be hosting some open tournaments on FACEIT to give players something to compete for fun in – and they begin later this fall. Follow @HCS on Twitter to see the latest.

Thank you once again to everyone who’s supported Ranked Halo Infinite and HCS, and thank you for making this yet another incredible year for competitive Halo.

Season 5 drops on October 17—we’ll see you online!