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Community Update

Wintertime Wonders

2023 Holiday Card from 343 depicting Spartan Santa riding a sleigh pulled by Unggoy
Photo of Alex
  -  4 months ago

Welcome to our final Community Update for 2023!

What a year it’s been, eh? From the close of last year’s Winter Update which saw the debut of Halo Infinite’s Forge, to the delivery of multiple seasonal launches that brought new maps and modes, new armor and events, new features—and more.

And that’s just on the game front. The Digsite crew dropped their first release out of slipspace with some of the classic Halo content they’ve been restoring from the deepest reaches of the cutting room floor. We saw the return of the Arbiter and Spartan Vale in Halo: Outcasts, along with five new Waypoint Chronicles—one of which saw Steve Downes, Jen Taylor, and Keith David on-stage together at the climactic Halo World Championship to perform a whole new scene.

We’ve had exciting new partnerships with the likes of Mountain Dew (welcome back, citrus cherry!), Brawlhalla, Sea of Thieves, Dr. Squatch, Honda, Oreo, Calm...

And the Community Update has been here to keep you up to date throughout it all. So, once more unto the breach before we sign off for the year—let's go!



Halo Infinite key art for the Winter Contingency III Operation, showcasing four Spartans in the snow with the central one clad in Santa-inspired armor holding a green sack over their back

As the Combined Arms Operation comes to a close, it will be succeeded next week by the arrival of Winter Contingency III.

Running from December 19 through January 30, you’ll have a new 20-tier Operation Pass full of Holiday-themed customization rewards to deck the (armory) halls with!

We’ll have a full blog with all the information you need to know about Winter Contingency III dropping when the Operation goes live on December 19—stay tuned.


Halo Infinite playlist image for Firefight: King of the Hill on Normal difficulty depicting Spartans fighting Banished on the House of Reckoning map

You may or may not be aware that Halo Infinite got a little mid-season update the other week...

Amongst other things, this update brought:

  • FIREFIGHT: KING OF THE HILL – The latest incarnation of the beloved mode has arrived with nine maps, including the new House of Reckoning map from Halo Infinite’s campaign. Check out our Firefight: KOTH blog for a deep dive into this new mode, and give our latest Spartan Chatter episode a watch as we sit down with Michael “Forge Lord” Schorr and Technical Designer Connor Kennelly to discuss all things Firefight.
  • REPAIR FIELD – A new addition to Halo Infinite’s Equipment, the Repair Field can heal (and revive) allies, vehicles... and enemies. Be wary of those who enter its lovely green field!
  • FORGE UPDATES – High Value Targets and bosses from Halo Infinite’s campaign have come to the Forge AI Toolkit, along with the addition of Skull modifiers to node graphs, quality-of-life updates, and more.
  • RANKED IMPROVEMENTS – UI and audio elements for Ranked Extraction have been implemented to enhance the ranked experience, and CSR penalties for matches where players quit have been improved.
  • CUSTOM GAME BROWSER – As long as enough slots are open, the Fireteam leader can bring their entire party into a CGB session.
  • STABILITY & NETWORKING – A new networking system has been implemented into Halo Infinite that will be tested in the Firefight: King of the Hill playlist and is also being tested further in the Combat Workshop.

For a full breakdown of all the new additions and improvements in the December Update, you can check out our December Update preview blog or head over to read the Patch Notes on Halo Support.


Following the debut of Firefight: KOTH, we have a new tie-in Waypoint Chronicle set within the House of Reckoning itself.

Trial of Reckoning is available here on Halo Waypoint, as a free PDF, and in audiobook format on YouTube.

“February 2560. The wreckage of the UNSC Mortal Reverie served as a central rally point and home to human survivors on Zeta Halo, but it was only a matter of time before it was also overrun by the Banished.

A handful of survivors from the battle have been brought to the iron halls of the House of Reckoning where they are forced to take part in a twisted new war game...”


Our third piece of Intel for Season 5 has gone live, providing some additional information on Gunnery Sergeant Elena Bobrov—the protagonist of Trial of Reckoning.


Header image for the Halo Infinite Forge series showing a Monitor

Forge in Halo Infinite has crossed the threshold of being a year old—and what a year it has been!

In no time at all, the cartographers in the community set about creating all sorts of maps and experiences with more powerful and versatile tools than ever before. And over the course of this year, we have continued to build on those capabilities with new canvases, new objects and palettes, various improvements and fixes... and, of course, the AI Toolkit, which has well and truly changed the game for Forge.

We’ve seen recreations of previous campaign missions and entirely new ones built from scratch; tower defense modes with extensive upgrade systems; zombie modes and the old Custom Games you remember from the old days (you can’t beat a bit of Lightspeed Halo!); classic map remakes from across the series, and so much more.

2.3 million unique maps have been created in Forge since its launch last year.

3.2 million hours (approximately 7.2 million matches!) have been spent playing Custom Games on Forge maps since the mode launched.

From February 2023, there have been 44 community maps brought into our official matchmaking playlists—from Quick Play to Super Fiesta, Husky Raid, Squad Battle, Doubles, Halo 3 Refueled, Firefight: KOTH, and beyond.

And we’re not done yet. Forge will continue to be supported in 2024, and we’ll have more to share with you on that front in the new year.

Until then, keep on Forgin’! We see new creations to fall in love with every single day, and the holidays are the perfect time to lose oneself in the Customs Browser!


Earlier this month, Paramount+ released the first teaser for Season Two of the Halo television series.

Due to release on February 8, 2024, the teaser that premiered at CCXP 2023 promises eight new episodes filled with intense action to come as the Covenant threat to humanity escalates.

For a full breakdown, be sure to check out our latest Silver Debrief issue.


Happy Halodays! As you continue to enjoy Season 5, we wanted to share the final design of the exclusive Halo Gear Rewards Season 5 Tactical Carrier Backpack. The UNSC-style backpack is designed with utility in mind and loaded with design features and Easter eggs to give you that Halo universe look and feel. Check out the new images below!

Image of the Halo Tactical Backpack and optional Season 5 patches
Image of details and decals on the Halo Tactical Backpack

There’s still time to earn access to the exclusive Halo Gear Rewards Season 5 Tactical Carrier Backpack and Reckoning Insignia patch. Just complete the full 50-tier Premium Battle Pass and you’ll receive a code in your Waypoint notifications.

After receiving your code, head to the Halo Gear shop to complete your purchase ($140 backpack). Players will also have the option to add-on the Operation: Combined Arms Patch and the Operation: Winter Contingency III Patch for an additional $10 per patch.

The last day to purchase the Tactical Carrier Backpack will be January 29, 2024.


  • FORGE FEATURES 023In our final issue of Forge Features for 2023, we take a look at some of the latest and greatest creations from the community.
  • COMMUNITY MONTAGE Send us your showstopping captures from Season 5: Reckoning for a chance to be featured in our Community Montage! Submission ends January 12 at 11:59pm PT.
  • END-OF-YEAR SPOTLIGHT Our final Community Spotlight for 2023 has gone live! Check out our collection of the latest and greatest community creations.
  • CANON FODDER: Coming on December 18, our final issue of Canon Fodder will see us out for the year.

Aaaaand that’s a wrap for 2023!

Thank you all for joining us on this Great Journey, whether you’ve just (re)joined us recently or been here from the beginning. We here at 343 Industries wish you all a safe and happy holidays.

See you in 2024.

2023 Holiday Card from 343 depicting Spartan Santa riding a sleigh pulled by Unggoy with text that reads "Happy Halo-days! From 343 Industries"