Halo 5: Guardians might be more than two years old now, but Microsoft and developer 343 Industries are not finished yet supporting the Xbox One game. A big new update is coming out today, November 2, adding Xbox One X support, new game modes, and making significant and potentially controversial changes to weapon balance.
The update adds 4K UHD support on Xbox One X, though that won’t matter much to the general population as the Xbox One X doesn’t release until November 7. 343 says the game will look “better than ever” on Xbox One X thanks to the console’s beefed-up horsepower. As for the new game modes, Oddball and Oddball FFA (with new medals, too) are now in the hopper. They were in the game earlier, but were later removed.
Halo 5’s new update also adds new announcer audio and the Oddball skull object for use in the game’s Forge mode. Also coming to Halo 5 with this update is a local server app for Windows 10 PC, which allows players to host and play “low-latency” multiplayer matches. This is a cool new feature that you might use for a local Halo party.
In terms of n ew content, the Halo 5 update adds weapon skins for Halo Championship Series teams such as Str8 Rippin, Splyce, and Luminosity, while weapon skins for HCS regions including the United States, Canada, UK, Mexico, and Australia are coming soon.
Another major area of focus for this Halo 5 update is on weapon tuning. 14 items have been updated across all modes, including mainstays like the Battle Rifle and Assault Rifle. For the Battle Rifle, 343 thought the weapon was too effective at every range, and it wanted to tweak it so that it is best at mid-range but also still useful close up when used effectively. Now, the Battle Rifle’s rate of fire/rounds-per-second is cut down by around 50 percent, so that’s a pretty significant change, and one that not everyone may agree with or enjoy. 343 acknowledged this in a blog post. The BR’s damage level, however, was not changed at all with this update. You can see a full rundown of all the major weapon balance changes here in this ridiculously in-depth blog post.
The new Halo 5 update also tweaks the Assault mode so that there explosion damage when you score. Additionally, the ability to double thrust as a ball-carrier is removed. There are Forge changes as well, including the Relic sword being added to the weapon palette. Additionally, there are entries for the Gunfighter Flagnum now.
Go to 343’s blog post here to see a full rundown of the general changes, while this post covers all the weapon balance changes.
In other Halo news, Halo Wars 2 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection are getting updates for Xbox One X.