As of a few hours ago, 343 Industries pushed Halo 5: Guardians‘ first content update live, not even one month after the initial launch.

Among other smaller tweaks, the free update – dubbed “The Battle of Shadow and Light” – contains the classic 8v8 multiplayer playlist Big Team Battle, 4 new maps, and dozens of new REQ packs (only for use in Warzone).

Note: If your Xbox One console is not downloading the update, try removing the disc and hard-resetting your console (holding the power button until it power cycles)

Here’s what you’ll receive in Halo 5‘s first free update, according to Waypoint:

Big Team Battle

Big Team Battle is one of Halo‘s classic multiplayer gametypes – in what’s essentially slayer with teams of 8, players duke it out with an assortment of weapons and vehicles on large maps.

Halo 5‘s Big Team Battle launches with 3 modes:


  • Score to win: 100 points
  • Motion Tracker size is 25m
  • Time limit is 16 minutes


  • Score to win: 150 points
  • Motion Tracker size is 25m
  • Time limit is 16 minutes


  • Score to win: 3 captures
  • Motion Tracker size is 25m
  • Time limit is 16 minutes


Halo 5: Guardians is the first Halo title in the series to launch without Big Team Battle, in favour of the highly praised Warzone playlist, so the addition should breathe some fresh air into the Arena portion of the multiplayer, where the playlists consist of smaller close-to-medium-range game types and maps.

Speaking from experience, Halo is at its best when all the elements come together – large, open areas, a range of small-to-heavy vehicles, and a multitude of weapons to choose from. While Warzone is a fantastic twist on the formula, this is what classic Big Team Battle brings to the table.

4 New Maps

The new maps, as announced in November’s sneak peak, are re-imagined variations of classic Halo maps made using Halo 5‘s new and improved Forge (note: not all DLC maps will be made using Forge).

The maps are:

Basin (inspired by Halo 3‘s Valhalla)

Valhalla itself is a re-imagining of the timeless Blood Gulch map, of Halo: CE fame. Where Blood Gulch was a dirt canyon with nothing but a couple of rocks and two small bases populating it, Valhalla added lush green hills, Forerunner architecture, and water – it’s this aesthetic that Basin emulates.

Deadlock (inspired by Halo 3‘s Standoff)

Standoff remains one of Halo 3‘s better maps – great for Big Team Battle and regular Team Slayer. Using new Forge pieces and lighting effects, Deadlock captures the atmosphere of the original perfectly, while placing it in a brand new environment.

Guillotine (inspired by Halo 2‘s Headlong)

Headlong was a personal favourite of mine from the Halo 2 days. It took everything Halo 2 stood for – taking the fight to Earth, new environments, bigger and better gameplay – and combined it into one map.

Guillotine recaptures Headlong’s to main elements perfectly: verticality, and classic human architecture. New pieces, such as the human cars, were also placed in Forge specifically for this map.

Recurve (inspired by Halo 4‘s Longbow)

Longbow was the first Big Team Battle map I played in Halo 4, and it left a lasting impression. Halo 5‘s Forge re-imagining has a lot to live up to, but the snow environment and clean-cut Forerunner structures look like they’ve been captured quite well in the transition.

48 New REQs

Big Team Battle isn’t the only game mode that’s getting content in this update – 48 new REQs are being introduced over the next 24 hours. These include new weapons, skins, armour, emblems, and a new assassination called “Shove It”.

Here’s a graphic of all the REQs you’ll be able to earn:

Other Tunes and Tweaks

343 Industries also added a variety of other tweaks to Halo 5 in their update, including:

  • Warzone Assault updates:
    • Faster REQ levelling
    • Decreased base capture time (from 20 seconds to 16 seconds)
    • Reduced grenade starting count to 1
  • SWAT updates:
    • Disabled friendly fire
    • Increased spawn time (from 1 second to 3 seconds)
  • CTF updates:
    • Added the “deliver” nav point for vehicle drivers who have a friendly flag carrier as a passenger.
    • Fixed an issue where players were able to use the driver and gunner seats while holding the flag. Now, the flag carrier can only sit in the passenger seat.

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