Halo 5: Guardians has proven to be one of the best shooters in 2015 and quite possible the best title to release on the Xbox One. It’s got twist, turns, stellar graphics (and after seeing what was capable with Halo 4, that was to be expected), and some great multiplayer maps.

Luckily for those of us who love the latest addition to Master Chief’s story got a bit of a pleasing announcement at last night’s The Game Awards. 343 Industries announced that a fairly large update would be coming to Halo 5. The reason this update is so notable among the community is because not only does it bring just a few set of new maps to shoot your friends on; instead we get a slew of new features to go with our experience.

If you missed the video detailing the Halo 5 Cartographer’s Gift update, here’s your chance to get yourself up to speed. You may want to watch it before you read any further.

Forge Mode

Fans and players alike were confused and surprised when Halo 5: Guardians didn’t come with a working Forge mode that had become a mainstay since Halo 3. Luckily, it was worth the wait. Not only is this new Forge mode the most graphically intensive we’ve seen yet, it’s also the largest to ever appear in a Halo game. Boasting over 1700 objects, sound emitters, terrain pieces, and even GIFs, this will certainly give players (experts or otherwise) hours of joy creating new stages, complicated race tracks, and so much more. It will also come with a filing system that will allow you to search, share, and bookmark maps all across the Halo servers. Bookmarking is a feature I’ve wanted since Halo 3.

Halo 5 Cartographer's Gift Update

Warzone and BTB Maps

Now I did say that this update would be bringing more than just maps, but that doesn’t mean that the new maps aren’t good. Battle of Noctus and Overgrowth are the two Warzone ones that come with Cartographer’s Gift. The former is a futuristic city that claims to be tons of fun and keeps players on their toes. The latter is a remix of Plaza that has been overtaken by invasive plants (as the name suggests).

Along with those, we also get two BTB maps, Antifreeze and Burial Mounds. They weren’t detailed too much in the trailer, but we can imagine how they’ll look based on their namesakes alone.

Halo 5 Community Update


A new form of competitive play, Seasons looks to challenge yourself on your own skill and show the world that you’re progressively getting better at the game. You get to partake in ranked playlists that will last throughout a certain time period (or season, if you will). After the season ends, you will receive a kind of emblem for bragging rights depending on how well you perform. It will add a neat “survival of the fittest” aspect to online play, and will be sure to shake things up. It is fairly reminiscent of the Splatfests in Nintendo’s own shooter, Splatoon.

Halo 5 Cartographer's Gift Update-Noctus

Improvements to the Experience

On top of adding new content, 343 also took the opportunity to fix some of the issues in their game. They are adding in a Forge Lobby selection from the Main Menu, obviously, as well as improving upon the User Interface. They also took the time to work out some of the bugs on the HUD, CSR Tuning, and how Friend Sorting works. It’ll be nice to get less headaches when trying to look through your Friends’ List.

Mark IV Armor

While not a massive part of the update, nor the highlight, it’s still worth noting that a new set of armor will be available called the Mark IV. The previous set to Master Chief’s getup in the first Halo, the Mark IV takes its inspiration from Halo Wars. It’s no doubt this will be a highly-used piece of equipment when the update finally launches. Even John-117 himself might drool a bit at the sight.

Halo 5 Cartographer’s Gift is looking to bring a slew of new content that will be a must-have for anyone who owns the game. The even better news is that the update is entirely free, as part of a decision from 343 to give out new content every month that players don’t have to pay for; and so far, they’re more than living up to their word.

The Halo 5 Cartographer’s Gift Update will be released later this month. Are you excited for all of the new features it will bring? Let us know down in the comments!