While the new Warzone modes are a nice addition for players seeking more objective-based gameplay, the Arena modes provide the skill-based experience that veteran Halo players crave. This guide will give an overview of the modes found in Arena, and aims to help you enhance your skills with basic tips and strategies.
The Arena multiplayer mode consists of four competitive, 4vs4 game types: Slayer, Capture the Flag, Stronghold, and Breakout. The latter two are newer installments, while the former are more traditional game types.
Arena Mode - Slayer
Slayer is essentially team deathmatch. The team with the most kills, or the first team to 50 kills, wins the round. This game type is best for newer players to get a feel for Arena multiplayer.
Although Slayer is a team based mode, players will oftentimes play as lone wolves. This doesn’t mean that teamwork is any less valuable, however. Try your best to communicate with your teammates by giving callouts regarding enemies and their locations. Be wary of your surroundings, and use walls or obstructions to take cover when necessary. Also, keep your Dash ability ready to quickly avoid an enemy attack, especially if you are able to anticipate their movements.
Since the main objective is to eliminate opponents, it is crucial that you try not to contribute to the enemy’s score by dying often or by carelessly diving into open areas. Make sure your shield regenerates before heading back into battle. If you find yourself getting defeated during one-on-one confrontations, it may be best to hang back and follow a teammate who can aid you in such conflicts when necessary.
Arena Mode - Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is a classic favorite amongst seasoned Halo fans. This fast-paced game mode now features the ability to toss the flag, adding a new level of intensity to each match. For those unfamiliar with this mode, the goal is to steal the enemy flag and bring it to your team’s base. However, your team’s flag must be present at your base in order for the enemy flag to be captured. The team who scores three captures, or has the most captures when the time runs out, wins the match.
A common strategy for going about Capture the Flag is to have at least one teammate defending the home flag, while the other teammates make their way to the enemy side. Once the enemy flag is captured, players can jump and thrust to sling the flag a few steps ahead. This can be done towards the home base for a quick capture, or as a means to relay the enemy flag to nearby teammates.
Flag carriers cannot be seen on the map while holding the flag. Once the flag carrier is shot, they will drop the flag, temporarily revealing their location on the map. Quickly snag the flag again to conceal your location. While carrying the flag, players have unlimited Magnum ammo at their disposal, as well as the ability to melee enemies that get a bit too close. Familiarize yourself with the layouts of the maps and plot out the quickest routes with your teammates, and you’ll be securing those flags in no time.
Arena Mode - Stronghold
Stronghold is a newer game type with similarities to King of the Hill. However, in Stronghold there are three hills (strongholds) that players must capture and maintain. When a team holds at least two objectives, they will slowly begin to accumulate points. The first team to reach 100 points emerges victorious.
Players must stand within the radius of the objective to capture it, and the more teammates there are within the radius, the faster the capturing goes. If two enemies step into the radius of an objective at the same time, the objective is considered contested, and capturing will not resume until one of the opponents leaves the radius.
The best strategy for Stronghold is to capture two adjacent objectives and defend those locations to the end. This tends to force the enemy team to spawn near the remaining objective, allowing your team to stay vigilant about the direction the enemies will come from.
Standing within the capture radius of a Stronghold already captured by your team will leave you vulnerable to an ambush. Instead, keep an eye on captured Strongholds from a distance so that you can initiate a surprise attack on approaching enemies.
You can capture all three objectives if you like, but this can result in a sort of tug-of-war effect, where the enemy team retakes one of your bases while you are capturing the third objective. Maintaining two captured objectives is easier to manage, and keeps your team relatively organized.
Arena Mode - Breakout
Breakout is a brand new Arena game type that comes equipped with its own custom designed maps. Players do not respawn upon death, making Breakout one of the more intense Arena modes. Similar to Capture the Flag, the round begins with a flag located in the center of the map. The goal is to carry the flag to the enemy team’s base to score. However, a team can win by eliminating all enemy players instead. The first team to win five rounds wins the entire match.
Breakout differs from the other fast-paced Arena game types in that it requires a slower, more calculated approach. Since players only have one life, everyone tends to move much more cautiously. In fact, many players don’t even bother with capturing the flag, as they prefer to simply eliminate each opponent instead. However, capturing the flag is always an option, and sometimes it even pushes a team towards a win. If you do go for the flag, move quickly and cautiously at your own risk.
It’s best to utilize a weapon that can deal damage effectively at a distance. If you can’t obtain a long range weapon, you can rely on your Magnum to hold you over. Grenades can sometimes be of use, but keep in mind that chucking a grenade will likely reveal your position to nearby enemies.
Move tactfully and keep covered. If you are able to land a few shots on an enemy but are unable to secure the kill, back off to regain your bearings. If the injured enemy is able to retreat behind cover, they most likely were able to regenerate their shield anyway. Aggressive plays will oftentimes result in your own death, contributing little to your team.
When the other teammates are eliminated on a single team, the remaining player is labeled as the Last Man Standing. Keep an eye on the death counter in the lower corner, and consider the number of remaining enemies before deciding how to proceed.
The Arena modes in Halo 5: Guardians epitomize the competitive combat signature to the Halo series. If more objective-based gameplay is what you’re looking for, then check out our Halo 5: Guardians Warzone Overview Guide.