Halo is a series famous not just for its campaign, but also for its intense competitive multiplayer.
If you’re relatively new to Halo multiplayer, chances are you’ll have a tough time adjusting in Halo 5 Guardians. It’s not a lost cause though.
Halo 5 Guardians Multiplayer Tips
With a good bit of awareness, willing teammates, and goals in mind, you can be on your way to becoming an excellent Halo 5 Guardians player.
This guide will cover tips and strategies for Halo 5 Guardians, keeping competitive multiplayer in focus. We’ll cover the basics, team tactics, and individual combat tactics that should greatly help you in becoming a better overall player.
The number one key to success in any team-based organization is communication. This is true for all sports, for all industries, and even true for competitive shooters & e-sports.
If you don’t have a microphone-enabled headset, not only are you putting yourself in serious disadvantage, but are also greatly jeopardizing the team’s ability to succeed as a cohesive unit.
Communication is important in two ways: ability to take help from others, and ability to help your team with your simple presence.
The ability to communicate friendly and enemy locations, ask for covering fire, provide covering fire, and give out brief instructions is extremely important in competitive multiplayer.
Halo 5 Guardian makes things a lot easier for its players by designating universally defined call-outs to different locations in a map. These appear below the Motion Tracker, making it very simple for players to let enemy/friendly positions be known.
Taking time and practicing to familiarize yourself with these call-outs is certainly worthwhile, and you should ask your teammates to do the same. Once your team is familiarized with the maps and the call-outs, you need to take into account another factor: keep call-outs short and precise.
There’s nothing worse than going on a long monologue of how an enemy is jumping around in a specific area and what weapons he/she is using. Not only does this greatly distract your teammates and takes up audible space, it also prevents you from focusing on what’s going on.
Instead, use short, precise call-outs. For example, “Scope at Tower Two!” will inform the players that a Sniper Rifle-wielding enemy is positioned at Tower Two. You just summarized the entire sentence in for words, out of which three use only one syllable.
Teams who use such brief and professional communication techniques will always have an advantage over completely silent teams and motor-mouths.
It’s good to have diversity in your game, and is recommended for everyone. However, when you’re playing with a team, you can’t all be equipped with assault rifles, or all have sniper rifles. This is where specializing becomes extremely important.
You may be an excellent sniper and also a great player with the assault rifle, but you shouldn’t be switching around at will. Instead, use the one that the team needs the most.
If your team has a better sniper than yourself, it’s best to let him be the scout while you wield an assault rifle. Practice with your specialized weapon, and ask your teammates do to exactly the same. This directly plays into the next tip, which is about know your role.
However, this does not mean that you should limit your proficiency to a single type of weapon. Instead, try to diversify your weapon proficiency in practice matches and friendlies to make yourself a better player.
While you’ll still use one weapon more than the rest, this allows tactical versatility in the team, and makes you a much bigger threat both individually and as a unit.
Know Your Role
Yes, you have a specific role in your team. Either you’re a sniper constantly looking for the highest vantage point (termed as Power Positions, discussed below), an opportunistic assaulter who shifts his/her game’s pace according to the situation, or a front-man whose job is to be the spearhead of the team.
This is something you decide based on your strengths, specialization, and general agreement of your teammates. Your role should be one that directly compliments your teammates’ roles. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, and adjust your role accordingly.
You might not have the necessary jumping skills to deal with the vertical nature of Halo 5. That’s fine, as long as you’re a proficient fighter on the ground. Let your team know about your preferences clearly, and come up with a mutual conclusion and roles.
It’s good to have specific roles, but sometimes unpredictability is essential. In times when your standard role isn’t working, or your team needs that extra bit of edge, it’s time to try something different.
This is where you’ll sometimes have to play out of your comfort zone, but this is also how you grow as a player. Taking up less familiar roles gives you newer experiences, which helps you massively improve your game. This tactical fidelity is beneficial for both your team and yourself.
Watch and Learn
Hitting the Theater Mode or Spectating games can be extremely insightful if done with the right mindset.
There’s no better way to expand your tactical knowledge quickly than observing established and experienced players, and to replay your games to see what you did wrong and what you did right.
The Theater is especially useful for a team who is looking to improve their weaknesses and increase cohesion.
Don’t be hesitant in generating constructive criticism while watching your previous games alongside your teammates, and note down the small things that need improving. After that, practice those improvements specifically.
Spectating games of excellent players is how you diversify your tactical versatility. Watching experienced players won’t really improve your reflexes or accuracy (that comes with experience and skill), but it will make you a better team player and allow you to expand your tactical and individual game.
With the basics covered and understood, it’s time to have a look at more advanced tactics to help you out with your game. Your entire team should be familiar with these tactics to give them advantages as individuals as well as teammates.
The first and foremost thing you should know is Hot Spots. It’s a rule of thumb that in any first-person shooter, there is at least one location in every map that is on average more crowded than the rest.
This location is termed as a Hot Spot. Familiarizing yourself with every map’s Hot Spot is extremely important, because this is mostly the place where games can be won or lost.
Often, Hot Spots are areas with the least amount of cover and the places with the best opportunities to kill. This is also an area which when controlled can give you a significant advantage over your opponent.
As a beginner, it is best to stay away from Hot Spots till your combat skills develop enough. However, established teams will always look to control these spots as soon as possible, then overwhelm their opponents by completely killing off access to the area.
This is also the best place to hone your combat skills in. Have your team and yourself get familiar with the location and design of each Hot Spot, then deduce tactics to maximize the number of kills in these areas through good positioning and environmental exploits (by that, we don’t mean glitches).
Flanking is a commonly used tactic, but one of utmost importance. In order to flank an enemy team, you will need to generally get behind them in a position that is advantageous to you, and one where your presence is unknown.
Generally, a good flanker is one who can catch his/her opponent when they are most vulnerable and most unaware. This requires precise timing and intelligent reading of the game.
Often, the most attacking players tend to be the ones who flank, as they know the risks of getting caught or mistiming their assault.
Assign the demanding yet extremely rewarding task of flanking to at least one player in your team. This player will have to maneuver himself to exploit enemy blind-spots, then jump in when they are most vulnerable while the rest of your team draws the enemies.
Though flanking is an extremely viable and dependable tactic, it can sometimes become very predictable. Experienced teams will often assign a counter-flanking player who will cover their backs.
In such cases, flanking should either be completely avoided, or greatly delayed for the best results.
Baiting is a common tactic that works on individuals, but requires a team to execute.
In general, a bait is one brave player who will lure a single enemy (or two, at most) to a spot that is heavily guarded by his/her team. This will result in the enemy being outnumbered in an ambush, and almost certainly dead.
Baiting works across all levels of teams. It’s an excellent tactic for inexperienced teams to punish cockiness, and is used with good effectiveness by veteran teams as well. Baiting tends to work best when the enemy positions are unknown.
One player in your team will have to move forward while the others hold back, attracting enemy attention and luring them back to an area occupied by your teammates.
Like flanking, this tactic can become predictable, and veterans will often be wise enough not to take the bait. This is important positional play that you should also make a part of your game.
Nading is an abbreviated term for ‘grenading,’ which is basically tossing grenades. Grenades are an important arsenal, and can be used for team-based strategic assault in areas that are either out of reach or controlled by the opponents.
Throwing weapons in high traffic areas and weapon pads can score some easy kills for you, and you can also toss grenades in ‘Nade Spots,’ which are specific areas in a map that enemies often go through at a certain time during a match.
Learning these spots as well as the required position from where you need to throw the grenade (and its trajectory) can be extremely useful in getting kills. Nading should not be exclusively used for offense though.
Sometimes, you’ll greatly need grenades for defense as well. A set of enemies attacking you can be either delayed or wiped out with a well-placed grenade in their direction of movement.
Pinning down enemies with grenades is also an effective strategy that gives your team ample breathing space to make necessary maneuvers.
Power Positions are advantageous locations that provide multiple lines of sight. These areas in Halo 5 are often high vantage points, and are usually fortifiable.
Identify these Power Positions in every map, and seek to occupy one as quickly as possible to give yourself a significant edge.
Often, teams or individuals get so obsessed with Power Positions that they leave themselves vulnerable to ambush while trying to get there. Exploit their error and punish anyone for that.
However, experienced players generally tend to know the quickest and best way to a Power Position, so make sure you practice reaching these areas as quickly as possible.
It’s also advisable to have a covering teammates for the player in the Power Position. His/her job will be to cover all the access points to the Power Position.
Aggressive teams try to overwhelm opponents by pushing them all the way to their Base. This is done with extreme relentlessness and tactical discipline, and requires considerably good individual combat skills.
If you have a team that is strong in 1v1s, Pushing should be the go-to tactic for you. This collective press by the team usually starts when there’s at least a one-man advantage for them, which allows options to overwhelm the opponent team and push them all the way to the base. Practice this strategy in friendlies when you feel that your team on average is superior in 1v1s.
This is the exact opposite of Pushing. While it requires equal tactical discipline to Pushing, Turtling Up is often done by teams who are not entirely confident in 1v1s. They tend to play a conservative style when at a slight advantage (one-man advantage).
This allows them to minimize their losses. The tactic is closely associated with ‘camping’ as the Turtling Up team holds position and waits for the opponent to come out.
It’s often not a bad idea to start off with this tactic, but it is advisable to bring aggression and attacking mentality as your game improves, since Turtling Up can be severely punished by veterans.
Your team can play better than the sum of its parts with excellent tactics and discipline, but you’ll almost always be at a disadvantage against capable players who are excellent at 1v1s.
This is where it becomes extremely important for your teammates to have good combat techniques that will help them when engaging in a 1v1 battle.
Although these tips are more individualistic, they will greatly help your team out as you become a more lethal and reliable player.
Run & Gun
If you want to become more competitive with top-tier players, you’ll need to know how to shoot while moving. This can be quite difficult for a lot of new players, but using your left-thumbstick exclusively to maneuver your character to aim while running is the trick to successfully shoot while on the move.
While at it, make minor vertical adjustments with your right-thumbstick to land head shots when opponent shields are down.
Mastering Run & Gun techniques will allow you to confidently apply an aggressive approach to the game, which forces enemies back. The best way to practice this is with your teammates during practice sessions.
Aiming at the Correct Spot
In general, most first-person shooters encourage players to try to shoot the head at all times. Halo isn’t like that, since all Spartans are protected by shields that cover their entire surface area.
For this very reason, it’s absolutely pointless to try to go for headshots while an enemy’s shield is up. Instead, aim for the body. This will allow you to land shots more frequently and deplete there shields.
Once the shields are depleted though, it’s time to move your reticule up to the head. Headshots kill opponents instantly with many weapons when their shields are depleted, and that’s what you should be aiming to do if you want to become an efficient killer.
Strafing is a technique in which you move laterally, making you a harder target to hit. This is one of the most fundamental skills to master during firefights. While strafing, you’ll need to keep your reticule centered on your opponent.
You can use your Thruster Pack to make your strafes speedier. Strafing becomes even more effective when you decide to combine it with jumping and at times crouching. This makes you even harder to hit, though it makes it harder for you to shoot as well.
Practice this essential movement technique to hone your 1v1 skills and make yourself a far better player.
Jumping and Clambering
Halo 5 in general has a highly vertical nature, which is why jumping and clambering have become extremely important. The new clamber ability allows you to pull off jumps that would’ve been extremely difficult in the past.
It’s advisable that you practice your jumping and clambering techniques in each map to get to difficult Power Positions and high vantage points.
You should master all the key jumps in every map to prevent the environment from getting in your way during matches, and to reach Hot Spots and Power Points faster than your enemies.
Jumping and clambering are especially useful for Sniper Rifle users and those who love to Flank.