Halo 5 Forge and Arena multiplayer coming to Windows 10 for free

Dave W. Shanahan

Halo 5, Monitor's Bounty

In an announcement on Halo Waypoint, 343 Industries offers a preview of Monitor’s Bounty, a big content update for Halo 5 Guardians that brings Halo 5 Forge and Arena multiplayer to Windows 10 for free. Slated to arrive on Thursday, December 8, 2016, Monitor’s Bounty will add a number of new features and enhancements to Halo 5 Guardians on Xbox One and Windows 10.

Halo 5, Halo 5 Guardians, Monitor's Bounty
Halo 5 Guardians Monitor’s Bounty

Here’s a look at everything that is included with Monitor’s Bounty and new additions coming in 2017.

Monitor’s Bounty update will add the much-anticipated Custom Games Browser to Halo 5 on Xbox One and Windows 10. 343’s UX Design Lead Vincent Hui explains the Custom Game Browser in Halo 5:

“We know getting a full fireteam together to run customs isn’t always easy, and while Looking For Group is great for appointment gaming, sometimes you just want to jump in and discover something new. The new Custom Games Browser enables you to search for in-progress games from the main menu. Games you can join are based on their privacy settings when they are created in the lobby. We’ve also updated the Content Browser so that if you find a map or mode that you like, you’ll be able to browse for in-progress custom games from that file’s options.

This Custom Games Browser is something the team has wanted to add for a long time for the community, but we needed the Content Browser and the search engine that powers it up and running first. Thanks for being patient, and we hope you enjoy it whether you’re running Duck Hunt 24/7, or just looking for new friends to slay!”

Halo 5, Games
Custom Games Browser

In addition to the Custom Games Browser, Halo 5 Forge and Arena multiplayer are being added to Halo 5 on Windows 10 for free. One caveat is that Matchmaking is not included with this free content pack for Halo 5 on Windows 10. However, Windows 10 gamers will be getting full access to the Halo 5 Forge game and map editor for free.

Monitor’s Bounty is bringing another new feature to Halo 5; Observer Mode. 343 UX Design Lead Vincent Hui has more information on Observer Mode in Halo 5:

“For the 2016 Halo World Championship, we unveiled an in-game overlay known as the Observer HUD that showed the status and weapon details for all eight players in the match. It was a great tool for viewers and casters to see how many players were on respawn and who had Power Weapons and Power-Ups. Not bad for a weekend prototype by Jeff Christy, Gareth Lough, Sean Walsh, and myself that Chris Lee allowed us to slip into the build just before the event. After the tournament, we moved onto other fun things, and we haven’t had a chance to get back to this pet project until now. It’s a long journey to go from prototype to shippable feature, so for this update we’re excited to give everyone a chance to use it as part of Observer Mode.”

Halo 5
Observer Mode

“Observer Mode enables any user in a Custom Game lobby to enter the match as an observer. Unlike spectating, observers don’t have to wait for a film to be available – just create a Custom Game or join a fireteam in one, change your team affiliation, and watch the match in real-time when it starts. You’ll see what the other players see since you’re in the same game and connected to the same dedicated server.

Most camera controls are available along with player outlines and observers can toggle the Observer HUD on or off. The overlay supports up to eight players and two teams so it’s great for Doubles, 4v4 Arena, or Free-for-All (and not so great for your awesome 1v2v3v4v5 multiteam version of Strongholds…sorry). We hope this opens up new possibilities for players to cast games, stream cool game modes, and run online tournaments without disrupting those playing the game or waiting for the film to be accessible.”

In addition the Monitor’s Bounty, Halo 5 will have the “Voices of War” REQ Pack. This new REQ Pack will bring three new multiplayer announcers for Halo 5, featuring Spartan Buck, 031 Exuberant Witness, and Yabda the Merciless. This REQ Pack will not be included for free, you can purchase it separately for $9.99.

Halo Waypoint provided some voice samples of what you can expect in Halo 5 Xbox Live matches:

Just in time for the holiday giving season, 343 added a new feature to Halo 5’s REQ system. REQ Gifting. Starting on December 8, 2016, all Halo 5 players will receive a Gold Gift Pack in their REQ Inventory. You can’t open it yourself, you’ll need to give it to your favorite Halo 5 friend.


Stay tuned to OnMSFT for more information on Monitor’s Bounty, 343 Industries plans on making another big announcement later today!