‘Halo 5’ Will Wield A Mighty Banhammer, Skill Ranking Explained

Halo 5: Guardians isn’t even out yet and 343 Industries is already warning potential cheaters to watch their behavious in the Xbox One exclusive’s multiplayer modes. Studio Head Josh Holmes laid down the law in a Halo Waypoint post on what types of activities will get players banned in the soon-to-be-released shooter.

Players trying to skirt and manipulate a game’s multiplayer systems is common and almost a game into itself for some players. However, this also negatively affects the credibility of a title and, if a developer can’t guarantee that a ranking system actually means anything, then players will quickly complain and abandon a game.

This is also important for Halo 5 as 343 Industries is attempting a competitive eSport push with the shooter via its Arena multiplayer mode. If players feel like the new Competitive Skill Rank is worthless, then it will die barely after it gets out of the gate.

Holmes has sent out an early warning to players to avoid any negative behaviors that may get them temporarily or permanently banned. These negative behaviors include everything from quitting to team killing.

It’s important to us that everyone enjoys their experiences in Arena play. To maintain the quality of the Arena experience and sanctity of competition, a number of rules are in place for all Arena playlists. Halo 5: Guardians is engineered to detect and track the following behavior:

  • Quitting matches
  • Betrayals or team killing
  • Idling (AFK)
  • Intentional suicides
  • Excessive disconnects

If you repeatedly engage in negative behaviors such as the ones listed above, you will receive a ban and be prevented from entering matchmaking. The duration of each ban is dependent on the offense and becomes more severe with each successive infraction, so continually killing your teammates to steal the Sniper Rifle will quickly lead to long timeouts from matchmade play.

How Halo 5 handles matchmaking for Arena was also explained by Holmes. There will be no opportunity to join a match in progress for any Arena match. Holmes explained that 343 Industries doesn’t want players to feel like their Competitive Skill Rank gets knocked because they join a team that is already losing. On the flip side, quitting a match will earn a player a “temporary cooldown penalty.” Basically, this is a short ban for leaving teammates high and dry.

The banhammer for negative behavior and quitting matches all live to serve the Competitive Skill Rank (CSR) for each Arena playlist. There will be seven different ranks at launch – Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Onyx, and Champion – with each having another six tiers within them except for Onyx and Champion.

Players will need to complete a series of 10 matches to determine their CSR level for each Arena playlist. This will be based on player performance in those matches and the only way to increase rank is to win.

“For team-oriented playlists, this emphasizes the importance of team play. Whether you drop 30 kills in a game of Slayer or single-handedly capture every flag in a CTF match, wins are the only way to improve your CSR. As you win, you will progress through the 6 tiers of your rank,” Holmes explained.

Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One)

Losing will cause players to lose progress within one of the major ranks, but not cause them to lose an entire rank. For example, if a player makes it to the third tier in the Gold rank and then goes on a horrible losing streak, the lowest they will drop is to Gold tier one. They will not drop down to Silver.

Once players reach Onyx level in a playlist, they will be shown their raw CSR score instead of a tier. Additionally, those that climb the ranks to become one of the 200 players in a playlist will earn the Champion rank.

Finally, Halo 5 will introduce Seasons to the competitive arena mode after launch and before the end of the year. These Seasons will run the length of a month, and players will have to go through placement matches once again when the Season resets. There’s also the chance to win in-game rewards every month too based on performance in a Season. This includes items like Emblems.

[Images via Halo Waypoint, Evil Controllers]