‘Halo 5’ Cartographer’s Gift Update Hits Xbox One, Brings Forge, New Maps, And New REQs

The promised Halo 5: Guardians free update to bring the Forge editor to the game along with new maps, REQs, and other changes finally arrived Wednesday. The Cartographer’s Gift update is available to download now for Xbox One owners and is quite possibly the biggest yet.

The addition of the Forge map editor to Halo 5 with The Cartographer’s Gift is the most welcome piece of news out of 343 Industries. Players will finally have the ability create and share their own levels and modes.

Forge has been a staple of the Halo franchise since Bungie first introduced it with Halo 3 on the Xbox 360. Game modes such as Grifball and Infection were first created by Halo community members in Forge before receiving official support from Bungie, and later 343 Industries, due to their popularity.

The Halo 5 version of Forge has received some serious upgrades thanks to the power afforded to the Xbox One and feedback from the community. This includes more than 1,700 objects available to use, the ability to select manipulate multiple objects at the same time, plus finer control options to precisely line up and edit objects.

Three Halo 5 maps will serve as the canvas for Forge – the tree-lined “Alpine” map, snowy “Glacier,” plus a blank slab in space above a Halo ring. Forge users will also have the ability to modify existing Arena and Breakout maps. Warzone is currently not an option.

Users will have a File Browser available to use with Forge. 343 Industries describes it as a “basic implementation” for now, but players will have the option to bookmark favorite maps and modes. The primary limitation is that players will need to be friends to view, use, and share.

Halo 5 Forge (Xbox One)

Warzone fans will receive the new Battle of Noctus map set in the middle of a human city. Meanwhile, Arena receives a revision of the Plaza map called Overgrowth. Finally, Big Team Battle players will have two more maps created in collaboration with expert community Forge users and 343 Industries – Entombed and Antifreeze.

The Cartographer’s Gift update also brings more than 30 new REQs to earn in Halo 5. This includes new armors (including the Mark IV GEN1), weapons, vehicles, and emblems plus two new brutal assassinations.

Halo 5 Oh Snap Assassination (Xbox One)

One of the more interesting changes introduced with the Halo 5 Cartographer’s Gift update are new options for Xbox One controllers. As previously covered by Inquisitr, players now have the option to set their desired Look Acceleration, as well as the Inner and Outer Dead Zones for their thumbsticks. These new options should provide some interesting plays in the hands of highly skilled users, especially now with the Xbox One Elite Controller’s popularity.

The Halo 5 competitive seasons also kicks off with this update. Competitive gaming with ranked Arena playlists is now live. 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 via exclusive REQ Packs every month too based on performance in a Season.

Halo 5 Cartographer's Gift REQ Packs

Speaking of REQ Packs, 343 Industries has tweaked their look slightly in the user interface. REQ Rarity and the amount of energy to needed to use a REQ in a match will now be displayed prominently.

343 Industries has posted the complete patch notes for the Halo 5 Cartographer’s Gift update on Halo Waypoint. You can find the highlights below though.

New Features and Content:

  • Commendations and Service Record for Spartan Companies have been added, and can be tracked on Halo Channel and HaloWaypoint.com.
  • Social playlists have been added (Big Team Battle and Holiday Social).
  • Holiday Doubles playlist added (ranked).
  • Enabled the ability to purchase multiple gold REQ Packs in one single purchase, several of which include free bonus packs. (These will be coming online within the next few days).


  • FFA playlist reduced to 6 players from 8 players.
  • Replaced Scorpion on Recurve with Gauss Warthog.
  • Removed Mantis from Guillotine and added a Warthog for each team.
  • Fixed spawning bug that sometimes spawned a player on Red team in the Blue base on Deadlock at the start of a match.
  • Fixed an issue where players could escape Gambol’s normal play boundaries.
  • Added interactive switches to Deadlock to control window shutters and doors for each base.
  • Fixed a bug in Breakout that awarded kills after the flag has been captured.
  • Add Flag Grabs statistic to the post-game carnage report.
  • Fixed a Free-For-All bug where kills were shown in scoreboard rather than score.
  • Added medal for melee’s performed to an enemy’s back.
  • Added in-game text for Flag Driver medal.


  • Adjusted CSR placements for SWAT and FFA playlists.
  • Fixed bugs surrounding players being placed too high across all playlists.


  • The location callout will now appear when dead, spectating, in Smart-Link, etc.
  • The Highest Score per Column in the in-game Scoreboard will have a visual callout allowing you to see very quickly which player has the most kills, most assists, and least deaths.

What do you think of the Cartographer’s Gift update for Halo 5? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Halo Waypoint]