February 24, 2016
'Halo 5' Update Adds Grifball, 'Halo: CE' Pistol, New Map, And More

Developer 343 Industries dropped a surprise update Wednesday to Halo 5: Guardians on the Xbox One. The Hammer Storm update arrived earlier than expected with all-new free content such as a new Arena map, new REQs, plus the Grifball, Assault, and Fiesta game modes. The Forge map editor also received some love while the classic Halo: CE Pistol was dropped in as well.

The Hammer Storm update is available to download for Halo 5 right now. The new content weighs in at about 4.5GB, so adjust your space and time expectations accordingly.

In terms of all new content, the Torque map was added to Arena multiplayer modes. This is a large symmetrical map set on a space station base that is part of a floating ring. It's best used in Capture the Flag and Assault modes, and players can view the spinning ring from various vantage points around the map.

Grifball is a welcome addition to Halo 5. This is the mode originally created by the community in Halo 3 that quickly became part of the official playlist. The competitive four-vs-four ball game is back thanks to the addition of Gravity Hammers with the Hammer Storm update. The major change to the game mode is the use of the Spartan abilities plus play continuing after a goal is scored. The ball is simply reset to the center of the map after a short delay, and the action continues.

Meanwhile, the single-bomb mode Assault is back well. The goal is to take the ball/bomb from the neutral spot on the map, rush the enemy base, and score. The players carrying the ball can only melee but are given two thrust charges to compensate. Other players are equipped with loadout weapons, plus there are pickups located around the map.

The final new mode added to Halo 5 with the Hammer Storm update is Fiesta Slayer. This is another classic gametype that gives players random weapons to start with each time they spawn. You may get a Rocket Launcher and Sniper Rifle or start with an Assault Rifle and Plasma Pistol. This is the gametype that mixes in skill with plenty of luck.

Halo 5 Torque Map (Xbox ONe)
[Image via Halo Waypoint]

In addition to the Gravity Hammer, another favored weapon returns to Halo 5. The original Halo: Combat Evolved M6D Pistol has been added to Warzone and Forge. It features the same performance as the original pistol along with the half spin death animation for those on the receiving end of its bullets.

Naturally, new REQs were added for players to unlock by earning REQ Points in Warzone and Arena. This includes the Last Dawn Weapon Skins for UNSC weapons, new Storm Rifles, two new Assassinations, and eight new Armor sets.

The Hammer Storm update also comes with a number of fixes for Halo 5 on the Xbox One ranging from network improvements to various bug squashing actions. The Forge has been updated as well with new Pelican and UNSC Drop Pod props to use when building maps and gametypes. Dozens of new variants to existing objects have also been added.

Forge makers have been steadily putting out more and more impressive stuff since the mode was added to Halo 5. It's given the community a boost as well, so it will be interesting to see how this continues to develop in the future.

Here are the complete patch notes for the Halo 5 Hammer Storm update.


  • New Arena map added: Torque
  • New game types added to Arena: Grifball, Assault, and Fiesta Slayer
  • Gravity Hammer added to Warzone, Arena, and Forge
  • Halo: Combat Evolved M6D Pistol added to Warzone and Forge
  • Players can now "re-roll" random weapon REQs in Warzone
  • Implemented stricter idle boot duration period
  • Fixed an issue with kill feed not showing weapon icon and Perfect Kill medal for the Halo 2 Battle Rifle
  • Fixed an issue where the Mantis Destroyed medal was not being awarded for destroying a Mantis
  • Made handling improvements to the Ghost, Mongoose, and Warthog to reduce their proneness to flipping over
  • To improve consistency, Railgun projectile speed has been increased and is now hitscan
  • The projectile speed of Gauss Cannon has been increased, and is now hitscan
  • Fixed an issue where the first person camera lowered a few pixels after ending a strafe
  • Fixed an issue that allowed legacy or legacy southpaw players to sprint while holding turrets
  • Fixed an issue with the Halo 2 Battle Rifle that caused the reticle to shake when firing rapidly while descoped
  • Fixed an issue where players could not perform a Ground Pound after jumping off of a ledge while performing a melee
  • Fixed an issue where the Mantis appeared to teleport when being observed from a distance while a player entered the vehicle
  • Fixed a bug where equipping an Overshield when standard shields are popped results in the Overshield bar depleting incorrectly
User Interface:
  • Changed Player Markers for Fireteam members in matchmade games to green to distinguish them from other friendly players
  • Added "Mute All" toggle option in lobby
  • Expanded and restructured color palette from 32 to 60 colors for Armors, Helmets, and Emblems
  • Added Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary color options for emblems
  • Added support for animated emblems, such as True Light, a tribute to thecrzedspartan and his family
  • Fixed issues with the in-game scoreboard after players have joined a match in progress
  • Even when in a Fireteam, players can now see when another player is "spectateable"
  • Other player's SR progress now updates correctly on the large nameplate in the PGCR
  • Fixed delay and message prompt when attempting to leave a lobby
  • Improved performance during the processing and opening of REQ packs
  • Improved stability around REQ actions performed on HaloWaypoint.com
Stability and Networking:
  • Made a variety of networking improvements, including improved handling of packet lag, jitter, and loss which manifested under very rare networking conditions
  • Fixed several rare issues relating to walking into walks, warping, game clock stoppage, and disconnections.
  • Resolved issues surrounding multiple Xbox Ones playing on the same network
  • Improved stability when joining custom game lobbies
  • Resolved an issue that prevented players from playing Campaign online after experiencing a network disconnect
  • Fixed an issue that caused previously bookmarked films to not be viewable after the Cartographer's Gift update
  • Fixed an issue with players not appearing in scoreboard and player cycle list if they've joined the match in progress
  • Fixed an issue where Spartan models were not rendered when skipping forward or backward
  • Free camera can now go through shields on Warzone Bases
  • Fixed an issue that caused live spectated sessions to end when another player joins in progress

New/Updated Features:

  • Buttons added for "spawn all despawned objects" and "reset objects to spawn locations"
  • You can script translation of up to 500 ft, instead of previous cap of 100 ft
  • File Browser limits raised to 500 saved items
  • Parallax improvements
    • Added new skybox theme: Ascendance
    • Increased size of map by 20% horizontally and 45% vertically
  • With this change, lighting will be below the center boundary markers (diamond shape boundaries on sides). Above lighting will not be as detailed but still acceptable for many cases. It is designed to be best for aerial combat and/or non-core gameplay zones
New Assets:
  • MP Ball Base
  • Gravity hammer added to weapons palette
  • Halo: CE Pistol Added to weapons palette
  • Added new Pelican props (PROPS>VEHICLES>PELICANS>)
    • Closed - Closed up, in-flight version
    • Open - Grounded version; Open back door
    • Door - Snap on back door for the Pelican
    • Gear - Snap on landing gear for the Pelican
  • Added new UNSC Drop pod props (PROPS>DROP-PODS)
    • Drop-Pod: UNSC [closed]
    • Drop-Pod: UNSC [open]
    • Drop-Pod: UNSC [door]
    • Drop-Pod: UNSC [air-brake]
  • Added 64' variants of several objects for people to replace tiled objects and help reduce object counts
    • Bridge [64x16x3]
    • Wall [2x64x12; simple]
    • Wall [2x64x16; simple]
    • Wall [2x64x20; simple]
    • Wall [2x64x24; simple]
    • Wall [2x64x4; simple]
    • Wall [2x64x8; simple]
    • Wall [2x64x12; detailed]
    • Wall [2x64x16; detailed]
    • Wall [2x64x20; detailed]
    • Wall [2x64x24; detailed]
    • Wall [2x64x4; detailed]
    • Wall [2x64x8; detailed]
    • Wall: Window [2x64x12; clear]
    • Wall: Window [2x64x16; clear]
    • Wall: Window [2x64x20; clear]
    • Wall: Window [2x64x24; clear]
    • Wall: Window [2x64x12; shielded]
    • Wall: Window [2x64x16; shielded]
    • Wall: Window [2x64x20; shielded]
    • Wall: Window [2x64x24; shielded]
    • Trim [6x64x10]
    • Railing: Bar [1x64x4.5]
    • Railing: Shielded [1x64x4.5]
    • Cover: Solid [2x64x4.5]
    • Cover: Jersey Barrier [3x64x4.5]
    • Cover: Street [4x64x4.5]
    • Cover: Tech [4x64x4.5]
  • Props>Toys>
    • Grunt [toy] (!!!)
Forge Bug Fixes:
  • Fixed issue where Monitor would not use backup map spawns - you should always load into a map when in Forge mode now
  • Fixed issue with menu spinners incorrectly displaying the lowest possible value when they're set to highest possible value
  • Fixed issues with Glacier map to improve general stability and usability
  • Fixed issue with normal/fixed physics on Man Cannon [UNSC]
  • The kill ball can no longer be shoulder bashed.
  • Fixed issue with locked objects floating away
  • Fixed issue with 'Reset Position' script not always resetting position
  • Corrected size issue on Block [64x4x2]
  • Corrected size issue on Block [64x2x2]
  • Fixed issue with tertiary color on Hazard Suit [5x4x11]
  • Fixed issue with color selection on all grid pieces. Now the squares alternate like a chess set.
  • Fixed magnet placement on Ring: 16' [64x64x16; quarter]
  • Added secondary color to Locker [3x2x7]
  • Added magnets to Gravity Volume [32x32x32; invisible]
  • Lined up magnets on open cargo containers with their doors on both man and vehicle sized models
  • Corrected size issue on Block [32x32x48]
  • Weapon pads can no longer be set to unsupported respawn time values ( > 10 minutes).
  • Switch objects correctly update their position as you move them (fixes issue where switches would teleport to their previous position when you dropped them)
  • Fixed bug on shields that caused them to stop Spartans shoulder bashing through them after being popped
Forge Tweaks & Cleanup:
  • Improved/cleaned up object palettes that had mix of headers and files
  • Added folders under Structures>Floors and Structures>Walls with accent pieces for quicker access
  • Added Rotation Type, Pivot, and Movement Type controls to the basic control helper settings
  • Changed the physics of the Gravity Lift [invisible] base to allow players, etc. to pass through it; enables chaining
  • Reclassified the scripts group from subsection to submenu
  • Minor reduction to the Monitors boost speed; more tuning will come in future updates
  • Added "Classics" to weapon type category
  • "Set Color" script doesn't update the object's spawn point every time color gets set
  • "Delete all objects" button no longer deletes "Locked" objects and will properly stop objects from respawning
  • Disabled normal physics on a bunch of objects that aren't supposed to support them
  • Named Location updates
    • Added a set of named locations to the list. NOTE: Many of the new ones do not support VO combat chatter but do appear in the HUD.
  • Alphabetized (English) the list
  • Resolved an issue that occurred when switching profiles on the new Xbox One dashboard while Halo 5 was suspended
  • Fixed an issue that caused various Campaign Service Record stats to appear incorrect or as zero after a completed playthrough

[Image via 343 Industries]