Halo 5: Guardians plays ball with Assault, Grifball, and Fiesta later this month

343 is preparing for Halo 5: Guardians' next monthly update and it will bring three popular ball-based game modes.


343 is just fresh off the most recent update for Halo 5: Guardians, opening up Infinity's Armory last week. But the team isn't taking any time off and is looking ahead to the game's next update, which will add in some new game modes.

In the spirit of the Big Game coming up this weekend, 343 is coming out this weekend to discuss some new modes surrounding a giant ball. The next update is set to introduce three game modes called Assault, Grifball, and Fiesta. The former should sound familiar to Halo players, since this returning game mode will see teams attempt to deliver a giant ball placed at the center of the map to the opposing team's base. Upon hitting the enemy base, the ball explodes. But not all elements of the game will stay quite the same.

"Carrying the ball in old games wasn't always fun – it felt like work," explains multiplayer designer Max Grossman on Halo Waypoint. "You didn't get to shoot, you moved slower, and everybody was trying to kill you all the time. In Halo 5, this was exacerbated by the even faster player movement, so when looking at redesigning the ball carrier, we wanted to make carrying the ball a skill that players could learn. We tried a lot of different tweaks from changing movement speed, changing the way navpoints work, modifying damage resistance, disabling ball throwing, and more. Eventually, we decided that there were three key components to the ball carrier: they needed to win melee fights, be able to survive while arming the ball, and be able to make it to the enemy base undetected. To meet these goals, we made the melee attack with the ball an instant kill, gave the carrier an extra thrust, and implemented the same 'Spotting' mechanic present in Capture the Flag. While arming the ball, the carrier can use their two thrusts stay alive or to close the gap on the enemy and beat them down. We think that the new carrier mechanics will give players a new skill to learn and enable a skilled ball carrier to win the game for their team."

Grifball is another returning mode and will even come with its own Grifball Courts. The game mode has undergone several tweaks and now features a greater balance betweeen using Gravity Hammers and Energy Swords. Meanwhile, Fiesta makes its return with its rules mainly intact, so players will be escorting the ball around with random weapons. Custom game options will be available for all three game modes in Forge for those that wish to tweak some of the rules for friendly play.

With new modes also comes the removal of some unpopular ones from some of the game's playlists. Citing player feedback, Halo 5 will be losing Arena Breakout from the Team Arena playlist. The development team is not quite ready to discard the mode completely, though, and is pledging to bring it back at a later date in a more refined form.

Look for Halo to go balls to the wall when Assault, Grifball, and Fiesta debut later this month.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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