Since its launch in 2015, Halo 5's critically acclaimed Forge mode has been home to thousands of high-quality community-made maps, many of which have been included in Halo 5's matchmaking system. With the addition of a Custom Games Browser last December, Forge maps are more popular and accessible than ever. In this article, I've compiled a list of 10 incredible Forge maps (in no particular order) that would be criminal to not download and play with your friends.
"Elixir" by Sikamikanico
Elixir is a small, infantry focused map set on an island on Sanghelios, the home-world of Halo's iconic Elites. This condensed map makes the absolute most of its small size, beautifully incorporating natural vegetation into the ancient, alien settlement. The map is best played with 4 players in a 2v2 style, but if you wish, it can be played with Halo's standard 4v4 Arena format.
"Sentinel" by N3gat1veZer0
Sentinel is a medium size infantry map that takes place in the middle of a swamped Forerunner facility, overgrown with vegetation. The map effectively creates an atmosphere of mysteriousness and unease as players move around in the fog and murky waters. It also features a fitting rain weather effect that also contributes heavily to the aesthetics of the map. The map supports the standard 4v4 style of play.
"Snowbound" by Foge and Kabe
The name "Snowbound" may sound familiar to you if you played Halo 3 back in the day. That's because it was one of Halo 3's most recognizable 4v4 Arena maps, and Halo 5 players Foge and Kabe have brought it to Halo 5 in a near perfect 1-1 remake. Both accurate and visually appealing, this map is sure to bring you and your friends some nostalgic fun.
"Ancestor" by D4rkDeath and weeeeemann
Ancestor is an 8v8 Big Team Battle map that takes inspiration from one of Halo's most iconic campaign levels, "Assault on the Control Room". This map features a heavy focus on vehicular combat, with Wraiths, Banshees, Ghosts, and Warthogs available. Hop into some of Halo's prominent Covenant vehicles and boost into the fray!
"Echoes" by Spirit in Black
Echoes is an 8v8 Big Team Battle map that was designed to look like something straight out of the game that started it all — Halo: Combat Evolved. Taking inspiration from famous maps like Blood Gulch or Valhalla, Echoes provides a new and fun experience in the classic "canyon" style of maps that Halo BTB is known for.
"The Tower Plaza" by ReinaStorm
This Grifball map is set on the plaza of the Tower from Destiny. This map may not be big or have any snazzy gameplay alterations that change the Grifball formula, but it beautifully recreates the most recognizable social area from Bungie's new hit franchise — a perfect backdrop for an all-out war between two teams hell bent on smashing each others' faces in with gravity hammers.
"Odyssey" by TimeDipper
Odyssey is a unique looking Grifball map that surrounds and immerses players in a natural, vibrant setting, complete with Roman-style architecture and improvised (but still amazing looking) waterfalls. You'll want to look around and absorb the aesthetics so much, you'll forget you're supposed to be cracking skulls.
"Nautilus" by Ascend Hyperion
Nautilus is a unique Infection map, in that it's set underwater. The surroundings include a pipeline and a heavily detailed seafloor play space. Ascend Hyperion's goal with this map was to provide a unique Infection experience in both gameplay and aesthetics. In gameplay, he strove to try and deter players from turtling up against the zombies and instead focused on building a map that encouraged run-and-gun play. Aesthetically, he wanted to build an Infection map that strayed away from the typical environments for Infection maps, citing things like laboratories and abandoned cities. So if you love Infection, then don your scuba gear and dive on down to Nautilus!
"Blue Lagoon" by Timothy and Noble Forger
Blue Lagoon is a Race map that brings a realistic roller-coaster design into Halo 5 a racetrack. While the aesthetics are relatively simple, the track itself is expertly crafted into a smooth, polished pathway for drivers to put the pedal to the metal on. Large, steep inclines and declines, as well as corkscrews and even a few vertical loops, create an intense and fun racing experience that is, quite literally, off the rails.
"The Great Griddle" by SplinterBL
Driveable pancakes. Flying spatulas. If that doesn't make you want to download the map right there and then, I'm disappointed in you! The Great Griddle is a map that acts as the setting for one of Halo 5's most popular custom game modes, Flapjack Frenzy. In this mini-game, 1-3 Banshee players with spatulas welded to their vehicle fly down to the griddle and attempt to flip the "pancakes" (Warthogs welded to pancake-colored discs) out of the pan and into the waiting kill boundary below. This map is extremely fun, and to not experience this wacky minigame at least once would be a pity, so you should definitely try it out!
(And make sure you follow the instructions to get the game mode, too!)
If you're interested, I myself have also made a map for Halo 5, and you can check it out here. More maps mean more fun!
Whether you enjoy core Halo gameplay, classic modes like Grifball or Infection, or fun and unique fan-made modes like Flapjack Frenzy, Halo 5's community of not-so-silent cartographers have something just for you. Let me know what your favorite maps in Halo 5 are down below — and make sure to keep an eye out for the next Forge article, in which I'll go over some tips to help aspiring map-makers learn the basics of Forge and harness its incredible potential.
And, should you not own Halo 5 already, be sure to consider picking it up! It'd be a shame to miss out on all the Forge goodness!
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