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‘Halo 5: Forge’ on Windows 10 to include Arena Mode, Monitor’s Bounty

The current state of the Halo franchise was never truly meant for the Windows platform, but rather Microsoft’s Xbox consoles instead. The original Halo: Combat Evolved was ported by Gearbox Software in 2003 followed by a port of Halo 2 in 2007. The only other Halo-based games released on Windows are the two recent Halo: Spartan Assault apps and the Halo Wars strategy games. A real Halo-based first person shooter optimized for Windows 10 won’t arrive until Halo 6 hits the streets.

Right now, the only playable taste of Halo 5: Guardians fans will see on Windows 10 is the Forge bundle that packs together Microsoft’s Halo news app and a level editor for creating playable Halo 5 multiplayer maps. The bundle is free to install and use, and even provides full keyboard and mouse support for true precision, and the ability to host and play custom matches.

More: Create your own levels: ‘Halo 5: Forge’ available as a free download for Windows 10

Halo 5 on Windows 10 will now make it possible to find and play games with friends and strangers alike in addition to having full access to an ever-expanding, incredibly robust Forge game and map editor,” developer 343 Industries said. “Build, share, and play Halo 5 on your Windows 10 PC for free and unleash the new functionality of Halo 5: Forge to create brand new experiences.”

Monitor’s Bounty launches on Thursday, the latest content release for Halo 5: Guardians and Halo 5: Forge. It provides new weapons, new armor, new skins, a custom games browser, minigames, an observer mode, and more. The studio provided a preview of the upcoming content release over the last two days, getting fans pumped for Thursday’s launch.

According to 343 Industries, the custom games browser is free of charge and enables users to easily hunt down player-made servers to battle against friends and strangers alike. This essentially allows players to join games already in progress rather than having to wait in a lobby. Plus, there is no matchmaking involved, enabling players to choose a server with their favorite maps in rotation and game modes they want to play.

“Games you can join are based on their privacy settings when they are created in the lobby,” the studio said. “We’ve also updated the Content Browser so that if you find a map or mode that you like, you’ll be able to browse for in-progress custom games from that file’s options. This Custom Games Browser is something the team has wanted to add for a long time for the community, but we needed the Content Browser and the search engine that powers it up and running first.”

The first preview offered by 343 Industries covers the new Observer Mode, a new “Voices of War” premium requisitions pack, and a gifting feature added to the requisitions system. The second preview post covers the new weapons, new armor, new vehicles, and new canvases setting the stage for new multiplayer maps. It also showcases the Beam Goblin, an improvement on the Grunt Goblin built from the ground up to effectively take down tanks. The Needle-based Grunt Goblin received some tweaks too.

In addition to Monitor’s Bounty launching on Thursday, the Arena Mode will be added to Halo 5: Forge as well, where everyone starts the multiplayer session on the same playing field and rises in ranks in the skill ranking system. If you haven’t grabbed Halo 5: Forge yet for Windows 10, head to the Windows Store now and grab a copy ahead of Thursday’s content release.