12 tips for staying Spartan strong in Halo 5: Guardians

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Halo 5: Guardians is upon us, and it brings more big changes to the franchise than we’ve seen in quite some time. Everything old is new again, from the Promethean guns that first debuted in Halo 4 to simple stuff such as how players traverse maps and escape trouble. If you’re just picking up Halo 5 after the long drought from Halo 4, or even if you’ve spent time with The Master Chief Collection, there are plenty of little things that it’ll take time to acclimate to in order to become a high-powered Spartan supersoldier. After all, not everything happens overnight.

Related: Halo 5: Guardians review (3 out of 5 stars)

Here’s a few quick tips for jumping into any of Halo 5’s modes and not sucking (completely).

Tips to survive Halo 5: Guardians Campaign mode


Halo has always supported cooperative play in its campaign modes, but for the first time, players have a squad of teammates with them at all times that are controlled by the game’s artificial intelligence when human teammates cannot be found. These aren’t like the marines that wander around in previous Halo games — these are Spartans who can take orders and revive fallen comrades.

If you’re going into the campaign, you’re going to want to bring friends, because the squad AI isn’t too smart. Alone or with friends, there are a few things to keep in mind when playing in Halo 5’s campaign mode:

Learn your new moves

In Halo 5, all player characters exhibit far more movement capabilities than they did in previous games in the franchise. You can sprint, use a short-range boost to dodge enemy fire, hover in the air when firing, pound the ground from the air for a small area attack, and climb ledges. You’ll get the hang of these moves through playing Halo 5’s tutorial, but using them adeptly can be key for certain strategies. Remember that when you sprint, you don’t recharge your shield, for instance, and try to climb to use high ground to get better vantage points on enemies, particularly those with weak points on their backs or sides.

Be aware of your surroundings

Most enemy encounters in Halo 5 are set in arena-like rooms, and just about every one of those arenas is larger than it looks. The campaign is designed for as many as four players to split up and attack objectives from multiple positions, using squad tactics to win the day. That means one person can snipe from a high spot while two others charge in on the ground, for example. The game is also littered with breakable walls that lead to secret weapon caches or flanking paths that can help you in battles, and just about every obstacle or problem has multiple solutions. Look around and be creative.

Don’t trust your squad (unless they’re human)

The best lesson you can learn when playing alone is that your squad isn’t quite smart enough to really get your back. If you’re defeated somewhere up high or in the midsts of a bunch of enemies, it’s likely your teammates won’t get to you in time to revive you, or will get themselves killed in the attempt. In all cases, you’re better off taking your time, staying back in cover, and trusting yourself rather than your AI squadmates. Also, remember to issue them orders with the directional pad — while the squad is bad at shooting enemies on their own, their focus fire command can be very useful, especially against bosses.

The Artemis is your friend

In the first mission of the game, Spartan Locke mentions the “Artemis,” a computer built into his suit that sends out a scanner “ping” in a sphere around him. Mapped to the directional pad, the scanner provides a waypoint on your heads-up display to show you where you’re going, but it’ll also make a sound when you’re close to collectible “intel”, as well; the longer it takes to hear the sound, the further away the collectible is. You can also use the Artemis to find weapons and ammo, so hit it often for help throughout the campaign.

Next page: Tips for Arena mode and Warzone

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