The Halo 5: Guardians Beta will feel familiar to players, even if their first experience with Microsoft’s epic franchise began with Halo 4.  General movement, aiming and shooting fall in line with the entire series, but it’s clear right from the start that the game is different. Halo 5 features new Spartan abilities designed to give players enhanced mobility on the battlefield. There’s a lot to absorb at first, but we played the beta and broke down each ability. 

Infinite Sprint 

We have a feeling 343 Industries will split fans down the middle with this one, at least initially. You can sprint for as long as you want but there’s a price to pay. While sprinting, your Spartan’s shield will not recharge. 

Stabilizer

A Spartan’s Mjolnir GEN2 software now includes a custom smart-link that provides greater aim accuracy while in the air via the HUD, whether jumping or hovering. Before you think about hovering too much, keep in mind this leaves your character temporarily exposed. 

Improve your aiming capabilities by pressing the Left Trigger while in the air. 

Ground Pound 

It’s sort of like the Mario games, but with an even deadlier impact.  To Ground Pound, jump and then hold down on the Right Stick to charge this ability, then release. It’s a great way to achieve more than one kill at once, but it’s difficult to pull off on moving enemies. 

Clamber

Now you can press A while jumping towards a ledge to pull yourself up. 

Thruster Pack 

Think of it as a juke in NFL football, giving you the chance to boost in any direction, even in the air. Simply press the B button and tilt the Left Stick in the desired direction. Remember there’s a cool down between uses. 

Spartan Charge 

Prepare to unleash a devastating shoulder bash guaranteed to surprise your foes. Hit top speed while sprinting and tap RB (Right Bumper) to charge into people. 

Slide 

This lets you slide to avoid incoming fire or quickly get behind cover. Similar to Spartan Charge, go into a sprint, then click the Right Stick to go into a slide. 

The Halo 5: Guardians Beta begins December 29 and ends January 18.