It takes hours to master the online multiplayer modes in Halo 5: Guardians. Strategies for Slayer may not necessary work for Breakout, where players have significantly less time to slaughter their enemies. You need lots of practice to become a skilled Halo 5 player, and we want to increase your kill to death ratio so you turn into a lean, mean virtual killing machine. With that in mind, this feature will cover all of the multiplayer modes in Halo 5 Arena, with tips to make you elite.

Arena consists of the following modes: Slayer, Capture the Flag, Stronghold and Breakout. If you played previous Halos or multiplayer games in general, Slayer and Capture the Flag will be familiar. The latter two are brand new to the Halo experience. 

Tips for Playing Slayer 

Despite the cool name, Slayer is team deathmatch, where the first squad to achieve 50 kills emerges victorious. If you’re new to Halo, start with this mode.

Although Slayer focuses on team play, you’re able to sneak off and score kills on your own. Do this if you think your skills are up to par, otherwise the lone wolf approach will hurt your team. It’s easier for the other side to gang up on you, and your friends will then be down a player. Remember, each death counts as a point. 

Communication is extremely important. Point out enemies and be sure to take advantage of each map’s layout. Identify cover points and keep your head down. If enemies spot you, the Dash ability proves useful for dodging attacks, particularly the ground pound and shoulder charge.

If someone depletes your shield, wait for it to replenish before rejoining the fight, and if the aforementioned you against the world tactic fails, stick with one or more teammates. It’s cliché, but there’s strength in numbers. 

Tips for Playing Capture the Flag 

The primary objective in this mode is, as the title clearly states, to capture the other team’s flag. When you have it, run like mad back to your team’s base; you can throw the flag in Halo 5.

In order to take the other team’s flag, your own flag needs to be at your base. For this reason, it’s a good idea to order one teammate to hang out to defend the flag, preferably someone who can handle him or herself. When you take the enemy flag, use your jump and thrust ability to propel it across the map. It’s the easiest way to cover more distance or hand off the flag to another player. Sort of like a lateral in American football, except this’ll work in the closing moments of a game. 

Whoever carries a flag won’t show up on the map. If this person dies, though, he or she drops the flag and reveals their location. When this happens, immediately pick up the flag so it disappears from radar. 

While holding the flag, you have unlimited ammo for the Magnum and can always nail enemies with a melee attack during close quarters combat. You should definitely get used to the maps and take advantage of shortcuts. Always have a direct route in mind when racing back to your base, and tell your friends to provide covering fire. 

Capture the flag three times (or have more points than the other team before time expires) and you win. 

Tips for Playing Stronghold

This mode shares similarities with King of the Hill from other games. You’ll see three hills, otherwise referred to as Strongholds, on the map, and the goal is to capture and then hold these spots as long as possible. When you and the other players control at least two of these Strongholds, your team receives points. Whoever scores 100 points first wins the round. 

To capture a Stronghold, you need to step inside of its radius. The more people stand in this area, the faster the capture process takes. However, if two enemies breach the radius at the same time, the game considers this Stronghold as being contested. One of these rival players will need to leave (more like die) for the capturing to continue. Basically kill them all and everything will be fine. 

When playing Stronghold, have your team capture two of these spots and defend them for as long as possible. Doing this causes the other team to spawn near the remaining Stronghold, allowing you to hold your ground; make note of places enemies will come from. Remember, you don’t need to hold all three to win. You want 100 points. If you always attempt to capture all three, inevitably possession of these Strongholds will go back and forth, resulting in less points earned at one time. Choose two and defend.

Furthermore, don’t remain inside of a Stronghold after capturing it. Move off to the side and wait for enemies to appear. Doing this reduces the chance of being ambushed. 

Tips for Playing Breakout

There’s a good chance Breakout is unlike anything you’ve experienced in online multiplayer gaming, and most of the tips we provided for the other modes don’t apply. For starters, you only have one life with no respawns. There’s a flag in the middle of each map and you can bring it to your base to score points, but it’s possible to eliminate everyone from the opposing team to win instead. Win five rounds and your team takes the match. 

Because everyone has one life each and 343 Industries intentionally focused on creating smaller maps, you must proceed with caution. Because of this, the flag is sort of fool’s gold. Go for it and there’s a good chance the other team will pick you off. 

Use a weapon that allows for kills from range. Worse case scenario the Magnum is a decent option, while grenades may take down two people at once, despite the blast revealing your position.

Always take cover and don’t overextend yourself. If you manage to score hits on another player but fail to record the kill, go back into cover and plot your next move. Being aggressive, especially on your own, will oftentimes result in a quick death. 

The game will let you know when the other team (or yours) is down to their Last Man Standing. Of course, one desperate player may be just as dangerous as a full squad. Always know how many players remain per team, since this will change strategy. 

This may sound like common sense, but when it comes to playing these online modes, always make sure your microphone works. 

For more tips, head to Prima’s free Halo 5: Guardians Walkthrough and Guide.