Microsoft’s highly anticipated Halo 5: Guardians Beta begins December 29, and you will play we don’t know how many hours of Breakout, the super addictive mode that will be the most popular feature until 343 Industries pulls the plug on January 18.

Breakout is a team-based four-vs-four multiplayer mode that pits red against blue in a first to five rounds battle for survival. Each player has one life with no chance to respawn until the following round.  This makes conservative tactics and team communication extremely important. 

We don’t want you rushing in blind. To prepare, read through these Halo 5: Guardians Breakout tips for survival.

Seriously, you only have one life 

Multiplayer modes like Slayer teach us that dying comes with few consequences. Since you always respawn, you’re free to play however recklessly you’d like. Breakout, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast that will force you to change the way you play, unless you’re a jerk who doesn’t care about the three other players on the squad. 

If you care, let the concept of having one life sink in, and never forget about it during a round. The higher value you put on this one virtual life, the more respect you’ll gain from other players. 

With that in mind, we strongly suggest playing as conservatively as possible. Do not rush into areas or wander out into the open, where patient players will pick you off. Then again… 

Sometimes it’s OK to be a little reckless 

The goal in each Breakout round is to kill the opposing team, but there’s also a time limit to consider; should it expire, the round ends in a tie. No one wants a tie except for the losing side, so don’t be afraid to take some initiative with your team’s blessing.  

If you’re a decent Halo player, charge through the center (otherwise known as the pit), weaving in and out of cover. This may seem like a suicide mission, but if done correctly, you’ll flush out your opponents. Meanwhile, your team will learn their whereabouts and go in for the kill. 

For the most part, though, stick together 

There’s strength in numbers, and we suggest remaining in relatively close proximity most of the time. You can, however, break off into two-person teams and attempt to flank. 

Team communication is a must

There’s a great chance you’ll continuously lose until you get on the microphone and sync up with other players. You must be in constant communication during each round. Call out enemy positions (in the house, in the tower, in the pit, etc.), weapon locations and even your whereabouts.  Don’t switch off the mic and go rogue unless you’re the virtual equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando.  If that’s the case, you got this. 

Keep new Spartan abilities in mind

You’ll quickly learn that Halo 5: Guardians is much different than even Halo 4.  In addition to infinite sprint, you’ll also be able to slide and clamber up walls. New Stabilizers let you hover for brief periods of time, while Smart Scope lets you fine-tune your aim to get a bead on enemies. Meanwhile, the Ground Pound is an awesome way to take out multiple bad guys at once, though it takes precision to get the timing down. 

Why do we mention these features? You’ll want to use them throughout each round of Breakout, because your enemies most certainly will.