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Published February 15, 2016

For those unaware 343 Industries has steadily dropped new content for Halo 5 since its launch. They seem to be taking care of that community. February is no different. This month they’re dropping an update called Hammer Storm. This update will include all the usual suspects. New weapons, armor, Req packs, maps etc. The highlight of this update is the addition Oddball, Fiesta Slayer, and Ricochet matches. Check out the patch notes below (it’s a lot) thanks to Halo Waypoint.


New Game Modes

As a reminder, the February update brings with it new modes such as Assault and Grifball, as well as the ability to create game types like Oddball and Ricochet thanks to custom game options. Also included is Fiesta Slayer. To get the lowdown on how these modes work, head over to last week’s update: A Whole New Ball Game.

To hold you over until the live stream, I was able to grab an Assault screenshot from a recent Coliseum bridge charge. Soon, the ball will be in your court. Literally. Especially if we’re talking about Grifball.


As we teased last month, the February update brings with it a brand new map, named Torque. While we’ll be showing it off in this month’s stream, and there are a few sneak peeks scattered throughout this update, I also got the okay to show off a slice of the concept art for the map:

Be sure to join us live in a few weeks to see the 343 gameplay premiere.


As has become tradition, we’re revealing the first look at Hammer Storm REQs in today’s update, which will give you a small peak at what’s to come, and some blurred images that will allow you to speculate wildly.


In addition to the above content, Hammer Storm also brings with it a number of game improvements across Forge, fixes for issues with player warping and game de-sync in some rare cases, UI (user interface) improvements, and more. This week, we’ll preview some of the work that the latter team has been doing.

In each meeting I attend around the new building, it always seems like teams around the studio are grabbing me to let me know about something they just finished that is slotted for a future update. I then get very excited, and ask when I can tell all of you about it. The most recent example comes this week, when our UI team said “Hey, by the way, we’ve got some cool stuff coming in this month’s update!” So I then got the details.

Like many teams at 343, the UI team is one that is generally well aware of community feedback before the community team can even send it to them. Here’s a summary of feedback we had seen after launch on colors as it pertained to Spartan customization, and some context from the UI team:

Kevin McGinnis, UI Art Lead

In an effort to give players more choice and control over the look of the Spartan and Emblem the UI team worked to expand the color palette. For Armor, we now allow individual selection of Primary and Secondary colors, and for Emblems, individual selection Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary colors. There are no restrictions, so players can choose 2 of the same color to create a totally different looking emblem.

  • Players couldn’t make their armor color similar to the Master Chief or other major character
  • There was no brown, orange, purple, or black
  • There were not enough greens, and too many blues and pinks
  • Emblem “harmonies” (pre-set combinations) restricted player choice

So, then team has made the following changes in the February update.

Changes in February Update:

  • Expanded the color palette for armor and emblems from 32 to 60 colors
  • Replaced the emblem harmonies with simple, primary, secondary and tertiary color options (see below)
  • These new options have no restrictions – you can make any 2 of them the same color and get a completely different looking emblem shape
  • These new colors carry over to Waypoint as well

Here’s a look at the new Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary color selection for emblems:

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