Halo 5: Guardians players will be able to earn rank in Arena multiplayer matches. Today 343 Industries told us exactly what this climb to the top will be like.

Arena, first playable in the beta last year, is the "classic" multiplayer you associate with the Halo series. In these 4v4 matches, all players start with the same loadout and have to find powerups and weapons throughout the map. You'll only be able to join matches at the start, to ensure that you're not just jumping into the tail end of a losing battle.

Your matchmaking in Arena will be determined by your Competitive Skill Rating (CSR). This rating will be assigned after 10 placement matches. Depending on your performance in these matches, you'll be lumped into one of seven ranks: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Onyx, and Champion. Then, it's time to start climbing the ladder:
After earning your starting rank, the ONLY way to increase your rank is by winning. For team-oriented playlists, this emphasizes the importance of team play. Whether you drop 30 kills in a game of Slayer or single-handedly capture every flag in a CTF match, wins are the only way to improve your CSR. As you win, you will progress through the 6 tiers of your rank. If you are skilled enough to continue winning at tier 6, you will advance to the next rank (yay!). Losing games will cause your progress within a rank to decrease, but you will never drop down a whole rank from losing. For example, if you spend all month working your way into Silver, losing won’t drop you back to Bronze.

If and when you reach Onyx, you'll see your raw CSR score along with the scores of other players in that rank. Wins will continue to add to your score. If you wind up with one of the top 200 ratings, you'll be crowned a Champion.

To ensure that Arena is a place for serious competition, 343 Industries is going to crack down on misbehavior. If you leave a match in progress, it will be counted as a loss and you'll forfeit any XP or REQ points you could have possibly earned. Furthermore, you'll be unable to queue up for another Arena match for a short period of time.

The game will automatically track player behaviors and issue bans as well. Repeatedly committing the following offenses can result in bans from matchmaking:
  • Quitting matches
  • Betrayals or team killing
  • Idling (AFK)
  • Intentional suicides
  • Excessive disconnects
343 says that the length of the ban will depend on the exact offense. It will also increase with each new infraction. Hopefully that will keep Arena free of trolls.

Arena mode is one of two competitive multiplayer options in Halo 5. The game will also feature Warzone, a 24-player experience with vehicles and larger maps. Some matches are a three-way battle, with the two teams of players being attacked by A.I. enemies.

Halo 5 will launch on October 27th exclusively on Xbox One. You can check out the first 30 minutes of the campaign here if you're curious.

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