Developer 343 Industries has published a lengthy post detailing the rankings and other features of the upcoming Halo 5’s multiplayer mode, called the Arena.
The Arena is team-based multiplayer, where players compete in a variety of game modes and settings.
From the start, players will be assigned a Competitive Skill Rating (CSR) based on their performance in a series of assessment matches. This will determine how matchmaking proceeds in multiplayer. There are seven ranks, each with their own tiers of progression within ranks.
In their post, 343 cautioned that the only way to jump ranks is to win games; individual player stats do not count toward progression, only team victories. With that being said, once a rank is achieved it cannot be lost, so a series of vicious losses wouldn’t demote a Gold-level player all the way back down to Bronze. It could, however, drop them from Gold level 6 to Gold level 1.
The exceptions are the highest two ranks: Onyx and Champion. These ranks stand on their own. In the Onyx tier, team wins increase the player’s CSR score. A player can only achieve Champion ranking by being one of the top 200 Onyx-level players.
It’s a lot of number-crunching that is going to result in some highly competitive multiplayer. We now know that 343 plans to restrict matchmaking to players with identical CSR scores, only opening up the search when those options have been exhausted. This effort is intended to make sure that teams, which have a lot riding on winning, can be as evenly matched as possible.
Player feedback will be taken into account with Halo 5’s multiplayer Seasons: month-long tournaments which will result in rewards for the highest-scoring players.
The list of bannable offenses is short and simple: “Quitting matches, betrayals or team killing, idling (AFK), intentional suicides, [and] excessive disconnects” will result in bans and a temporary block from matchmaking. The ban times are responsive to repeat offenders, so bad behavior will get you longer and longer punishments if you continue to do it.
Of course, the post then goes on to encourage players to “trash-talk your friends,” so it remains to be seen if 343 is taking strides as aggressive as Riot’s to keep their playerbase friendly and accessible. No mention of player conduct outside of not purposefully sabotaging a team was made in the post.
Halo 5 is the first Halo game to be rated T for Teen. As we discussed before, that might have less to do with its content and more to do with changing sensibilities toward video games. The ESRB does not include online interactions in its age ratings.
Halo 5 will also include microtransactions in its gameplay, and that REQ system will tie into the multiplayer.
Halo 5: Guardians launches on October 27 for the Xbox One. If you pre-ordered it digitally, it may already be loading on your console.