Halo 5 Getting 15+ Free Maps, Co-Op Doesn't Require Xbox Live Gold

"Epic" new multiplayer mode also in the works that will be unveiled at E3.


Update: Microsoft now says you will need Xbox Live Gold in order to play Halo 5's campaign online.

Original Story: 343 Industries plans to avoid splitting up Halo 5: Guardians's multiplayer player base by giving away more than a dozen DLC maps for free. Additionally, you won't need to pay for Xbox Live Gold in order to play the campaign cooperatively online.

These details come courtesy of Game Informer's new cover story on Halo 5, which is due out on October 27. The game will reportedly include more than 20 multiplayer maps right out of the gate, with more than 15 maps being released as DLC by June 2016. Microsoft will give each of these away for free to avoid dividing players into groups of those who do and do not own them--something that has increasingly become a problem for shooters over the years.

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"When you have paid map packs and content, you divide the player base into two groups: the haves and have-nots," studio head Josh Holmes explained. "The people that have the map pack can play together but the people who don't cannot. That to us is a real problem. So we're delivering all the maps to all players free so everybody will be able to play together. That, we feel, is really important to having a great multiplayer ecosystem."

While that's certainly encouraging news, players who enjoy playing Halo cooperatively on one system are in for a disappointment, as Guardians drops support for split-screen co-op. On the bright side, you'll be able to join up with other players online for campaign co-op without the need for an Xbox Live Gold subscription, which is ordinarily required for any online multiplayer on Xbox One. If playing online isn't an option, you'll still have AI-controlled companions throughout the campaign.

Design director Kevin Franklin also teased that E3 will bring with it news about a "new epic multiplayer experience" that 343 is excited about. "I can't say too much about it, but I can tell you it does incorporate all aspects of the Halo sandbox for the very first time ever," he said. "This was always a dream of ours and all of our fans to build something like this. It's been three years of long development and an incredible amount of play testing. We can't wait to show it off."

Beyond that, no hints were given as to what this new mode consists of. You can read more about Halo 5 in the latest issue of Game Informer.

Fortunately, we don't have long to wait to find out more about the game and this mysterious new game mode, as Microsoft's E3 press conference is just days away. It's scheduled to take place at 9:30 AM PT on Monday, June 15. Stay tuned to GameSpot for all the latest out of the conference and the rest of E3.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for SerOlmy

I will say straight up, now I'm not buying an XBone. I had planned to finally buy one when Halo 5 comes out in November. Now with no local split-screen I have no reason too. I usually play with my non-console purchasing buddies fairly regularly, but that will be impossible now.

If they don't backtrack this, I will not be buying Halo 5 or an XBone any time in the near future.

Avatar image for rikku45

Full splitscreen please, not this crap about fov and widescreen would ruin it.

Avatar image for FLEEBS

I really hope 343 reevaluates the ommision of split screen coop. If they actually take it away there will be lots of disappointed fans, and 343 really doesn't need that after the botched launch of MCC. Also, to remove a staple of Halo as revered as split screen coop is crazy to even contemplate.

Avatar image for orion124

@FLEEBS: I 100% agree.

Avatar image for Setzera

No local co-op? In a Halo game...

And here I was thinking that some day I'd pick up an Xbox for Halo MCC, and later play Halo 5 with my buddy. Kind of a nostalgia / modern marathon.

You just killed it. Just.. had to ruin it didn't ya? Good grief.

Avatar image for ulta_misia

While that's certainly encouraging news, players who enjoy playing Halo cooperatively on one system are in for a disappointment, as Guardians drops support for split-screen co-op.
that's stupid!

Avatar image for ray1man2hot

Xbox lineup can sink ps4 this year and these ponies, media included are running scared. As much as they try to down play the greatness of xbox one they cant fool people from seeing the truth. Ps4 says its great, well show me dont tell me. Xbox is showing us great games so why isnt ps4. At this point PS4 is nothing but all talk and its time to put up or shut up. If that console doesnt get any quality titles by the end of this year ps4 is washed up. https://youtu.be/KkAXPElma1Y

Avatar image for ElFlechero

Free DLC is a big plus. Taking away split-screen however is a much, much bigger minus. This better mean JUST coop is losing split screen, and not competitive as well. Because Halo isn't Halo unless you can play it with (with=they are actually WITH you, not somewhere else) your friends. Online is great, but it doesn't replace, and never will replace playing with (see definition above) real people.

Playing halo with my roommates at college was what got me really into video games. It's discouraging to see developers value things other than the things that made video games fun in the first place.

Avatar image for MigGui

good news and bad news. free DLC is always nice addition, and no need for gold to play co-op is nice, but split-screen co-op was available in all halo games and this is very disappointing for me and my brother who played every campaign together from start :/

Avatar image for Smaug317

Serious, split screen co op was the best thing about the MCC. I'm a huge halo fan, so I'll still play 5, but that's a HUGE BUMMER.

Avatar image for DIOSNY

I'll miss split screen but it's time to move forward. FPS's need 60fps that's the truth.. I'll be getting the Halo 5 X1 bundle to play some co-op

Avatar image for jstroz34

There is a reason to complain. Some of the best times I've had with gaming were sitting on the couch with my brother or a group of friends playing games. Now if you have friends over you have to have multiple consoles or send them home if you want to play! The video game companies are trying their hardest to make the stereotype of gamers reality! It will really be basement dwelling loners with no social skills if this keeps up!

Avatar image for jerjef

Well it may be a little bit of a downer that there will no longer be split screen, but they are offering free DLC and no gold requirement for online co-op campaign. Those bonuses are almost unprecedented and yet a lot of people here are focusing on the removal of split screen.

Do you see COD or Battlefield or even Killzone offering that?

Avatar image for edwardnygma

No split screen coop? Man everything I have heard of for this Halo does not look good. You command a squad which is incredibly lame. 343 really jacked up the master collection too so I have little faith left.

Avatar image for loops73

@edwardnygma: split screen? why do people always want this outdated concept.. get friends play online

Avatar image for mprince131

@edwardnygma: Cya. If you want the same experiences over and over again I guess that's why they released MCC. I prefer to wait for the game to come out or at least see what happens at E3 beforehaving some over the top reaction. Just my crazy logic, I guess.

Avatar image for barking_gman

Does that mean no split screen campaign or no split screen at all?

Avatar image for unfreak-believ

@barking_gman: If previous tweets are to believed, it's 2 player split screen for competitive play.

Avatar image for MichaeltheCM

I'll miss the split screen co-op :(

Avatar image for rasdorx

Cool glad they are trying to keep everyone together .

Avatar image for stage4saiyan

Based MS

Avatar image for guydude3412

I just cannot wait for this game. Hype level off the charts. This just made it even better.

Avatar image for td3swampfox

What's the point of having my second controller, again?

I guess everything else looks amazing for Halo 5, though.

Avatar image for Stogin

Really happy to hear about the free maps, but I wonder what DLC it will have, as I can't believe they wouldn't have some sort of season pass on this thing. Really bummed about losing split-screen tho, that was one of the best things about Halo co-op.

Avatar image for Spartan_418

Wonder if the friendly AI will be able to competently drive a warthog for you lol

Avatar image for rasterror

So this is Halo + Republic Commando. This makes my man vagina moist.

Avatar image for BelaidKL

This comment thread is a joke... Microsoft give things away for free and people COMPLAIN?! Do you really have to find a negative from absolutely nothing to justify your blind hate for a company or game?! Free DLC is great! Especially for an FPS game... This HAS to become practice again and if the biggest FPS title of this year can start that trend then great! Good! Fantastic for consumers! Stop spilling your hatred on any article associated to something good, just because you don't want it

EDIT: That being said it seems a minority that are spueing needless hate, but a minority is still too many

Avatar image for rasterror

Happy happy, joy joy, happy happy, joy, joy. Happy happy, joy joy joy!

Avatar image for bizuit

Can't wait for 6 months of patches to finally make the game playable too!!!!!!

Avatar image for ShingoEX

@bizuit This isn't MCC, btw.:

Avatar image for bizuit

@ShingoEX: Which means Halo 5 will suck even more because Bungie hasn't done the hard work for them already.

Avatar image for DIOSNY

@bizuit: yeah that's why Destiny had better reviews than Halo 4. Oh wait.

Avatar image for bizuit

@DIOSNY: Oh wait both gamed sucked....and all Halo games 343 have done have sucked....so what's your point?

Avatar image for DIOSNY

@bizuit: funny how only one of those games got really low scores. Just cause you're against evolution that doesn't make halo 4 a bad game that's why they have MCC for people like you that are stuck in 2001.

Avatar image for bizuit

@DIOSNY: Stealing all of your ideas from Call of Duty is hardly evolution. Halo 4 did NOTHING new from what every other shooter on the market already had done...a ranking system based on how many games you play and not if you win or lose is now considered evolution???? Everyone gets a trophy!!!! I sometimes forget how big of a dumpster fire Halo 4 was until I actually talk to someone about it...and remember how terrible it was.

Avatar image for emptycow718

@bizuit: I can't wait to play uncharted 2 online at 60fps.... Wow I forgot the uncharted collection has no online. Whatever I will just go back to playing halo MCC online Now that its perfect online

Avatar image for bizuit

@emptycow718: I don't have a PS4....I have an Xbox One and play Halo MCC a few times a week and it's FAAAAR from perfect....and that's an improvement from what it was at launch....but it took six months of patches to get there!!!!

Avatar image for emptycow718

@bizuit: far from perfect lol I played it 2 days ago and had zero problems finding a game and it was always lag free I would call that close to perfect if not perfect .uncharted remaster has zero I repeat zero online mp or co op halo MCC has both and having free online co op in halo five is a move Sony will soon copy Microsoft is forward thinking and Sony is just stuck in the past the ps4 is a step back from ps3

Avatar image for bizuit

@emptycow718: What does Uncharted Remaster have to do with Halo???? Halo MCC has gotten a lot better (you can actually join parties!!!!) but it took 6 months of patches to get there and some of those patches broke the game more. Halo MCC has yet to include rankings for popular game types (SWAT), still randomly crashes before games launch, Halo is still 2 vs 2, you STILL can't turn the vibration off on Halo 3 and it stays off. 343 has screwed up every Halo game so far...Halo 5 will be no different.

Avatar image for emptycow718

@bizuit: halo MCC was not made by 343.I think 343 is doing a great job halo 4 was awesome and from the beta of halo 5 all I can see is awesome.I agree Microsoft pushed halo MCC out the door knowing the online was not done. But they are still working on it and they should make it perfect halo MCC has legs to be a game played for the next 10 years+ just like games like counter strike but they have to. Stick to making it perfect. And it looks like they are working to make that happen .I did play halo MCC online the other day and had no problems finding a game and I was never booted or had lag but I hope whatever problems they game has are fixed .I respect the fact Microsoft put out a huge game like halo MCC but they never should have rushed it but again when its perfect the online has legs for years I hope whatever problems it has are fix

Avatar image for leviathanwing

@bizuit: he assumed you were in the other camp and took a swipe at you for stating facts... how dare you state facts here. reason and logic arent in high supply just look around. if you say you want halo 5 to do this, this, and that better than by golly you must be some sort of sony shill looking to come out from under your bridge which you frequent by day.

Avatar image for emptycow718

@leviathanwing: how do you come to a report of 15+ free maps and free online co op and still find a way to bitch ?

Avatar image for blackace

@bizuit said:

Can't wait for 6 months of patches to finally make the game playable too!!!!!!

Last time I checked. Halo 5 had a pretty flawless beta. Halo MCC did not. Move along troll. lol!! In any case this is awesome new for gamers who will actually be buying the game. Not so great for the trolls who's over hyped FPS didn't live up to anyones expectations. Greatness is coming...

Avatar image for leviathanwing

@blackace: 'EXHIBIT A'