Halo 5 Multiplayer Bans, Skill Ranking System, Medals, and More Outlined

Halo 5 is coming soon.


With just 10 days to go before the release of Halo 5: Guardians, Microsoft has now announced more details about the game's multiplayer component regarding its ban policy, skill ranking system, medals, and more.

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First up is Halo 5's ban policy. In an effort to "maintain the quality of the Arena experience and sanctity of competition," developer 343 Industries will track the following behavior:

  • Quitting matches
  • Betrayals or team killing
  • Idling (AFK)
  • Intentional suicides
  • Excessive disconnects

Players who "repeatedly engage" in actions like these will receive temporary bans that prevent them from accessing Arena multiplayer. "The duration of each ban is dependent on the offense and becomes more severe with each successive infraction, so continually killing your teammates to steal the Sniper Rifle will quickly lead to long timeouts from matchmade play," 343 said.

Below is a roundup of some other details that 343 announced about Halo 5's multiplayer component.

  • You will never join an Arena match that's already in progress, but Warzone matches (which can last 30 minutes or longer) do support join-in-progress.
  • Competitive Skill Ranking (CSR): When you play Halo 5 for the first time, you'll first have to complete a series of "placement matches" before receiving a CSR. Finish 10 games and you'll be placed into one of seven CSR ranks (see them below)
  • Matchmaking: The algorithm prioritizes match quality "above all else." This begins by attempting to find other combatants at your exact CSR. If that's not enough, the pool will be widened to include players who are "around your same skill."
  • Seasons: These challenge players to reach the highest CSR possible in one month. They take place in "select Seasonal Arena playlists" and reset every month. Special cosmetic rewards are given to top players.

CSR Ranks and Emblem Designs

The seven ranks are: Bronze, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Onyx, and Champion. After you're given a starting rank, the only way to increase it is to win more matches, independent of individual performance. "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," 343 said.

There are six tiers of each rank; achieve them all and you'll proceed to the next rank. Lose games, however, and your rank will decrease, though 343 says you'll never drop an entire rank from losing.

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The Onyx and Champion ranks work differently than the rest.

"Once you reach Onyx, you will be shown your raw CSR score," 343 said. "Winning no longer increases your tier--it instead increases your CSR score. This allows you to compare yourself with greater precision to other players within the Onyx rank. If you establish yourself as one of the top 200 players in a playlist, you will earn the highly coveted rank of Champion and be shown your place within the top 200."

Check out the designs for each rank in the gallery above.


Returning from Halo: Reach, commendations in Halo 5 reward players for completing tasks in multiplayer. It's basically the same as you remember it, but this time they have five tiers.

"Every tier of a commendation rewards XP," 343 said. "Completing tier 3 of a commendation rewards a bonus REQ Pack with boosts and other single-use REQs. The 5th tier of every commendation unlocks a pack containing a specific emblem. This allows a player to flaunt their reward and let everyone know via that emblem and the corresponding back plate that they have put the time in and had the skill required to finish the commendation."

343 added that it plans to introduce more commendations in the future, while it will also "watch the current ones" to ensure they are "fun and balanced." Some of the commendations available at launch include Scorpion Gunner (Kill enemy spartans with a Scorpion), Assistant (Earn any Assist medal in Warzone), and Carbine (Kill an enemy Spartan with a Carbine). There are dozens and dozens of commendations in all. See the full lineup here.


These will of course return in Halo 5. For this game specifically, they exist for three reasons: "to reward objective play, to earn REQ points, or to highlight incredible feats." In Warzone, every Medal you earn will increase your level, in turn letting you unlock more powerful REQs. The classics are all here, including Killing Spree, Double Kill, Stuck etc, as well as some new ones like Ground Pound (kill an enemy using the new ground pound ability). Others are available only in Warzone, while some were cut.

"For as many new Medals that appear in Halo 5, there are just as many that we tinkered with during development that didn't make the cut," 343 multiplayer designer Max Grossman said.

Concerning the look of the medals, 343's overall aim was to "preserve the classic feel of the legacy medals while giving all of our Medals a fresh new look." Take a look at some of the new designs below, while the full lineup of medals available at launch can be seen here.

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The Halo 5 release date is set for October 27 exclusively for Xbox One. In other recent news about the game, 343 has announced its launch day multiplayer playlists and revealed all the achievements. In addition, the game is now available to pre-load, while Nathan Fillion likes the way he looks in it.

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