Halo 5: Guardians – Monitor’s Bounty Update

By: Connor Murphy | December 8th, 2016

It has finally arrived! Monitor’s Bounty, what could be argued as the most anticipated Halo 5 content drop to date, has finally been revealed! The new update delivers Halo fans new Forge canvases, a Custom Games browser, Observer Mode, new customization, and more! Let’s dive right in.

New REQs & Customization

As expected with 343’s content updates to Halo 5, a sizable REQ sheet comes in tow. Three new sets of skins will be available upon update as well as new stances, assassinations, and weapons. Chief among them, Halo: Reach’s beloved Grenade Launcher returns to the franchise. Its Uncommon REQ position is accompanied by the Rare-classified Pro Pipe—a harkening to the glory days of its use in competitive play. The infamous Sentinel Beam also makes a return via the REQ system as a Rare card. With regard to vehicles, the Wasp receives two new iterations of Legendary and Ultra Rare value while the Wraith gets an Anti-Air upgrade. People struggling in Warzone Firefight are sure to love these additions.

While only one set of armor, Icarus, makes an appearance in Monitor’s Bounty, 343 teases helmets coming to the game in 2017. Most of them are direct copies from those found in Halo: Reach, and people seem awfully excited for the Legendary Mark V Delta. Others include Recon, Military Police, EVA, EOD, CQB, Operator, Security, and Pilot. We’ll have to stay on the lookout for when those drop.


Observer Mode


December’s update brings fully functional spectator capabilities to Halo 5. Observer mode allows anyone in a custom game lobby to spectate the match in real time. While competitive fans have seen the Observer HUD on occasion, it provides full team information to the Observer: shields, health, weapons, grenades, power-ups, and player outlines. The overlay is meant to work with up to eight players on two teams, and participating as an observer simply requires selecting the proper team slot before a match starts.



Forge Updates

Monitor’s Bounty boasts being one of the biggest updates to Forge in Halo history. Two new canvases will be available with the update, Depths and Barrens. Barrens is a vast desert map with rocky surroundings and Depths takes forgers to the ocean floor. Monitor’s Bounty provides 650 new Forge objects, which brings the total to a whopping 3800. Other additions include new filters, lighting themes, and 343’s Forge lead Tom French teased the addition of new scripting elements available upon update. It turns out scripting is getting a major overhaul according to Gamespot, with forgers able to specify the actions of up to 64 items simultaneously. Scripts now have four available actions per condition, and new conditions are on the way. Ultimately, the goal is to allow players to create their own games and gametypes as specifically as possible.

Also coming to Forge is a feature that may save players a few minutes or even hours of work: file recovery. If by chance you disconnect from the Forge server, an automatic save will occur to salvage your map progress. Xbox One forgers will find this a welcome relief as this has already been available for the PC version of Halo 5’s Forge experience. This comes alongside other “general Forge enhancements, tweaks, and changes” happening with Monitor’s Bounty.

Halo’s YouTube account posted a 14-minute walkthrough of the Forge update with Tom French and Community Manager Brian “Ske7ch” Jarrard, be sure to check it out here! They provide a closer look at new items, scripting, and the modes coming back to Halo.



Gametypes returning to Halo by popular demand include Race and King of the Hill, as well as a new minigame called Battle Golf. Gamespot posted an exclusive gameplay of Battle Golf here, so check it out! Two teams of four duke it out with clubs to get their ball to the cup in the middle of the map, which is chock-full of scripted elements and alternate routes. It looks like the level of chaos you would expect for a Halo minigame.

Additional changes to Arena, Warzone, and Forge have been fully detailed over on Halo Waypoint! Discuss the newest Halo 5 content update on our forums!