The next generation of Halo multiplayer begins on Dec. 29, 2014 with the start of the three week long Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta. Announced during the Xbox gamescom 2014 Media Briefing, the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta will run from Dec. 29, 2014 through Jan. 18, 2015 and focus on just a portion of Halo 5: Guardians’ full multiplayer experience – arena gameplay. Featuring intense 4 vs. 4 showdowns, arena combat in Halo 5: Guardians will start players with the same loadout, ensuring matches are perfectly balanced and competitive. The Multiplayer Beta includes seven maps and three game types, as well as a variety of different armor sets to customize your Spartan with. “It’s celebrating the legacy of competitive gameplay that’s always been at the heart of Halo’s multiplayer,” said Josh Holmes, Executive Producer on Halo 5: Guardians, in a developer video that was shown during the Media Briefing. Throughout the Beta, players will have the opportunity provide feedback through the newly announced Halo Channel. “Having a beta this early this early in development is crucial because it gives us as developers the opportunity to react to the feedback we get from fans and take it into account as we complete the multiplayer experience for Halo 5: Guardians,” said Holmes. The Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta will run on dedicated servers at 60 frames-per-second to deliver the best multiplayer experience, and include unlockables which can be carried over to Halo 5: Guardians when it launches in fall in 2015. Fans can get access to the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which releases on Nov. 11, 2014.