What’s in Week 1 of the Halo 5: Guardians Beta?

Got your copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection? Well, it’s time to lock and load: Today, the long-awaited Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta kicks off on Xbox One for all of the Master Chief Collection owners out there, and it’s now available for download. The Multiplayer Beta runs three full weeks, wrapping up on Sunday, January 18, 2015. That’s quite a lot of ass-kickin’ time, so here’s a quick guide to what the first week in Halo 5: Guardians has to offer.

You’ll get to jump into the Truth and Empire multiplayer arena maps for some high-octane 4 v. 4 action. Truth (which you may remember as one of the central subjects from our recent “The Sprint – Making Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta” series) is a homage to one of Halo 2’s most-loved arena maps, Midship. Its symmetrical design features opposing bases, and two high points connected by the center platform. The Pink Tower returns as a key area to control, as it offers the highest elevation in the map. The legendary energy sword, Prophets’ Bane, is located on top of the center platform.

Meanwhile, Empire is a symmetrical urban map that features dueling snipers, as well as a defensible tower where players can control the map. Once a team holds the tower, the other team’s sniper can employ guerrilla warfare tactics to surprise and eliminate the tower sniper – giving their allies an edge when pushing the power position.

And of course, if you need a break, you can always relax and watch the action in Halo 5: Guardians‘ spectator mode. Everybody needs a breather every now and then, even in something this mind-numbingly awesome.

So, happy hunting – and, as always, stay tuned to the Halo Channel for all the latest updates on Halo 5: Guardians and the rest of the ever-growing Halo universe. We’ll bring you more on new maps, modes, and weapons in the coming weeks!