Halo 5 lets you pay real money for fancy armor and new guns

Update: We've received clarification from Microsoft. In their words:

"Players earn REQ Points after each multiplayer match in Arena and Warzone and redeem the points to acquire REQ Packs. There are 3 tiers of base REQ packs that can be purchased: Gold, Silver and Bronze, and requisition cards are categorized into five tiers of rarity: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Super Rare and Legendary.

Each level of REQ Pack determines the quality of the REQs inside; for example, a Gold REQ Pack has a chance of including Legendary requisitions, while a Bronze REQ Pack does not. Higher leveled REQ Packs require more REQ Points.

Regarding the rarity of REQs themselves, players will receive Common REQs the most often and Legendary REQs the least often. One example of what players will earn are weapons – the Needler is considered an Uncommon weapon, whereas the Sniper Rifle is considered a Rare weapon. An upgraded Sniper Rifle variant would be considered Super Rare, and a Mythic Weapon, such as the Prophet’s Bane, is considered a Legendary REQ."

Microsoft also clarified that Warzone matches restrict REQ usage via an in-match leveling system and energy management system, designed in a way to prevent pay-to-win. In short, you won't be able to call out the big guns (and vehicles) until your team levels up. So no starting with an army of Scorpion tanks - for better or worse.

Original story: Halo 5: Guardians will support microtransaction purposes for players who want to customize the aesthetics of their Spartan avatar in multiplayer, 343 studio head Josh Holmes has confirmed on the Halo Waypoint blog. The way it works is somewhat convoluted, so let's break it down:

New to Halo 5 are REQ Packs - a small collection of random in-game goodies you can purchase using REQ Points, which are earned by participating in multiplayer matches, leveling up Spartan Rank and completing commendation challenges. Inside a REQ Pack are things like armor pieces, skins, animations, and perhaps most importantly, weapons and vehicles. While REQ Packs can be purchased using the in-game currency of REQ Points, Holmes has revealed they can also be purchased using real-world money.

Here's where things get a bit sticky: while Holmes made sure to point out that only cosmetic changes will be allowed in Halo 5's 4v4 Arena multiplayer, no restrictions were mentioned for the newly-announced, 24-player Warzone mode. It also was not clear if premium REQ Packs - i.e. those paid for with real money - will contain only cosmetic items or if players will be able to purchase power upgrades using cash. Holmes wrote that the ability to purchase REQ Packs is "for convenience," and that a portion of the proceeds will go toward the Halo Championship Series prize pool.

I've reached out to learn more and hopefully get some clarification on the limits and restrictions of premium REQ Packs, but for now one thing is certain: Halo 5 will have microtransactions in some form. Take that how you will.

For more announcements, hop over to our hub for all the E3 2015 coverage.