Keeping up with the Spartans
Halo 5s Warzone is a bit like the final scene in Batman Begins. A weary Commissioner Gordon thanks Batman, but warns that a superhero arriving at the scene is likely to trigger a tougher enemy response, with bigger guns and worse bad guys en route, thanks to escalation. Except, instead of handing Batman a Joker card, just imagine Gordon handing him a REQ card in a little plastic baggy.
Warzone takes Halo 5s jump-and-juke combat to an extreme scale, with large teams competing and killing in every possible direction. This grand game of escalation, with opposing teams summoning greater and greater weapons and vehicles to keep pace with one another, hinges on numerous tactical victories. Teams earn points from assaulting each other, capturing bases, tackling AI-controlled bosses and spending limited-use REQ cards - which let you summon anything from a Needler to a Scorpion tank - in the right places at the right times. To get that beautiful tank, you need three things: enough REQ points to buy it, an expendable tank card in your inventory, and for the match to have progressed enough to unlock that level of equipment (yup, its confusing). Everyone starts low, but the wonderful thing about Warzone is that items at the top dont always give you the best bang for your buck. Lets get smart about this.
Kill neutral enemies all the time, every time.
One of the biggest ways in which Warzone deviates from traditional Halo multiplayer is the addition of neutral enemies. Not many FPS games have featured a third, computer-controlled faction before, so it might seem strange and/or not worth your time to go after the various Covenant and Promethean forces that spawn in across the map. That would be a costly mistake however, as quickly and efficiently taking down these bosses can turn the tide of a losing battle or even finish the match with a decisive blow. The Victory Points these camps are worth more than make up for the time spent going after them, so always, always, always help a teammate out who's fighting the good fight.
Don't spawn a Warthog unless you've got a plan and a teammate.
Ah, the Warthog. The quintessential Halo vehicle. Iconic. Majestic. What would this game series be without them? And yet, they're virtually worthless in Warzone if you don't have a teammate you can communicate with. If you try to drive one of these puppies out into the battle without someone manning the guns, you're at best toothless and at worst committing suicide. Cortana help you if you get a silent stranger as your +1 too, because you can't really say "Over there! Shoot over there!" with honking, and you putting your life into xX420HoopZXx's hands when they're behind the wheel isn't ideal either.
While we're at it, sell that Mongoose.
As pointless as Warthogs can feel, it's the Mongoose that really takes the "Why is this here?" cake. Only one map is large enough to really benefit from their use, and that map already has one waiting for you at the start of the match. You can use that Mongoose to rush the capture points, but as soon as level 3 REQs become available, they (and you while riding them) are just way too vulnerable to be worth it. If you must, keep one or two in your pocket, but sell the rest for a boost to your REQ Points.
Seriously, sell what you don't need.
Let me confess something to you: I am a terrible sniper. Just just awful. So, as powerful as that weapon may be, I sell it every time it pops up in a REQ pack. I'm never going to use it and would rather put the points toward something I can and do want to use. Everyone's views on what's worth selling and what's worth keeping is going to be different, so know your strengths and outfit yourself accordingly. You do you.
Remember those power ups.
Spawning in with power weapons and badass vehicles is all well and good, but don't forget that you're also likely to pick up a few power ups along the way as you open up your REQ packs. These can let you spawn with active camouflage (invisibility), increased speed, and boosted damage. They don't last forever though, so make your move quickly.
Learn how to counter serious threats.
It's a pretty close game, with both your team and the enemy trading control of the map back and forth. You feel like you can do this if you just organize and play safe. And then you see a Banshee circling overhead, or a Scorpion come rolling over the hill. Suddenly your teammates are dropping like flies, and you don't know what to do. Time to get aggressive and counter the enemy's new toy. The instinct is to match force with force and out-Scorpion, out-Wraith, out-Banshee, out-play the other team. But instead of risking the loss of your own vehicle and watching your plan go up in smoke, try summoning a power weapon to deal with the bad guys. The rocket launcher is a great go-to here, as it's quick to fire, has the ability to lock on, and deals massive damage. A Whiplash railgun can also wreak havoc on Ghosts and Banshees.
Take a moment to assess the battlefield.
Let's say you're in a particularly rough Warzone match. The enemy has two control points locked down, and it feels like your team is throwing themselves at a wall of bullets each time they try to take one. Don't just die, die again - change things up. If it looks like the entire enemy team is focused on the spire, for example, take the time to sneak around and capture their armory. This can throw enough confusion into the mix that it forces the enemy to adapt, giving you and yours a chance to retake control of the match's momentum. Similarly, if you keep seeing your team get sniped when they enter a particular area, don't enter that area. Warzone maps are large, with plenty of alternate routes. Utilize them.
Dont go for Gold REQ Packs right away
Gold REQ packs are great, but they're also expensive, and if you're just starting out with Warzone, it can feel like an eternity before you start actually unlocking and properly outfitting yourself if they're all you buy. Instead, use your REQ Points (or real-world money) to purchase Silver level packs. They won't have the super-rare stuff, but they'll have two permanent unlocks just like a Gold does, and they're half the price. Once you've gotten a nice assortment of permanent unlocks from Silver packs, then start saving up for Gold packs.
And all the other stuff
Anything we missed? Got some of your own next-level strats to share with us? Let us know in the comments!