Guide to Halo: Reach, Multiplayer - All the New Modes, Playlists & Armory

Guide to Halo: Reach, Multiplayer - All the New Modes, Playlists & Armory
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One thing online multiplayer in the Halo series has never suffered from is lack of choice, and Halo: Reach multiplayer is no different. Bored of standard deathmatch modes? Then dive into a plethora of game modes and playlists, encompassing everything from straight-ahead Capture The Flag to Rallying across the map in the classic Halo vehicles. Halo: Reach multiplayer has something for everyone of every online taste and persuasion, and in this installment of our guide to Halo: Reach, we’re going to take you through all the game modes, including the new Invasion and Headhunter modes, and show you what games are available on the many and varied Halo: Reach playlists. Factor in that the co-op Firefight mode is like getting an entire other online game in and of itself, and its clear that Bungie have packed more online multiplayer fun into Halo: Reach than possibly any other game of this console generation. To close matters, we’ll give you an overview of the new character customization options available to unlock for your online Halo persona in the Halo: Reach Armory.

The Halo: Reach Game Modes

Halo Reach Multiplayer - Headhunter


One of the big changes in multiplayer in Halo: Reach is the introduction with Arena of set Seasons and Divisions, a development which is bound to appeal to the truly competitive players in the Halo Xbox Live community. Seasons last a month, during which time you’ll need to complete a minimum of three matches in a day to earn a rating, and a total of ten days worth of ratings over the course of a month to rank in a Division. At the end of each Season, the results are recorded in your Service Record, the slate is wiped clean and the process starts again. Competition in this Halo: Reach game mode is bound to be brutally intense, as players fight it out to make it into the very highest Divisions.


Headhunter already looks set to become one of the most popular Halo: Reach multiplayer modes, combining Slayer gameplay with a touch of Objective stylings. Like some brutal deathmatch version of football, dead enemies drop flaming skulls that you need to grab, run to selected and constantly changing areas and drop to record a score. Add in the fact that when you bite the bullet you drop all the skulls you’re carrying and your killer can claim them all with the HUD info that tells each player how many skulls you’ve got on you at any one time, and you’ve got one hectic and hilarious game mode that will undoubtedly lead to a lot of griefing, gnashing of teeth and “Epic Fail” Halo: Reach gameplay videos in no time at all.

The Halo: Reach Game Modes, Continued

Halo Reach Multiplayer - Invasion


Invasion was one of the big features of the hugely popular Halo: Reach beta, and a slightly divisive addition to the Halo multiplayer roster: some Halo-Heads loved it, others couldn’t abide the new game mode. Invasion is a multi-stage battle between an attacking force and a set of defenders trying to hold onto their territory for as long as possible, before their position falls and the battlefield opens up with a new area to protect. Available weapons, vehicles and loadouts expand at each phase of an Invasion match, leading to a natural escalation of the carnage. The two dedicated Invasion maps, Boneyard and Spire, are amongst the biggest and best in Halo: Reach multiplayer, and with two good teams playing this game mode, the action can become truly epic. Try it and see what you think.


Capture The Flag may seem long in the tooth, but when played by Halo multiplayer experts it remains one of the most tactical and strategic of online FPS modes. Stockpile rattles up the tension by having your collected flags wait at your base for what can seem an agonizing 60 seconds before being counted, so matches often oscillate between determined runs to grab the flags and desperate defense of your hoard. Always a Halo: Reach multiplayer highlight.

The Halo: Reach Playlists

Halo Reach Multiplayer - Halo Reach Team Slayer

Big Team Battle

  • Maximum Team Size: 8
  • Maximum Players: 16

Big Team Battle is designed for large scale engagement on the bigger Halo: Reach maps such as Boneyard and Spire, with two teams of up to 8 players duking it out in Objective and Slayer game types, including Team SWAT and Multiflag CTF.

Doubles Arena

  • Maximum Team Size: 2
  • Maximum Players: 4

Buddy up and pit your wits against another duo in Slayer game types on all the multiplayer maps.

Multi Team

  • Maximum Team Size: 2
  • Maximum Players: 12

Multi Team takes the Doubles Arena template and ups the ante - up to 6 duos battling it out in Objective and Slayer game types, including Team Headhunter and Oddball.

Rumble Pit

  • Maximum Players: 8

The classic Halo 3 FFA playlist is back, mixing up Objective and Slayer game types, including Infection and the hilarious Race and Rally, across all the multiplayer and Forge World maps.

Team Arena

  • Maximum Team Size: 4
  • Maximum Players: 8

Two teams face off in straight Slayer in Halo: Reach’s new Arena Mode, hoping to climb up the Divisions on the backs of their fallen enemies.

Team Objective

  • Maximum Team Size: 4
  • Maximum Players: 8

Straight up Objective game types, including the full gamut of CTF and Stockpile variants, as 2 teams race to be first to the flag.

Team Slayer

  • Maximum Team Size: 4
  • Maximum Players: 8

Stalk the opposing team and take them out with extreme prejudice in various flavours of Slayer, including SWAT and Snipers.

Halo: Reach Firefight - Online Co-Operative Play

Halo Reach Multiplayer - Halo Reach Firefight


  • Maximum Team Size: 4
  • Maximum Players: 4

First seen in Halo 3: ODST, and now fully spruced up for Halo: Reach with a full complement of custom maps, Firefight is a co-operative game mode where up to four players face wave after wave of A.I. enemies in a backs-to-the-wall fight for survival. Think Gears of War 2’s Horde mode on steroids and you’lll get the picture.

Score Attack

  • Maximum Team Size: 1
  • Maximum Players: 1

Score Attack is a solo Leaderboard-based Firefight variant that sees one player take on successive waves of opponents for as long as they can hold out, all the while notching up the points.

Firefight Guide

With its eight custom optimized maps and tense co-op action, Firefight is almost like a whole video game in itself. As such, we’re going to go into more depth on the available game types, maps and team tactics in our forthcoming Halo: Reach Firefight guide.

The Halo: Reach Armory

Halo Reach Multiplayer - Halo Reach Armory

Bungie have expanded the online level progression system of Halo 3 with the addition of unlockable equipment, but fortunately haven’t fallen down the Modern Warfare 2 hole of making those unlockables over-powered or vital to your enjoyment of the game. As you play Halo: Reach multiplayer, you’ll increase in Grade and be rewarded with Credits, dependent on what Medals and Commendations you earn. Those credits can then be spent in the Halo: Reach Armory, an in-game store that allows you to tailor each of your Armor’s sections to your needs and taste. With tons of armor customization options on offer, it shouldn’t be long before your Halo character is as distinctive as your own play style.

For more on Medals, Commendations and Grades, be sure to read our upcoming guide to Ranking Up in Halo: Reach.


Few games in the history of online multiplayer, whether on PC or console, have been so stuffed to the rafters with goodies as Halo: Reach. Bungie have used their swansong in the Halo series not only to bid a fond farewell to the gaming legend they created, but to craft what may well be the definitive Halo multiplayer experience. If you have Xbox Live Gold, you’re going to want Halo: Reach, as there is enough fantastic multiplayer action on that one DVD to keep you occupied online for years to come.

This post is part of the series: Ultimate Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide

Bright Hub gives you all the info you need to dominate online with its Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide, including comprehensive coverage of the new weapons, armor types, vehicles, game modes and Xbox Live Achievements in Bungie’s blockbuster FPS Halo: Reach.

  1. Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide: New Weapons and Armor Types
  2. Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide: The New Multiplayer Maps
  3. Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide: The New Vehicles
  4. Xbox 360 Multiplayer Guide for Halo: Reach
  5. The Complete Halo: Reach Xbox 360 Achievements Guide