How to Play Halo

I wrote this up for one of the private groups I am a member of. If you’re interested in getting better or making the jump to competitive play, this is a great reference guide on how to make decisions in-game.

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Micro
Aggressive vs Passive Play
This is a matter of playstyle and opinion. I will share my views from what I’ve experienced and what I’ve analyzed at the professional level.

Aggressive play has a higher ceiling of potential success than passive play. It puts the ball in your court as it’s up to your team to make mistakes. Passive play gives the other team the opportunity to make mistakes or be successful.

Against the wide majority of players, passive play will work because they are going to make mistakes. This is why so many players has success in Arena with the passive playstyle. However, against an organized aggressive team, passive play just doesn’t hold up.

Staying Alive vs Challenging
Most players can’t seem to wrap their head around this, and it is a very important piece of play which affects both macro and micro level teamwork. If you’re in a situation where you need help and you’re not going to get it, don’t challenge. If you can give your teammates help, give it. If your teammates give you help, don’t ditch them.

If you’re on the other team’s side of the map, it’s okay to play more passively. Staying alive on their side forces them to worry about you and make mistakes. If you’re trying to get map control, it’s okay to die as long as your teammates get it because of your death.

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Macro
Map Control vs Relative Score
In chess there are two variables which are affected by each move: time and space. Similar in Halo the two variables are map control and relative score. Each decision you make affects these two variables in some matter, and decisions are usually a trade off between the two.

To explain further, I’ll use the example of chasing to clean up a kill. To chase a kill you’re giving up map control to gain an advantage in relative score. There are some times where this is the right choice, but constantly chasing will hurt you in the long run.

Choosing Between the Variables
Map Control
The biggest mental mistake most players make is to give up map control. The purpose of map control is to put yourself in an advantageous position so that you’re more likely than your opponent to get a kill in any given situation. This is achieved between securing power weapons, as well as advantages in map geometry (teamshooting ability/high ground/good spawns). Please note that the purpose of map control is not to get kills, but to make it easier to get kills.

The next question is, when should you choose map control over score?
Slayer:
-Early in the game (less than 35 kills)
-Whenever power weapons are going to be spawning
-When the loss of map control is rewarded by less than a +2 kill differential.

CTF
-When your team is not setup to pull a flag.
-If an essential power weapon is spawning.
-When your teammates are respawning.

KotH
-99% of the time, KotH is all about map control.

Relative Score:
Relative score is the variable that shows up at the end of the game. Examples of playing for relative score are ruffgonjaing the flag, chasing a kill, or strongsiding in a hill.

Again, these are the situations where relative score should be chosen over map control.
Slayer
-Late in the game
-When your teammates are alive

CTF
-When a flag can be scored without an easy counter-cap opportunity.
-When the other team is pushed up and spawn killing. Making them worry about their flag will disrupt map control.

KotH
-End-game desperation
-When the hill is moving and map control is established for the previous hill

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Openings
A great number of people put a huge emphasis on openings as if they’re the only piece of strategy that comes into play, then everyone should run around like a chicken without its head. They’re really not that important, but here’s an easy rule to make an opening strat for any map:

2 players rush most powerful power weapon
1 player rushes for map control
1 player rushes for secondary power weapon

Openings are really not that complex and more emphasis should be placed on mid-game strategy, not openings.

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I hope you can learn from my post. If you have any questions, feel free to post ITT or message me on XBL at the GT: Cosssta.

Good job on posting this.

to improve this guide you could make videos demonstrating what you described in your post.

also call out videos as well. some of them already on youtube.

Oh, if only I had the talent and the will power to implement these ideas/strategies. I am much too impatient. I am like the chicken without a head. :confused:

Nice post though.

Cossta has a few vids up but those are of Arena. Might I suggest a few videos that are much simpler in nature? A blow by blow if you will since concepts of map control and team shooting is much more complex when written then shown to the uninitiated.

This a good thread, do you plan on adding more information? I thought we could get this stickied, it wouldn’t hurt as far ease of access goes. Beats having the thread sink into obscurity and thus helping no one.

> Oh, if only I had the talent and the will power to implement these ideas. I am much too impatient. I am like the chicken without a head. :confused:
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> Nice post though.

its something that takes time. you dont have to be god tier to adopt this play style.

plus helps anyone whos getting tired of getting 50 -10 all of the time

> Oh, if only I had the talent and the will power to implement these ideas/strategies. I am much too impatient. I am like the chicken without a head. :confused:
>
> Nice post though.

Degeneration (yes i know it’s an L but it’s taken as a I) and I utilize those concepts and they don’t take that long to get down. Plus we’re decent players, no where near Cossta’s level, so don’t feel so bad.

> Cossta has a few vids up but those are of Arena. Might I suggest a few videos that are much simpler in nature? A blow by blow if you will since concepts of map control and team shooting is much more complex when written then shown to the uninitiated.
>
>
> This a good thread, do you plan on adding more information? I thought we could get this stickied, it wouldn’t hurt as far ease of access goes. Beats having the thread sink into obscurity and thus helping no one.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll be sure to look into it once my cap card/new computer come in.

I’ll add more information as people ask relevant questions which other people can learn from.

> > Cossta has a few vids up but those are of Arena. Might I suggest a few videos that are much simpler in nature? A blow by blow if you will since concepts of map control and team shooting is much more complex when written then shown to the uninitiated.
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> >
> > This a good thread, do you plan on adding more information? I thought we could get this stickied, it wouldn’t hurt as far ease of access goes. Beats having the thread sink into obscurity and thus helping no one.
>
> Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll be sure to look into it once my cap card/new computer come in.
>
> I’ll add more information as people ask relevant questions which other people can learn from.

No problem, i am happy to help when i can.

As for the rest of you with questions: Ask them, don’t be afraid you’ll be a much better player for it.

While this advice is sound and a solid template for teamplay, do you think any of the gameplay tips would be altered when playing without an organized team?

> While this advice is sound and a solid template for teamplay, do you think any of the gameplay tips would be altered when playing without an organized team?

I know this directed at Cossta but i am not quite sure he is online. Sorry if this offends you but you’ll get over it Plunder. :stuck_out_tongue:

To answer this question: The effectiveness of the tips are dramatically altered significantly if you search and play with randoms. Since there is no coordination, things like map control and team shooting become much harder to set up, if not outright impossible due to the less than desirable skill levels being paired up with you. In short, it becomes a headache.

Map positioning of course is always useful as you will know when to challenge and when to back off. Knowing the choke points and areas where players usually go can be used to your advantage, even if you don’t play with a team.

Since this is a team game, you must search with those you know how to set up to make the best use of these tips. This is doubly true in Reach where 1 V 1s are less emphasized and team work is essential.

> While this advice is sound and a solid template for teamplay, do you think any of the gameplay tips would be altered when playing without an organized team?

you could still position yourself and know when to be passive or aggressive, if playing with randoms

Awesome post, very helpful and even mad me laugh about the riunning around like a chicken with its head cut off, thats me alot. Any more posts like this this one would be most apperciated or videos if you have the time.

This is a very good post. Shows the depth in halo. ( people seem to think all you do is run around). Like others have said, videos would be great to go along with this.

This is rather a smart and helpful post around here actually, very well done.

> While this advice is sound and a solid template for teamplay, do you think any of the gameplay tips would be altered when playing without an organized team?

When playing with randoms you have to play selfishly so you can carry them. It’s not my forte so I wouldn’t be the best guy to get advice from.

You made mention of mid-game strategy at the end of your post. Anything you could add about that, or strategy tips following a basic opening like you mentioned and tips on how to handle losing an initial rush for power weapons or map control?

As always, well done Cosssta.

> You made mention of mid-game strategy at the end of your post. Anything you could add about that, or strategy tips following a basic opening like you mentioned and tips on how to handle losing an initial rush for power weapons or map control?
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> As always, well done Cosssta.

this ^

More people need to see this because, Seriously they don’t quite understand halo. :stuck_out_tongue: