Halo is my favourite game franchise of all time. Halo 3 got me into proper gaming back when I was only nine years old, and since then, my two favourite modes in each of the games have been Forge and Firefight, with Halo 5 making both of them the most interesting they've ever been. Ever since we got improved Forge mechanics and custom Firefight modes in Halo Reach eleven years ago in 2010, we've been asking for a way to Forge our own Firefight maps. Today, I've found the way to have this be possible, and balanced at the same time.

Introducing Fireforge

Fireforge would work a little different from normal Firefight, and normal Forge. In this mode, you'd earn your Forge budget and new items by completing waves and challenges in a base Firefight map. Upon earning these rewards, you can hop into Forge and start building yourself a base with weapon and vehicle spawners, fortifications, turrets, traps and more to help keep your enemies at bay. This loop allows you to survive longer, complete more challenges, and thus earn more tools and budget to increase your base defences.

You don't have to work solo, either. You can bring your friends into your base to allow them to build up their budget and complete challenges, or you can join eachother in the Forge half to donate some of your budget and resources in order to improve eachother's developing fortresses.


In order for you to have a nice custom feel, the environment options return from Halo 5's Forge mode. This allows you to change the time, weather, fog, and any particle effects on your map. Perhaps the ability to change the background in the skybox would allow for more interesting and personalised environments.

Of course, you couldn't allocate enemy spawns. This would be too over-powered and allow people to essentially farm budget and challenges, which we don't want. The game could have set areas in which enemies charge in or drop from aerial vehicles to attack you. But then you could just build yourself a box with no entry - To prevent this we allow enemies to break down structures and crash their way through walls if there's no way for the pathfinding to get to you. The damage wouldn't be permanent, you could have a "Repair Structures" option at a central hub at the end of each wave, allowing you to spend a little budget to ensure your fortifications remain strong. This allows a healthy balance of creation and destruction, and gives a fun chance to jump on enemies who are slowly cutting through your walls.

Defence Suggestions

I've came up with some interesting dynamic props to add to your base, in order to make survival in Fireforge easier. Each of these will cost budget to place. Budget is earned by killing different types of enemies in Firefight.

  • Vehicle Platforms (Progressional unlocks)
    • You will have to unlock one at a time through a vehicle ranking list.
    • Placing a platform will allow one of these to spawn upon the start of the round. If it is destroyed, it will respawn after three rounds.
    • Unlock order:
      • Gungoose platform
      • Warthog platform
      • Ghost platform
      • Chopper platform
      • Wasp platform
      • Gauss Hog platform
      • Sword Ghost platform
      • Banshee platform
      • Mantis platform
      • Ultra Ghost platform
      • Rocket Hog platform
      • Sword Hog platform
      • Ultra Banshee platform
      • Wraith platform
      • Scorpion platform
      • Hannibal Ghost platform
      • Hannibal Scorpion platform
  • Weapon Lockers (Progressional unlocks)
    • You will have to unlock one at a time through the ranking list.
    • Placing a locker will allow you to restock up to 3 full sets of any weapon corresponding to the locker, with more ammo coming at the start of every round.
    • Unlock order:
      • Pistol case
        • Boasting two Sidekicks and the powerful Magnum. Two frag grenades as bonus
      • Assault Rifles locker
        • Has the classic AR and the new Commando
      • UNSC Precision locker
        • Holding two Battle Rifles and two DMRs
      • Stolen Banished Supplies
        • Holding a Mangler, a Needler, two Pulse Carbines, two Plasma Pistols and six Plasma Grenades
      • CQC Specialist locker
        • Holding a Bulldog and an Energy Sword
      • UNSC Specialist locker
        • Holding a Sniper Rifle, Hydra, SPNKr Rocket Launcher and two SMGs
      • Banished Specialist locker
        • Holding a Ravager, the Gravity Hammer and a Void's Tear Plasma Pistol
  • Backup Stations
    • You will unlock one at a time through the ranking list
    • To unlock a backup station rank, you must win ten complete games of Firefight
    • At first, you will only be able to place two backup platforms, but this will grow to ten
      • This allows you to eventually have all-out wars in Firefight
      • If the Flood are introduced into Firefight, having more allies could turn out to be a negative as they would be able to be turned against you via infection. Having spores seep into the Cyclops and turn it into a boss enemy would really turn the tide of the battle.
    • For balancing purposes, any kills from your backup will only generate half budget
    • Backup uniforms can be recoloured and slightly modified in the customisation menu
    • Unlock order:
      • UNSC Military Police
        • Two military police members
        • Loadout: AR and Magnum, BR and Sidekick
      • UNSC Marines
        • A squad of 5 marines
        • Loadout: Commandos and Sidekicks
      • UNSC Flamers
        • A duo of Flamethrower specialists
        • Loadout: Flamethrowers
      • ODSTs
        • A squad of 4 ODSTs
        • Loadout: SMG and Magnum, BR and SMG, AR and Sidekick, Bulldog and Sidekick
      • UNSC Sniper
        • A sniper, who will automatically go to any Sniper tower placed, if there is one
        • Loadout: Sniper Rifle and SMG
      • Swords of Sanghelios Backup
        • Two elites, two Jackals and four Grunts
        • Loadouts: 
          • Elite: Sword and Pulse Carbines
          • Jackle: Plasma Pistol and Beam Rifle
          • Grunts: Needlers
      • Spartan Company
        • Three randomly selected offline members of your Spartan Company, featuring their favourited weapons and skins. If unavailable, it'll pick someone from your friends list, before randomly generating a spartan.
      • Cyclops backup
        • The return of the Cyclops from Halo Wars
        • For balancing purposes, if you have this stationed in your base, it will take up five backup slots.
  • Extra Structures
    • Ramp (S, M, L, XL)
    • Airpad
      • Perfect slot for air vehicle platforms
    • Crashed Phantom bunker
    • Fusion Coil generator
      • Generates a Fusion Coil every 3 minutes
        • Also comes in a Plasma Battery variant 
    • Tree platform
      • Can only be accessed via Forged path or a Grappleshot
    • One-way shield
      • Good for funnelling enemies through a trap-filled maze, like the old Saw maps from back in the day
  • Defensive Structures 
    • Sniper tower
    • Anti-Infantry Tower (Flame)
    • Anti-Vehicle Tower (Gauss)
    • Anti-Air Tower (Homing Missile)
    • Spike trap
      • Enemies walk over and get stabbed
    • Landmines
    • Laser-mines
      • Placed on walls, if an enemy walks through them - Boom!
    • Gravity Catapult
      • Will activate when stood on and launch anybody who stands on it.
        • Good for traversal, as it works like the classic Gravity Lift when activated.
    • The Monitor Beam
      • When activated by a player, this destroyed and reassembled Forerunner Monitor on a pike will fire a deadly laser round an aimed 45 degree angle
        • Naturally, these are very expensive
    • Icicles
      • Shoot 'em, they fall and damage enemies. Classic mechanic

halo reach firefight

Challenge Suggestions

In order to earn certain base-defence tools, I've came up with a couple of challenges to complete. Certain challenges are ranked in order to unlock different level props.

  • Vehicular Expert (25 levels)
    • Earn kills, assists and distractions using vehicles
    • Unlocks each level of the 17 levels of vehicle platforms
    • Four of the other levels unlock new skills:
      • Stuck the landing: Survive vehicle explosions
      • Tough Maintenance: Vehicles you are in have 100% more health
      • Splatterproof: Take less splatter damage from enemy vehicles and deal double splatter damage
      • Unboardable: Mash melee to prevent enemies from hijacking you. 15% to negate EMP damage
    • Four of the other levels unlock new structures:
      • Ramp (S, M, L, XL)
      • Airpad
      • Anti-Vehicle AI Turret Tower (Gauss)
      • Anti-Air AI Turret Tower (Homing Missile)
  • Banisher (15 levels)
    • Kill 100 Banished for the first level, with 50 adding to the requirement per level
    • Unlocks each level of the 7 levels of Weapon Lockers
    • Four of the other levels unlock new structures:
      • Sniper tower
      • Crashed Phantom bunker
      • Anti-Infantry AI Turret Tower (Flame)
      • Fusion Coil generator
    • Four of the other levels unlock new skills:
      • Hunter assassination: You can now stick a grenade in the back of a Hunter, overload it's cannon, or stab it with a spike
        • Finally
      • Catch 2: Throw Fusion Coils further 
      • Hook, Line and Sinker: Spawn with a Grappleshot
      • How is it pronounced again?: EMP blast on low health
        • Gotta have an RvB reference in there somewhere


Of course, over some time you will have built up this impressive defensible base, spooky foggy apocalyptic invasion simulation, tower-defence game, or something else which at the moment is entirely unthinkable. You're going to want to share it, and rightly so. In order to prevent people uploading budget or challenge farms, when using someone else's map you will be unable to earn these awards, only XP and any other currencies that may be in the game. This means you still get to experience other people's creations and have some kind of reward, without using them to build up your own bank.


What do you think of FireForge? Does the idea make you more excited for Halo Infinite? Let us know on Twitter @GamesAtlasCom and be sure to stay tuned for any future articles!

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