Halo 5 Weapon Tuning Update Now Available

New Halo 5 update balances every weapon in the game

By Grayshadow, Posted 02 Nov 2017

343 Industries has been working on weapon balancing for Halo 5 for weeks and now the update is available.

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Almost everything in the game has been rebalanced to ensure a fair experience. While 343 Industries has provided a massive amount of data explaining the changes they ask the community to provide feedback on all changes for further updates. 

Aim Assist – This value affects how ‘easy’ it is for a projectile to hit the target. Think of this as a gentle helping hand to reduce the accuracy penalty if you’re not 100% perfectly lined up on your target. In a world where we have split second battles occurring over network conditions, aim assist helps to make things a bit more forgiving/consistent and generally feels better as a player.

CQC – “Close Quarters Combat” – used to describe engagements that are up close and personal at a close range.

DPS – Another straightforward value – this refers to “Damage Per Second” and if every bullet fired hits the target, this is the avg. total damage value per second of use. DPS is a common method to understand how powerful a weapon is. The higher a weapon’s DPS, the more lethal it is. This is a factor of several things such as rate of fire, accuracy, clip size, and damage multipliers.

Falloff Range – This value applies to both “Magnetism” and “Aim Assist” and is measured in terms of “near” and “maximum” range values. Think of this as the point where the effectiveness of magnetism or aim assist begins to decrease and is less than the maximum possible value. All weapons have a curve where there’s an ideal sweet spot range where a weapon receives maximum benefit from things like magnetism and aim assist and then as you move out from that center – in both directions - that benefit decreases.

Headshot Multiplier– This is pretty straight forward – when a bullet or projectile hits the intended target in the head it will do extra damage compared to landing the same shot on the torso.

Red Reticle – When you’re using a weapon and have an opponent in your sights within the intended optimal range, the reticle turns red. A red reticle means that the weapon’s aim assist is in play. “RRR” refers to the weapon’s “red reticle range.”

Shots to Kill – similar to the above except this is the actual minimum number of shots needed to finish an opponent (again, assuming all shots land). “Shots to Shields” is the same measure but in reference to the shots needed to pop an opponent’s shields.

Time to Kill (TTK) – A general measure used to describe the lethality of a weapon. If a player is firing against an opponent and every shot lands, this is a measure of how long it will take before the target dies.

Active Camo

Goal: Make Active Camo visual effect a little more effective, especially when moving

Tuning Test Changes: Invisibility graphical effect was improved

Tuning Test Results: Players using Active Camo were slightly harder to see, no negative feedback or contradicting data.

Final Changes: Active Camo graphic effect has been tweaked to make invisible players slightly harder to see when moving.

TL;DR: Active Camo is basically the same except an invisible opponent will be a little harder to see, especially while on the move.

Assasult Rifle

The outer reticle effectiveness was reduced by 7% in size compared to the original default AR – this slightly reduces how forgiving it is for aim assist and magnetism.

The inner-reticle value of the AR was modified to be less forgiving and generous for registering headshots – thus requiring more accuracy on the part of the player. This value was reduced by approx. 99%.

The effective magnetism range was reverted to the default AR value while the close-range impact of magnetism was reduced by approx. 20% (making it a little less “sticky” on close range targets).

The rate of fire for the AR has been increased by approx. 5%

The headshot damage multiplier bonus has been increased by approx. 200%. compared to the original AR value.

Base damage per bullet has been reduced by approx. 23%.

Battle Rifle

The rate of fire / rounds-per-second remains the same as the tuning test value

The recoil values were reverted back to the default behavior for the BR

Bullet grouping was made a bit tighter than what was in the tuning test

Red reticle range has been decreased by approx. 17%

The effective close range for magnetism has been increased by approx. 100%

The spread/bullet grouping is approx. 50% tighter than what was in the tuning test (but is still looser than the original default values)

Damage values have not changed at all

Beam Rifle

Same as the tuning test changes. The Beam Rifle and the UNSC Sniper Rifle now have parity with regards to their effectiveness when firing from the hip.


The changes to the aim assist were reverted back to the default values (essentially making aim assist a bit more forgiving) while the red reticle range was reduced by approx. 8%. (Similar to the changes applied to the BR).


Headshot-specific aim assist was increased over what was present in the tuning test but is still approx. 30% reduced from the default-shipping version of the DMR.

Red reticle/aim assist was pushed back out with the max effective range increasing by approx. 24% compared to the pre-test DMR. The aim assist max falloff range was reverted to the pre-test value.

The effective range at which magnetism comes into play was increased by approx. 24% vs. the original default value while the max falloff range was reverted back to its original value. The close range benefits of magnetism was decreased – making it less “sticky” on targets – thus making the DMR less effective in CQC situations.

The DMRs rate of fire was decreased by approx. 8%.

Overall damage is unchanged.

Energy Sword 

The “Relic Sword” still has the 20% movement speed bonus removed but has also received a few additional tweaks to make it feel less sluggish when switching back and forth between it and other weapons. The ready and stow times were sped up to help it feel more responsive.

Frag Grenade

The overall damage-dealing blast radius of a Frag Grenade has been reduced by approx. 25%.

Additionally, a tweak was made that changes the lower-bound damage limits of a Frag Grenade’s explosion. Previously, if a target was on the very extreme edge of the blast radius, they could take a little as 1 point of damage to their shields. This variability, coupled with a player’s inability to really gauge how far into/out of the blast zone they are, made it very unpredictable and inconsistent. To normalize things a bit, now any Spartan caught within the effective blast radius is guaranteed to take enough damage to drop 50% of an opponent’s shield. 

Fuel Rod Cannon 

The projectile’s explosive radius remained reduced by approx. 24%.

The projectile’s velocity was reduced by approx. 6% in order to give players who are the receiving end a little more of a fighting chance to escape with their life.

The projectile’s “behavior” was altered to behave a bit more like a rocket – i.e. it will always fire in a straight line and require more manual accuracy when aiming.

Grenade Launcher

No additional changes were made to the Grenade Launcher beyond what was adjusted for the tuning test.

Gunfighter Magnum

The Gunfighter underwent another round of adjustments to address the data and feedback from the public test.

The aim-assist and magnetism adjustments noted above for the tuning test remain as they were in the test.

Bullet grouping was tightened back up – it still has the potential to be “looser” than the original version but it’s approx. 25% tighter than the public test.

The Gunfighter was made a lot “snappier” compared to the tuning test version – the speed to draw the weapon, get into and out of zoom, and reload were all reverted back to the original default values.

Base damage for the GunFighter Magnum was increased by approx. 25%.

Rail Gun

Charging time increased by approx. 33% compared to the original default value.

Time to hold a charge increased by 100% compared to original default value.


Initial accuracy was bumped up slightly so it’s more accurate than the tuning test version but still slightly less than the default value

The Headshot multiplier was re-enabled (per the SMG’s original default setting) however the multiplier itself was decreased by approx. 27%

Per-bullet damage was decreased by approx. 23%

Splinter Grenade

To help the Splinter Grenade excel in its intended role as primarily an area-of-denial weapon, the initial damage effect has been reduced by approx. 77%. However, the damage the sub-munitions (the splinters) can inflict on a target has been increased by approximately the same amount.

With these changes the Splinter Grenade won’t be nearly as punishing as an instant-hit weapon while the increased damage of the lingering splinters will make it even more effective as an area-of-denial utility. This damage reduction is just the first pass at curbing the “get out of jail free” gameplay that has persisted with this grenade. The team has some other avenues to explore in a future update if need be.

Halo 5: Guardians is now available for Xbox One and Windows 10.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One
Publisher(s): Microsoft Studios
Developer(s): 343 Industries
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2015-10-27

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