Halo 4: Forged from Scratch – Custom Maps & Gametypes Pt. 1

With the launch of Halo 4, 343i updated Forge Mode to help streamline the content creation process to make it as efficient as possible. Unfortunately, the online File Browser previously seen in both Halo 3 and Halo: Reach was not implemented for Halo 4. Since there is no longer a ‘central base’ for finding custom gametypes, maps, images, and videos, players have to resort to perusing YouTube, Halo fansites, and random forums in an attempt to find quality content. Until the File Browser makes its return (if ever), the goal of Forged From Scratch is to feature the most phenomenal content that we can round up for you to download and help keep the Halo 4 experience as fresh as possible.

Over the years, Halo’s Forge community has sharply refined their creative talents to a razor’s edge. Whether it’s the creation of imaginative new gametypes or reimplementing ones from past Halo titles, the Forge community continues to impress with each passing day. Now, with the 3rd generation of Forge Mode available, the Forge community has put the new tools to exceptional use and put out some of its best work yet.

This week, Forged from Scratch will focus on Custom Maps & Gametypes. All maps featured in this article are original creations and have an associated gametype that is either required or recommended for the map.

Skydock

Skydock

Created by: The Psycho Duck ( Map ), Flying Shoe ILR ( Gametype )

  • Gametype : One Flag CTF  ( Recommended )

  • Compatible with default Gametypes : Yes  ( All )

Skydock is a fairly small asymmetrical map with plenty of long walkways and great vantage points. Of all the maps I’ve played in Forge, Skydock seems to scale the best for matches 1v1 all the way through 6v6. Cover is a bit sparse as there are only a couple of areas where you have complete coverage. The best part about this is in the event you’re playing a small match (either 1v1 or 2v2), its fairly easy to figure out which spot the enemy is camping at so finding a firefight should never be an issue.

The map is very conducive for the jetpack, grenades, and hologram. Since the sight lines are so long, its easy to get caught out in the open with no cover within running distance. A jetpack can help remedy this as you can elevate to a higher level where there tends to be more crates and obstacles to find cover. If you are a self-proclaimed grenade enthusiast , you’ll appreciate the straight walkways and their close proximity to walls. In many areas of the map, these walls can serve as a ‘backboard’ of sorts (particularly if you are on the upper floors) dropping your grenade at an unsuspecting enemy’s feet. For those who want to make a ‘Hail Mary’ montage, this map is for you. Hologram’s are great on this map for drawing enemy grenades, sniper fire, and baiting your enemy into moving away from cover. With the shortage of areas with complete coverage, Promethean Vision isn’t really needed, but all other armor abilities can prove to be quite useful.

One interesting inclusion is the time-delayed spawn of the Banshee. It is the only vehicle on the map but it adds a very interesting twist to the match dynamics. The left half of the map is wide open allowing the Banshee to easily pluck enemies from a distance. However, should the firefight veer to the right half of the map, the Banshee will have to swoop in under the overhang in order to attack enemies. This close proximity to Spartans on the ground leaves the Banshee very prone to being hit with a charge shot from a plasma pistol. Should the Banshee be disabled over an area where there is nothing but sky underneath, the Banshee will tumble into an instant kill zone before the engine comes back on. Even if you don’t think you’d fly aggressively low to the ground, the small dimensions of the map don’t provide a lot of space to fly like in Ragnarok or Exile. As a result, focused DMR/BR fire quickly becomes an issue. Thus, piloting the Banshee carries a label of high risk/high reward.

Although Skydock is compatible with all gametypes, there is a classic custom game mode that also works with the map: One-flag CTF. For some reason unbeknownst to myself, 343i left out this classic mode not only in the playlists, but excluded it from custom games as well. This mode was a staple of past Halo titles and its exclusion is baffling. Thankfully, Flying Shoe ILR and The Psycho Duck have rectified the error of this exclusion and created the gametype using the Forge tools. Basically, two flags still spawn, but one of them is inaccessible. The round will end once the flag has been captured once or time has expired, and teams will switch sides per the classic rules. If you want to see how this is created for curiosity’s sake or adapt it to any retail or Forged map, check out the how-to video here.

The Psycho Duck has made a map that is quite versatile in handling games of all types and player counts. The frenetic pacing of matches, easy to learn map layout, and compatibility with all default gametypes makes Skydock an easy recommendation.

Nom Nom

Nom_Nom

Created by: AJ Yusi

  • Gametype : Yum Yum  ( Required )

  • Compatible with default Gametypes : No

Nom Nom is actually an adaption of a Forge creation from Halo: Reach. Besides having one of the weirdest greatest ridiculous most unique named Gametype/Map combos ever, Nom Nom offers up some very fun gameplay as well.

The object of the game is simple. Blue Team tries to reach ‘the mouth’ (pictured above) using Mongooses as many times as possible in 3 minutes. The only way to get there is a straight and narrow pathway through the center of the map connected from the Blue Team spawn to the mouth. Be careful as there are no railings on either side preventing you from falling off. Should a player make it all the way across without driving off or being killed by the Red Team, Blue Team earns a point. Once a player scores, he/she is teleported back to Blue Team spawn. However, arriving unscathed will be no easy task.

Red Team will be up on two rafters which extend the length of the level and flank left and right of the narrow pathway. The Red Team will be armed with plasma grenades which have multiple respawn points every 5 seconds (so you’ll never run low) as well as access to a couple Sticky Detonators. As the Red Team, you can’t jump at all which relegates players to the rafters only. Don’t worry about Blue Team Mongooses outpacing you. As a member of the Red Team, your movement speed is increased significantly in order to keep up with the Mongooses. There are various teleporters that allow Red Team to travel to either rafter should you wish to try your attack from a new angle or you’re just looking for more grenades to pick up.

With the height of the rafters, both the plasma grenades and the Sticky Detonator grenades do take a while to travel down to the pathway. Timing is important in order to get a sticky kill. However, the blast radius of the explosion is sometimes enough to knock a Mongoose off the left or right ledge of the pathway. It’s interesting to note that since the rafters are so high, the plasma grenades bounce more like frag grenades rather than plasma grenades. So why is this interesting? It makes getting a kill about timing the throw of your grenade rather than aiming your grenade. Since the grenades will bounce forward, they have a chance of getting the kill even if the trajectory was a little short. Not only does it make aiming grenades a little less significant, but the grenades almost never bounce too far as to fall off the pathway, which results in more kills and less misses. I’m not sure if A J Yusi did that intentionally, but it definitely makes playing as Red Team a lot more enjoyable. Don’t be dismayed if you aren’t killing a lot of enemies with plasma grenades. My personal best in a round is 6 kills (not including Sticky Detonator kills, which are a lot easier to get).

Overall, AJ Yusi has made Nom Nom a very fun and unique diversion from the standard Halo gametypes. I can attest that being a grenade whore has never been so much fun.

(If you want to have some additional fun, might I suggest trying to reach ‘the mouth’ while driving the mongoose in reverse?)

Smashy Chase

Smashy_Chase_VOP_3

Created by: TEETMARE

  • Gametype : Smashy Chase

  • Compatible with default Gametypes : No

Somehow, someway, someone has figured out how to incorporate gameplay mechanics from Super Smash Bros. into Halo 4. That someone is TEETMARE and his gametype, Smashy Chase, immediately conjures up memories of doing everything in your power to knock your buddies off the stage.

Functioning as a ‘Flood’ gametype, one team spawns as ‘Humans’ and has access to indestructible Rocket Warthogs and Mongooses (think Halo 1 vehicle rules). The other team spawns as the ‘Flood’ (though you’ll appear as Spartans) who have highly increased movement speed and access to infinitely charged  Gravity Hammers. While riding in vehicles, the ‘Humans’ cannot be damaged by the ‘Flood’, but the Gravity Hammers can force vehicles to flip over. Should the vehicles be flipped, and the ‘Humans’ are ejected from the vehicles, they can be taken out with one swing. This isn’t the only way for the ‘Humans’ to meet their demise. Vehicles can also be knocked off the map at the edges of the level in addition to the gaps in the center of the stage. ‘Humans’ can kill the ‘Flood’, but aim carefully as rockets aimed too low can cause your own Warthog to flip. Being the driver can actually be a lot of fun as you can not only splatter enemy ‘Flood’, but also drive on a multitude of trick ramps and air lifts as well.

TEETMARE made 3 custom stages that are all unique to the Smashy Chase gametype. Should you get bored of this one made on Ravine, he has a stage made on Erosion as well as Impact. For those who are DWG (Drinking While Gaming) and still would like to win a round or two, you may want to designate a driver before playing Smashy Chase.

Check some footage from our Halo 4 community night with the MP1st community.

If you’re interested in downloading these maps and more, you can do so easily inside Halo 4.
  1. After advancing past the start screen, press Start again to bring up the menu.
  2. Go down to Settings and Files and select File Browser.
  3. Select the type of content you wish to download. In this case, select either Map Variants or Game Types.
  4. Scroll down to New Custom Search and select it. In the Tag field, type in MP1st.
  5. Hover over the file you wish to download, and Press Y for File Options. When the menu pops up, select Download.
  6. Congratulations! You have successfully downloaded the file.

Have a look at our earlier analysis of some classic, remade Halo maps in Halo 4: Forged From Scratch – Classic Maps Remade Pt. 1.

  • Flying Shoe ILR

    This was really cool to wander across, and to be mentioned in conjunction with Skydock. I’m glad the gametype is spreading out into the community again, I was hoping it would become a big thing like it was in past games and I’ve been seeing a lot more maps featuring it than just those of people I know. If people are interested, here is the tutorial for setting up the game mode:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lq3jgdh38BI

    Thanks again!

    • Sgt. Mofo

      No problem! Thanks for bringing back such a great gametype.

      (I did link that video in the article towards the end of the Skydock entry)

  • mechcell

    I need start playing Halo 4 again.

  • Santiago Garza

    I love it when in the video (7:20) you fall because of my fault. the basketball map was also really fun. Great experience!

    • Sgt. Mofo

      Garza, I was going to mention that part in the video. You know when the elderly are driving in front of you and cut you off as if you didn’t even exist? Same exact thing right there.

      As Mofo careened to his death, he exclaimed, “Garza, I thought I knew you better!”

      Hope to see you out for the next community night.

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