Halo 5: Guardians is just over a week away and Arena multiplayer brings competitive Halo back with equal starts for all players. With Arena comes a reinvigorated Competitive Skill Ranking, Seasons, fair starts, no join-in-progress and a new banning system. Arena will also be the driving force behind the Halo Championship Series and the place to put your skills to the test against other Spartans.
CSR has five different ranks: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. Within each rank there are six tiers and once you’ve earned your first rank, the only way to gain rank is to win. Once you achieve a rank, you’ll never drop down from it by losing. If you’re good enough to get through the Diamond rank, you’ll enter the Onyx rank where your raw CSR score is shown, giving you a better idea of how you stack up with your teammates and against your opponents. The top 200 players in the Onyx rank for a particular playlist will be given the coveted Champion rank.
Halo 5 also introduces a new feature called Seasons giving competitive players the opportunity to earn monthly rewards for their progress within CSR. Only certain playlists will have seasons and they will reset CSR every month with rewards dolled out based on your performance in that season.
Concerning Matchmaking, match quality is the driving metric behind matching with players for a great multiplayer experience. The system will try to match your exact CSR and then loosen restrictions from there determining match quality based on server latency. Arena playlists won’t have any join-in-progress matches making it even more important to stick with a game you’re matched with. Quitting a game will result in a forfeit of any REQ points or XP earned in the match, which also plays into the banning system. Banning is determined based on multiple behaviors exhibited by a player:
- Quitting matches
- Betrayals or team killing
- Idling (AFK)
- Intentional suicides
- Excessive disconnects
Based upon repeated offenses, you will be banned from matchmaking for a certain duration. The more you engage in these behaviors, the more severe the ban gets.
You can find more details behind Arena matchmaking and see the shiny new rank icons over on Halo Waypoint.