Map Spotlight

Map THFE Feature: Cryptic

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Water drips from the ceiling within the dank underground labyrinth that is Cryptic. As the water pools, you half expect to see in it the reflection of a flood combat form sneaking up behind you. This is the vibe Cryptic creates, if the map were pulled directly from Halo CE's 343 Guilty Spark mission, no one would be any the wiser.

The fact that Cryptic recreates this classic atmosphere and hearkens back to classic Halo arenas such as Chill Out is all the more impressive because Cryptic's layout is something entirely new. While it may appear to be a simple room-based map radiating out from a central corridor, Cryptic is much more than that. The design of the rooms and the connections between them forces players to move vertically in order to traverse the map laterally. What's more, the layout...

Map THFE Feature: Alkaline City

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One of the greatest triumphs of Halo's Forge features is the freedom it gives to players to create things the games' developers never imagined. In few cases is this more apparent than with the creation of linear progressive, or "journey" style infection maps. Pioneered in Halo 3, these maps create a progressive experience with story elements within a competitive multiplayer suite. One of the most important aspects of any map which sets out to tell a story is the level of immersion it achieves. This is where Alkaline City truly shines.

-Orzium- has created an atmosphere with Alkaline City. Sure, the abandoned city aesthetic is one of the most popular themes in infection maps, but in few cases is it achieved...

Map THFE Feature: Excavation

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Check out Excavation in the HaloCustoms map database!

Your squad moves through the abandoned mining facility. Dusty old machinery creaks overhead, you hold your rifle at the ready and order your squad to do the same. Splat! You just got stepped on by a Mantis. Your squad's mission to recover the purple dinosaur eggs has been a failure. However, the battle raging around your pancaked corpse is quite exciting. You are avenged by a speeding fast attack jeep as it fires a volley from its mounted rocket turret at the enemy mech. Next, the jeep flips over as a round from a hostile sniper finds its way into the driver's cranium. Finally, the purple dinosaur who's eggs you were searching for shows up and proceeds to sit on everyone in sight.

Right up to the purple dinosaur fight, that pretty much describes the sorts of experiences you'll have...

Map THFE Feature: Tank

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Ever wanted to control a Scorpion Tank with a rapid fire cannon? Well, with Tank, now you can. Using a modded game variant, Swash sought inspiration from Halo 3's Rat's Nest to create a mini game centered around these ridiculous modded tank barrels.

It can best be described as a variant of the popular game Tremor 'n' Mouse from Halo 3. In a team-based game, two players on the tank team must kill off players with mongooses before the end of the time limit. Due to the rapid-fire nature of the tanks, mongooses hit by the barrage of tank shots are forcefully launched away. It might be one of the most ridiculous mini games I've seen in a while. Check out Tank today!

Have a map of your own you'd like to submit to THFE? Head on over to...

Map THFE Feature: Akasha

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Few experiences in Halo can compare to those found on a competitive 2v2 map. These maps not only provide players with strategic options to practice their coordination with a partner, but also bring interactive multi-purpose geometry to the table. Akasha is a prime example of how a good 2v2 map plays.

Akasha provides limited hard movement options, forcing players to use risky teleporters and jumps to reclaim top control from their opponents. The pickups placed on the map provide teams with the perfect tools to defeat their opponents, with each item presenting its own risks and rewards. All of these great elements are wrapped into a package which draws inspiration from Halo...

Map THFE Feature: Chase

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Well now, this is something new. Several forgers have gone through recent experimentation with the ricochet gametype and its potential for mini games, and finally, one of those forgers has finished his creation.

In Chase, players on mongooses are trying to avoid players on warthogs while hitting 4 key destinations around the map. Combine that with a jail system and a good looking map to go along with it, and you get a pretty interesting game. The mechanics behind getting the game to actually function properly are not something that can be explained so easily, so those who want to get some knowledge need to make an appointment with Charles Stoot for further information.

After a long...

Map THFE Feature: Musical Shields

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So I bet many of you played a game called Musical Chairs in your earlier years, right? Well, now you can play it in Halo 4!​
After many ideas and many different versions of the map, ChewyNutCluster has produced one of the best representations of a children's game I have ever seen in Halo. The catch is this: instead of chairs, you have overshields. The shields spawn in a circle in the center and you have to grab them as quickly as you can, lest you die in the explosion soon to follow after. After every explosion, one more shield gets blocked off until one remains. The losers become spectators...​

Map THFE Feature: Winter Contingency

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Whether or not you enjoyed Halo Reach's campaign, a look at this map is well worth your time. Winter Contingency is a remake of an area from the campaign mission of the same name. The map is set up for Flood, but the attention to aesthetic detail is really its main selling point. The amount of detail packed into such a small space really is staggering. TheNickJackify and Arbiter08 have truly created something special here. So, what are you waiting for? Go download the map and set up...

Map THFE Feature: Panic Attack

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Hm? Oh sorry, I didn't see you there. I was too busy driving a flaming warthog off of a ramp amidst a haze of bullets, grenades, and traffic cones. One would think I would be used to this on the third iteration of a series of panic-inducing maps from The Psycho Duck, but this map just keeps bringing new forms of excitement to the table. Introducing Panic Attack, a squad-sized arena BTB map that may just be the best warthog experience you ever have.​
Panic Attack brings something new to the table as one of very few arena-style Big Team...​

Map THFE Feature: Shipwreck

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The wreckage of the UNSC Turdburglar is spread throughout this rocky cove. What was once a peaceful inlet is now fraught with danger. Though time has passed, and nature has begun to reclaim the area, a faint hum can still be heard emanating from the dusty bones of this once great ship. As the ship went down, some ordnance was scattered throughout the debris field. Now, these are the tools that the crew use to survive.​
That really isn't where you come in. Instead, you'll be part of this War Games Simulation (yes Frankie, a "fairly compelling reason for red spartans to fight blue spartans," indeed). Shipwreck is an incredibly...​

Map THFE Feature: Arknado

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Something is stirring deep beneath the placid waters of Forge Island. The water begins to twist and lash all around and a maelstrom appears, and out of it rises the dreaded Arknado, a fearsome whirlwind of water and… boats? I think it looks more like a cable car...
Well whatever an Arknado is otherwise, one thing is for certain: It is one hell of a map. Crafted by The Fated Fire and otherwise known as The Ark, this map plays an extremely fun and balanced match with anywhere from 4 to 8 players. The map supports Team Slayer, 1-site Extraction, and even Oddball while demanding heavy team...​

Map THFE Feature: Shmeef Slayer

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Ah Shmeefs, the wonderfully fun and entertaining little guys you can forge. You see them on many maps all across the board, and you even see them as the default avatar on Halo Customs.​
I bet right now, some of you are thinking, "Wow, wouldn't it be great if I could become a Shmeef?"​
Well, I'll tell you right now, you can't (sorry to disappoint you all). However, I provide you with the next alternative, Shmeef Slayer!​
Shmeef Slayer is an original creation by our very own Jesus In Malibu using the modded merging gametype for Slayer. Combining armor abilities with the main...​

Map THFE Feature: Embark

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Have you ever imagined the world as a post-apocalyptic wasteland with depleted resources? If you have, fear not! The world's most precious resource just got even more abundant. Obviously the resource I am referring to is the world's supply of awesome Big team Battle maps, I mean obviously. This prime specimen, Embark, was forged by none other than your friendly neighborhood staffer Flying Shoe! Embark is a reimagination of Shoe's map Embarcadero from Halo: Reach. This is a large asymmetrical map set within the confines of the hilly city of San Francisco. The map is best played with One Flag CTF, but also supports other staples such as Extraction and Team Slayer. Whether you're looking for...​

Map THFE Feature: Exin

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Hello my fellow Forgers and Custom-bros! Tired of playing endless 1 v 1 maps? Well with the tournament done, we figured it was time to mix things up a bit. Introducing Exin, a 2 v 2 map built by our very own Zandril around the natural geometry of Ravine! Exin is split down the middle by a trench running much of the length of the map, creating a risky low area to house the Concussion Rifle. The map also features a sniper, several precision weapons, and grenades to fight over. Exin incorporates the waterfalls on Ravine beautifully into it's design...​
Angst: Quarter-Finals Map Reveal
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The More Things Change...
The more they stay the same. As we enter the Quarter Finals, we must turn our gaze to a map which is familiar to many of us. Lovingly designed and crafted in Halo: Reach by The Xzample, Angst is a pinnacle in 1v1 map design. This is a map you want to get to know, because map knowledge will be your most powerful tool when you finally square off against your opponent here. Be warned, a few tweaks have been made to the original geometry by the map's appropriator; IKORLASH.​

Every choice you make on Angst will have...​
Vile: Round 5 Map Reveal
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Striving for Flight
With round 4 underway, it is time to reveal the round five map. We recommend that you finish round four quickly so that you get some time to explore the next map. We hope that you enjoy Rail, but for round five, we have a brand new one ready for your attention. Vile has been in the works for a long time by Whose Blaze. It was originally on Erosion early on in Halo 4, and later Blaze took it to Ravine. He's been updating it since, and for the competition, we've modified it to play even better with our tournament settings.


Vile is made...
Rail: Round 4 Map Reveal
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Familiar Soil
We've had three very unique maps so far. The dangerous Sovereign was very unlike the larger Xiphos, and your Round 3 map, Carbonite, harkens back to an era of tans and browns and Battle Rifles. For Round 4, we're stirring up the metaphorical pot again, bringing to you a symmetrical arena that has been in matchmaking for a while now. Rail boasts huge height variation and a flowing design that will truly test your skills.​

Competition Carbonite: Round 3 Map Reveal

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Seeing the rest of staff busy at work at this 1v1 tournament, I had to see what the fuss was about, so here I am to reveal the Round 3 battleground!

Originally made by halo community members, Lights and Squidhands, as Carbon back in Halo 3; It's been sexily remade by our own Dax. He washed it like an old car, tossed some new weapons and equipment in it, and made it like new for Halo 4, and decided to call it Carbonite. Since this isn't the map's first 1v1 tournament rodeo, I decided I'd test the waters with my sparring partner and mediocre halo player, Shanon. It seemed...
Competition Xiphos: Round 2 Map Reveal
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Introducing your Newest Battleground
Round 1 is currently underway! Some of you may have already finished your opponents off. Others have had the stark reality of a stronger opponent displayed across your TV screen in large letters of 'Defeat'. The rest of you lie in wait, preparing for the day and the hour upon which you'll go toe to toe with your opponent and see who is right, and who is dead. In the meantime, we have some intel for all of you. Whether or win or lose, have won or have lost, you will still be participating in Round 2, either in the Winner's Bracket, or in the Loser's Bracket. Either way, there will be a new map prepared for you to duke it out in with a fresh new opponent...
Competition Sovereign: Round 1 Map Reveal
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When Dax and I began searching for the best 1v1 maps in preparation for this tournament we were scouring all of the forums and youtube channels we could find to get our hands on. There were few to be found, though we fortunately happened upon a couple of beautifully made designs. Among those was an old submission for a Halo Reach contest at Forge Hub, re-imagined in Halo 4.


Sovereign, forged by PA1NTS, is a small asymmetrical arena complete with terrifying corners and deadly weapons. The map has been designed to let a player hold out in one spot if they so choose, but their opponent always had more than one way to counter. Sovereign never has a dull moment, and this is why we have chosen to have it start off the competition.


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