Halo 5‘s Forge Mode gives players the tools to create their own unique maps in the game. However, one writer feels that the mode is ultimately pointless.

As soon as Halo 5: Guardians launched, I fell in love with the game’s online multiplayer. While the campaign had some glaring issues, and its lack of split-screen made me sad, I still found myself spending countless hours taking on other Spartans online. My enthusiasm for Halo 5: Guardians and its online multiplayer functionality made me especially excited to get my hands on the map creation tool known as Forge Mode, which wasn’t available for the game at launch.

Forge Mode was finally added to Halo 5 in the Cartographer’s Gift update that released for the game in December. I played around with the tools in Forge Mode, and quickly realized that people were going to be able to create truly magnificent maps for Halo 5 with it. I also realized that Forge Mode wasn’t really for me, in the sense that I simply didn’t have the ability to create the epic maps I was envisioning in my head. I figured I would wait for the community to craft great maps and enjoy the benefits of Forge Mode that way.

In the last month, the Halo 5 community has certainly created some really unique maps. Many have recreated maps from past Halo games using Halo 5‘s Forge, and others have been a bit more creative. Maps have been made based on Spiral Mountain from Banjo-Kazooie, the ice planet Hoth from Star Wars, and there’s even one based on Princess Peach’s castle courtyard from Super Mario 64.

As a fan of all the franchises that those user-created levels represent, I was excited to goof around in those maps with my friends in online multiplayer. I hopped on Halo 5 and spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to search for Forge maps. It then became crystal clear that searching for Forge maps is simply not possible in Halo 5: Guardians.

Halo 5 Forge Tools

After some digging online, I discovered that there is a way to download user-created Forge maps, but it is very inconvenient. Basically, you either have to play against map creators or have them on your friend list, and then you can view their saved map files.

In my opinion, this is ridiculous, and means most people won’t ever bother with Forge and the exciting maps that have been created by the community. Virtually every other game that offers some sort of content creation mechanic also makes it easy to search for the best community creations and download them at your leisure. There needs to be a similar map browser of some sort for Forge Mode, and without it, Forge is pretty much pointless to anyone that isn’t using it to flex their creative muscles.

It’s really a shame that 343 has made it next to impossible for players to download the maps they want to play, as the community has created some pretty incredible stuff so far. It definitely seems as though Forge in Halo 5: Guardians is the best that the mode has ever been, and I am sure that those that take the time to create these maps would love for people to have the opportunity to play their creations.

banjo halo

Some Forge Mode creations can be played, at least, thanks to the latest Halo 5 update adding a dedicated playlist for such maps. However, this playlist is currently restricted to the especially hardcore Breakout multiplayer match type, which may not appeal to all players, and it also doesn’t let players search and download for maps that they actually want to play.

Unfortunately, it looks like I won’t be booting up Halo 5 again for a long while. I’ve had my fill of the online multiplayer and the maps available in the base game, and I’m growing bored of the experience. I was counting on Forge to extend my play time with it, but without a Forge map browser, it doesn’t add any replayability for me. Hopefully 343 rectifies this issue with a future Halo 5 update, but until then I will be spending my time with other games.

How do you feel about Forge as it appears in Halo 5: Guardians? Are you disappointed by the lack of a map browser, or are you satisfied playing with your own Forge creations? What else would you like to see added to Halo 5 down the road to improve the game even further? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on Halo 5 and its Forge Mode.

Halo 5: Guardians is currently available exclusively for Xbox One.