Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

This article is about the Halo 3, Halo: Reach, Halo 4 , Halo 2: Anniversary and Halo 5: Guardians gamemode. For the UNSC Marine in Halo Wars, see [[John Forge]].

Forge is a gamemode in Halo 3, Halo: Reach, Halo 4, Halo 2: Anniversary and Halo 5: Guardians.[1][2] It allows for both playing and editing multiplayer maps.[3][4]


Gate of Doom

A Spartan is propelled into the air by fusion coils and propane tanks in High Ground on Forge.

Forge is a game mode originally released in Halo 3 designed by Bungie to allow players to customize, save, and share maps for Custom Games. Forge was originally created to be used by players to make relatively simple changes to maps in order to tweak their gameplay experience. Maps altered in Forge are referred to as map variants, and possible alterations include the modification of player spawn points, gametype objective points, weapons spawns, and the addition of scenery items such as crates, Fusion coils, gravity lifts, teleporters, and various other items - In Forge, players can add items that aren't available in unmodified maps. Halo 3 players proved so resourceful and imaginative with the tools provided to them that Bungie released two maps created specifically with Forge in mind. The scenery and layouts of these maps are almost entirely composed of movable and removable Forge objects. The Halo 3 Heroic map pack introduced 'Foundry' which allowed players a huge amount of freedom in the creation of new maps. The Mythic map pack introduced 'Sandbox', a massive map that is commonly referred to as the ultimate forging map in Halo 3, with three distinct spaces to Forge in, a wide variety of scenery to choose from, every weapon in the game and every vehicle in the game, except for the Sandtrap exclusive vehicle, the Elephant.

The Forge mode in Halo: Reach is often referred to as Forge 2.0.


A Sangheili standing on a stack of crates in High Ground, in Forge mode.

In addition to functioning as a map editor, Forge is also a game-play space. Up to eight players can be on a given map at a time, shifting back and forth between their chosen multiplayer model (Player Mode) and the Edit Mode model (a Monitor) by pressing Up on the D-Pad. A variety of Forge-specific settings can be altered by the party leader while in the Forge Lobby. As an example, players in Edit Mode can be granted more (or less) health and shielding as well as varying levels of Active Camouflage—editors can even be granted near or total invulnerability. There is also a setting that, if enabled, prevents all but the party leader from entering Edit Mode. Players can play actual games in Forge, experiment with Forge's features, kill each other, play diverse and varying 'honor rules' games, and do other things that aren't accepted in regular Multiplayer.

Halo 3 Forge[]

1225328365 Forge monitor

A Forge Monitor in Halo 3.

The tools in Halo 3's Forge proved to be very primitive in terms of allowing players to edit maps. This is because Forge was created originally to allow players to make smaller changes to maps; Bungie did not expect so many creative and amazing maps to be created with the tools they provided.

Object Manipulation[]

In addition to modifying object spawn locations, Forge can also be used to change the properties of individual objects as well as different types of objects. Pressing X over an item allows a player in Edit Mode to alter that item's settings. Pressing X again allows players to view the settings for all objects of that type. Per-type settings can also be accessed by highlighting the given object's entry in the spawn menus, and then pressing X. An individual object (e.g., a single gravity lift) may have its Respawn Rate (which determines how often it spawns) and its Place at Start settings altered. Types of objects (e.g., all gravity lifts) may have their Run-Time Minimum and Run-Time Maximum settings altered, which allows mapmakers to ensure that there is always less than or more than a certain amount of a given item during gameplay.


There are some limits when placing items in Forge. The most obvious limit is the set of items permitted in a map—specific items are only allowed in specific maps. As an example, Hornets and Scorpions cannot be placed in The Pit, and Deployable Covers may not be placed in Sandtrap. (The technical explanation is that the tags for certain objects are only present in certain maps. Bungie likely did not place them for balance issues.) There are also varying limits on how many of each item can be placed; while the player can usually place up to thirty-two frag grenades, the player can only place two Scorpions when they are available on a map.

The amount of items the player can place in Forge is also regulated by an economy budget system.[5] Different objects are assigned to different values. This is to keep the player from overloading maps and using excessive amounts of memory. Deleting items that are already on the map will free up more money for other items. The spending limit is merely a counter to help the player gauge how much they can place on the map at a given time; no real currency is used. The highest encountered budget is located on the map Sandbox, with a grand total of 1,500 credits. However, using the budget glitch, the player can go beyond the limit set, to do this make the run time maximum one more than the current amount placed on map.[6] or they can download canvases with the budget glitch already in.

All maps have a maximum limit of 640 items.[7] The 640-item limit behaves somewhat oddly; removing items that are in the map by default does not free up more of the 640 "slots," so when editing large maps like Sandbox, it is best to move all default items to the side instead of deleting them and trying to replace them when they need them later.

Furthermore, campaign objects, enemies, friendlies, and “bots” cannot be added to map variants, and the basic geometry of the map cannot be altered.[8]

Forge Filters[]

Main article: Forge Filter

Forge Filters, referred to in-game as FX, are objects listed in scenery which came in the Legendary map pack maps, Cold Storage, and the Mythic map pack that change the camera settings. All the filters are as follows:

  • Juicy - Everything is bright, vivid, and colorful. Saturation is increased.
  • Colorblind - Everything is displayed in grayscale.
  • Gloomy - Everything is dark, shady, and somewhat desaturated.
  • Nova - Everything is extremely bright and blurry, though really dark shadows look quite sharp.
  • Old Timey - Everything looks like an old Western movie—the contents of the screen are displayed in sepia tones and are even given a flickering effect, making the screen resemble an old film projector.
  • Pen and Ink - Scenes are displayed as if they were drawn using an ink pen. Bright areas tend to look more like a grayscale version of the Nova filter.

Bungie has stated that the filters were added for better experiences in gameplay, making interesting screenshots, and for making machinima. The Juicy filter helps with seeing through the Energy Blockers, as does the Old Timey filter.

Should more than one of these filters be spawned at one time, the effects will merge to create an entirely new effect. Combining all the effects reduces visibility to the point where it is impossible to see.


Main article: Forge Objects

The object selection within Halo 3 is quite large. This includes different props, weapons, vehicles, and equipment. By default, all of these objects have Normal physics enabled and can't be turned off. Certain objects also reappear on different maps based on the size of the map, and it's style. Other objects are also completely restricted to specific maps, such as all the building blocks on Sandbox.

Halo: Reach Forge[]

Forge mode returns in Halo: Reach as Forge 2.0, with a variety of updated tools to allow players to more easily edit maps, and of course with a Forge palette which has been updated to include items from the Halo: Reach sandbox. A map designed for players to create their own Forge Map Variants named Forge World is shipped with the game.[9] Maps created by Bungie staff ships with the game as well.[10]

Object Manipulation[]

Object manipulation in Forge 2.0 has been vastly improved.

  • When an object is being held by a player, that player now "orbits" around the object in their grasp rather than having the object "orbit" around themselves (the camera moves around the object rather than the object around the camera).
  • Players have the ability to select the physics of an object: normal, fixed or phased. Normal physics makes an object fall to the ground and interact with the world normally as it does in Halo 3. Fixed physics allows players to place an object and have it stay exactly where it was placed - even floating in the air. Phased physics is similar to fixed, but allows players to intersect objects with other objects or map geometry.
  • Players have the ability to "nudge" pieces, and the ability to edit an object's coordinates.
  • Players can alter the color of some structures and Vehicles to indicate team color.
  • A rotation snap has been included, with snap settings at 5, 15, 30, 45 and 90 degrees.


Though Forge 2.0 is vastly improved over Halo 3 Forge, there are still a number of restrictions on what a player may do to edit a map.

  • The Forge budget returns to Halo: Reach.
  • The limit of number of a particular items placable in Forge mode returns, albeit with some changes. The limit now applies to categories of items; for instance number of walls now applies to walls as a category, with 50 wall objects placable rather than 25 single walls and 25 double walls.
  • Forge cannot be used to Forge Firefight maps.

Forge Filters[]

Some forge filters are limited to Halo: Reach only. Below is a list of the ones that Bungie has confirmed.

  • Colorblind - Available in Halo 3 and Reach. It makes the map appear in a Grayscale.
  • Next Gen - Available in Halo: Reach and Halo 4. It makes the environment be depicted in only shades of brown.
  • Juicy - Available in Halo 3 and Reach. Makes the environment look more vivid, as it increases saturation.
  • Nova - Available in Halo 3 and Reach. Makes the outer environment look really bright and blurry, when you are in a cave with this effect on, you won't notice a difference unless you look outside.
  • Olde Timey - Available in Halo 3 and Reach. Olde Timey makes the entire map appear to be an old movie.
  • Pen and Ink - Available in Halo 3 and Reach. Turns the environment to look as if it was drawn with an ink pen.
  • Purple - Available in Halo: Reach only. It turns the environment Purple, thus giving the effect of night.
  • Green - Available in Halo: Reach only. It turns the environment Green. Useful for Infection game types, as it makes the environment look scarier. The Green filter also warps the screen slightly as an effect, and it is the only filter whose effects can be intensified by placing multiple copies.
  • Orange - Available in Halo: Reach only. It turns the environment orange, thus giving the effect of a sunset.

Halo 4 Forge[]

Forge returns in Halo 4, which, like in Halo: Reach, received many updates and news tools to make forging much easier for players. It was first announced at RTX 2012 where 343 Industries presented a demo of Halo 4's Forge mode.


There are a couple of new features including:

  • Objects become highlighted when selected
  • "Magnet" system has been introduced
  • "Lock" feature is now present
  • Duplicate feature
  • Three new Forge World-like maps
  • Addition of new objects as well as older ones returning
  • Dynamic lighting
  • Gravity volumes 
  • Trait zones
  • Setting a theme for a map
  • The sounds of the monitor and the momentum of movement for the monitor were also changed.

However, Halo 4 arrived with a couple of features removed that were previously in Halo: Reach. Editors can no longer zoom in (using the right thumbstick), which was featured in both previous forge modes. Another feature which was introduced in Halo: Reach that didn't make it to Halo 4 was the precision editing tool - by holding down the left thumbstick, the editor could move minute distances in order to make changes smaller than one co-ordinate.


Similar to the Forge World map featured in Halo: Reach, Halo 4 launched with three "Forge Environments" for players to build their own maps within: Impact, Ravine and Erosion. Each environment features its own unique atmosphere and object pallets. On April 11, 2013, a fourth Forge Environment Forge Island became available for free download by all players[11]


A full list of the items in Halo 4's Forge can be found here.

Halo 2: Anniversary Forge[]

This section requires expansion.

The Master Chief Collection contains the Halo 2: Anniversary Multiplayer with six remastered maps, and three skybox maps. All Of these maps can be forged in. 


Some additions to Forge are: 

  • Terrain is now a placeable object with its own palette. 
  • Precision Movement has been added into controls. 
  • More weapons not in original Halo 2 multiplayer. This includes the Silenced SMG and the Assault Rifle.
  • More vehicles not in original Halo 2 multiplayer. This includes the Heretic Banshee, the Civilian Warthog, and the Gungoose
  • Forge now has the capability to "script" objects. 
  • Budget has been removed and replaced with an overall object count. 
  • A performance meter was added to the top of the screen, to show how the amount of content in a single map can affect performance of the console.
  • Switches and triggers have been added, allowing players to open garage doors, spawn objects, etc.


Halo 2: Anniversary features three Forge Environments: Nebula, Awash, and Skyward. Nebula and Skyward are both free floating environments. As such they don't have any permanent floor, so a Forge user will have to add one themselves. As well, both use skyboxes from other maps. Nebula uses a slightly altered version of Impact's skybox and Skyward uses Zenith's. Awash is a completely original map with a solid floor underneath water.

Halo 5: Guardians Forge[]

This section requires expansion.

Forge came to Halo 5 in December of 2015 in the Cartographer's Gift DLC. As well, Halo 5's Forge was ported to Windows 10 computers in Halo 5: Forge.


Some changes and additions to Forge are:

  • The ability to weld certain objects together.
  • Players can now place a variety of objects never before seen in Forge. As well, there are no map restrictions to any objects.
  • The ability to add weather effects such as rain, snow, or fog.
  • Addition of Fx such as fire, smoke, explosions, and insects.
  • Sounds such as machinery, alarms, nature, and horror.
  • Chroma screen objects.
  • Bars and counters have been added to the HUD to help monitor lighting budget, object budget and console processing power
  • Most controls have been changed to compensate for the new features


Halo 5: Guardians currently features the most Forge environments out of any Halo game yet. These are: Alpine, Breakout Arena, Glacier, Parallax, Tidal, Barrens, and Depths. All but two maps, Depths and Breakout Arena, have modifiable skyboxes that affect weather and time of day. Parallax and Tidal are the only two maps without a solid, permanent floor. Each map, except Breakout Arena, has a series of objects in the natural section dedicated to each map. Breakout Arena would use props from the Breakout section. There are no restrictions preventing props that are related to a different map, from being placed on another. Meaning the asteroid themed props from Parallax can be placed on Tidal should a player so choose. Present in the template maps are special pillars, triplets of pillars, and large diamonds designed to remind the player of where the hard-coded kill boundaries are present. They appear only in Forge, but objects can be placed at their positions to substitute them in main games, especially with flying vehicles.


  • The idea of Forge was taken from Marathon: Infinity, which also has a map editor that is named Forge. However, there are multiple differences: Marathon's Forge was a separate application, acting as a 'pure' map editor in conjunction with another application, Anvil, which edited physics, sounds and shapes files. On the other hand, Halo 3's Forge is merely a separate gametype that allows for the spawning and repositioning of objects.
  • The three most popular maps for Forge in Halo 3 are Foundry, Avalanche and Sandbox, most likely because of their large, open spaces, as well as the fact that the player can put nearly anything on Foundry and Sandbox.
  • If the player fires their weapon and then immediately enters Edit Mode, upon returning to Player Mode, they may find that they have lost no ammo.
  • If the player catches on fire (from a Incendiary grenade or the Flamethrower) and then enter Edit Mode, they will take no damage. Upon returning to Player Mode, however, they will find that the fire was "preserved" and they will once again take damage.
    • The same trick can be used to delay the detonation of a grenade when they have been stuck. They can even delay the throwing of a grenade by entering Edit Mode immediately after pressing LT.
    • It also applies to any momentum that the player gathered while in Player Mode, if they jump into a Grav Lift or man cannon, enter Edit Mode, move away, and then return to Player Mode, they will fly through the air.
  • The Elephant cannot be spawned by editors due to its size, potential for lag, and specific purpose on Sandtrap. However, more can be modded into the map.
  • Forge keeps track of stats, kills, and teams.
  • Created map variants can be saved and shared with the community. Also, if the players creation is liked by Bungie, they will put it up to be downloaded by other players for use.
  • It is possible to do a glitch that can make a player have no weapon.
  • Forge bears resemblances to Sapien, a program in the Halo Custom Edition Editing Kit.
  • Some weapons may be purchased at no cost if they were originally on the map and are not deleted. However this will leave the player with a penalty making it so that they need to sell the same amount they have spent under zero to reach zero again and make money again.
  • Even when Edit Mode is restricted to "Party Leader Only," a programming mistake allows other players to enter Edit Mode through the start menu. However, it has been patched.
  • If the player stacks both Elephants on top of each other and then put as many large objects (tanks) as they can on top, the bottom Elephant will have reverse gravity[citation needed].
  • Through a glitch, it is possible to wield weapons while in Edit Mode.[12] This glitch exists in all the Halo games that feature Forge. This glitch causes the player's Spartan appearance to be changed to that of the Edit Mode, being able to fly around and w
    • Interestingly, the glitch can be only activated in different ways throughout the games;
      • Halo 3 involves the player in the Edit Mode dying right as the Connection Host leaves the game, activating the glitch.
      • The Halo: Reach version is the only one that is currently unknown as to how it is done.
      • Halo 4 and 5 require the map to be overloaded and a player in Edit Mode to die. Once they respawn, the glitch should activate. Chances vary on to whether or not the player will respawn with the glitch.
  • During lag or a glitch, it is possible to see the small blueish-white tear drop shaped orbs (item spawn points) that denote where an object has been placed while in Player Mode. When this happens, the spawn points can be interacted with while in Player Mode. If the player shoot or melee them, they will hear the same sound that plays when shooting or beating a shield door.
  • The codename for the map making software for the first Halo game was called Forge before release.[13]
  • When the player is in Edit Mode, the reticle in the center of the screen appears to be the Marathon symbol. This is probably due to the fact that the eyes of the Monitors resemble the same symbol.
  • When in Edit Mode, the player can kill someone with a floating object and will get the Splatter Kill medal. If the player does this on a Mythic map, the player will earn the Tank Dropper achievement.
  • It is unknown why the player cannot place certain weapons on certain maps, but it is probably due to balancing. Vehicles would be unable to evade Missile Pods in indoor maps, and large vehicles like Wraiths and Scorpions might not even fit inside of indoor maps with small doors or rooms. However, weapons such as Fuel Rod Guns and Flamethrowers have limited use due to network and performance issues.
  • Forge 2.0 in Halo: Reach was originally going to feature Weather as a changeable object but was cut due to time restraints: "No weather effects in the Forge. Was something we wanted, but something we didn't get to in time." [14]
    • This weather option was later integrated into Halo 5's Forge.
  • The Forge monitor makes a small noise when boosting. The sound is similar to the jingle of a bell.
  • In Halo: Reach, the monitor appears to have a focus rifle. This is seen when switching to edit mode while holding down the fire button. It is only available to those not host of the Forge game, and it lasts only a fraction of a second. As well, it is not visible to other players.
  • If you fire a Plasma Launcher at a player (Forge 2.0) and immediately switch to monitor mode, before the shot explodes, the Plasma Shot will float where it hit you. It will stay there until you switch back into Human mode, whereupon you will be killed.
    • Additionally, if the player is stuck with Plasma Grenades or Plasma Launcher grenades and enters Edit Mode and the Connection Host leaves the match, the grenades will remain on the player for as long as they are alive or if the grenades themselves are shot. However, there is a chance that the glitch will immediately fail, resulting in the player immediately exploding once a new Connection Host is determined.
  • When you are in Forge (Halo 3 or Halo: Reach) and you charge your Spartan Laser, if you go to monitor mode just as it is about to shoot, you will have a charged laser with you. When you aim at something as a monitor and return to human the laser will shoot immediately. This way, you can easily surprise-kill someone without them being able to do anything about it.
    • In contrast, changing into Edit Mode right as the Spartan Laser is fired has a chance of killing the player.
  • In Halo 3 if you manage to flip over an Elephant and you walk over to try and pilot it, it will say "...wait, what? How did you do that?" An easy way to flip the Elephant is to put a large number of gravity lifts under it.
  • In Halo: Reach, if you use the jetpack and go into Edit Mode while the jetpack is still active, the sound of the jetpack will still occur and the light effects from the jetpack will be where the flames came from the jetpack.
  • Aside from standard map additions, Forge is sometimes used to make statuary instead of a playing area, named Forge Art.
  • If the player dies in Halo: Reach Forge mode, they will respawn with the Halo 3 Forge first person HUD template. However, if the player goes into player mode and returns to forge mode, they will have the Halo: Reach forge HUD.
  • The Forge ball glitch can be done in Forge gametype.
  • Forge monitors were inspired by 343 Guilty Spark.