Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

Looking for Guardians, which prevent moving outside certain levels' barriers?

Millennia of tending has produced trees as ancient as the Forerunner structures they have grown around.

Guardian is a Halo 3 multiplayer and Halo Online map.[1] Reminiscent of the Halo 2 multiplayer maps Lockout and Ascension, Guardian is a medium sized level comprised of catwalks and small rooms, which make the level feel smaller than it actually is. Its asymmetric layout makes it great for Slayer and Team Slayer gametypes, while its central platform makes for interesting games of King of the Hill. It consists of visible design elements of both Lockout and Ascension in a jungle setting. It's quite a small map made of walkways, rooms and platforms suspended high in the air making it that if you fall, you die.



An overhead view of the map.

Guardian is set in an ancient Forerunner complex surrounded by a lush, dense jungle. The map is multi-leveled, with walkways, and paths connecting all areas of the map. The map is split into four key areas, with the center acting as a connection point between them all. The level is fairly simple in design, so the learning curve is short. It is a very good map for free-for-all multiplayer games.

In aesthetics, the layout recalls a mixture of Lockout and Ascension from Halo 2; it retains the central area and size of Ascension, and its layout and weapon spawns are very reminiscent of Lockout. However, unlike Lockout, the scenery between areas of the map changes noticeably, so players do not get lost as easily.

Sniper Tower[]

Sniper Tower Overlook

Sniper Tower Overlook with Elbow in background.

At one end of the map players can find the Sniper Rifle, an Overshield, and a Needler, hence the name "Sniper Tower." The Sniper Rifle rests against a wall on the bottom level of the "Sniper Tower" (S1 is the callout for this area). On the bottom level on the ledge, players have a clear view to the opposite site of the map and the Yellow Lift, which is a good place to snipe from.

There is a small winding ramp on the tower that leads up to higher ground, and gives players a view of the entire upper portion of the map. To balance the tower out and prevent camping, a Plasma Battery has been placed at the top. Players have access to the Center Platform from above and below, as well as the Green Area via a walkway some players have labeled it as "The Elbow," due to its "L" shape.

In most games players tend to head for the sniper tower as it is a good place to hold off enemies and because of the various views and the sniper rifle.

A common trick is to detonate the Plasma Batteries at the apex of a jump, propelling the player up onto the tree above, and allowing for an unprecedented view of the map.

Blue Room[]

The "Blue Room" is properly named, due to the soft blue lights giving the room an ambient look. This room is adjacent, but slightly off center from the Yellow Lift and the center Platform. Like the other key areas, it can be accessed from multiple directions. Inside the room, players will find 2 Plasma Batteries. There is also a Flare and a Mauler located here, as well as an SMG on the ramp leading into the room. An archway allows players to jump into the Yellow Lift, either above or below. As players move from the Blue Room to the center, there is an impenetrable glass wall allowing players cover from enemy fire. Players may also travel downward to the lower level. Next to the archway is an L-shaped hallway that leads directly to the Yellow Lift's upper level, and contains explosive Power cores built into the wall. Players may also drop to the "Shotgun hall" from here.

Some have said that the blue nebula is a slip space portal, but no one really knows what it is really for, aside from decoration.

Below Blue Room[]

Below the Blue Room, or "Bottom Blue," there is a whole new subsection. Players will find the Shotgun in a short hallway reminiscent of the "Green Hallway" in Lockout. However, the hallway is shorter and can be approached from more angles, from above as well as on the same level. Walkways and paths lead to the Yellow Lift's lower level. Moving in the opposite direction, players can take a small Gravity Lift up to the "Sniper Tower" to catch any player’s off-guard. However, using this lift at the start of a Team Slayer game is unwise, as the other team will definitely have control of the Overshield.

Yellow Lift[]

Yellow Lift Overlook

An overlook of the Yellow Lift.

The "Yellow Lift" is directly opposite the Sniper Tower, and is on the other side of the center Platform. Modeled after the "Blue Lift" from Lockout, players can travel upwards from the lower level. Players may also drop down from the upper level via two "holes" on either side of the lift. Another common trick is for players to send grenades up the lift first, sometimes scoring a stick with a plasma grenade. There is a small walkway that connects the lower levels of the Yellow Lift and center Platform. On the upper level, players can move in 4 main directions (or retreat into the "holes" on the side of the lift).

A Battle rifle spawns on the top level giving players some range against snipers. The player can choose to go to their left, pick up a Active camouflage power-up. If the player travels to their right, they can jump into the Blue Room, which can be tricky, or drop on opponents below. They can also take the longer way around by the power cores; this route adds more safety and discretion, as long as the power cores are not detonated.

Green Area[]

Not much action occurs in the Green Area, partially because the only weapons that spawn here are the Brute Shot and the Plasma Pistol. Like the center Platform, this area is essentially another means of connecting all areas and walkways together. In the center sits an old dead tree stump in which players can grab a Bubble Shield and then jump to the center Platform. The Green Area is connected to the Sniper Tower by means of "The Elbow" walkway. In addition, players may take a small gravity lift jump up to the Yellow Room's ledge (by the camouflage). This area also leads underneath the center Platform, and is a more discreet route to the gravity hammer.

Center Platform[]

The Center Platform is the main area of Guardian and the main means of player transportation. While no weapons spawn on the upper level, a Gravity Hammer does spawn in the room underneath, making it a key area. Also, less known to some players, in a Team Hammers match (Or any other match where the Gravity Hammer is present), one can set a bubble shield in the middle of the Center Platform, making it an ideal spot to control when grenades can not be thrown into the circle and forcing other players to come into the middle. This also can give it the name called by many people who utilize this strategy: "The Circle of Fun" or to the victims of this tactic "The Circle of Death." Since this area is a transportation zone, it sees a lot of action. Players can reach the center Platform from all the key areas by means of walkways or jumping. Above players can see a Forerunner style structure, which is accessible via grenade-jump off the elbow with help from the plasma battery, a Gravity Hammer bounce, or by going into Forge and positioning a Gravity Lift, just right.

Matchmaking Adjustments[]

Guardian has been slightly altered for Matchmaking. All three of the Maulers and the Flare have been removed. In addition, invisible barriers have blocked off some areas, such as the ledge above the Active Camo spawn.


  • To get an unprecedented Sniping spot, use the same trick with the Plasma Batteries, but this time jump on top of them. At the apex of the jump, shoot the Plasma Battery. This will propel the player up the tree, granting a view of almost the entire level.
  • A second strategy to get to the console is to put gravity down to 50% in the game settings menu, and then just jump.
  • When running up the ramp that leads to the Overshield Spawn, the player can run along the right side of it and jump off. If done properly, the player can get downstairs into the Sniper Spawn and hopefully avoid the Overshield player on free-for-alls at the same time.
  • If you spawn near the Overshield, take it plus the Carbine and be ready to eliminate anyone who comes up the lift or for the Hammer.
  • When at the sniper tower and about to snipe, the sniper should make sure to remove the Plasma Battery with a grenade or a weapon so that it cannot be used against them.
  • In the Hallway underneath the main area where the Hammer spawns, you can get some easy kills in the corridor, particularly with the Sniper or Needler.
  • Dual Spiker users can be quite dangerous in the Blue Room, it works even better if he/she protects a sniper in that area.
  • The Carbine and the Battle Rifle both have only one spawn, the carbine spawns right next to the overshield and the BR spawns in the Gold Lift, propped against a tree. If it is not Team BRs then both these weapons allow a great advantage over Assault Rifle wielders.
  • If you are camping at the golden lift, you can throw grenades through the holes next to the lift to damage or kill players trying to go up.
  • In the Overshield room, it is possible to be wedged high into the corner of the room between the doorway that leads to the center of the map and the doorway that leads to the ramp (Jump and crouch). If players have their look centered they will not see you. It is recommended to have a shotgun here.
  • If you are at the Sniper side of the map at the start of a team game, the Sniper of the team is advised to guard the Hammer until a team-mate can grab under cover of the Sniper.
  • If you are at the Blue Room side of the map at the start, picking up the Shotgun and man-cannoning over to the Sniper area is a good way to disable the sniper and give your team a good start, but watch out for someone with the Overshield.
  • While on the second floor of the yellow room, you can drop down through the gap and assassinate unsuspecting passersby.
  • Avoid using the man cannon whenever possible because the whooshing sound and all heads turn to you for an easy kill.
  • The center circle is often empty, as a trap if you ever get under fire, bring that Bubble Shield.
  • A cool jump: While you are on the pathway from Elbow to S2 (Sniper Tower, Second floor), you can jump from where you are to hammer spawn. This takes a little skill, and may take some practice to perform.
  • When playing Team SWAT, when you spawn at elbow don't move and look towards Blue Lift (Lift that goes to Sniper Tower). Usually your opponents will go there, allowing kills in the very beginning of the game. This goes vice versa- if you spawn at blue side then just look towards elbow.
  • The Gold Lift has two holes that a player can drop into to eliminate anyone throwing grenades up.
  • A lethal combo is a Shotgun and some active camo.
  • When playing Team SWAT, when you spawn at blue side go to the pathway that leads from bottom blue to bottom gold. Look towards the lift at Jungle. Usually there will be someone going up the lift, allowing you a kill if you able to pull it off.
  • If you get the Gravity Hammer then head to the yellow lift and wait at the top and hide in the corners of the room and wait for people to come.
  • If you have the Hammer, just wait at its respawn spot (Hammers are effective in close and tight areas) to get some easy kills on those looking for a Hammer, the Hammer's damage will even travel through the glass.
  • With a Brute Shot, it is possible to jump onto the overhead centre piece from the highest point of the ramp that has the Needler. Carrying a Sniper Rifle as a secondary weapon before hand can give you an advantage as long as your opponents don't spot your high location, as moving around the 'ring' is not easy.
  • In slayer, head for the Hammer as soon as you spawn, then camp in the gravity lift room for easy kills.

General Tips[]

The Bubble shield spawn point on the top of the tree stump is an extremely interesting point. If you activate the device on top of the root, anyone who wants to attack you must leap over to melee you. This could be helpful in games like Oddball. The gravity hammer is positioned at the center of the map. The sniper rifle is near it just down the hall. Make sure you know where each man cannon leads to. You can still get turned around in this small map. Get to the gravity hammer as soon as you can. When you have it stay indoors. You can knock people over the edge with it also. The gravity hammer can penetrate barriers like the glass where the hammer spawns.



Guardian viewed from a distance.

  • "Guardian" was first seen as a reference in the hexadecimal code of the Halo 3 Beta. Later, it was confirmed to be in the final game of Halo 3 when it was detailed in an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine and an article in the Japanese magazine Famitsu.
  • The September 2007 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly tells that Guardian is the "Jub-Jub" map that Bungie referred to numerous times in their weekly updates, an undying love reference to the Ewok's dialogue in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
  • There are a number of indistinct voices whispering in the background.
  • If players jump below the proto-man-cannons, they will levitate beneath them. This is an excellent sniping spot and may be a Carney hole. If the player moves inward, they will be shot to the center of the map. If they move outward, they will plummet to their death.
  • Due to Matchmaking adjustments, Guardian has so far been the only Halo 3 map in Matchmaking that only has one equipment spawn point, the Bubble Shield, as the Flare on this map was removed.
  • When examining the center Platform, players can notice that the entire platform and lower compartment is almost identical to the Blood Gulch bases with the exception for lack of the stairs leading to the roof. In addition the walkway to the Blue Room is coincidentally placed of the location of the "magnum platform" from the roof of the base. Plus, the location of the original green teleporters being located on the spot of the open section leading to the "Green Area." In addition, the location of the original two base ramps being replaced with walkways leading to the Gravity Lift room and the Sniper tower. And finally, the lower entrance to the "Green Area" is located on the same spot as the original front base entrance.
  • There is a secret area. In forge you need to float to the tallest tree stump and float over the broken tree and on the other side, there is a small ledge for you to hide in but its a small area because of invisible walls, to get back out you float over the tree again.
  • The environment on the level has somewhat of resemblance to the cover of Halo: Ghosts of Onyx.
  • Guardian was originally a Campaign mission set in a vast jungle, and dotted with Forerunner structures. It would have featured the Guardian Sentinel as a fightable enemy, but was cut due to production schedules and changed into a multiplayer map.[2]
  • Before the announcement of Blackout many people believed that Guardian was made as a near-remake of the most played Halo 2 map Lockout due to the many similarities in the layout of the maps.
  • In an issue of GamePro, it was stated that Guardian was originally a small part in a large level of Halo 3, called Guardian Forest, that was cut from the game before release. The only other surviving section of this map is a Hornet air battle that was transferred to the level The Covenant.
  • There is a Carney hole located above the active camo that can be reached by jumping, another one is located above the needler spawn, however this one needs to make use of the Plasma Batteries to reach.
  • The Nebula in the blue room is almost exactly like the one on the floor of the bridge extending tower on the level "Delta Halo" in Halo 2.
  • The Nebula is actually a hologram of the planet Mars.
  • Bungie originally designed the map to be an enormous tree stump, supported by smaller tree stumps.[3]
  • What looks like Guardian is featured in the Halo Legends film, Origins. It can be seen near the end of Origins II when John-117 encounters the Gravemind.




  1. Youtube: Halo: Online Gameplay - Epic Gravity Hammer Killing Spree (Slayer/SWAT)
  2. http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/966/966319p1.html
  3. "Guardian was originally a single, enormous tree stump in the middle of the space supported by other tree stumps with everything sort of interconnected via the various platforms. Giant trees are just cool to me. I eventually ended up combining the trees into one in order to weight the map towards a single direction and allowed players to travel through the tree itself -- a hollowed out stump and you could actually play inside it. Then the middle structure became the floating platform and not a tree in and of itself." - Bungie.net