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Halo Waypoint is a central hub for Halo-related content. The hub is accessible through Xbox Live and is available to Xbox Live Gold members. It was released by 343 Industries as part of the Xbox Fall Update on November 5, 2009. A mobile version of Halo Waypoint is available for Windows Phone 7 devices for free. Its features and content are similar to the version of Waypoint available to Xbox 360 users. Halo Waypoint content is also available on Android, Windows Phone, and iOS.
Halo Waypoint provides users with various kinds of Halo information, including information on members of the Halo community, various Machinima videos and gameplay strategies and tutorials. It also allows players to access their own gameplay-related data, tracking "milestones" and progress through multiple games in the series.
Halo Waypoint consists of new updates and features every day of the week, with each day highlighting a different aspect of the Halo Universe. Such as;
- Spotlight: Every Monday, interesting Halo personae (ranging from community site leaders to comic artists and authors) will be featured and interviewed.
- Beyond the Games: On Tuesdays, various kinds of Halo merchandise will be featured, and yet-to-be-released items will be previewed.
- Community Day: On Wednesdays, Halo Waypoint will focus entirely on the Halo community, showcasing user-created content and featuring the top Halo fansites.
- Machinima: On Thursdays, Halo Machinima will be featured.
- Strategy: On Fridays, various gameplay-related tips and tricks will be featured.
- Halo Legends: On Saturdays, prior to its release, exclusive previews and behind-the-scenes episodes of Halo Legends were featured.
- Fiction: On Sundays, various aspects of the Halo series' canon will be covered, and questions regarding the various media in the series will be answered.
Halo Waypoint displays a player's progress through the Halo games using milestones and awards. Career Milestones are achieved as a player's Halo gamerscore increases. Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo Wars and Halo 4 all support milestones, and future games will support it as well, although Halo 2 Vista and its achievements are currently not supported. Originally there were forty milestones but on January 6, 2010 it was raised to fifty via a title update and was raised again to 60 on September 8, 2010 via a title update. Earning achievements can also unlock Avatar awards.
Halo Awards are medals that a player can earn by unlocking related achievements in the Halo games; essentially, they are groupings of achievements. As an example, the Vehicle Specialist award is unlocked after completing several vehicle-related achievements. Awards are also given in tiers; the more achievements a player unlocks, the higher the tier of their award will become. (For example, completing "extra" vehicle-related achievements will increase the Vehicle Specialist award's tier.)
Halo Waypoint also offers Halo-related news and grants access to exclusive content. Such content includes podcasts, trailers, screenshots, sketchbooks, videos, and, as previously mentioned, exclusive previews of Halo Legends. It has also been confirmed that full episodes of Halo Legends will be available on Halo Waypoint. Though they are free and require no downloading, though they are usually only on Waypoint for a single day.
The Fiction content contains articles and videos by former Ascendant Justice staff, Vociferous and Cocopjojo, each detailing a specific aspect of the Halo universe. There are five sub-categories to the Fiction content, Characters, Armory, Ships, Locations and History. The most common format of these entries is a written article, containing a gallery of related images, usually screenshots from the Halo games. Some entries include only a video, and in some cases, an intro video and three written parts.
The weapons, vehicles and equipment found within the story of Halo.
- NMPD Pelican - D77 Civilian Pelican - New Mombasa Police Department (Text and images)
- Drop Pod - A method of troop deployment. (Text and images)
- Gauss Technology - Magnetic acceleration in combat. (Text and images)
- Booster Frame - Open Frame 92/Extra-Vehicular Activity. (Text and images)
- VISR - Visual reconnaissance technology for field operations. (Text and images)
- Vulture - AC-220 Gunship (Text and images)
- Wolverine - M9 Wolverine MAAT (Text and images)
The individuals and players found within the story of Halo.
- The Face of Regret - A look at the Prophet of Regret. (Four parts, first part a video)
- Heavy Weapons Specialist Dutch - Corporal Taylor H. Miles (Video)
- Sergeant Mike Baird - The last battle aboard The Heart of Midlothian. (Text and images)
- Professor Ellen Anders - The resident scientist of the UNSC Spirit of Fire. (Video)
The different species and organizations found within the story of Halo.
- Rise of the Brutes - A brief look at the history of the Jiralhanae. (Video)
- Ten Twenty - The events on and around October 20, 2552. (Four Parts, first part a video)
- The Secret Below Harvest - The Halo Wars story retold. Part 1 of 5. (Video)
- Battle for Arcadia - The Halo Wars story retold. Part 2 of 5. (Video)
- The Shield World - The Halo Wars story retold. Part 3 of 5. (Video)
- The Forerunner Fleet - The Halo Wars story retold. Part 4 of 5. (Video)
- Lost with All Hands - The Halo Wars story retold. Part 5 of 5. (Video)
- The Long Road Home - A look at the story in between Halo 2 and Halo 3. (Video)
The galaxy-spanning places which are visited during the story of Halo.
- Uplift Reserve - New Mombasa's corporate-funded nature preserve. (Video)
- Space Tether - The mechanics and purpose of the orbital space elevator (Text and images)
- Arcadia - A critical outer colony early in the war with the Covenant. (Text and images)
- Shield World - A Forerunner shelter from the firing of the Halo Array.(Text and images)
The fleets, ships and other space-faring vehicles which exist within the story of Halo.
- UNSC Say My Name - Warship at the frontlines during the events of Halo 3: ODST. (Text and images)
- Modular Dispersal Technology - An ancient technology repurposed. (Text and images)
- Battlecruiser - A detailed look at the infamous Covenant ship. (Text and images)
- UNSC The Heart of Midlothian - A significant UNSC warship during the conflict with the Covenant. (Text and images)
Halo Waypoint Awards are awards earned in Halo Waypoint. They are unlocked by playing Halo games in the series and currently include Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo Wars, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. The awards unlock unique Halo related avatar accessories and in-game unlockables. There are currently 21 avatar items and vary from a Monitor prop to armour variants such as ODST helmets.
List of Avatar Awards
To encourage players to use Waypoint, several Awards (accessories for the player's Xbox Live Avatar) can be unlocked through Waypoint. To unlock an Award, the player must complete a specific task in one of the Halo games and then log in to Halo Waypoint.
- Halo Waypoint Monitor: Log In to Halo Waypoint for the first time. An Avatar 'prop' which adds an idle animation to the player's Avatar in which their character summons a Forerunner Monitor who bobs and hovers around them playfully.
- Rookie Helmet: Unlocked Halo 3: ODST's Campaign Complete Achievement (Any difficulty). A 'hat' for Avatars, made in the image of the helmet worn by the Rookie.
- ODST Armor: Unlocked Halo 3: ODST's Good Samaritan Achievement. A costume for Avatars which dresses them up in a recreation of the combat armour worn by Orbital Drop Shock Troopers in Halo 3: ODST.
- Black ODST Shirt: Unlocked Halo 3: ODST's Tourist Achievement.
- ODST Hoodie: Unlocked Halo 3: ODST's Dark Times Achievement.
- Recon Helmet/Dare's Helmet: Unlock Halo 3: ODST's Vidmaster: Endure Achievement. Unlocks a 'hat' for Avatars, made in the image of the famous Recon helmet. Referred to as "Dare's helmet" when worn by female Avatars and as "Recon" for male Avatars.
- EVA Helmet: Achieve Milestone level 50 in Halo Waypoint.
- Halo: Reach Beta Hoodie: Participated in the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta (Time-sensitive). A green hooded sweatshirt for Avatars with "Reach Beta Tester" written on the front. Earning every Halo achievement across every game also unlocked this item, though the most recent Anniversary title update removed this feature.
- Noble Six's helmet: Comic-Con 2010, GamesCom 2010 and Pax 2010 exclusive.
- Carter's helmet: Unlocked by completing one campaign mission on Legendary without dying in Halo: Reach.
- Kat's helmet: Unlocked by earning an assist medal in matchmaking in Halo: Reach.
- Jun's helmet: Unlocked by obtaining 100 kills without dying in Firefight or Campaign in Halo: Reach.
- Emile's helmet: Unlocked by earning a Bulltrue medal in Firefight or Matchmaking in Halo: Reach.
- Jorge's helmet: Unlocked by earning a Killtacular in multiplayer Matchmaking for Halo: Reach.
- Covenant Banshee: A prop available via a token included with Limited Edition Halo: Reach Wireless Controllers.
- UNSC Falcon: A prop available via a token included with Halo: Reach Limited and Legendary Editions.
- Flaming Mark V Helmet: Given away with the preorder of the Noble Map pack at GameStop (However, it is nearly identical to the ODST avatar helmet only varying slightly in placement on avatar, color, and of course, the flames being present). This award was also given to participants in the update preview program for the 2.0.13146.0 dashboard.
- Gold Spartan Warrior Armor: Given out by Microsoft for Xbox Rewards members who watch three out of four of the 2012 Presidential Election debates.
- Platinum Mark VI Helmet: Unlock the Halo 4 achievement Wake Up, John (Complete the Campaign on Normal or harder).
- Knight Helmet: Unlock the Halo 4 achievement Knight In White Assasination (Assassinate a Knight in Spartan Ops).
- UNSC Infinity Hoodie: Unlock the Halo 4 achievement Not Some Recruit Anymore (Raise your in-game rank to SR-5).
- RAIDER Helmet: Complete the first three Halo 4 Spartan Ops missions on Legendary and enter the Requiem Archive I codes in the Classified section of Halo Waypoint.
List of current In-game Unlockables
- Military Police (Base): Reach Waypoint Career Milestone 15, and unlock the The Soldier We Needed You To Be achievement from Halo: Reach.
- Military Police (CBRN/HU/RS): Reach Waypoint Career Milestone 20, unlock the Pink and Deadly achievement from Halo 3: ODST, and the Military Police (Base) Helmet.
- Military Police (HU/RS/CNM): Reach Waypoint Career Milestone 25, unlock the Fear the Pink Mist achievement from Halo 3, the A Spoonful of Blamite achievement from Halo: Reach, and the Military Police (CBRN/HU/RS) Helmet.
- CQB (Base): Reach Waypoint Career Milestone 20, and unlock the Folks Need Heroes... achievement from Halo: Reach.
- CQB (HU/RS/CNM): Reach Waypoint Career Milestone 25, unlock the Campaign Complete: Heroic achievement from Halo 3: ODST, and the CQB (Base) Helmet.
- CQB (UA/HUL): Reach Waypoint Career Milestone 30, unlock the Campaign Complete: Legendary achievement from Halo 3, the Gods Must Be Strong achievement from Halo: Reach, the Campaign Complete: Heroic achievement from Halo 3: ODST, and the CQB (HU/RS/CNM) Helmet.
- UA/Base Security [W]: Reach Waypoint Career Milestone 30, and unlock the Yes, Sensei achievement from Halo: Reach.