"A relic of older conflicts, this base was reactivated after the New Mombasa Slipspace Event."
High Ground is a multiplayer level in Halo 3 and Halo Online. It is located in an old UNSC base, near New Mombasa that was reactivated after the Slipspace cataclysm that severely damaged the city. One of the few asymmetric maps in the game, High Ground is great for one-sided objective games such as One Bomb, One Flag, and Territories.
High Ground is an asymmetric map featuring an elevated, crumbling, UNSC base positioned along a beach. Low, eroded cliffs lie to the north, east, and west of the base, with the beach lying south of the base. There are multiple ways to approach and enter the base; through the main gate (that is closed only in asymmetric gametypes), or through side passages, which offer more protection and discretion.
Attacking players spawn at the south side of the map, aptly named "the beach." If the main gate is open, it can be used as a quick entrance to or exit from the base.
A variety of weaponry and equipment has been placed near the beach to aid attackers in storming the base. Perhaps the two most valuable weapons include the Sniper Rifle and the Rocket Launcher, though the latter can be reached by the base defenders if they use vehicles. In most games, a battle for control of the Rocket Launcher ensues at the start of the game, and repeats whenever the weapon respawns. Players can also find a Shotgun, Portable Gravity Lift, Bubble Shield, Active Camo, and Overshield to aid in their attack. In addition to the weapons and equipment, players can choose between a Mongoose or Ghost to get to the base wall faster.
This large, crumbling base on the northern side of the map is where defending players spawn. In the back of the base, there is an unusable Surface-to-Air Missile Launcher. Several vehicles, including Mongooses and a Ghost, spawn just east of the launcher, allowing defenders to quickly catch fleeing attackers, or for attackers to make a quick getaway.
A broken down control room is located in the center of the base, complete with computers and a radio set. This control room is the objective area for CTF and Assault gametypes, containing the flag spawn point and bomb plant point, respectively. Farther east is the "Pipe Room," where attackers can enter the base via a small pipe that connects to the front of the base.
The western half of the base is mostly indoors, and offers two levels of play. The lower level connects the base to a pillbox bunker lying just outside the base's walls; the level also has multiple entry points inside the base. The upper level is used as a choke point to keep attackers from reaching the gate controls on the catwalk. If a player is able to access the gate controls, the base wall gate will be permanently opened, as is the case with the gates in Zanzibar and Last Resort. The base is designed to promote dual-wielding, and as such, a number of dual-weldable weaponry can be found behind the base wall.
The base wall is an important area for defenders, as it gives them a view of most of the beach. Defenders on the wall, however, are vulnerable to Battle rifle and Sniper Rifle fire from the beach. The wall acts as a bridge, connecting the base's eastern side to its western side. On the western edge of the wall, there is a tower where a Spartan Laser and two Fusion coils spawn. In addition, a Machine Gun Turret is mounted above the main gate, which is useful for beating back approaching rushes and vehicles. The Rocket launcher can be accessed by defenders as well, if they quickly rush up and over the base wall, beating the attackers.
- A good defensive tactic for Territory 5 is to get a Shotgun, and then pick up the Active Camo (default). Quickly go to Territory 5, jump into the pipe, and wait. When someone comes to try to take the Territory, melee them or shoot them with the Shotgun. When your Active Camo wears off, either wait for another teammate with Active Camo to replace you, or re-obtain it when it respawns.
- A good place to hide is behind the Laser Tower; there is a small opening in the wall with a stone ledge, where players can simply jump over and camp with the Spartan Laser, Sniper Rifle, or Rocket Launcher.
- The many carbines on this map could be a substitute for the BR. Do so because there are only 3 BRs on this map, and they're all on the offensive side.
- A good place to snipe enemies exiting the pipes and enemies on the ledge is in the tree South East of the bunker (see annotated map to the right).
- The Gravity Lift can be used to drive vehicles and jump people over the tower.
- Ghosts can splatter enemies in the base, but it has limited use when the enemy team goes inside the base.
- Be sure to eliminate the Laser before charging with a Mongoose or Ghost. The laser is the biggest hazard to vehicles.
- The high areas can make a huge vantage point, you can easily hijack a Ghost from the top.
- In SWAT, the defending team should take control of the sniper tower. It is a good position to see the entire field of play. Duck every so often to avoid providing opponents with easy headshots.
- The Spartan laser user can watch the Camo cave and the Rockets until they are taken.
- The player with the rockets should go after the sniper or the player with the objective. Let the laser player handle the vehicles.
- The turret can easily mow down attackers advancing up the middle, but watch out for a sniper.
- There is a lot of vegetation further down the base, a sniper can hide here and see defenders, but the defenders will most likely not see the sniper.
- On the beach, there are several trees one can jump on and hide among the branches. Several of these overlook the base and other parts of the map, so this is a pretty good sniper position. The one problem is that you cannot see the ground under you very well, but the advantage to this is your opponents have the same view of you, so it's generally easy to go unnoticed.
- The rocket wall is where most enemies except the sniper will likely venture in hopes to obtain the rockets and SMGs when they appear and retreat, throw grenades in the cave to kill them in their so-called safe zone.
- If someone is in the tower with the Spartan Laser, and you have a Rocket Launcher, if you fire with good aim, your rocket can destroy the tower's Fusion Coils and kill anyone inside of it.
- Throw a grenade in the camo cave and get a teammate to ambush anyone trying to take the camo from behind.
- On top of the tower, there is a ceiling made of some sort of fence. Players can reach this ceiling by Crouch jumping or by using a Gravity Lift. This can be a good sniping spot.
- The tight areas of the base can cause difficulties for the Ghost, it is easy to board one here. If you are in a Ghost, be sure your team has control of the base. The splatter targets are the ones charging up the hill.
- Attackers with a bomb will most likely take the camo and crawl through the pipe. Toss grenades to flush them out, have another player watch the other end with the laser to prevent the carrier from escaping.
- Bringing the turret on the catwalks in the back can soften up potential targets for teammates to finish off.
- On Shotty Snipers, it is sometimes a good idea to wait in the middle of the pipe with your Sniper Rifle out, and watch your motion sensor. When you see someone coming close to you, snipe them—they will most likely have their Shotgun out.
- Using the Machine Gun Turret on the gate wall while it's mounted is not always a good idea, because you are very vulnerable to Sniper or Battle Rifle fire. Unless the Sniper Rifle is uncontested or is under control of your team, rip off the turret and walk with it among the base.
- The hatch on the bunker can be opened by melee or by gunfire, but the people inside will most likely notice and be ready to attack. An easy and quiet way to open this is get on top of the laser tower with a Bubble Shield. Jump down towards the bunker and throw the shield onto the hatch. It will break open instantly.
- Dual wield weapons are often effective in the bunkers, use them to your advantage or when your rifle is out of ammo.
- A great sniping place is on top of the small base with the computer in it. You can get on top of here by getting on the bridge and walk towards the pipe area. You can then run and crouch jump on to it.
- From on top of the base with the computer, you can slightly crouch walk under the rock behind you. Walk toward the pipe room. You can stand on a small pipe above this room. You are very open to gunfire, but many people will not notice you.
- If you use forge, the defensive team can add lots of MG positions on the wall, in the bunker, and near the beach, thus forcing the offensive team into cover. This makes the beach quite like Omaha Beach and/or Iwo Jima.
- High Ground is not only the first multiplayer map to be revealed back in December 2006, but was the first map to be played by the public.
- In the Halo 3 Multiplayer Vidoc, it was stated that there were originally going to be several towers with machine gun turrets being manned by AI gunners; these AI NPCs would shoot at whatever came up the hill. The idea was subsequently dropped, as it became way too hard for teams to assault the base. At another point in the level's development, the SAM launcher in the base was to launch bombs at the beach at certain times.
- High Ground was originally thought to be the successor to Zanzibar, until Bungie revealed Last Resort. However, due to its general appearance—namely the beachhead assault layout—it has several familiarities to Zanzibar. The layout of the map is such that defenders spawn in the war-torn base, with attackers spawning on the beach.
- The Cortana on High Ground easter egg can be found on this level.
- Red vs. Blue and This Spartan Life held "transition" episodes on this map, or at least made a reference to the map. These references are used in order to make a smooth transition from Halo 2 to Halo 3.
- The radio inside the fort where the flag spawns transmits three different Morse Code messages. When translated they are: "frogblast the ventcore"; "SABABWL"; and "Don't Make Us Kick Your Ass," a classic Bungie saying.
- The radio inside the fort where the flag spawns also transmits a musical piece from Halo: Combat Evolved, entitled "Under Cover of Night."
- There are small fish that can be seen and killed, and will wash up on the shore.
- The beachfront appears to be leading out into the ocean, but if you manage to get past the barriers, you can see land a few miles away, hinting that this might be a wide river or a large lake.
- It is possible to go deep into the water on this map by overloading it with Trip Mines then sticking a respawn point outside, or by using teleporters and having one player go through a Sender Node while another holds a Receiver Node beyond the map.
- It is likely that the base was under the control of NATO in the past, as seven NATO symbols can be seen throughout the map, yet another reference to the number.
- On some of the computers in the Control Center, there are readouts of Pelican Dropships with large weapons mounted onto the front of the craft.
- In the Alpha screenshots taken on High Ground, there is a Halo 2-era turret in place of the Halo 3-era machine gun.
- Due to the map's layout, High Ground greatly resembles the Normandy beachheads. The players who spawn on the beach are the landing Allied forces, while the players who spawn in the base are the German troops in the bunkers.
- The map description says it's "A relic of older conflicts...", meaning the map may be a reference to the Halo 2 multiplayer map, Relic. Both are set in a beach setting and involve abandoned fortresses.
- From the picture of the concept art, High Ground was originally going to include a waterfall and more of jungle theme than that of a beach fortress. High Ground may have been intended to be the successor of Sanctuary, as High Ground would have had a waterfall and possibly contain numerous small waterways throughout the map.
- The hatch that is outside and to the left of the base (assuming you're coming from the beach) can be blown open with an explosive (i.e. grenades).
- The Chinese Food Easter Egg can be found on this level.
- A UNSC Draft Notice can be found on this level.