Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

With a lot of situational awareness, and a little luck, hopefully the only thing you will lose is your luggage.

Orbital, also known as War Games Map_Set/: 420-6,[1] is one of three maps in the Mythic map pack designed for Halo 3.[2] It was released on Xbox Live Marketplace with the two other Mythic maps on April 9, 2009.


Orbital takes place inside the docking-station for the Quito Space Tether, a Space elevator above South America that transports cargo and people in and out of the Earth's atmosphere easily.

It is said to be best for asymmetrical objective games, like Capture the Flag and Assault, but also has some natural deadlocks that makes Slayer interesting and Infection "terrifying." It's essentially two overlapping hallways in horseshoe-shaped levels, so each team can see the other one's spawn through a window above or below them, but they are separated. Both bases of the map have operable doors that are important for objective games.[3] It is a two-story map, and one base is located at the end of the 2nd level hallway. The middle of the connecting horseshoes features a chasm which separates both sides, effectively forming a choke point that is crucial to hold.

The map contains plaques dedicated to Doctors Tobias Fleming Shaw and Wallace Fujikawa, the creators of the Shaw-Fujikawa Translight Engine. Orbital also contains many aesthetic elements, such as windows showing the Earth, electronic devices like display screens, escalators, and even a video phone. Overall, the map has a feel of advanced technology.[4]

It was reported in a Bungie Weekly Update that one part of the map has a deadly chasm, which can be easily traversed once it is "unlocked." However, this seems to have changed since that information was released, long before the map was ever shown. Orbital has several such locks and switches "to disable and enable access to various parts of the map." However, the only switches currently found in the map are the two door switches in either base (that only open the doors, and do not close them). Currently, there is no way to open up other sections of the map. Orbital has been described as cleanly beautiful, yet haunting and having signs of abrupt abandonment. The map has two exits out of either base, plus a small maintenance hallway leading to the upper level. This makes defending on CTF interesting.

Weapon Placement[]

Battle Rifles are common throughout the level, with two spawning on the starting bases of each side and another two near the middle of each side. Plasma Pistols are located on the bottom of the two escalators, Maulers are next to the equipment on the junctions, Plasma Grenades come in pairs scattered around the map, and a pair of Spikers are found in both hallways which connect the bases to the middle. There are also two Plasma Rifles located just next to the Rocket Launcher spawn. The two main power weapons on this map are the Sniper Rifle (on the lower side of the pit) and a Rocket Launcher (on the higher side), though it should be noted that both weapons have had their ammo decreased for balance.

Equipment is also found around; a Bubble Shield, a Regenerator, and a Power Drain are put in strategic locations, with the Bubble Shield and Regenerator spawning next to a Mauler and the Power Drain opposite the Sniper Rifle in the same junction.

There are two Mongooses on each base facing the operational doors (only closed in objective games), and a Ghost spawns at the attacking base during asymmetrical gametypes.


  • This map's codename was originally "Moonbase Alpha," then later changed to "Space Camp." The map's official name was then changed to be "Orbital."
  • This map was first shown in Game Informer's story on Halo 3: ODST.
  • Orbital was the first map in Halo 3 to be set in space, the other being Heretic. Using glitches, Orbital offers an opportunity for players to experience direct exposure to space in Halo 3, along with the Valhalla Banshee glitch found only in the Halo 3 Beta. the only exposure to space in Halo: Combat Evolved, Boarding Action, and in Halo 2, the initial campaign level Cairo Station and the maps Elongation and Midship were the only maps to allow this until the release of Halo: Reach with Zealot, and the Noble map pack with Anchor 9.
  • Some of the computer monitors across the map make reference to Cairo Station.
  • The view of Earth on some of the monitors is actually a screenshot from one of the Halo 2 trailers.
  • The cast of Red vs Blue was given permission by Bungie to play on the map and post videos of it on their website before its official release.
  • Orbital is the first ever map in the Halo franchise to take place inside a Space elevator.
  • The male that can be heard over the intercom is Bungie environment artist Chris Carney.
  • In view of the windows in orbital, the city, now town, of Pedernales can be seen.
  • Several terminals within Orbital have schedules on them labeled with the names of several notable locations in the Halo series, for example: Charybdis IX and Gilgamesh.
  • The lift at the bottom of the shaft has a total of 7 flashing lights, a possible 7 reference.
  • By the escalator at red base, a newspaper clipping can be found on the floor reading, "Covenant on Earth!"
  • Many players have escaped from Orbital via the windows. Using teleporters, players can find their way to an invisible floor above the map, that allows the player to walk around. The death barriers above the map kill players instantly, but they are easy to avoid once a player determines their locations.
  • On the various screens around the map there are text boxes containing the standard Lorem Ipsum text.
  • There is a secret room just under and to the left of the rocket spawn.
  • When looking at Orbital's heatmap, it can be noted that there is a small room located outside of the playable area.
  • At both entries, there are signs that say "Welcome" written in many languages. This shows that many of today's languages are still spoken in 2552.
  • Some of the smaller screens in the tether show an image of two mongooses, even if you remove the mongooses, the image will stay the same.
  • Orbital makes an appearance in the Epilogue of Halo 3: ODST, titled as an ONI orbital facility. This does not reflect the station's actual fate, as the map was simply used to save resources.
  • The Orbital Skull can be found on this level.
  • While playing on Orbital, a female and male voice can be heard every once in a while announcing things over a speaker (much like The Pit and Terminal). Note that these messages will play randomly even if the game is paused in theatre mode. Some of these lines are:
    • "Welcome to the Quito Orbital Elevator. Please refer to video monitors for current information."
    • "Please use caution. Don't fall in open elevator shafts."
    • "Possession of firearms at any orbital facility is strictly prohibited." (Ironic since all players carry weapons, and weapons are freely available throughout the map).
    • "We advise you to be aware of your surroundings. If you see any suspicious activity or any unattended packaging, please call the Quito Orbital Elevator Security Hotline." (Ironic since players are mainly concentrated on blowing each other up).
    • "Do not leave children unattended. Children should be monitored at all times."
    • "Upon request, all passengers are required to present their National Identity Certification papers to Quito Orbital Elevator authority personnel."
    • "Transportation of hazardous materials is strictly prohibited." (Ironic since many players carry weapons, live ammunition and explosives).
    • "Please remember to keep your children off the escalators."




  1. Halo Waypoint: Earth
  2. Game Informer December 2008
  3. Game Informer December 2008
  4. Game Informer December 2008