Forge Mode is Halo 4’s map editor mode. As with Halo 3 and Halo: Reach, players can enter and modify the game’s levels on their own or with friends. Forge enables players to spawn and place a large number of environmental objects, weapons and vehicles along with spawn points, gametype specific objective placements and several other options to create their own twist on existing Halo 4 levels.
Whilst the game allows you to utilize forge on any of the set multiplayer maps, there are three additional maps that are not currently in Halo 4’s online rotation (Erosion, Impact and ravine) that at the moment serve essentially as a blank canvass specifically for Forge fans.
During the Basic Editing gametype of Forge, players can assume control of either a Spartan or a Monitor. The monitor can fly and is required to perform all of the level modification tasks and as such is able to remove existing objects in the environment or to synthesize and place new ones. Switching to Spartan mode allows you to test out how the level works once changes have been made.
Whilst in monitor form, there is a editing menu in the bottom right corner of the screen. Each level has a resource budget and with every item you place in the map, some of the resources are consumed. Items available include:
Spawn Points (initial spawn points, spawn points).
Ordnance Drops (timed or random).
Objective Locations (CTF Plates, KOTH Hill markers, Extraction targets, Dominion terminals and defenses).
Scenery (Barricades and other minor in-game objects such as street cones and chairs etc.)
Structures (Map specific items, building blocks, bridges/platforms, generic buildings, decorative, doors/windows/walls, Slopes and natural features).
Gadgets (Explosive barrels, jump pads, teleporters, gravity alteration zones, toys and level visual filters).
Vehicles (Mongoose, Warthog, Scorpion, mantis, Ghost, Wraith, Banshee, shade turret).
Weapons (Human, Covenant, Forerunner).
General Editing Tips
Before beginning the rampant editing, here are a few tips and tricks that may help first-time forgers adjust to the mode and get into it.
Keep an eye on your budget.
Play around with individual object settings, you can find some really interesting uses for almost anything with a bit of imagination.
If map building is your game, note that symmetrical maps are a hell of a lot easier to easier to balance than asymmetrical ones.
Use the snap to and locking tools. locking objects in place means you will not be able to displace them by accident as could happen in previous games forge modes.
Get some mates in to help test your maps, it will help you iron out any issues, balancing issues or mistakes you might find with the map.
Whilst Halo: Reach featured one giant map with Forge in mind, Halo 4 features three smaller, more unique maps. Here’s a brief overview of each of the new Forge maps…
Downloading Custom Maps
Note that online file sharing of maps is not yet live in Halo 4. Rumors are it will go live later this month (December '12). From what is already in the game, it appears that similarly to Reach, you will be able to search and download for other players maps, this time through the Spartan Hub menu. Here, infrastructure is already in place to search for and filter map variants by gamertags, most downloaded, most recommended and by the map and gametype that you are interested in.
If the Forge mode in Reach is any indicator, in addition to being a great way to boost your offline/player match map roster, seeing other people’s work in action can give you some ideas as to what you can achieve in Forge.