How To Use The Forge In Halo: Reach

If you haven’t spent any time playing with Halo: Reach’s “Forge” editor, it’s long past time to change that. If you have, you may be understandably lost–it’s so feature-rich, it can be overwhelming. We’ve got a full guide here, explaining how to use this massive, flexible and (very) fun level creator.

The Forge in Halo: Reach comes packed with a huge array of features that aren’t allowed in normal Multiplayer. It combines the best things about playing with Legos with the best things about using cheats to hilarify a game. Not only a map editor, it’s also a editable-gameplay space for you and up to 7 other people, in which you can play around with the Forge’s features, shift back and forth between Player Mode and Edit Mode (allowing you to create a group designed map), and most importantly, kill each other in a diverse array of game styles. You can also pull some nasty little backstabs, like limiting editing privileges so that you, and only you, are able to access the editor. This can make for some rather interesting ways to really stick it to you friends, and we recommend it highly.

Interested? Naturally. Let’s learn how to use the Halo: Reach Forge.

Difficulty: Beginner

Table Of Contents


Getting Started

The Halo: Reach Forge Commands

Adding Objects

Test Your Map

Additional Resources


This one’s easy. All you’ll need is an Xbox 360 and a copy of Halo: Reach. No doubt you have both. Let’s Forge ahead.

Getting Started

To get started, load Halo: Reach. On the main title screen, select “The Forge” from the menu, as seen here:

After a short loading time, you’ll be presented with the Forge main menu screen, like so:

This is where you’ll have the chance to set the rules of whatever game you’ll be playing once you’ve used the Halo: Reach Forge to create your custom map, as well as select the environment in which you’ll be editing. It’s a good idea to spend a few minutes getting familiar with these choices before moving forward.

*”Game Options” is particularly interesting – this is where you’ll be able to add a little something more to your games than typical default settings, like increased shield or weapon strength, higher gravity, faster or slower respawn times, and so on. You can also choose which weapons will appear in game, which weapons will appear by default in the player’s hands, and so on, but we left most of these settings at default.

For now, what we want is to select the right game type for our purposes: Basic Editing. Click the “Game Type” link and select it.

Now you’ll need to choose the world you’ll be editing. You can select from a wide variety of levels straight out of the campaign and standard multiplayer, but we found it best to begin with a blank slate, so we chose “Forge World.”

To do this, just click the Map option:

And in here, choose “Forge World”, like so:

So, you’ve chosen your game type, selected a map and, presumably, you’ve chosen your game settings. Click “start,” and we’re off!

The Halo: Reach Forge Commands

A lot of people complained about the often inscrutable interface of Halo 3′s Forge, so for Halo: Reach, Bungie set out to streamline the feature considerably. Result is nothing short of user friendliness normally associated with Apple products. In short, the Halo: Reach Forge is ridiculously easy to use. Exceptionally intuitiv, it almost always does what you think it should do based on a given command.

Even so, it’s best to become familiar with the controls before going any further. The first thing you’ll see when your Forge game loads is something like this:

That’s because you start in game mode. “Weapons free, gentleman” and all that. If you’re editing with friends, then you could simply start shooting each other dead, but since you’re here to learn how to use the Reach Forge and not cheese your friends, bring up the start menu and switch to Edit Mode (like so):

NOTE: all controls featured here can be reviewed at any time in the Start menu.

Click that, and when you return to the main screen, your weapon will be gone, replaced by this:

That center-screen icon is what you’ll be using to manipulate all objects from here on out. Now that we’re in Edit Mode, let’s take a moment to familiarize ourselves with the controller functions.

Before doing anything else, take a look at the lower left hand corner of your screen. There, you’ll see the B & X buttons are enabled.

* The X Button is “Place Object.” Clicking it brings up the menu from which you’ll be able to choose from the list of objects and other features you want to place into your map.

* The B button takes you to “options”. As you haven’t selected an object yet, you’ll find only one at this point:

Edit Rotation Snap

Editing the Rotation Snap will set the number of degree-turns your object can make when rotating it along any axis. It is HIGHLY recommended that choose one now. While you can change the setting on an object-by-object basis, if you’re just getting started it’s likely that you’ll use the same setting for all objects. This will streamline that process considerably. We went with 30 degrees.


You’ll also notice a dollar amount. Just like in Halo 3, you’re allotted a budget of in-game credits with which to purchase objects and adjustments in the Halo: Reach Forge. A few points to consider:

– Objects are generally cheap (walls cost 10 credits).
- You’ll earn credits easily, just bvy playing. Single player, multiplayer, and even by playing games in the Reach Forge, so you won’t need to worry too much.

Even so, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what you’ve spent so you’ll know when it’s time to get back to actual play to make up for any budget shortfalls.

Don’t press “X” just yet. Instead, take a moment to get used to the stick and bumper controls:

* The Left stick changes your POV by zooming waaay out or zooming waaay in.

* The right stick orients you around whatever object (if any) you’ve selected, and moves you around.

* LB will cause you to descend.

* RB will cause you to ascend.

* These functions work the same when you’re holding an object.

Oriented? Good. Now click the X button to bring up the objects menu.

You’ll see you’re able to choose from a variety of Objects to place into your map. We’ll come back to that shortly and concentrate on what happens once you’ve selected an object. You’ll be returned to the main screen. Look to the lower left and you’ll see your controller buttons have new functions:

* A will drop the Object (or based on object physics, leave it in place no matter where you put it).

* B gives you tools to manipulate the Object (like adjusting the pitch and yaw).

* X gives you additional options for that Object (for example, changing the physics, which we’ll cover shortly).

* Y will delete whatever object you’ve selected.

Note: in the Halo: Reach single player campaign, cut scenes are skipped by clicking the Y button. As a result, you’re probably long since accustomed to hitting it and will accidentally delete an object more than once. Nothing to fear: Deleting an object returns the credits spent on it to you, so just go back into the “place Object” menu and grab it again.

Comfortable with the lay of the land? Great. Next, we’ll get started actually adding objects and customizing your Halo: Reach Forge map.

Adding Objects

In order to have a fun game, you’re going to have to put something into your map for you and your friends to play around in. You’ll need places to hide, random, fun type killing machines to use, walls to duck behind, and science fiction technology to be baffled by, and so on. In other words, you need Objects to interact with, and the Halo: Reach Forge has them in abundance.

It’s also designed to encourage you to make your map as diverse as possible. You’ll have access to a HUGE amount of optional improvements like vehicles, structures, scenery and hilarious doo dads like traffic cones, but you won’t be able to go totally OCD and make an all-cones map. You’re limited to a certain number of objects per object type. For instance, you can place up to 50 wall type objects into a single map, but not a stitch more.

So to get started, click that X button and to bring up your objects menu. Scroll through the menu options until you find the object type you’d like to import. We decided to create a spartan, yet surreal arena, and began with a little symmetry courtesy of the Double Wall we selected first.

(See the photo above – it’s available by accessing the Building Blocks sub menu). Once it popped up, we hit the B button to access the Object Tools menu, and chose “Edit Coordinates”.

Assuming you’ve set your Rotation Snap, you can orient your Object in nearly infinite positions, which not only allows you to place an object however you like, but use it in ways contrary to its intended purpose. Like so:

Pretty cool, right?

Now for a quick aside for what may be the single coolest feature available to you.


You’ll notice that the wall appears to be floating into the floor? That’s because of the object’s Physics settings. These settings allow you to determine how your object will behave in the map.

There are three settings available to you: Phased, Fixed, and Normal. Each setting is default for at least some items, but for most of the non player-related objects (like vehicles, sandbags, weapons, spawn points and so forth), Phased is default.

* The Phased setting makes the object sort of ghost like, allowing you considerable freedom to put something anywhere you want, at any angle.

This allows you to make, say, a giant tower jutting out of a large wall. Or, to make solid, impenetrable masses of something, like walls with fused joints. You can even take rocks and cram them against other objects in the game.

Like this:


* The Fixed setting will adjust the Object’s physics so that it cannot be phased through other objects, but will otherwise stay where ever you put it, regardless of gravity.

Like how we placed this giant Colosseum wall against the ginormous sides of the map:

* The Normal setting is exactly what it says: Normal, real world(ish) physics.

Objects will be subject to the laws of gravity and whatever other rules and regulations reality has imposed on us. So, for example, if you let go of an object, it will drop to the ground like so:

So, Once we got the hang of the basics, we set about filling the map with interesting stuff. Like this tank:

Or this awesome boulder:

Or some buildings:

This could go on for years, and it should! But in order to actually make your map playable, you’ll need to add gadgets to make it function like multiplayer maps should. This means respawn points for dead soldiers, and weapons, like this one here:

And while you’re at it, it might be pretty fun to put in some two-way teleporters to throw your opponents off. We used two of them. One here:

And one here:

The important thing is to keep adding objects while keeping your mind on two things: stuff to do, and places to go. There’s no point in adding a huge tower or giant bunker if you place it up in the air where your players will never be able to get to it. Use ramps, teleporters, bridges and other structures liberally until you’ve created a varied, and hopefully dangerous place to play.

Test Your Map

Once you feel like you’re done, it’s time to test it out. You can do this with friends, or alone (as we did). Just click up on your d-pad (or select Game Mode from the start menu) to be returned to normal play, and get going. Here’s how our test went:

Untitled from Ross Lincoln on Vimeo.

Satisfied? Click save, and your map will be stored in your Game files (accessible from the Halo: Reach Main menu). Now stop reading. Since you know how to use the Forge in Halo: Reach, it’s time to start wasting.. um… time.

Additional Resources:

No surprise that the Bungie forums are full of good advice. We also found useful information via the Halo: Reach wikia.

You might like our comprehensive walkthrough.

Still not even sure you want it? Consult our review and decide for yourself.

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17 Comments on How To Use The Forge In Halo: Reach


On October 10, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Thank for your information….
How can I get this game?

Ross Lincoln

On October 10, 2010 at 11:11 pm

See “tools”. Have an Xbox 360? just buy the game.


On March 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm

How do you save default weapons, gravity and player movement?

Jace Taran

On March 19, 2011 at 12:57 am

Big error in this article; the Forge budget has nothing to do with the game’s credit system; it’s a completely different thing. Every Forge map you create has a hard-coded limit of $10,000, which you have automatically, even if you have 0 game credits. The budget only exists to make sure no one makes a map that is so large that it crashes the game. So, if you use up all of your Forge budget on a particular map, no amount of game playing will allow you to place more objects on that map.

That’s the bad news. The good news to that is that you can create as many different maps as you want, and each one will have it’s own $10,000 budget to start.


On April 25, 2011 at 8:37 pm

what I need To know is how do i set the game up for multy flag or race maps whitch are in sequence so when the first player goes threw it points him to the next point of play!


On June 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

what i need to know is how pl stick stuff to walls on forge like landmines ? and how do u ge ur map to be playable as infection,or any others somtimes i make a race track and i put the markers but it wnt do race so what gives?


On August 2, 2011 at 10:47 pm

people don’t actually stick stuff to walls. essentially, the physics are set to “fixed” or “phased”, so gravity isnt actually affecting the mine, it’s just been set to float beside the wall.


On August 6, 2011 at 8:05 am

I need help PLEASE. My son is a Halo addict, and has spent HOURS building maps in Forge, but we have tried EVERYTHING we can think of and we cannot A) get back in to re-edit a map he’s created and by extension B) cannot play a map he’s created. I can see the map on the list, you can select it, but the START GAME option is NEVER active. It’s always greyed out, and therefore the whole point of creating maps is lost. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come home from work and my son wants to show me a map he created, and there is simply no way to get back in.



On August 12, 2011 at 11:18 am

Carter….. That happens to me also but its because of the game mode you have selected if you want to see it soon then just slect slayer other wise go back to edit the map and add the things you need to play in a certain mode :P


On August 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm

You know you could just press the up arrow to go to edit mode right?


On August 26, 2011 at 8:05 am

IS there some way to make tiny movements when ascending or descending? It constantly annoys me when I try to align two objects and thier barely off, but unaligned enough to cause a bump when running over them. Like putting two walkways together.


On August 30, 2011 at 4:48 am

I would like to limit editing privileges in my maps have very good flow hours of work don’t want haters destroying or noobs play at home mostly sys link please help


On December 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

i need help cuz i made an awsome shreer amp so u die alot but the respawn time is 124 sceonds so peaple keep saying they hate my map and only stay on till they die i tired to make a respawn point i pop up there but i still take 124 sec to respawn and its and awsome map but i can only try it once then i have to leave or wait 124 sec


On December 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

srry i ment shreder map bad key board


On January 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Can u create ppl like marines to fight with u??


On February 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm

to moiaussi: if you wanna be OCD (like me) & make the tiniest movements to perfectly align objects how you want, select the object you wanna move, hit “B” to go to the Object Menu, then go to “Edit Coordinates” & you can edit the height & just about everything else very minutely & precisely. You can also adjust the Rotation Snap to be even more precise & OCD. Setting the rotation snap to 90 makes it very easy to perfectly flatten out objects, or perfectly straighten walls, & setting it to 5 or 15 makes it easy to make minute adjustments, such as a slight incline if you’re building a race track. It’s easier to be OCD if you using the “Edit Coordinates” function instead of freeform rotation in conjunction with the rotation snap. Hope this helped! :)

Tom Edsall

On June 2, 2013 at 4:49 am

Help please??? A friend has managed to delete most of my maps and I can’t undo it and I can’t get onto to those maps either.