Ice Fields consists of two bases at either end, each housing a Shotgun, a Flamethrower, a Plasma Rifle and an Assault Rifle. Each base also has a Warthog and one Rocket Warthog by default settings. There are two tunnels on the map, each leading to the center bridge which holds the map's main Overshield. Below the bridge, there are two Teleporters. Near these are either Active camouflage power-ups or Overshields. This level is based on the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign level Assault on the Control Room.
In objective-based gametypes such as CTF and Assault variants, both teams generally attempt to gain control of the central bridge or mound as it gives them a number of vital and crucial advantages. The bridge has a M19 SSM Rocket Launcher, a Fuel Rod Gun and an Overshield which can be used to prevent and fend off hostile vehicles from advancing into your base and killing your teammates. It also gives your team members a height advantage and allows your team's sniper to get a very good view of the map and pick off your enemies before they have a chance to attack. While many do not take the route under the bridge, many will defend it from the small cliffs along it, reachable by each base's Teleporter.
Another deadly tactic is when one team, when in control of both Scorpions places one in each "lane" of the bridge. Someone must man the tanks to keep them from respawning, but on games without vehicle respawning, this effectively controls where all enemy vehicles must move, as most drivers won't risk a close encounter with Scorpions. This advantage can be nullified if a Warthog with a rocket launcher is driven to either side, as they can fire more quickly than the Scorpion's main gun.
The best defensive tactic in CTF would be to have one or two people on top of your base, both armed with a Pistol and Shotgun/Flamethrower. They can fire on an approaching vehicles with their Pistols and can drop down through the hole in the top of the base and gun down any enemies who got inside with their Shotguns/Flamethrowers.
In Team Slayer, controlling the Teleporter areas (with the Shotgun and Sniper Rifle) can result in a victory, especially if the team also controls the bridge.
Warthogs get poor traction on the ice that exists in "puddles" throughout the map. Players on foot will often try to lure an inexperienced driver onto the ice. The player on foot will then move to the side when the Warthog approaches the ice. Once on the ice, the driver looses all control of the vehicle, making it a sitting duck from Grenades, Rockets, etc.
When you are at your base and have two ways you can go, the middle "rock" provides useful range. This means that by various ways, you can get on top of this island and snipe.
Vehicles, with the exception of the Ghost, tend to slide on the ice, so take that into consideration and try to use it to your advantage while playing.
The best way to play is to control the bridge at the start of the game, take the overshield and guard it with heavy weapons.
Behind each base is a small structure with a teleporter leading to the middle of the map. On top of the structure, however, is a neatly hidden overshield, accessible by parking a warthog nearby and jumping on it or by a grenade jump.
The map's areas make it suitable for CTF, Assault, Team Slayer and King of the Hill matches.
The icy environment and architecture of the structures on the map are extremely similar to that of the Halo 3 map, Avalanche despite it being the spiritual successor of Sidewinder from Halo: Combat Evolved.