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Race is a free-for-all or team multiplayer gametype in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo: Reach, Halo 4, and Halo 2: Anniversary. The player's objective is to be the first person or team to reach all checkpoints marked on the map.
Checkpoints are demarcated by an arrow or, if a player is directly facing one, a flag icon. The maximum number of checkpoints is fifteen.
When a player has completed a lap, information is displayed at the top left corner of the screen, showing the lap number completed and time taken in seconds.
Racing is ideally done in a Warthog, as this allows you a high amount of maneuverability as well as the option of having a gunner to fire at enemies behind whist the driver focuses on reaching the checkpoints, whereas a Ghost or Banshee can only fire in front of you and a Scorpion Tank is far too slow and clumsy to be of use in a Race. Alternatively, racing can be done on a map where there are no vehicles allowed. Racing on close quarters maps like Prisoner or Damnation with heavy weapons can result in highly chaotic game, with players more focused on killing one another rather than actually trying to complete laps.
Originally, racing in vehicles in Halo: Combat Evolved was only available upon the maps Blood Gulch and Sidewinder. However, various updates now mean that racing in vehicles is also available upon Infinity, Danger Canyon, Death Island, Ice Fields, Gephyrophobia and Timberland. A number of these maps - most notably Sidewinder and Gephyrophobia - require for the driver of the Warthog to make difficult maneuvers such as driving up narrow ramps with tight corners. Other maps, particularly Ice Fields and Blood Gulch, have shortcuts that are available to the more experienced drivers e.g. regular racers on Ice Fields will often drive right off the bridge, where the score checkpoint is found, to get to the checkpoint directly beneath it.
Race was first introduced in Halo: Combat Evolved as a standalone gametype. Race was removed from the list of playable gametypes in Halo 2 and replaced with similar gametype, Territories. Race did not return in Halo 3, although the options within Territories and VIP can be edited to recreate a similar experience. Bungie had created a gametype called Rocket Race, found in the Team Doubles playlist of Halo 3. It is a variant of VIP in which everybody is invincible (except for assassinations) and carries a rocket launcher. The driver and the VIP are in a Mongoose that are supposed to drive into marked territories.
Race make a return in Halo: Reach. A new option provides the capability to turn on Landmines. More options were provided so the start vehicle can be varied. Also with the improved Forge, players can design their own tracks.
On November 27, 2013 it was announced in the Halo Bulletin that Race would make an return in Halo 4 in a update. Players could vote for which map they would like to have Race featured in as well as the game variants.
- A Bungie Weekly Update mentioned a gametype with emphasis on vehicles, possibly hinting at the return of this gametype in Halo 3. However, Race did not return in Halo 3 and the mentioned gametype was Rocket Race.
- Some players create racetrack maps in Halo 3 by forging map variants with only one Territory. When the map is played in Territories with permanent capture turned on, the player who reaches the end first ends up capturing the only Territory on the map, winning and ending the game.
- Alternatively, if the goal point for the race is edited to a position where it is impossible to continuously pass and cheat, for instance in mid-air, or surrounded by death bringing teleporters, then an actual variant of VIP can be implemented, affording for a proper race with several laps.
- A race didn't come until later in Halo 4, it was "imitated" using the King of the Hill gametype.