The Arena is a set of playlists within the Halo: Reach matchmaking system. It is designed to replace the player ranking systems seen in Halo 2 and Halo 3 by focusing on individual performance, rather than win/loss records.
New to Halo within The Arena are divisions, which replace the basic numerical rankings given in previous Halo games that ranged from one to fifty. Based on your individual performance within a season, you may be placed into one of the following divisions, as listed best to worst:
- Onyx (5)
- Gold (4)
- Silver (3)
- Bronze (2)
- Steel (1)
Each division is also given a numerical value, ranging from 1-5, as seen within Arena playlists next to the player's name.
The arena uses a basic season system, where each season lasts one month. Each month your statistics are reset and you are essentially given a fresh start, as opposed to previous games where your past performance could hinder how well you proceed through the rankings.
To be placed within a division, you must earn a certain number of daily ratings within that season.
 Game Ratings
Game ratings are a way to show your individual performance for the given match, and then compare them to other players within the match. The ratings are based on a numerical value, which ranges from 1000 to 2000.
In the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta, the game rating is based on the following formula:
rating(1 – loss_penalty) * (1000 + (2000/pi * atan( raw_rating * game_normalization )))
- where loss_penalty = .04
- where raw_rating = (kills + sa*assists) – (sd*deaths + sb*betrayals)
- where sa and sb = 1.0
- where sd = 1/3
- and where game_normalization = players_per_team / score_to_win
Simply put; kills, assists, and betrayals are the main factors of your rating. Deaths only count against one-third of each kill or assist, while betrayals count against them equally. Losses are also a very small factor, as a loss will still give you 96% of the same rating you would have earned if you had won. As such, it is truly based on individual performance.
 Daily Ratings
Once you earn enough game ratings in a single day, you are given a daily rating. In the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta, you are required to earn three game ratings before you receive a daily rating.
You must also earn enough daily ratings within a season to be placed within a division.
Similar to Halo 3, Halo: Reach still uses the TrueSkill system. However, Halo: Reach advocates this system with the Arena ratings system, as seen above, in order to base your division placement on individual skill. It uses the game ratings as a measurement of how well you performed compared to other players within the game. Simply put, the game rating itself is not what matters, it is the amount of players your game rating is higher or lower than. By looking at it this way, it can be assumed that by being above the 50th percentile of game ratings within a single game, that game can be seen as a 'win', regardless of whether you actually won the match or not. This 'win' will act similarly to how an actual win would in Halo 3, and it is plugged into the TrueSkill ranking system as such.
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