""This is the best game since itself!""
—Grifball Slogan
"In 2554, the Red Army introduced Grifball to the world. By 2557, all other sports had been abandoned."
—Other slogan

Three Generations of Grifball

Grifball is a community created gametype made by Burnie Burns of Rooster Teeth.


The game was originally played as an Assault variant, on a customized version of the Foundry map using Forge in Halo 3, and in a variety of map variants of Forge World in Halo: Reach and Halo 4. Players are given infinite usage of the Energy Sword and Gravity Hammer as a means to attack and defend the other players in the game as they help their ball carrier plant the bomb in the opposing team's goal. While the arena usually lacks any obstacles, the game becomes extremely intense and strategic as the game relies heavily on teamwork and a bit of luck. The game often results in players getting several multi-kills up to Killionaires and occasionally an bomb kill (usually due to exploding Bombs).

On January 8, 2009, Grifball was included in "Double EXP Weekend" for Halo 3 matchmaking. There was no set rotation for Grifball, although it has appeared many times afterward in Halo 3 matchmaking. It is now an official playlist in Halo 4.


Grifball was originally nothing more than a gag from Season 4 of Red vs. Blue made by Sarge at Grif’s expense:

"In Red vs. Blue of Rooster Teeth, Sarge is taking pop-shots with a sniper rifle at Grif (his orange soldier), whom he hates. He’s having a great time and blurts out 'This is the best game since Grifball!' That was written about three years ago and we always wondered what kind of game Grifball would have been. That’s why the ball carrier turns orange – everyone in the game is constantly trying to hammer-smash Grif and even if he scores, he explodes. Either way, Sarge wins." - Burnie Burns[1]

Burnie Burns created the first Grifball gametype when experimenting with outtakes from Rooster Teeth’s Halo 3 Heroic Map Pack video:

"It came about when we were making the Red vs Blue D.I.Y. video for the map pack release. There was an extended version of the script that had Donut and Grif making Forge creations on Foundry to go along with Simmons’ rail gun invention. Grif’s invention was going to be the laziest game type possible, where you basically walk into the middle of the room, pick up a flag and plant it two feet away. That scene really wasn’t that funny after the flying dumpster gag, so it was cut – but I had already made the game type. I started messing around with it while we were uploading the video." - Burnie Burns[2]

During Week 2 Highlights of GBWL08, the ball-carrier (A.K.A. Grif) did NOT die after scoring. The Grif dropped the Bomb and rode the Hammer shock wave away from the explosion to safety. When the video ends, Sarge is heard crying in the background, "I'm so sad, I don't think I can go on. End it now, end it now."

Default Rules

Grifball Rules Product.png

Grifball is a simple game, akin to modern-day rugby. Two teams of 3-4 players square off in a simple arena in which each team has a goal. The object is to take the ball in the middle of the court and put it in the other team’s goal.

  1. Scoring a goal earns one point and ends the round.
  2. Each match consists of five rounds. The team with at least three points at the end of five rounds wins the match.
  3. Each player has a gravity hammer and an energy sword (secondary). The player has infinite ammo of both weapons.
  4. Damage is set to 200% with player health set to 10%. One direct hit will kill a player.
  5. Dead players respawn in three seconds at their own goal.
  6. The ball carrier has a 2x Overshield, 150% speed, 150% damage resistance after a period of time in which these charge up, and turns orange, like Grif .
  7. Friendly players can hurt each other. Making use of the radar is encouraged.
  8. In the unlikely event that a player finds themselves thrown outside of the arena (beyond the wall), teleporters situated beyond the playing field have been provided. These teleporters will drop you outside the map, killing you instantly. You will respawn back at your goal. Play is not suspended when a player goes out of bounds. It is the player's duty to return to play.
  9. If a ball carrier goes out of bounds, they must return to play within 15 seconds (judged by time on Save Film) or they forfeit the entire match. If they leave the ball beyond the wall, it will reset within 15 seconds. Play is not suspended while the ball or ball carrier is out of bounds.

Grifball Types

Tips & Tactics

  • Table on weapon tactics (The weapons written in bold are wielded by your opponent).
Bomb Energy Sword Grav Hammer
Bomb N/A Try to punch the sword wielder as he lunges or before he lunges. Timing is key. You should be able to punch them unless you have low shields.
Energy Sword The Lunge nearly always works. You will be killed if you lunge as they punch however. You will both sword parry, but if you melee instead of slicing the second time it is faster. Back out of range as they hit then rush and lunge at them.
Gravity Hammer Try and hammer as he is about to punch you. This should cause him to stop mid ball lunge and/or propel him backwards. Rush and attack at the right time. Back up to avoid the splash damage, then move forward after he has made his Hammer strike.
  • When holding the Gravity Hammer, if you wish to head towards the enemies spawn area, face the wall behind where you spawn and repeatedly slam the hammer down and jump whilst facing the floor while moving backwards. This is an excellent way to speed toward the bomb, or enemies bomb drop; however, it leaves you exposed to an enemies attack.
  • When using the Energy Sword against the Gravity Hammer (though not recommended if you are unskilled with the sword) wait for them to swing and while their hammer is still down, get close and lunge. This takes some practice, but it is an effective way of racking up kills with the sword.
  • Don't stick together; the enemies will just get a multi kills with one hit or two, or you may betray each other due to the splash damage. Instead, spread out and take every direction so it's one on one.
  • Protect your bomb drop area, don't let the enemy rush and drop the bomb, keep them at a long distance.
  • You do not need the full nine (five in matchmaking), just attempt to get five (three in matchmaking) scores.
  • If you have the ball and full over shields, you can "Wave Ride" as it is commonly called by jumping over a player, on the other team or yours, and at the cost of your shield you can be flung across the map. Sometimes you will just be propelled upwards but, using this tactic you can go from your side of the field to the goal. It is possible to wave ride multiple times if you are in the air long enough to let your shields recharge. Using the Energy Sword against the ball carrier can be more useful than the Hammer because of having no possible way of wave riding.
  • You don't need to wait for the reticule to turn red to swing the Gravity Hammer in Grifball. Swinging it just before the reticule turns red will still result in a kill due of the lack of shields when not holding the ball.
  • At the beginning of a round, don't rush the bomb with everyone else on your team. Instead, stay off to the side of the bomb. That way, you can grab the bomb nearly unchallenged once most people are dead after the opening rush, or run to their spawn area as they spawn.
  • If you’re feeling lucky, try a couple of twists or sharp turns to trick the other team.
  • A new technique that appeared in the Grifball Tournament was known as "Wall Hoping". In which the ball carrier would jump on the small ledge behind the goal before scoring in order to evade pursuers.
  • Because the ball carrier has shields, a single Hammer strike from an ally would not kill it, thus it possible for one to swing his/her Hammer behind the teammate holding the bomb without killing (unless the two players are very close) and the carrier jumps in the air, it will jump farther because the shock wave from the Hammer propels it farther in the map.

Changes between Each Halo

Halo 2

You can play a version of Grifball on Halo 2 by creating a game variant. You create one under Assault, but unfortunately the ball carrier doesn't turn into Grif and there is a minimum 5-second arming time.

Halo 3

Grifball was orginally made for Halo 3.

Halo: Reach

Halo 4

Grifball guide thumbnail.png
  • The Thruster Pack ability replaces Halo: Reach's Evade in the Grifball Dash gametype.
  • The ball can now be passed by tapping whichever button throws grenades based on the player's control scheme.
  • The Gravity Hammer can now smack the ball across the court.
  • When a player kills the ball carrier with an Energy Sword, they immediately acquire the ball.
  • The rounds no longer cycle after the ball is scored, and the ball no longer explodes, instead, the ball will reset itself to the center of the court.
  • The ball-carrier is lighter in Halo 4 than in Halo: Reach, so the ball carrier can be launched even further.
  • Because Grifball is now its own unique gametype rather than a customized version of Assault, four various statistics are kept track of on the scoreboard: scores, carrier kills, ball kills, and carry time. There is also a specific medal that can be earned for scoring the Grifball.
  • Grifball now has its own map, specifically designed for the gametype. This map is currently set up for 8v8 matches
  • Since Elites are excluded from the Halo 4 Multiplayer, Blargball is no longer available.


  • Three years prior to Grifball's inclusion as a Halo 3 gametype, Sarge from Red vs. Blue made a reference to Grifball in Episode 59 of The Blood Gulch Chronicles.
  • The original name, Grifball, was going to be "Rugby", but was later changed when Gus Sarola and Gavin Free thought the original title was weak.

Score Medal



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