Guitar Hero 5 is the fifth main entry in the Guitar Hero series. The game was developed by Neversoft and published by RedOctane and Activision. It was released in North America on September 1, 2009 and internationally during the same month. Similar to the preceding title, Guitar Hero World Tour, Guitar Hero 5 is geared towards playing in a four-person band experience, including lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals. The game is available as a standalone title, allowing players to use existing compatible instrument controllers, and as a bundle that provides these controllers.
Gameplay in Guitar Hero 5 is similar to previous games in the series. Using a special game controller, players attempt to match scrolling notes as they appear on screen along a note track to mimic the playing of rock music and other songs. Hitting correct notes in time with the music increases the player's score and builds their performance meter, while missing notes will cause the meter to drop. Should the meter fall below a certain threshold, the song will end prematurely with the player booed off the stage by a virtual audience. Correctly hitting ten consecutive notes will add to the player's score multiplier by one, to a maximum of four times the original multiplier. Specially marked sections of the song, if completed correctly, help to build up Star Power, which can then be activated through an action with the controller to further double the current multiplier (up to 8x).