Don’t fret if you’ve not got into the Halo Infinite beta: the Halo Infinite release date is closer than ever and pretty soon you’ll get your chance to play 343 Industries’ latest installment of the long-running first-person shooter franchise.
Following on directly from the events of Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Infinite was first announced by Microsoft back in 2018. At the time, all we had to go on was a brief cinematic trailer, teasing a new engine and a new direction for Chief and the rest of the UNSC. After a messy development that saw myriad staff leave, and multiple project heads hired in their stead, the game was subject to several delays. But – if we can take Microsoft at its word this time – we know that we can expect to see the new generation of Halo games kick off in the 2021 holiday season.
- READ MORE: ‘Halo Infinite’ preview: Technical Preview strikes a careful balance between shooter design schools
After months – years! – of development, the studio has been finally shown off the next stage of the iconic Master Chief’s journey. This is going to be the first Halo game in over 5 years, and it’s going to be big. So here’s everything you need to know about Halo Infinite.
Halo: Infinite is being touted as a platform, a place the developer can use to establish “the start of the next 10 years of Halo“. 343 Industries aims for the game to be a hub that caters both to long-time fans and first-time Halo players alike. Just go easy on the newbies in multiplayer, OK?
Following that first, scene-setting trailer in 2018, there has been a lot of speculation on what the game will involve. We’ve since learned that Halo: Infinite will indeed have both a single-player campaign, dedicated PvP multiplayer, and more. The existence of series staples like Forge or Firefight in Halo: Infinite remains to be seen.
Halo Infinite beta
The first Halo Infinite multiplayer technical preview – or beta, if you prefer – runs July 29 through until August 1. 343 Industries has promised that this first test that’s available to the public to play will focus entirely Halo Infinite’s multiplayer, testing server capacity and performance. If you haven’t been invited, don’t worry: it’s just the first of many technical previews for the game, and the free-to-play multiplayer mode will launch for all later this year.
If you’re interested in testing Halo Infinite, and being invited to future flights of beta tests, you’ll need to sign up to be a Halo Insider. From there, the developer will select who to invite.
Tomorrow, we’re going live with the first look at #HaloInfinite’s upcoming technical preview! Hear directly from the team about what’s in store, and how you’ll get in if you’re selected.
— Halo (@Halo) July 27, 2021
The first beta was designed primarily to “gather feedback on Bot behavior and online performance,” as per the developer. “The Bots still have their quirks, which is why we’re flighting them, but they certainly aren’t pushovers. Be prepared.” Hope you’re up for a challenge, Spartans!
In terms of Halo Infinite beta weapons, expect snipers, pistols, the Needler, and the MA40 AR – the common tools of the trade when it comes to Halo PvP. The Grav Hammers, Elite Swords and more will likely come later.
“This technical preview will feature a truncated Battle Pass and a small fraction of the Customization options planned for launch,” as per 343 Industries. So you’ll also get a taste of what the games-as-a-service model in Halo Infinite will look like, too.
Halo Infinite release date, platforms and price
Halo Infinite is set to launch during the holiday of 2021, however it does not yet have a specific release date. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, has noted that Microsoft is “waiting on other games” and considering the timing of other releases before setting a definite release date.
Currently, the game does not have a price confirmed, and it is not yet available for pre-order.
Halo Infinite reveal trailer
The E3 2018 announcement trailer gave fans a glimpse at the new planetary setting for Infinite‘s campaign, while also teasing other mysteries and showing off Master Chief’s ship. The trailer ended with a squad looking over a vast environment and a look at the Halo ring.
Halo Infinite campaign and gameplay premiere trailer
In Halo Infinite‘s campaign, the Master Chief will return when humanity’s fate hangs in the balance to confront the most ruthless foe he’s ever faced, the Banished, from Halo Wars 2.
The video shows the Chief crashing on an unknown planet that is soon revealed to be open-world – a first in the franchise – complete with a map for you to explore and track objectives.
Halo Infinite will also include many new gadgets, weapons and abilities available to you, including a grappling hook used to propel towards enemies.
According to Microsoft, the gameplay footage is captured in real-time and is representative of the experience on Xbox Series X running at 60FPS and up to 4K resolution.
Halo Infinite game modes and multiplayer preview
Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer mode is separate and free-to-play from the campaign and will run at 120FPS on Xbox Series X.
Halo Infinite multiplayer modes: Multiplayer will have two modes including an Arena mode, a 4-player squad, arena-shooter experience and Big Team Battle, a sandbox-style mode with endless combat possibilities.
Multiplayer will also allow you to create your own Spartan with a full, expansive customisation system.
A further look at the gameplay revealed that the way that equipment and larger weapons work has also been changed and a new vehicle called the Razorback has been added, which will allow you to move bigger pieces of equipment like turrets and mode objectives.
Players will also have an equipment inventory to store power-ups and usable items, as well as have access to a multiplayer battle pass that won’t expire.
Halo Infinite assassinations: We also know that Halo Infinite will launch without the multiplayer “assassination” feature when it first releases later this year. Brian “ske7ch” Jarrard (343 Industries‘ community director) and Tom French (multiplayer associate creative director) noted the iconic Halo feature will be missing when the game first releases.
“They’re not in for launch, and I think we’re just going to be straight about that,” French said. “At a lot of levels, people just turn them off, because there’s a gameplay disadvantage to it. One of the things we really wanted to do was take a step back and [ask] how do we think about how do these fit into Infinite’s gameplay loops.”
Bu they’re not gone forever. “When we bring them back, we want them to be back and fit right into our sandbox and the loops of the game,” French said, “and bring them back in a way that really just feels meaningful, so they’re always an accessible tool, but also kind of a flourish moment that people have.”
Halo Infinite preview: “Jeff Steitzer is back and the Battle Rifle feels great, but the addition of aim-down-sights (ADS), crouch-sliding and more made Halo Infinite feel less traditional and more like Apex Legends or Call of Duty,” wrote our own Jordan Oloman in his hands-on with the game.
“It may be tough to adapt to at first for series veterans, but if you’re willing to open up to it, I think 343 Industries has got something special here, and I’m extremely excited to dig into the next technical previews, particularly the vehicles and large-scale battles they may bring.”
Halo Infinite cross-play and cross-progression
Microsoft has confirmed that Halo Infinite will support multiplayer cross-play and cross-progression when it releases later this year.
Those who own Halo Infinite on PC will be able to play with friends on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
This also means multiplayer customization and progress will follow players across all platforms.
Halo Infinite seasons and battle pass
343 Industries has outlined what players can expect from the Battle Pass system in Halo Infinite.
After confirming that the game would launch with a Battle Pass and season-structured content, more has been shared on how the system will work.
The Battle Pass system will offer permanent purchases, and players will be able to go back and purchase any prior Battle Pass at any point. These passes will include free rewards in order to “provide unambiguous value”.
Battle pass rewards will include themed rewards tied to events within the multiplayer season. This includes the Yoroi armour, which was spotted at the end of Halo Infinite‘s first multiplayer reveal.
The first Halo Infinite season will be named “Heroes Of Reach” and will examine how the latest Spartans must “wrestle with the perils and mysteries of a galaxy that has fundamentally changed after the events of Halo 5.”