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Halo Infinite: What we know so far

Halo 6 is now called Halo Infinite, and it's coming to PC. Microsoft gave us our first brief look at Halo Infinite at E3 2018 and delivered a five-minute trailer at E3 2019. Despite ditching the number, you should still think of Halo Infinite as the next step in Master Chief's story.

That's all we've seen, but 343 Industries has talked a little bit about Halo Infinite since announcement. So far, discussion of the game has focused on the new engine 343 spent years building, resulting in the new graphical style and many more changes we'll likely see in the future. According to a rumorfrom earlier this year, "the team behind the game is trying to make the story adapt to decisions the user makes and the game may have more RPG elements than prior versions of the series."

Yes, Halo Infinite is confirmed for Windows 10 as well as Xbox. With Halo: The Master Chief Collection also headed to PC this year, Microsoft is finally getting behind Halo on PC in a big way. 

Here are the other details we've collected about Halo Infinite, concerning the release date, a likely beta, multiplayer, and more.

What is the Halo Infinite release date?

Halo Infinite will release around the winter holidays in 2020, though we don't have an exact date pinpointed yet.  

Microsoft confirmed at their press conference at E3 this year that Halo Infinite would be a launch title for its next generation console currently code named Scarlett, presumably with the PC version of Infinite launching simultaneously. 

Halo Infinite: Fast facts

  • Forge mode: It's back!
  • Is there a Halo ring: You bet your ass
  • Micro-transactions: Maybe, but no "loot boxes."
  • Battle royale mode: Nope, 343 Industries has said it isn't planning one.

Check out Halo Infinite's Discover Hope trailer from E3

We finally got a lengthy trailer for Halo Infinite, but it's not quite what we expected. Rather than starting with Master Chief, it starts with a UNSC soldier seemingly derelict in space in a Pelican. And the Chief does eventually show up, but, well, we won't spoil how. Check it out in the trailer above. 

Sadly there's no gameplay, but there's still plenty to scrutinize, including some loaded Cortana voiceover and a fractured Halo ring. 

A hidden audio file was discovered in the 'Discover Hope' trailer

Twitter user Xepyal noticed something from the E3 2019 trailer that nobody else did: a series of red flashes in Master Chief's visor that, when spliced together, form a QR code. The code led them to this audio clip. At the end of the clip, we hear Cortana (at least that's who it sounds like) say the following: "This...this is part of me. I don't know why, I don't know how, but it is me."

What does it mean? Your guess is as good as mine.

So Halo Infinite will definitely be on PC? 

Yes! The reveal trailer confirmed what Microsoft had already told us: The next Halo is coming to PC. With Windows 10, Microsoft's library of Xbox games has increasingly been shared between platforms, and that's its plan going forward.

Judging by Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2, just to name a few, cross-platform multiplayer could also be in the cards.

Halo Infinite's new Slipspace engine has also been developed with PC in mind, specifically when it comes to the broad range of hardware setups. The trailer demo was built in Slipspace, though it should be noted that it's a tech demo and not actual footage from Halo Infinite. The exciting bit there, though, is how far our PCs will be able to push the engine's graphics compared to a console. 144 fps Halo, please.

Will Master Chief be the star of Halo Infinite? 

Halo Infinite

Another yes. We don't know much about the story, but yes, Master Chief is the protagonist. Halo Infinite is set after the events of Halo 5 and is the next chapter in the big green soldier's saga.

Mr. Chief's got a new(ish) look, too, drawing on the history of the series—the helmet, in particular, feels like an update of his armor in the original Halo.

"Halo Infinite will feature Sparth’s (Art Director, Nicolas Bouvier) new art style that draws significant inspiration from the most iconic and historic parts of the Halo franchise and your feedback, all while modernizing and taking advantage of the full power of the Xbox One family," Studio boss Chris Lee wrote in a blog post. "The new Master Chief helmet directly showcases our new art style."

The end of Halo 5 seemingly sets up a rampant Cortana as the villain of this next game, and years ago 343 talked about Halo 4 as the start of a new "Reclaimer trilogy" that will presumably cover Halo Infinite. The story of Halo Wars 2 will also have some impact on the events of Halo Infinite, though it's unknown if there will be any real character crossover between the two. Halo 5's legendary ending also gives away that another Halo ring installation will come into play, next time around. 

Meet Halo Infinite's freshest voice talent

Halo Infinite Gyoza pug

(Image credit: 343 Industries, @Halo on Instagram)

As spotted by Gamesradar,  the official Halo account on Instagram recently posted a video of some new voice talent recording lines for Halo Infinite. This little pug named Gyoza is lending "his grunts, breaths, and excitement," to the project. He certainly won't be the voice of Master Chief (because Steve Downes already is, not because we think this little star couldn't totally do it, somehow) so his gnarly little noises will probably by the horrible sounds of enemy aliens, at a guess.

What about Halo Infinite multiplayer? 

Obviously Halo Infinite will feature multiplayer, but specifics remain sparse. There will be local four-player splitscreen multiplayer (presumably on Xbox), a recent stream confirmed, as well as Spartan customization based on Halo Reach. 

What it won't have, 343 insists, is a battle royale mode

"I'll tell you right now, the only 'BR' we're really interested in is 'Battle Rifle'," 343 Industries lead writer Jeff Easterling said in response to a question about the mode's possible inclusion. "The original 'BR.' So, calm yourself." But who knows what could happen. Fortnite's pretty influential.

More recently 343 studio head Bonnie Ross gave a broader answer: "Whatever we do needs to be the right thing for Halo. Whether or not you call it a battle royale or how we're thinking about things going forward, the team thinks about, 'This needs to be right for Halo.'" So that's not a definite no—it seems like Infinite won't be blindly following the trend, but could eventually put its own spin on a last-man-standing mode.

Last month, a report by Brad Sams claimed that a battle royale mode was in the works for Infinite, but it didn't take long for Halo director Frank O'Connor to shoot that notion down.

"I haven't watched the video so if I am misinterpreting the headline as 'Halo Infinite is launching with/as a Halo battle royale mode' that is still not the case."

halo infinite

Will Forge mode return in Halo Infinite?

Forge is back in Halo Infinite. This time, Forge is being mainly developed by co-developer Skybox Labs, the studio behind Halo 5's PC map making tool Halo 5: Forge. Skybox also handled the Xbox One X enhancements for Halo 5, so it's clear they know their way around a Master Chief.

With every new iteration of Forge, its capabilities grow enormously. From what we can tell, Halo Infinite will be no exception. With regards to a rumored battle royale mode, director Frank O'Connor said it's not included in Infinite, but "you can probably make your own battle royale mode in Forge even right now."

Will Halo Infinite have microtransactions?

Halo Infinite might have microtransactions, but it won't have loot boxes. A job listing for an online experience design director included, in the list of responsibilities, overseeing design and implementation of things like microtransactions. It's not clear what for Halo's microtransactions will take, but 343's Chris Lee confirmed it wouldn't include loot boxes. 

(Image credit: microsoft)

Is a Halo Infinite beta coming?

343 Industries said that it intends to develop Halo Infinite alongside its community. Instead of just releasing a beta for a couple of weeks, the studio is planning a flighting program, releasing different parts of the game for the community to test. "We want to have a relationship, and build that over time," said the developer. You can see a previous example of this approach with 343's work on fixing the Master Chief Collection on Xbox throughout 2018.

Halo Infinite's testing period will primarily take place on Xbox, at least at first, as it's the platform 343 Industries is most familiar with. 343 insists that despite this, they're treating the PC version like a first-class citizen. There's no date for when this will begin.

Halo Infinite armor customization will have Halo: Reach's depth

In a blog post with general updates on Halo Infinite, 343 said fans of Halo: Reach's armor customization "will be pleased" by Halo Infinite. In Reach, players unlocked individual armor pieces down to the shoulder pads. In Halo 5, armor was equipped in two simple helmet and body pieces.

Creative director Tim Longo has departed 343 Industries

Back in August, Halo Infinite creator director Tim Longo departed 343 Industries. His departure came soon after he was reassigned from his director position at the studio. No reason was given by Longo or Microsoft for his departure or the reassignment, but Microsoft has promised that the shakeup will not affect Halo Infinite's development schedule.

Executive producer Mary Olson is now leading the Infinite campaign while "the overall creative vision and production of the game remains led by Chris Lee, Studio Head of Halo Infinite," said Microsoft in a statement.