Halo 6 is now called Halo Infinite, originally revealed by Microsoft at E3 2018. There may be no number in its title, but this isn't a spin-off. Halo Infinite is the continuation of Master Chief's story, in development since 343 Industries released Halo 5 in 2015. You can see your first glimpse of Halo Infinite in the announcement trailer above.
Microsoft and 343 Industries haven't given us much to go on since E3. That trailer's been our only real look at Halo Infinite, and it's more a demonstration of Infinite's new game engine than the game itself. The good news, though, is Halo Infinite is confirmed for Windows 10 as well as Xbox. Here are the other details we've collected in the past few months, concerning the release date, a likely beta, multiplayer, and more.
What is the Halo Infinite release date?
No release date has been announced yet. If we look back over Halo's history, every new game has been announced at least a year ahead of release, usually with a big trailer at E3. The Halo games also consistently come out in the fall, usually in September or November. If Microsoft continues to follow that pattern, there's a good chance the Halo Infinite release date is in November 2019.
But that's just our speculation. Microsoft has made a point of taking its time with Halo Infinite, building a new engine and rethinking some major things about the series. According to a recent livestream, work on the engine and major features are still ongoing—it's entirely possible Halo Infinite won't be out until 2020.
Will Halo Infinite 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 of War 4, 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?
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.
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, probably, 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.
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 Chris Lee confirmed it wouldn't include loot boxes.
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, however, at least at first, as it's the platform 343 Industries is most familiar with. There's no date for when this will begin.