Halo Infinite: What we know so far

Halo 6 is now called Halo Infinite. Microsoft gave us our first brief look at Halo Infinite at E3 2018, and while it is dropping the number from its title, this isn't a spin-off. Halo Infinite is the continuation of Master Chief's story and the sequel to Halo 5. You can see just a bit of Halo Infinite in the trailer above.

That's all we've seen, but 343 Industries has talked a little bit about Halo Infinite since last E3. Emphasis on a little. So far discussion of the game has focused on the new engine 343 has spent years building, resulting in the new graphical style and many more changes we'll likely see in the future. According to a recent rumor, "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." We also know that Forge is making a big return and that 343 probably isn't jumping on the battle royale bandwagon.

The best news? 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. In a recent interview, 343 boss Bonnie Ross said that they'll be showing off more of Infinite at E3 2019 next month.

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? 

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 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. 343 boss Bonnie Ross recently called Infinite a "spiritual reboot" of the series and said "There has been a lot of introspective time to really reflect on what have we done as 343, where have we made mistakes, where have we hit it right, and what does Halo mean to all of us."

A recent livestream suggested that work on the engine and major features are still ongoing, signaling Halo Infinite could easily be a 2020 game. There's more evidence to add to that pile, too. According to sources speaking to Thurrot's Brad Sams, Microsoft plans to make Halo Infinite a launch game for its next Xbox console, which will be out in the fall of 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? 

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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, 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."

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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. 

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.