Halo Infinite's long-awaited co-op play launched into beta earlier this month, and aside from some technical hiccups befitting a beta, it functions pretty much how you would expect: It lets you play the Halo Infinite campaign alongside other human players. But actually finding other human players won't be as easy as it could, because it inexplicably lacks online matchmaking.
And if you think that's a limitation exclusive only to the beta, I'm afraid you're wrong. Queried by GamesRadar about the weird lack of matchmaking, a representative for Xbox said there's no plans to make it easy to jump into a co-op game with strangers without hustling online or in a Discord channel.
"Online matchmaking will not be available with final co-op," the Xbox rep said. "We encourage you to continue to use the Halo LFG and the new Discord voice call feature on Xbox to find players to party up with as you continue playing the beta."
Xbox consoles did recently get Discord integration, though it's a little unintuitive to set up. But jumping into a Discord channel, or browsing a Halo LFG (looking for group) website, is obviously not as easy as automatically teaming up with strangers. Unless you have friends who really want to play the Halo Infinite campaign eight months after its initial release, diving in now will probably feel like more hassle than it's worth, unless you're a diehard.
Early adopters, and those who have been anticipating the beta, probably won't mind making the effort to join an LFG list or Discord channel to team up with strangers. But if an appetite for some co-op play hits you in, say, a year's time, it's going to be a lot harder to coordinate co-op play with strangers online.
The Halo Infinite co-op beta runs until August 1, and supports up to four players.