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Halo Infinite has back-to-back test weekends starting this Thursday

Halo Infinite
(Image credit: Microsoft)

We've already given Halo Infinite's bots a fair drubbing during the game's first technical preview. Now it's time to give the game's arena deathmatch a proper stress test, with two weekend-long technical tests opening up over the next two weeks.

343 Industries recently opened up Halo testing to all registered Insiders as of September 13. Invites for this latest test have now been sent out, outlining what we'll be able to get our hands on this weekend.

Both weekends will feature on 4v4 arenas, introducing a new map and going beyond Slayer to open up objective modes. But starting September 30, the second test weekend will introduce 12v12 Big Team Battles, finally tossing vehicles into Infinite's chaotic sandbox. For my money, this is where past Halo games have always shone brightest, so I'm cautiously excited to see how Infinite's version plays out.

Notably, 343 has made some key changes to Big Team Battle this time around. Rather that every vehicle being available from the out, more powerful vehicles like aircraft and tanks won't spawn at match start, arriving later in the round as a way to escalate the stakes. Big Halo matches tend to start at full intensity and remain there for the duration, so mixing that up could be a neat change—though I consider it unforgivable if only because it restricts the amount of time I can reign terror from the skies in a Banshee.

The first test will be available to download starting Thursday 23rd, though matchmaking will only open up starting Friday for limited hours (10am-2pm, 5pm-9pm PT). Not exactly ideal hours for those of us outside the US, though we'll still be jumping in to get a better picture of where Halo Infinite is at ahead of its release this December.

A full schedule of the upcoming tests can be viewed at the bottom of 343's latest Insider blog post.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.