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Halo Infinite: Everything we know

Halo Infinite - close-up on Master Chief's visor
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo Infinite's campaign is now less than a month away. It's now been more than three years since we learned that Halo 6 would be titled Halo Infinite, and it was originally due out in late 2020 as a launch game for the Xbox Series X. That plan didn't quite work out, as Microsoft delayed Infinite a whole year to give it more development time. Based on its poorly received first showing, that was probably the right call—and from what we've played of the multiplayer so far, the decision has paid off. 

We've now been handed its free multiplayer in a surprise open beta launch in November. From what we'd seen previously, Halo Infinite's multiplayer is looking and feeling polished as it closes in on launch.

Developer 343 Industries has shared frequent updates on Infinite's progress over the last year. Recently we got a new look at the campaign and poor memed-on Brute Craig, who is definitely looking a lot spiffier.

Here's what 343 has shown of Halo Infinite in the last few months, and what's left to come before launch.

What is the Halo Infinite release date?

The Halo Infinite campaign release date is December 8, 2021. However, Microsoft decided to surprise launch the free Halo Infinite multiplayer several weeks early on November 15.

343 waited a long time to nail down that December release date, only announcing it late in the summer at Gamescom 2021. The delay from last year's holiday 2020 window was "to ensure the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo game experience that meets our vision."

While Infinite is launching this December, it'll unfortunately be doing so without two popular features that Halo fans have come to expect over the years. Campaign co-op and the multiplayer mapmaking tool Forge will both be added in updates after launch.

Halo Infinite's multiplayer open beta has launched

Halo Infinite's multiplayer beta launched on November 15, 2021. Several leaks pointed towards this happening in the week prior, though Microsoft waited to officially announced the multiplayer beta surprise launch during the Xbox 20th anniversary livestream on the 15th.

You can download and play the Halo Infinite multiplayer beta on Steam for free. There's no reason to wait, either. 343 Industries announced that you can begin playing Season 1 of Halo Infinite multiplayer with access to all of the maps, game modes, and battle pass. Your progress will carry over from the multiplayer beta to the game's official launch on December 8th.

The latest news on Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite ultrawide

(Image credit: 343 Industries)
  • Halo Infinite's multiplayer beta surprise launched on November 15, 2021.
  • After Halo's multiplayer beta tests 343 made some adjustments, including reverting the motion sensor to how it worked in older Halo games
  • 343 released a full video about Halo Infinite's PC-specific settings
  • Craig, the Brute, has a beard now

Check out the new campaign overview video (October 2021)

The first time we saw Halo Infinite's campaign was also the last: the 2020 reveal didn't go over well, and Microsoft responded by delaying the game for a year. Throughout 2021 we've mostly gotten to see and play multiplayer. Finally, with this video, campaign makes its return, and you can definitely see some extra graphical polish on display here.

We're really digging the multiplayer

We've played Halo Infinite's multiplayer in both multiplayer tests and come away impressed. Read our takes on the chaotic Big Team Battles and arena Slayer.

Infinite has delayed some big features past launch

After the first Halo Infinite technical test wrapped up at the end of July, 343 Industries got together for a video developer update. After talking about bugs and findings from the test, the developers dropped some pretty big news. 

Halo Infinite won't have campaign co-op or Forge mode at launch. That means that when Halo Infinite releases this Holiday season we'll be playing through the latest Master Chief story totally solo. Bummer. Campaign co-op is expected to arrive in Infinite's second season, meaning three or more months after launch.

Forge mode being pushed back is a disappointment too, given that it's also such a beloved part of Halo. The map editing and custom games creator has always inspired a lot of creativity. 343 says that it plans Forge to be ready in Infinite's third season, meaning six or more months after launch.

Us PC players also won't have splitscreen play at launch either. Another bummer!

What PC-specific features will Halo Infinite have?

Halo Infinite display settings showing options for 16:9, 21:9, and 32:9 options.

(Image credit: Microsoft, 343 Industries)

In the Inside Infinite post from May 2021, 343 dug into some of the PC features we can expect from Halo Infinite.

One feature, as shown up above, is pairing adjustable field of view with ultra wide display settings. 343 adds that ultra wide displays will be supported everywhere in the game, "in-game, narrative moments, menus, the works."

The studio also shows off quite a few graphical settings for texture and geometry quality, minimum and maximum framerates, and more. Triple keybinds are available as well.

Speaking of inputs, 343 says that Infinite will separate players by input device in ranked play rather than platform.

What weapons are in Halo Infinite?

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Among a pile of old favorites with fresh coats of paint, there are some new choices as well. How can you turn down an energy sword or double barreled rocket launcher, let alone bouncing micro-missiles?

UNSC Weapons

MK50 Sidekick - The requisite pistol, though it isn't the absent Magnum
MA40 Assault Rifle - The venerable and ever reliable standby
BR75 Battle Rifle - Powerful and accurate in consistent 3-round bursts
VK47 Commando - A sort of intermediate full auto rifle
CQS48 Bulldog - A weaker automatic shotgun with a 7-round drum
S7 Sniper Rifle - The classic in long distance communication
M41 SPNKR Rocket Launcher - Double barrels for double rockets
UNSC Hydra - A micro-missile firing dual mode launcher that can lock onto targets

Banished Weapons

Plasma Pistol - No longer able to EMP vehicles, but can still charge up shots
Energy Sword - Everyone's favorite lunging one-hit-kill returns
Needler - Up close and personal with lots of pink energy
Pulse Carbine - A heat based 5-round bursting carbine with slow moving shots
Gravity Hammer - Slower than the past, with a larger area of effect hit
Mangler - A slow-firing but devastating pistol
Disruptor - Automatic shock pistol that can EMP vehicles
Stalker Rifle - A marksman rifle with heat mechanics
Ravager - A plasma grenade launcher with an alt fire plasma pool mode
Skewer - Long range single shot rocket launcher with fast firing rockets and slow reload.
Shock Rifle - Shock damage sniper rifle where damage can arc to nearby enemies

Forerunner Weapons

Heatwave - A new version of the Scattershot shotgun with alt fire, retaining bouncing pellets
Sentinel Beam - The classic beam weapon is back, but now with ammo and a new look
Cindershot - A bouncing grenade launcher with a micro-missile alt-fire

Halo Infinite shows off a more open world

Halo Infinite - a tactical map view of different regions

(Image credit: Microsoft / 343)

As we've seen now in the Campaign Overview, Halo Infinite will give you a lot of freedom in how you move around and tackle objectives. There will be some objectives that seem to provide benefits or additional resources in the region when tackled — like capturing a forward operating base to let you use it as a fast travel location, and unlock vehicle drops and other perks — or others that provide collectibles for taking them on. 

The regions themselves look to be sprawling in size, as we see in one scene, with Master Chief jumping from Banshee to Banshee at what would be parachute heights for any non-Spartan. But there also appear to be a fair share of bases and outposts at ground level, littered with the requisite barricades, storage containers, popup shields, and suspiciously placed explosives. There are also glimpses of some large interior areas, likely as part of the more linear main story.

Halo Infinite multiplayer is free-to-play

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This will be a big deal for Infinite's multiplayer longevity. With more and more of the most popular multiplayer games going free-to-play (or cheap to get started), making Halo Infinite's multiplayer free from the get-go is a very savvy move from Microsoft. Of course, any member of the increasingly great Game Pass service will get the full game anyway.

Considering that Halo's campaigns are still a huge draw among fans, it's smart to frame its multiplayer as an advertisement for the full game.

Halo Infinite will have seasons and battle passes

In its overview video of Halo Infinite's multiplayer, 343 explains different features we can expect for the online side. Notably, Halo Infinite will have battle passes and a seasonal structure as so many modern online shooters do now. 

343 has said that it plans for Halo Infinite's seasons to last about three months, meaning that season one will begin at launch in December and likely run through about March. Halo Infinite's first season will be called Heroes of Reach. Free, week-long events will push the season forwards with themed cosmetics and their own reward tracks, while "Fracture" events will sporadically appear to break canon with things like samurai power armour. 

As far as battle passes go, the neat bit about Infinite is that they won't be time-limited. Although battle passes will run seasonally, you'll have the option to go back to work on past passes. No FOMO in Halo, thank goodness. These battle passes and seasons are how you'll unlock new looks and customization for your Spartan.

Does Halo Infinite have a battle royale mode?

No, Halo Infinite won't have a battle royale mode. Probably. 

Back in 2018, 343's Jeff Easterling said "I'll tell you right now, the only 'BR' we're really interested in is 'Battle Rifle'." In 2019, Frank O'Conner said much the same, adding that "You can probably make your own battle royale mode in Forge even right now though."

However, dataminers think they found a "battle royale" sound file during Halo Infinite's technical test in July 2021. It does certainly sound like long time Halo multiplayer announcer Jeff Steitzer. Even if it is real, and it may not be, it isn't necessarily an actual full-scale battle royale mode. We'll find out by December.

Halo Infinite system requirements

Minimum:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 RS3 x64
  • Processor: AMD FX-8370 or Intel i5-4440
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD RX 570 or Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 50 GB available space

Recommended:

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 19H2 x64
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X or Intel i7-9700k
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Radeon RX 5700 XT or Nvidia RTX 2070
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 50 GB available space
Wes Fenlon

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games. When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old RPG or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).