Halo Infinite's winter update, described by developer 343 Industries as "the largest feature update to Halo Infinite yet," is now officially live. The update brings a number of major new features to the game, including campaign network co-op play, a new battle pass, and—this is the big one—beta access to Forge, Halo's long-awaited powerful creation tool.
"Forge lets players create new multiplayer maps and game modes that can be shared with other players via the Community tab in the main menu," 343 Industries said. "Within Forge, players can place and modify in-game objects, effects, and scripts to create a custom map."
Because it's in beta, Forge does not currently support developer-made maps, but is instead limited to "canvas maps," which are essentially templates that players can use to make their own custom creations. Forge for Halo Infinite has six canvas maps, each of them nearly double the size of the canvas maps in Halo 5 (which isn't of great relevance to us because Halo 5 didn't come to PC), and 343 said that developer map support will be implemented in a future update.
Even with that limitation, Halo Infinite's Forge has a lot going on. It boasts "thousands of new objects," along with "a new visual scripting engine, object scaling, lighting and audio tools, bot support, huge budget increases, file sharing capabilities, and much more to help you create and share your maps, modes, and prefabs," 343 said.
It also emphasized that while Forge is a beta, it will remain a fixture in the game. "Forge is here to stay for good in Halo Infinite, all content will carry forwards and persist, and the mode will continue to see updates and support over time, evolving to add even more content to further inspire and empower creators," the studio said.
Campaign network co-op play is another major addition included in the update, enabling up to four players to join up to take on the Halo Infinite campaign. Crossplay is supported across Xbox consoles and PC, and progress and unlocks earned during co-op play are shared across all players. Missions will also be replayable once completed, for players who want to pick up collectibles they missed the first time through (or maybe who just really liked the action in one particular level or another), and 24 new achievements have been added.
There are also two new multiplayer maps—Argyle, a tight, indoor map set within the narrow corridors of a UNSC vessel, and Detachment, a once-abandoned UNSC facility set atop a rocky outcropping—and a new mode called Covert One-Flag, a variant on the one-flag CTF mode that gives the attackers Active Camo, while defenders are equipped with Threat Sensors.
The introduction of Match XP, also in beta, will continue to "evolve" Halo Infinite's progression, while the Winter Update battle pass offers 30 tiers of new rewards—and, in case you'd forgotten, does not expire. There will be two free events taking place "in the coming months" that will offer another 10 reward tiers each, and in December, Winter Contingency will return with various holiday-themed cosmetics up for grabs.
Halo Infinite's winter update is live now. The full patch notes are available on the Halo Support website.