Update: 343 Industries has sent confirmation emails to select players for the Halo Infinite multiplayer technical preview, confirming it will take place from July 29 until August 1.
The studio will host a "first look" Twitch stream on July 28, kicking off at 2pm PT (5pm ET / 10pm BST / 7am AEST the following day). You can follow along on Twitch (opens in new tab) or YouTube (opens in new tab).
It's been a long road to Halo Infinite (opens in new tab), but players could be diving in as soon as next weekend. 343 Industries is currently preparing a technical preview for the game's free-to-play multiplayer component (opens in new tab), focused on fine tuning the instalment's AI Bots—the first in the series' history.
As a result, the first technical preview will be fairly narrow in scope: in addition to Bot Arenas which pitch four human players against four AI, 343 Industries will be focused on gathering data on the new Academy Weapon Drills. These are replayable training zones populated by bots with various skill levels. There will be 12 weapons available to use in these Drills, and the bots will have four levels of difficulty. In other words, it'll be a good way to acclimatize to different weaponry.
But the main serving is the Bot Arenas, and these will take place across three different maps in Bazaar, Recharge and Live Fire. "To keep players on their toes and keep the experience engaging, we’re planning for a daily content offering that will evolve over the course of the flight based on the overall engagement of participants," the blog (opens in new tab) reads. "We’re going to intentionally start things off slow to help everyone get acclimated but as the community gets up to speed and slays copious amount of Bots our goal is to crank things up to provide greater challenge and variety."
While we slay bots, 343 Industries will also be gathering data on more prosaic things: menu UI, how customization works, and the way Battle Passes play out. And yeah, this could all kick off the weekend starting July 31. "The release of this blog means we’re getting very close but flighting itself is a fluid process, we need to ensure we’ve successfully cleared our final gate before we’re officially a go," the studio writes. "That said, we’ve been given the okay to say our first Bot-focused technical preview could happen as soon as next weekend."
You'll need to be a verified Halo Insider to even be in the running to take part; full instructions on how to do that are in the full blogpost, which is definitely worth a read if you're wanting to dive in.