Halo Infinite's First Multiplayer Footage Revealed Alongside Details On Beta, Bots, Maps, Modes, Microtransactions

Halo Infinite is re-confirmed for a Holiday 2021 release date.

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As part of the Xbox E3 2021 briefing, Microsoft showed off Halo Infinite's multiplayer and re-confirmed that the game is launching this holiday. Not only that, but Microsoft released an avalanche of details about its multiplayer mode surrounding maps, modes, microtransactions, bots, and a new tutorial system. Read on to learn more.

Halo Infinite will have the largest, most wide-open campaign levels in franchise history, while multiplayer will support up to 120fps (which was previously known). Microsoft also confirmed that both the free-to-play multiplayer and campaign will launch together this holiday season, though an official release date has still not been announced.

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Now Playing: Halo Infinite Multiplayer Trailer | Xbox + Bethesda E3 2021

A blog post on Halo Waypoint contains a mountain of new details and images for Halo Infinite's multiplayer--catch up on all the new info below.

Beta tests are coming

As suspected, developer 343 will offer beta tests for Halo Infinite, beginning this summer. 343 will invite a select number of people into a "limited pre-release technical preview" for the game with the aim of stress testing the title to get it in a good place for launch. You can register with the free Halo Insider program to enter for a chance to get in.

It might not be perfect

343 acknowledged that Halo Infinite multiplayer is a live service game, so if anything is amiss at launch, players can expect updates and improvements over time.

"We know the expectations and stakes are high and we may not get everything exactly to everyone's liking on day one, but as a live service we're committed to partnering with players to evolve the game together," 343 said. "With a free-to-play service supporting cross-play on Xbox and PC, along with a more inviting new player experience, we’re rolling out the red carpet for more players than ever before to jump in and share in this universe and these experiences we've all come to know and love for nearly twenty years. We're as eager and excited as you are to begin the next chapter of this journey together this holiday."

Classic equipment

For Halo Infinite, 343 says it is "embracing the franchise's legacy while imbuing it with new modern twists" that play to its strengths. At the same time, the game aims to lay the groundwork on which to grow and evolve in the future.

"In addition to returning favorites and brand-new weapons, Halo Infinite's sandbox is punctuated by the addition of Halo 3-esque equipment--game-changing limited-use abilities that players will scavenge for during a match," 343 said. "In today's trailer you'll catch the first glimpse of two additional pieces of equipment: the Threat Sensor is an area-of-effect support device that periodically pulses and illuminates enemy players within its radius while the aptly named Repulsor can be used to deflect projectiles and anything else that gets in the way. Whether it's zipping across a map to gain the high ground using a Grappleshot or digging in your defenses with a Drop Wall, equipment brings new strategic and tactical options to Halo Infinite's frenetic multiplayer combat with more additions to come in future seasonal updates."

Vehicles

Every Halo fan knows how important vehicles are, and this tradition continues with Halo Infinite. There will be an "assortment of tried-and-true UNSC classics" in the game, along with new vehicles inspired by the villainous Banished enemies. Many of these new vehicles will support Halo Infinite's new customization systems.

A new tutorial system

In an effort to help new players familiarize themselves with what 343 says can be a "daunting experience," 343 says Halo Infinite multiplayer will be the "most approachable and welcoming" in the series so far. To that end, 343 created a new tutorial system called the Academy.

"Under the mentorship of Spartan Commander Laurette, the Academy offers players the opportunity to hone their skills and get better acclimated with the armaments and environments of Halo Infinite," 343 said. "Recruits will be able to dial in their marksmanship skills at the target range or jump right into customizable training skirmishes and square off against AI-controlled bots. Training Mode lets you configure specific loadouts, deploy opponent bots of various skill levels, and practice on your own terms. Bots can also be configured in Custom Games to tailor the experience and even in fill-in roster spots for MIA fireteam members."

"With new training options, bots to spar against, skill-based-matchmaking, and improved systems that deliver better communication of key info to players during a match, we're excited to welcome Spartans of all skill levels and help you battle your way to the top each season."

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Maps and modes

Halo's classic Arena is coming back in Halo Infinite, where two teams of four Spartans square off, and multiplayer announcer Jeff Steitzer is returning to announce all the action. 343 also confirmed that Big Team Battle is making its return to Halo Infinite, featuring 12v12 multiplayer on big maps with lots of vehicles.

"Commander Laurette" will provide "tactical updates" during BTB matches. Additionally, Pelicans will drop in to deliver new vehicles, weapon ordnances will fall out of the sky onto the map, and overall, 343 says BTB will be a "wild, raucous, fun social experience that cranks everything up to 11." More details are coming later this year.

Halo Infinite will also have Ranked and Social playlists, while limited-time seasonal events are planned as well. Cross-play with PC and console is also supported, while cross-progression is there too so you can move to a new platform if you want. Split-screen and LAN play on PC are also supported modes of play.

Customization

343 says a "key component" of Halo Infinite multiplayer is personalization, which will change with each new "season" of content. This content can be purchased with real money or unlocked through gameplay, but 343 says there will be no loot boxes, and everything will be purely cosmetic in nature.

"Each season will feature a new assortment of customization pieces and components that can be earned via gameplay, challenges, events, and purchase. We've said this before, but it bears saying again--there will be no loot boxes or elements of chance if you decide to purchase an optional customization item," 343 said. "And, of course, all of Halo Infinite’s Spartan customization elements are purely cosmetic and have no impact to gameplay."

Content will be offered through the Armor Hall, which has "more per-piece customization options than any prior Halo game." This covers helmets, visors, gloves, and shoulder pads, among other items. You might have heard a special voice in the multiplayer trailer--this is one of the "Personal AI" that players can unlock and equip.

Friend and foe

Some kind of new system called "friend and foe" is coming to Halo Infinite multiplayer. Here's how 343 described it:

"At a high level, this functions as an 'outline' system that uses different colors to denote friends and foes. These colors are configurable for accessibility purposes and whatever colors you assign will match your scoreboard, team bases, and team flags. This isn't depicted in the reveal trailer, due to its more cinematic nature, but we'll have more details to share down the road (and Halo Insiders will be able to check it out first-hand during technical previews later this summer)."

Next up

343 will share more details on Halo Infinite multiplayer tomorrow, June 14, at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET through a trailer on the Halo YouTube channel. That'll be followed by another Canon Fodder blog post on June 16 in which the studio explains some of the fiction behind the multiplayer maps, vehicles, and armor. Then on June 24, there will be a new Inside Infinite blog post that will touch on Halo Infinite's multiplayer in more depth.

Halo Infinite was originally due to release as a launch title for the Xbox Series X|S, but Microsoft delayed the game due in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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