Microsoft Reveals New Way To Play Halo Games Ahead Of Release

Introducing the Halo Insider Program.


Microsoft has announced a brand-new testing program for the Halo series. The "Halo Insider Program," as it's called, is described by Microsoft as a "new way" for fans to work alongside developer 343 Industries to improve new releases by testing them before launch.

You can sign up right now, but be aware that doing so requires you to sign a confidentiality agreement. You're then asked to take a survey with a series of questions related to your history with and interest in with the Halo franchise, including specific titles and modes. Later in the survey you'll be asked to provide details that may get you into what 343 is calling "flighting" programs for upcoming Halo titles. These are pre-release testing periods in which 343 provides access to a subset of the community to gather feedback and data before rolling out publicly to everyone.

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Now Playing: Halo: The Master Chief Collection - Official PC Announcement Trailer

This new Halo Insider Program will replace the MCC Insider Program that 343 used to test Halo: The Master Chief Collection's numerous updates on Xbox One. Going forward, the Halo Insider Program will be the "overarching program going forward to support all Halo titles, products, and services." Even if you were already a member of the MCC Insider Program, you will need to re-register for the for Halo Insider Program.

You can improve your chances of being selected for a flight by ensuring your Halo Insider Program information is correct. For PC specifically, you'll need to provide a DXDIAG upload and send over your SteamID.

"We know everyone is super eager and excited to get started but please be patient-- tweeting at the team and posting in the forums asking to be included or demanding to know why you're not included won’t help the process," 343 said.

Even if you do get into the Halo Insider Program, you might not get selected for each flight. For example, on PC, 343 might want to test future Halo releases against specific hardware configurations, so not everyone may be needed.

"With MCC on PC specifically, the team is going to need to ensure they have specific representation across a broad matrix of PC hardware configurations," 343 said.

Those who get into a flight will want to make sure they participate, as 343 might not invite you back if you don't.

"Often flights require a critical mass of players online at a particular time, and maybe in a particular region, so your location and availability could also come into play. Once flighting is up and running, the team will likely also focus on active participants who play and provide feedback as candidates for ongoing flighting while players who don't actually participate may find they're not included in subsequent releases."

You can read more about the Halo Insider Program here in this detailed FAQ.

The upcoming release of Halo: MCC on PC will happen in stages, with each title releasing individually, so it seems likely that 343 will test each game with Halo Insider members first before rolling each title out widely to everyone. MCC on PC will start out with the release of Halo: Reach, which had not previously been included in the collection. That will also make its way to the Xbox One version, although its single-player component will be an additional purchase. Game Pass members, however, will get access to the full Reach package.

Looking further out, Microsoft has already confirmed that Halo Infinite will be playable early through flighting, so it seems the Halo Insider Program is returning for that game as well.

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