Halo Infinite is a sci-fi first-person shooter developed by 343 Industries and published by Xbox Game Studios for the Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC on December 8, 2021. Its multiplayer component was released as early access on November 15, 2021 and is free-to-play.
The ninth main installment of the Halo series (and the first developed specifically for the Xbox Series X|S and PC), Halo Infinite is the third game in the “Reclaimer Saga” and is considered a “spiritual reboot” of the franchise, bringing its aesthetics back to the roots of earlier games in the series. It also features a new game engine, known as Slipspace Engine.
The game’s main campaign follows SPARTAN-II super-soldier Master Chief six months after the events of Halo 5: Guardians. After a conflict with a splinter Covenant group (known as The Banished, led by the Jiralhanae warmaster Atriox) left him floating lifelessly above Halo Installation 07 (or “Zeta Halo”) for months, a recovered Master Chief must search Zeta Halo for a weapon that can stop that plans of the rogue AI Cortana and prevent the Banished from using the Halo ring themselves.
Unlike the previous two games in the “Reclaimer Saga”, Halo Infinite does include the enemy Promethean faction, limits the amount of Forerunner weaponry, and limits the involvement of the UNSC Infinity. Several gameplay mechanics from Halo 5 were removed, including the use of multiple playable protagonists and Spartan squads, several Spartan Abilities (replaced with a return of the Equipment system), the Warzone game mode (and its Requisition system), and the Requisition Pack loot box system. Some features, such as campaign co-op and Forge, will be added post-release.
It is the first mainline game in the series to include cross-platform multiplayer (both cross-play and cross-progression) and a seasonal “battle pass” system for unlocking cosmetics (although both features were previously added post-release in Halo: The Master Chief Collection). It is also the first game in the series to include an open world in the campaign, allowing players to partake in side-missions, and introduces 12v12 multiplayer.
Most Spartan Abilities make a return; however, the Thruster ability is now an Equipment item, and the Ground Pound, Charge, and Stabilizer abilities are removed.
Unless otherwise specified, weapons have a 1.40x zoom utilizing the Spartan’s “smart-link” technology.
- MA40 AR – Fully-automatic assault rifle optimized for close-to-mid ranged combat. It is the starting weapon for standard multiplayer modes. While it is functionally equivalent to other MA-series rifles, the MA40 makes its first appearance here. Visually customizable in multiplayer.
- Mk50 Sidekick – Semi-automatic pistol optimized for finishing off weakened enemies. It is the starting backup weapon for standard multiplayer modes. While it is functionally equivalent to the series’ standard M6-series pistols, the Mk50 makes its first appearance here. Visually customizable in multiplayer.
- BR75 – Scoped Battle rifle that fires in three-round bursts, optimized for mid-to-long ranged combat. It is the starting weapon for competitive multiplayer modes. While it is functionally equivalent to other BR-series rifles, the BR75 makes its first appearance here. Visually customizable in multiplayer.
- VK78 Commando – Fully-automatic scoped “tactical rifle” optimized for mid-to-long ranged combat. While it fires slower than the MA40 and has higher recoil, it deals more damage per shot. New to the series. Visually customizable in multiplayer.
- CQS48 Bulldog – Pump-action shotgun for close-ranged combat. While it is nearly equivalent to the series’ standard M90 and M45 series shotguns (being magazine-fed instead of chamber-fed), the CQS48 makes its first appearance here. Visually customizable in multiplayer.
- Hydra – Micro-missile launcher. Fires chamber-fed micro-missiles effective against both infantry and vehicles. Rather than zooming, the Hydra allows an alternate firing mode that can home-in on locked-on targets. Formally the “MLRS-2 Hydra”, it is the successor to the MLRS-1 HGL from Halo 5: Guardians. Visually customizable in multiplayer.
- Needler – Fully-automatic Covenant projectile weapon that rapidly fires sharp purple crystalline shards. These shards lock on to enemies, impales them (dealing some damage), and detonate harmlessly after some time. However, seven or more impalements at one time causes all of them to detonate (known as a super-charge), killing that enemy.
- Mangler – Semi-automatic Jiralhanae handgun that fires large spike rounds (which are affected by gravity). While it fires slower than the Mk50 Sidekick, its rounds deal more damage. New to the series and is considered a successor to the Mauler.
- Frag Grenade – Timed fragmentation grenade with a three-second fuse. Can bounce off of surfaces. Default grenade type in Multiplayer.
- Spike Grenade – Jiralhanae grenade that sticks onto walls and other surfaces and, after a short time, launches a barrage of spikes at random directions.
These weapons are more effective against shields and have a “charge”, rather than ammunition. Instead of normal reloading, they can overheat with constant use (requiring players to vent the heat using the Reload button). Unlike in previous games in the series, Plasma Weapons can now refill their weapon charge from pickups.
- Plasma Pistol – Semi-automatic Covenant energy handgun that, while generally weak in short blasts, can be overcharged into a larger super-heated burst that automatically locks onto enemy infantry, fully draining their shields. Unlike in previous games in the series, the Plasma Pistol can no longer disable vehicles.
- Pulse Carbine – Covenant energy rifle that fires in five-shot bursts. Its projectiles can home-on to enemies. New to the series and is considered a successor to the Plasma Rifle and Storm Rifle.
- Stalker Rifle – Covenant semi-automatic scoped sniper rifle. Can switch between multiple zoom magnification levels. New to the series and is considered a successor to the Carbine.
- Ravager – Jiralhanae energy launcher that fires incendiary plasma bolts in a three-shot burst. Can be overcharged into a larger super-charged shot that bounces off of walls and explodes on the ground, releasing a pool of incendiary fire that ignites and damages those inside. New to the series and is considered a successor to the Spiker.
- Plasma Grenade – Covenant timed energy grenade that sticks onto infantry and vehicles.
These weapons reload small portions of their magazine at a time through “recharging”, and can vaporize enemy corpses.
- Heatwave – Semi-automatic Forerunner hardlight shotgun that fires eight shots that bounce off of surfaces. Rather than zooming, players can toggle between two projectile spreads: completely-horizontal and vertical-diamond. New to the series and is considered a successor to the Scattershot.
- Sentinel Beam – Forerunner particle beam weapon that deals continuous damage.
These weapons can temporarily disable vehicles with enough firepower and can also arc lightning into nearby enemies (making them useful against close-knitted groups).
- Disruptor – Fully-automatic Covenant pistol that fires electrified bolts. New to the series.
- Shock Rifle – Jiralhanae scoped sniper rifle that fires electric beams in quick bursts of three. Formally the “Sicatt Workshop Volt Piercer”. New to the series.
- Dynamo Grenade – Covenant grenade that continuously arcs electricity shortly after thrown before detonation. New to the series.
- S7 Sniper – Semi-automatic scoped sniper rifle capable of eliminating most infantry with a single headshot. Can switch between multiple zoom magnification levels (5x and 10x). Visually customizable in multiplayer. While it is functionally equivalent to other SRS99-series rifles, the S7 makes its first appearance here. Visually customizable in multiplayer.
- M41 SPNKr – Semi-automatic rocket launcher that deals significant damage to infantry and vehicles alike. Visually customizable in multiplayer.
- Energy Sword – A glowing Sangheili blade for melee combat. Normal melee attacks performs a quick slash while normal attacks instead perform powerful lunging slashes. Similar to Plasma weapons, it utilizes weapon charges and does not need to reload (or vent).
- Gravity Hammer – A large Jiralhanae hammer for melee combat. Normal melee attacks performs a normal strike while normal attacks instead perform powerful slams that damages and knocks back enemies in a forward arc. Similar to Plasma weapons, it utilizes weapon charges and does not need to reload (or vent).
- Skewer – A Jiralhanae breech-loaded scoped sniper rifle and “anti-tank launcher”, firing a “rocket-sized” spike round (affected by gravity) that deals significant damage to infantry and vehicles alike (destroying most in a single shot). Can switch between multiple zoom magnification levels. New to the series.
- Cindershot – Forerunner hardlight grenade launcher, whose grenades bounce off of a single surface before detonating. When aiming down the sight, the grenade’s trajectory is altered to follow the player’s cursor. Similar to other Hardlight weapons, the Cindershot reloads one shot at a time and can vaporize. New to the series.
The Equipment system from Halo 3 make a return, in which players have access to a limited-use accessory item they can use at-will.
The Active Camo and Overshield power-ups are no longer instant-use and is treated as equipment.
- Grappleshot – Fires an arm-mounted grappling hook which, if it hooks onto a surface, allows the user to swing up onto. Only uses up charges if it lands a successful hook. Can also be used to grab weapons from long-ranges can be used to hook onto other Spartans and their vehicles (land and air).
- Drop Wall – Deploys a segmented energy wall that only negates fire from in front (allowing players behind it to fire through). Segments can be shot off. Lasts for 10 seconds or until the player deploys another one.
- Threat Sensor – Fires a beacon that reveals enemies nearby it for five seconds. Can stick onto other Spartans and vehicles.
- Thruster – Performs a dash in any given direction for quick movement.
- Repulsor – Multiplayer only. Fires a short-ranged pulse that knocks enemies and their projectiles away. Can also be used to propel the player upward.
- Active Camo – Grants temporary invisibility for 30 seconds (or until revealed).
- Overshield – Recharges the user’s shield up to double the maximum amount (which slowly depletes down to its maximum).
The game was originally released with 10 multiplayer maps (7 of which are small-scale for Arena and 3 of which are large-scale for Big Team Battles).
- Launch Site
- Live Fire
The game includes six standard game modes, one of which (Total Control) is new to the series. Similar to Halo 5: Guardians, teams are limited to teams of two (Eagle and Cobra).
In official 343 modes for matchmaking, there are multiple playlist variants, with the most common being:
- Arena – Used for casual 4v4 matches.
- BTB – Used for casual 12v12 matches, with slight adjustments (such as a higher score limit for Slayer).
- Ranked – Used for competitive 4v4 matches. Players spawn with a BR75 and no secondary. Friendly Fire is enabled, Motion Tracker is disabled.
Originated in Halo: Combat Evolved.
Standard deathmatch in free-for-all or team scenarios.
By default, the game awards 1 point for each “slay”. The amount of points can be changed, along with points (positive or negative) for “self-destruction”, betrayal, assists, deaths, and slays with headshots, melee attacks, vehicular splatters, or plasma grenade “sticks”.
The default FFA variant has a 25-point score limit to win, while the default team variants have either a 50-point limit (small-team) and 100-point limit (big-team).
- Arena: Slayer
- Arena: FFA Slayer
- BTB: Slayer
- Ranked: Slayer
- Fiesta: Slayer – All players spawn with two random weapons and random Equipment, with weapon and Equipment spawns disabled.
- Tactical: Slayer – Based on the classic “SWAT” variant. Players spawn with an infinite-ammo BR75 and no secondary. Shields, grenades, motion trackers, vehicles, weapon spawns, and Equipment spawns are disabled.
Originated in Halo: Combat Evolved.
A “kill the man with the ball” objective mode (in free-for-all or team scenarios) where players must find and maintain possession of the titular Oddball to score points. Players who hold an Oddball cannot use weapons or equipment, but they can melee enemies for bonus melee damage.
By default, the game scores 1 point per second while carrying the ball. The frequency can be changed, along with the initial skull spawn delay and whether or not the carrier can sprint.
While the default FFA variant is a single round (with 100 points to win), the default team variant is played in best-of-three rounds (with 100 points to win per round).
- Arena: Oddball
- Arena: FFA Oddball
- Ranked: Oddball
Capture the Flag
Originated in Halo: Combat Evolved.
A “capture the flag” objective mode where two teams must fight to take possession of the opposing flag and bring it back to their team’s flag zone to score points. Similar to Oddball, players who hold an enemy flag cannot use weapons, but they can melee enemies for bonus melee damage.
By default, the game awards 1 point for each capture (which can be changed). Additional options include whether-or-not to require the team’s flag at home in order to score with another flag (default to “false”), whether or not to allow multiple flags per team (up to 3), and whether or not to allow the team’s flag to be instantly returned by picking it up, rather than standing close to it for an amount of time (default to “false”).
Flag carriers can have multiple changes applied to them, including maximum shields (defaults to 0%), maximum health (defaults to 10%), movement speed, gravity, and whether or not they can sprint (defaults to “on”). In addition to always-on or always-off markers applied to the carrier, they can now be “spotted” (by default), which only reveals them for a short amount of time (defaults to 3s) when they either take damage (defaults to “on”) or sprint (defaults to “off”).
There are two special variants of the game that cannot be toggled in the mode editor (requiring players to copy the official variants):
- Neutral Flag CTF – Rather than each team having their own flags, neutral flags appear near the center of the battlefield that can be picked up by either team. By default, the game has a score limit of 5, the flag carrier is visible when sprinting (but has a shorter spot duration of 1s), and the flag carrier has a slower movement penalty.
- One Flag CTF – Asymmetrical version where each team takes turns attacking and defending, with the attacking team attempting to capture the defending team’s flag within the time limit. By default, the game is best-of-five (with 3 minutes per round) with no sudden death and the flag carrier always visible.
- Arena: CTF
- Arena: Neutral Flag CTF
- Arena: One Flag CTF
- BTB: CTF
- Ranked: CTF
Originated in Halo: Reach.
An objective mode where two teams must take possession of multiple “Power Seeds” and bring them back to their team’s marked area (or “Socket”). Once a team has five Seeds socketed, the seeds are respawned and they score a point.
Options include whether or not players can steal seeds from the opposing team’s socket (default to “on”), the initial seed count (default to 9), and whether or not to add additional seeds to the battlefield when a team scores (default to on, with 6 seeds).
The default variant has 3 points to win.
- BTB: Stockpile
Originated in Halo 5: Guardians. Based on “Territories” from Halo 2.
A “domination” objective mode where two teams must capture and maintain possession of three zones located at different points throughout the battlefield.
By default, teams earn 1 point per second if they have possession of two zones, with 2 points if they possess all three zones. This can be changed to 1 point for each zone controlled, or to 1 point if they possess all three zones. Other options include the zone’s capture time (which can be made faster with teammates present), having both teams start with their closest zone controlled (default is “on”), whether contesting the point pauses scoring (default is “on”), and whether enemies need to contest in greater number (default is “off”).
The default variants has 200 points to win.
- Arena: Strongholds
- Ranked: Strongholds
New for Halo: Infinite.
A “domination” objective mode (similar to Strongholds) where two teams must attempt to capture and possess all three zones, located at different points throughout the battlefield, at once in order to score (at which the zones are moved).
By default, it takes 10 seconds to capture a zone. This can be changed, along with the time it takes before the zones appear and the time it takes before they can be captured.
The default variant has 3 points to win.
- BTB: Total Control
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