Everything we know about Halo Infinite – release date, gameplay, and more

Master Chief's next outing is nearly here, so get up to speed with all the latest news on the next Halo game

Master Chief in front of a space backdrop

Halo Infinite is one of the most highly-anticipated competitive FPS games in recent memory. The Halo franchise is world renowned, but Halo 5 was not met with the same popularity as some of its predecessors. Many fans hope that Infinite will change all of that.

Thanks to a number of deep dives and showcases, we now have a fiar bit of information on Halo Infinite, including its release date, campaign, multiplayer gameplay, and which platforms it will be available on. While there is plenty of evolution going on in Infinite, arguably the biggest headline change is that the multiplayer will be completely free-to-play. Nice.

So, if you’re desperate for info on Halo Infinite, then look no further. We’ve rounded everything up into one spot just for you, including loads of gameplay details and analysis from all the showcases that have taken place since Infinite was announced.

Here’s everything we know about Halo Infinite.

Halo Infinite release date

Halo Infinite will release holiday 2021. The game will launch with its full single player campaign and a completely free-to-play multiplayer.

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Halo Infinite platforms

Halo Infinite will be available on the Xbox Series X|S, its predecessor the Xbox One, and, of course, on PC.

Cross-play and cross-progression will be available, no matter what platform you play on.

Plus, it’ll also come with the Smart Delivery program. So if you buy it for Xbox One and later upgrade to Series X, you won’t have to purchase the game again.

Halo Infinite battle royale mode

It’s the question on everyone’s lips: will Halo Infinite launch with a battle royale mode? We’re afraid the answer appears to be no, unless anything has changed during development.

During a livestream, Halo franchise and narrative writer Jeff Easterling explained, “the only BR we’re really interested in is Battle Rifle.” This unfortunately shut down any rumours of battle royale back in 2018. However, if there is a Forge mode like the other Halo games, you might be able to make your own unofficial 1v100 mode to suit your tastes.

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Halo Infinite Gameplay

As expected, the Xbox Games Showcase kicked off with a big Halo Infinite reveal and well, it delivered. We got our first glimpse of Halo Infinite gameplay with an eight-minute long demo, which shows Master Chief attempt to take down three AA guns.

He explores an open world, which 343 Studios claims is “several times bigger” than any other Halo game. He also rides a Warthog and hops out of the vehicle to kill a load of Covenant enemies. And hey, remember those rumours about the grappling hook? Well looks like that’s true, because as you can see in the gameplay video above, he can use it to work his way around the world, giving Halo a new level of verticality.

Quinn Delhoyo, 343’s lead sandbox designer, also confirms in an ‘#Ask343’ video that you can use your grappleshot to grab weapons from afar and even use it to “skyjack” Banshees – although he warns that plenty of skill would be needed to pull off such a manouevre.

He also explains that there are plenty of weapons yet to be announced, including some “never before seen weapons” like a heavy shotgun which will be revealed in the coming months. More weapons, and tweaks to existing weapons, will continue to be added after the game’s release.

Big changes are also coming to vehicles, which will now suffer damage depending on where they are hit, explains Delhoyo. You’ll be able to blow out a specific tyre on a Warthog, for instance, in order to “reward our pilots and drivers,” and create more complicated tactics when taking on opposing vehicles. “There’s more to it than simply health,” he explains.

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The second ‘#Ask343’ video looked more in-depth at gameplay, including focusing on the day/night cycle and dynamic weather that will impact the campaign. There will be more patrols at night, but Grunts may be “sleeping on the job,” allowing you to get the jump on them.

As well as “making the rain feel real,” there will be all kinds of wildlife of The Ring to help bring it to life. From “space gophers” to “bird creatures,” the wildlife may also point you in the direction of events or locations: birds may circle over a point of interest, for instance.

While weapon upgrades won’t be a thing in Halo Infinite, some equipment will be able to be upgraded, according to gameplay director Troy Mashburn. There will also be unlockable weapon variants to change things up throughout the campaign.

The campaign itself will feature multiple diverse biomes, cave systems, and of course Forerunner architecture, which you’ll be able to explore as a part of 343’s “most ambitious” campaign yet. The developer also confirms that Halo Infinite will feature a semi-open world and will run at a “flawless” 60 frames-per-second, so you can enjoy bigger battles and epic vistas.

We also got another look at both campaign and multiplayer cinematics and gameplay during the Xbox and Bethesda E3 showcase, which you can check out above.

Halo Infinite multiplayer

In December 2020, 343 Studios published a massive deep dive into Halo Infinite, which included some information on its approach to multiplayer and a sneak peek at one of the game’s maps.

Although yet to be confirmed, a prominent Xbox Games Studios insider has reported that multiplayer will be free to play, and that Arena mode will aim for 120fps.

All of the new weapons from the campaign will also be on offer in multiplayer, but they’ll only be available to pick up around the map as equipment weapons, according to a 343 blog.

Unfortunately, Quinn Delhoyo confirms that dual-wielding will not be making an appearance in Halo Infinite. You will not be able to play as Elites either.

“It boils down to tight, arena combat,” says Halo Infinite’s head of creative, Joseph Staten, who also explains that the game’s multiplayer will respect what has come before, while providing players with something new and exciting. You can check out the latest presentation in full here:

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This may well sound like a bunch of buzzwords, but Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is being brought up-to-date with current offerings whether you like it or not. As well as themed seasons with new looks, weapons, and maybe even maps, Microsoft has its own spin on the battle pass.

You only have to buy the Halo Infinite battle pass once. Ever. New versions will become available each season, but you can choose to stick with your old faithful and continue to level it up. You’ll also be able to buy old battle passes at any time.

As for the gameplay itself, the grappling hook looks to change things a lot. Whether you need a strategic reposition to flank the enemy, want to commandeer a vehicle, or want to pull a power weapon towards you, the grappling hook is here to help. It will be tricky to master, but the rewards are great.

A customised Halo spartan runs holding their rifle

Vehicles will see major changes, as now wheels and bonnets can be blown off, all of which affects how efficiently your vehicle works. As well as taking realistic damage, there’s a new vehicle entering the fray: the Razorback. Similar to a Warthog, the Razorback’s defining feature is its weapon rack, which allows players to store and carry spare weapons across the map. After all, you never know when you might need an energy sword.

The final piece of noteworthy news from Microsoft’s E3 showcases is a change to powerups. Now, you can carry a powerup and use it exactly when you want, rather than it activating automatically when you picked it up in previous games. However, this also means that if you die, your opponent can loot your boon from your corpse, so be careful.

As mentioned above, the multiplayer will feature cross-progression and cross-platform play, allowing you play on whatever platform you want with friends, while having the ability to switch and have your setup carry over.

In a recent Inside Infinite blog, Chris Blohm, Halo Infinite’s lead progression designer, let us into an insight into the seasonal content planned for the game. Each season will add new content, potentially including maps and modes, and last for three months. However, he was keen to point out that, “we do not want to demand that players play a ton of hours every week of the season to complete everything. We want players having fun in Halo, not grind it like it’s a job.” Us full-timers appreciate that.

HALO INFINITE FREE-TO-PLAY

Halo Infinite will have a free-to-play multiplayer mode, Microsoft confirmed during its Xbox and Bethesda E3 showcase.

While the base game will cost you money, its multiplayer will be free for Xbox and PC players. This could help attract even larger player numbers to Halo Infinite.

Halo Infinite esports

Although the Halo Infinite release date is a little way away, 343 is clearly thinking about its epsorts scene. In April 2021, Halo’s esports lead Tahir ‘Tashi’ Hasandjekic says a date and location for the first Halo Championship Series event has been locked in already. In other words, we will see a Halo Infinite tournament by the end of 2021.

More details are expected in the summer.

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