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  • Writer's pictureCizlin

Colorful Column Community Update, October 2020

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

After a long period of little new information outside of toys and promotions, we finally have some new details on the game with the latest Community Update. This Community Update focused on some of the details around “coatings,” Halo Infinite’s term for skins. Let’s dig in.

The Halo Infinite section of the update begins with this WIP render of the Red Shift Armor Coating on the Mark VII armor. This armor coating has not been seen before, and it shows wear-and-tear in multiple places on the armor, as opposed to the Monarch Armor Coating we’ve seen previously.

“The Red Shift armor coating, which has clearly seen battle and looks absolutely phenomenal, can be secured by purchasing any Halo or Xbox merchandise at GameStop from November 9 - December 13. Similar to most of our other promotions, you'll want to save your receipts and redeem the code at”

Yes, there will be another promotion to earn this armor coating, this time involving GameStop. The details of this promotion can be found here.

“According to Lead Player Investment Designer, Christopher Blohm, a ‘coating’ is ‘a seven-layer shader that allows us to put any artist-authored color, material, or pattern into seven channels and apply it to in-game items like weapons, armor, and vehicles.’”

Here, after much speculation, is the exact meaning behind a coating. Fans of Destiny 2 may recognize the term “shader,” and in many ways, that is similar to what we have here. Since this description has been a little ambiguous to some, I’ll try to explain a little further what it means.

To my knowledge, there are seven layers to each shader, and each layer contains a particular set of surfaces on an armor piece, weapon, or vehicle. Each layer is fully customizable by the artists at 343, allowing them to not only change the color of the layer but also the material, the wear-and-tear, and even the pattern if they choose to offer multiple colors. The key here is that all of this customization is done by 343 for each layer in a coating; players cannot customize the colors, materials, and other details of the coating outside of switching to a different armor coating.

This Community Update also provides us with a WIP render of the Azure Vehicle Coating applied to the Warthog. We do not yet know how to obtain this coating, and it may be that it is only available in-game. (Update: We now know that this coating is obtained through the Xbox Kroger Kellogg’s Promotion.)

“Coloration, along with materials and patterns, will now be baked into the coating, taking the place of the primary/secondary armor color options found in prior games. While we understand that many players are fond of the previous color system, we’re very excited about the breadth and scope of armor, weapon, and vehicle customization options that will be available in Halo Infinite because of the coating system. Additionally, players should expect more robust per-piece armor customization choices akin to what was available in Halo: Reach vs. what was offered in Halo 5: Guardians.”

First, the bad news: the primary/secondary armor color options that have been present in Halo customization since Halo 2 will not be appearing in Halo Infinite. This, again, is similar to the Destiny 2 shader system, with the exception that coatings in Halo Infinite do not appear to be single-use. The good news is that the coating system does provide a much greater variety of customization possibilities than before, although perhaps not all the same possibilities as before, depending on what is made available by default. Additionally, as suggested previously, the per-piece armor customization will be much closer to that offered in Halo: Reach.


It’s been awhile since I’ve last had the opportunity to write about an actual article, and it’s nice to have some newly confirmed information to share. It is unfortunate that this article was not entirely good news for many fans, but it is still nice to have something new to share.

  • The Red Shift Armor Coating will be obtainable by purchasing a Halo item from GameStop between November 9 and December 13, 2020. Save your receipts from this time period!

  • Coatings, which apply to armor, vehicles, and weapons, are seven-layer color, material, pattern, and wear-and-tear presets.

  • Color cannot be customized independently of coatings. The primary/secondary color system from previous games will not return in Halo Infinite.

  • The coating system will still provide an extensive variety of customization possibilities beyond those offered by the primary/secondary system, although it likely will not offer all the same possibilities as before.

  • Per-piece customization for armor is most similar to that of Halo: Reach.


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