Halo Infinite Multiplayer Overview
Updated: Feb 9
Although we got a ton of content on the day of Xbox’s E3 showcase, we were really only just getting started. The next day, we got a nearly 13-minute ViDoc overview of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer. Although it didn’t answer every question, it did clarify multiple points and show us even more. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Although this clip lasts for a very short time, it shows a player running with the flag but being slightly outpaced by the player whose PoV we share. Even if sprinting is possible while holding the flag, it does seem to be slower than the normal walking speed. Additionally, the BR75 reticle here is much closer to the classic version than the one we saw in the Multiplayer Reveal trailer. John Junyszek has clarified that the reticles seen in these videos are not final and may change before launch, but this one is closer to the intended design than the one seen in the reveal trailer. Finally, since the flag carrier is a teammate, we can see a faint blue outline around their character, including the weapons and objective they are holding.
Here, we get a bit of a closer look at some of the HUD elements players can expect. As the Oddball carrier is killed, A Carrier Stopped notification appears in the center left, as well as “Killed ChildishTiger42”. The score earned for this action appears above the text and seems to indicate that kills are worth 100 points while the carrier stop was worth 25. Finally, the kill is registered in the killfeed on the far left, where we can see it beginning to appear. It seems like the killfeed matches that of Halo 5: Guardians, where friendlies are highlighted in blue and enemies in red. The player’s gamertag and weapon are marked by white text/icons. Kills are marked by the use of a weapon icon between the two gamertags. Also worth noting is the Disruptor pistol that is dropped by the ball carrier.
In this shot, we see a Spartan being blown up by a Needler. The Needler now has an ammo counter on the back of it, and counting the number of dots tells us the current magazine capacity is 18 needles. Additionally, although a little hard to see, the reticle for the Needler is now closer to the width originally seen in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. Again, this is subject to change.
Although this popup appears only briefly as the weapon is picked up immediately, we can see the new weapon pickup prompt. The weapon icon is now clearly shown above the description, which reads “Pick Up CQS48 Bulldog,” followed by a small symbol. Although not confirmed, this symbol appears to indicate the damage type of the weapon. This weapon would have the Kinetic damage type, so the symbol looks like a small bullet piercing through the air.
Here is the pickup prompt for the MK50 Sidekick, which is also a Kinetic weapon. We can more clearly see that the Kinetic damage icon is off-white in color, suggesting that the color will be an easy way to tell apart different damage types on the fly.
Here’s another weapon prompt from walking over a Pulse Carbine dropped by this player’s unlucky target. The damage type symbol for this weapon is two plasma bolts circling one another. The color is cyan and likely indicates a “blue plasma” damage type.
Although it may seem like the red outline on the Warthog indicates that enemies are driving it, it actually seems like it may be indicative of the doomsday mechanic kicking in for the vehicle.
Here, we can see the headshot indicator in the killfeed, which is a target following the weapon used to get the kill. Additionally, by checking the top right, we can see that teammates (outlined in blue) are visible through walls at any time thanks to the new outline system.
Here, we can see the MA40 AR also has the Kinetic damage type, as expected. However, there’s something else in this scene that we’ll see in just a short moment.
Interestingly, there is a prompt to pick up a Spike Grenade. This likely means there is a limit to how many grenade types a player can hold, although it is unclear what this limit is. In any case, we can see that the Spike Grenade is also a Kinetic damage-type weapon.
In this screenshot, we can see the player using a 1.40x zoom with the Needler, suggesting that SmartScope is returning from Halo 5: Guardians. However, it does not seem to offer any accuracy improvements over pure hip-fire. I’ll have more to say on this zoom a little later in this section, but for now, it doesn’t seem to be quite as much of a benefit as it was in the previous game.
As in Halo 5: Guardians, your assists are marked in the killfeed by highlighting the background of your teammate’s kill in the killfeed. Additionally, earning an assist seems to award 50 points for a Kill Assist.
The multiplayer match intro is shown here. In this case, we are seeing the PoV of the blue Spartan on the left. The camera pans over the members of the team before zooming toward the blue Spartan’s helmet, smoothly transitioning to a first-person view as the match begins.
The full multiplayer HUD is briefly shown here. The radar is 20 m in radius, and callouts are located to the bottom right of the motion tracker. The scores are shown to either side of the timer in the bottom middle, and multiple indicators appear on the map, likely marking important weapon/equipment spawns or objective locations. The starting loadout in this gametype is the MA40 AR and the MK50 Sidekick.
The weapon pickup prompt for the VK78 Commando also indicates that it is a Kinetic-type weapon, which comes as no surprise. Most UNSC weapons likely fall into this category.
The Gravity Hammer is a much more effective power weapon than ever before with a much larger kill radius. However, it does have a longer swing time due to its high damage output.
The Energy Sword reticle is shown here, and it looks very similar to how it appeared in Halo 5: Guardians. The way it is held is closer to the Halo 2 version, however.
There’s a few things going on here. One, the player is using a zoom function with his MA40 AR, but it looks identical to the zoom function on the Needler. This suggests that there is a default 1.40x for all weapons that is only superseded by weapons with scopes, such as the VK78 Commando or the Skewer. Second, the player has a pick up prompt for the Repulsor, the equipment item that allows players to briefly deflect shots and other things in front of them. Third, although it cannot be easily seen in this screenshot, the targeted Spartan appears to be wielding the Disruptor, which seems to fire a single blue projectile after each trigger pull.
Although this screenshot does not show it well, this player uses the Repulsor equipment item while looking at the ground to launch themselves upward to the second level on the map, placing them to perfectly smash four opponents with the Gravity Hammer.
There’s a few more things to notice in this screenshot. First, the killfeed calls out that the player earned an Overkill. Second, a pick up prompt for the M9 Frag Grenade confirms that it is also a Kinetic damage type item. Finally, the lack of medals in this case should not be cause for concern. John Junyszek has also confirmed that medals are in Halo Infinite; they are simply not appearing in this build.
The Grappleshot can be used to fetch Active Camo or Overshield from a distance. As in Halo 5: Guardians, there is a short animation before the powerup applies to the player. However, here, the player doesn’t immediately jump into this animation. In fact, they hold onto the item for a short period before activating it.
“For this title, what we’re looking at, what we’re excited for, is you pick [Active Camo or Overshield] up, and you choose when to activate it. It goes into your inventory. If you haven’t used it, and someone kills you in multiplayer, you drop that overshield, and then they could take it.” - Quinn DelHoyo
Previously, when you picked up the Active Camo or Overshield, it automatically applied to you where you stood. However, Halo Infinite will lean into the equipment side of this and allow you to carry around the power up until you decide to use it or are killed, at which point anyone can pick it up off your body. This works even if they are in the animation to apply the power up.
After activating an Overshield, the shield presents itself as a yellow skin over the top of the Spartan.
Here, we can see an enemy Spartan taking damage from an exploding grenade. If we look closely around the reticle, sure enough, a hitmarker appears, meaning that grenade hitmarkers are, in fact, included
The Warthog in the center has lost its hood and its rear left tire, which appears to affect how well it can drive. The Ghost has lost its left wing, which may also affect its handling. There is a Spartan in the distance with a mounted Machine Gun turret, which is using a similar model to the Halo: Reach and Halo 4 variants.
Here, the doomsday mechanic has taken hold for the Warthog. The entire vehicle takes on a red outline as the engine catches fire, notifying the occupants that the vehicle is about to detonate after a few seconds or if it takes a little more damage.
There’s a lot going on in this scene, but the most important detail is the Razorback, the Warthog-like vehicle in the front middle. There are four occupants in this vehicle: a driver, a flag carrier in the passenger seat, and two more passengers in the back.
“The back has this multi-storage compartment that you can put a lot of stuff into, so if you want to put detached turrets, power weapons, Fusion Coils, objectives.” - Brian Berryhill
The Razorback is the ultimate team support vehicle. Not only can you ferry a bunch of players from one place to the next, you can also move almost anything in the sandbox, even objectives. It will be interesting to see how this mechanic works in game, given it’s historically been impossible to drop a weapon without picking up another.
As in the Campaign demo from July 2020, players can use the Grappleshot to pull themselves toward other players. Additionally, we can see two Spike Grenades hovering over their spawn on the left. The grenades are highlighted with blue outlines to make them stand out better. Also, notice the wooden basket of fruits on the right.
The wooden basket from before has been completely destroyed, so there will be some level of destructible items in multiplayer. Additionally, one of the items dropped by the enemy player is a strangely-shaped equipment item, seen just above the MA40 AR.
Based on the pickup prompt shown here, it seems like the equipment item in the previous screenshot is, in fact, the Threat Sensor.
We can more clearly see the Machine Gun turret design for Halo Infinite in this screenshot, showing that it still comes in mounted form until the player chooses to dismount it.
Our first look at the Banished Wraith in Halo Infinite can be seen here. The gunner seat also has more protection than before, with a shield that is active while there is an occupant in the seat.
The weapon pods in BTB fall from the sky and are marked by green lights at the top of the pod.
When a player captures a flag, Jeff Steitzer will announce it. It also earns the player 300 points and creates a message near the top of the screen. Notice that the symbol on this flag is a bird, while we’ve seen a snake on the flags in earlier screenshots. These symbols have been used to differentiate Red and Blue teams since Halo: Combat Evolved, so even though the Red and Blue team designations are disappearing, the symbology is not.
“Personal AI is really a reflection and information for the players. So if a player grabs a flag, your Personal AI is going to tell you to get that thing back to base and give you some moment-to-moment updates.” - Patrick Wren
The new, customizable Personal AI won’t be announcing the gametype and medals, but they will be giving tactical information in much the same way that the Spartan chatter in Halo 5: Guardians did. So, actions such as picking up or dropping the flag will trigger a line from the Personal AI.
This Personal AI is called Butler, and he has a formal, masculine voice. We don’t get to hear much from him, but he is another option players will have for their Personal AI. Note that this appears to be part of the in-game menu to select one’s Personal AI.
When a teammate picks up the enemy flag, an alarm sounds and the Personal AI notifies the player that their team has acquired the flag.
After selecting a Personal AI, a short animation plays where the player’s Spartan removes an AI chip from the console and inserts it into their armor.
A prompt appears to explain how Personal AIs work. Both appearance and personality can be changed in the “Armor Hall.” It seems like appearance and personality are tied together, but this is not guaranteed to be the case.
Some of the armor customization is shown here. In addition to being able to change the Armor Coating and Assault Rifle Coating, there are options for the Helmet, Helmet Gear, Visor, Right and Left Shoulder, Gloves, Chest, Kneepads, and Armor Core. It isn’t entirely clear what is meant by Armor Core, but it seems to be a set of default armor options that can be customized in different ways. The background colors for each option seem to indicate the item’s “rarity.” Here, it is important to clarify that this is not how likely it is to earn an item through random means but rather a measure of how difficult to obtain or desirable an item may be. The gray background would pertain to Common items, while the blue and purple backgrounds indicate Rare and Ultra Rare items, respectively.
Here are some more customization choices, this time for the Soldier Spartan.
“That includes things like Armor Coatings, Armor Emblems, various Armor Effects, down to the individual armor pieces, so your Shoulders, your Gloves, your Kneepads, your Helmet, your Visor, your Helmet Attachments.” - Ryan Paradis
In addition to the known armor customization, there will also be Armor Effects in Halo Infinite, just as there were in Halo: Reach. To what extent is currently unknown, but it sounds like customization options are significantly more varied in this installment.
Here, we have another look at the in-game customization menus, this time for weapons. The Weapons Bench allows players to customize Weapon Coatings and possibly other things as well. The MA40 Assault Rifle is referred to as a “Rare Weapon Core”, with the date of acquisition beneath it. Perhaps there are options to change the physical shape of certain weapons in game? There are also some menu options in the bottom right. We can see what appears to be the Stuck emblem beside text saying “Reveal,” which may simply be the test account used to obtain these screenshots. To the right, we can see that the Friends List is accessible by pressing the View button, and Settings can be accessed by pressing the Menu button, as one would expect.
This screenshot shows even more of Halo Infinite’s menus. From here, the player could access the “Play” menus, which would likely allow them to access Multiplayer or Campaign if they own it. The Customize menu, where we are, contains the Armor Hall, the Weapons Bench, the Vehicle Bay, Body & AI, and Presentation. It isn’t entirely clear what that last category would include, but needless to say, there is plenty of customization in this game. There are two more main tabs at the top: Community and Shop. There could be a lot of different things in the Community tab, so I’ll save the speculation for later, but the Shop is most likely where players will be able to outright purchase some items with real-world money and, possibly, in-game currency. Finally, there is an additional icon to the right of the emblem in the bottom right, indicating that holding down the Menu button brings up the Chat box.
When the major update for the Halo Waypoint website and the release of the Halo Waypoint app arrive, players will be able to customize their Spartan through the app and online, as well as in-game.
On the left, we can see the WIP view of the armor customization offered by the app. There will be options to select which socket to customize and which customization selections can be chosen for that socket. Rarities will be displayed here as well. There will also be a way to keep track of progression in the Companion section of the app, where players can track their Battle Pass progress and Event progress, as well as look at Challenges. They will also be able to see when a Season ends.
“We want the Spartan to represent the player as much as possible. They can change their body type and their voice, as well as choose prosthetics for the first time.” - Christopher Blohm
Not only does customization apply to the armor and equipment, players can also select customization options for the Spartan within the suit. This includes body type, voice and prosthetic customizations.
The player can select Transhumeral, Transradial, or Hand prosthetics for either arm or both, and similar options likely exist for the legs. Players could potentially have prosthetics for all four limbs. Unlike in Halo: Reach, these options are entirely independent of the armor chosen.
“There’s no random loot in this. There’s no loot boxes. It’s very important to us that everyone understands exactly how they unlock customization content, and we have a variety of places where they can do that.” - Ryan Paradis
Although it’s been stated before, it’s worth reiterating: there is absolutely no element of randomness when it comes to unlocking a piece of customization content. There are many ways to earn items, but they are fixed; you will know exactly how to get what you want.
“The Halo Battle Pass will never be taken away from you, and what I mean by that is once you buy it, it’s yours and does not expire. In future Seasons, you can purchase old Battle Passes, as well as the current Battle Pass, and choose which Battle Pass to put your progression towards.” - Christopher Blohm
The Halo Infinite Battle Pass system is one of the most player friendly systems that can be present in a live service game. Rather than having the Battle Pass expire at the end of each season, a player could skip a Season or two and then come back and buy those passes to get their unlocks. Similarly, players won’t feel pressured to complete the entire Battle Pass in a Season, meaning playing the game will feel more natural and desirable, rather than feeling like a necessary but unfortunate chore.
“All of these rewards are single-source, so you’re never going to be confused about where things come from. If you can unlock something in the Battle Pass, we’re not going to let any other players circumvent that by purchasing it out of the storefront.” - Ryan Paradis
If there is a way to unlock an item, you can rest assured it will be the only way to do so. That means an unlock requiring a player to grind out playtime will only be available through putting in the work. Similarly, players can feel comfortable purchasing things in the Shop, knowing that it is the only way to obtain that item.
“Every Season will have its own theme and introduce new components, new looks, new gameplay for players.” - Ryan Paradis
The first Season in Halo Infinite is themed around Halo: Reach, and future seasons will also have their own themes for their customization content.
“We’ve seen the samurai already. That’s one of our event armor cores, and that’s gonna be something that players can earn through gameplay for free.” - Ryan Paradis
The Yoroi armor is referred to as an “event armor core.” Again, it is not entirely clear what is meant by “armor core,” but, as before, it seems to be the default look of the armor before customizations are made.
This screenshot from the Academy shows part of the target range, where players can test weapons and practice their aim against moving targets. There is a score counter and a timer in the bottom middle, and there seems to be infinite ammo available.
Here, the player fires on a multiplayer bot with no shields. One of the MA40 AR rounds strikes the bot’s head, producing a red hitmarker that indicates a critical hit. Automatic weapons in Halo 5: Guardians dealt slightly more damage to unshielded players when landing a headshot, and this appears to have carried forward into Halo Infinite.
While in the Academy, players can change their loadout and match settings on the fly. Some of these options are shown here. The primary and secondary weapon can be adjusted, as well as the primary and secondary grenade (suggesting we are limited to two types of grenades at a time, opening up the possibility for more grenade types added after launch). The equipped equipment can be changed, and the number of friendly and enemy bots can be adjusted, as well as their difficulty. There is also an option to reveal enemy locations.
The BR75 weapon pickup also shows that this weapon is using the Kinetic damage type, unsurprisingly.
Here, the player throws a blue Fusion Coil at an enemy Spartan, and it detonates with a Plasma-like explosion, suggesting Fusion Coils also have the variety of damage types seen with other weapons in the sandbox.
This is the first view we have seen of piloting the Ghost. The reticle is very familiar, but the boost is now represented by a thin bar in the bottom right.
Beneath the reticle, we see the text “Flag Away, Can’t Score.” This suggests that CTF in Halo Infinite will play like it did in Halo 5: Guardians, where a team’s flag must be at home for them to score. Also notice the electrical effects coming from the left, which originate from that shock grenade seen in last year’s Campaign Trailer.
The pickup icon for the Active Camo is shown here, and it confirms my earlier suspicions that the item on the Axys map shown in the December 2020 Inside Infinite was the Active Camo.
This video was absolutely packed with great details about the next installment of Halo multiplayer. This summary highlights most of the new information.
Even while sprinting, the flag carrier is slightly slower than a Spartan walking without the flag.
The reticles shown here and in the Multiplayer Reveal should be considered works in progress, but these reticles are closer to the final designs.
Currently, the killfeed is very similar to the Halo 5: Guardians killfeed, with blue for teammates, red for enemies, and white for the player themselves. Kills where the player contributed are marked by highlighted entries in the feed.
Kills and objective accomplishments are also stated to the left of the reticle.
There is a points system in this build, where assists are worth 50 points, kills are worth 100, killing an objective carrier is worth 25, and capturing a flag is worth 300.
Although medals are not shown in this build, they will be present in the final game.
The Disruptor is seen being used by enemies, and it fires a single electric projectile with each trigger pull.
The Needler has an ammo counter on its back and currently has 18 rounds in a magazine.
Weapon pickup prompts now show an icon indicating the damage type of the weapon after its description.
The CQS48 Bulldog, MK50 Sidekick, MA40 AR, Spike Grenade, VK78 Commando, M9 Frag Grenade, and the BR75 are confirmed to use the Kinetic damage type, indicated by a small bullet piercing through off-white air on the weapon pickup prompt.
The Pulse Carbine uses the Plasma damage type, indicated by two cyan plasma bolts circling each other in the weapon pickup prompt.
When a vehicle enters its doomed state, it will be outlined in red and set on fire. It will only last for a few more seconds or until a little more damage is dealt to it.
Teammates are always visible through walls thanks to their outline.
Players can only hold two types of grenades at a time, preventing players from holding more than 4 grenades at once while also allowing the team to add additional grenades after launch. Players can swap out grenades in their inventory for ones found on the floor.
The default binocular zoom has been replaced with a 1.40x zoom that can be used on any weapon without its own scope. It does not seem to have any impact on accuracy, only on range.
The multiplayer match intro pans over the team’s Spartans before zooming into the player’s Spartan and transitioning to first-person.
The current motion tracker radius is 20 m.
The scores are tracked in the bottom middle of the screen with the teams’ scores on either side of the timer in the center.
Important objectives and pickups are marked on the HUD.
The starting loadout in Slayer is currently the MA40 AR and the MK50 Sidekick.
The Gravity Hammer has a slower swing but a much larger kill radius.
The Energy Sword is held in a similar way to how it was in Halo 2.
The Repulsor icon was shown (see 3:26)
The Repulsor can be used to launch oneself upward by looking at the ground when activating it.
In this build, when a player earns an Overkill, the accomplishment appears in the feed.
The Active Camo and Overshield are treated like other pieces of equipment that can be used at any time after obtaining them. They do not automatically apply to the user immediately after acquisition.
If a player dies before they can apply the Active Camo or Overshield, the powerup will drop out of their inventory and can be picked up by other players.
The Overshield is a yellow powerup that applies a yellow shield over the player.
The Active Camo is a blue powerup that cloaks the player.
(New) There are hitmarkers for Grenade explosions.
Vehicle damage affects the way the vehicle handles in different ways and is no longer cosmetic.
The Machine Gun turret looks similar to how it did in Halo: Reach and Halo 4 and can be dismounted from its tripod as in previous Halo games.
The Razorback can support four players: one driver, one passenger in the side seat, and two passengers in the back.
The back of the Razorback allows players to put detached turrets, power weapons, Fusion Coils, and objectives into it for transport.
Some weapon and equipment spawns will be marked by hovering equipment over a spawn point. This can be seen with two Spike Grenades at 4:57.
Some level of destructible environment exists on the multiplayer maps. There is a fruit stand that is decimated by a Gravity Hammer strike at 4:58.
The Threat Sensor icon was shown (see 4:59) and matches the mystery equipment item seen in the Campaign screenshots from the February Inside Infinite.
The Banished Wraith was shown and features a heavily armored version of the Wraith from Halo 3 to Halo 4. However, when a gunner is in the gunner seat, a red energy shield forms to protect them from an easy snipe.
Weapon respawns in BTB are dropped in drop pods and marked by green lights.
Major game moments such as a flag capture are announced by Jeff Steitzer.
Minor game moments and updates are announced by the Personal AI chosen by the player. A good way to differentiate between the things said by each announcer is to look at which lines in Halo 5: Guardians were said by Steitzer and which were said by the Spartan announcer. The Spartan announcer lines are spoken by the Personal AI in this game.
The symbols used for team flags have returned to those used in Halo: Combat Evolved.
Another Personal AI with the designation Butler and a formal, masculine voice was shown. He is yellow in color and has a more three-dimensional shape than Lumu.
An alarm sounds and the Personal AI comments when a teammate picks up the enemy flag in CTF.
The Personal AI resides on an AI chip that interfaces with the MJOLNIR armor.
The appearance and personality of the Personal AI can be changed in the Armor Hall, one of the customization sections in Halo Infinite. These two customizable features of Personal AIs may not be separate, however.
Players can customize Armor Coating, Weapon Coating, Helmet, Helmet Gear, Visor, Shoulders, Gloves, Chest, Kneepads, and Armor Core separately, and potentially even more. It is possible that some customization options are restricted to certain armor cores, but it is unclear if this is actually the case.
The Soldier helmet is returning with a new look, and other armor pieces are returning as well.
Customization items have rarities to indicate how difficult to obtain or valuable an item is, not how likely it is to obtain it through some random means.
Armor effects are returning for the first time since Halo: Reach.
Weapon cores have rarities, suggesting that there may be options to alter the actual shape of the weapons in the game.
Customization items tell you when you acquired them.
The Stuck and Spartan Swords player emblems are returning.
In addition to armor, weapon, and vehicle customization, there is body & AI customization and “Presentation.” What is meant by this final category is unclear.
There will be a Shop to purchase some customization items, although there may be an in-game currency as well as real-world money that can be used to purchase some of them.