From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
Halo Infinite is the sixth mainline installment in the Halo franchise, the sequel to Halo 5: Guardians, and was developed by 343 Industries, Certain Affinity, and SkyBox Labs, and published by Microsoft Studios. Set one year after the events of Halo 5, Infinite follows the Master Chief who battles the Banished on Zeta Halo which they have occupied, while also uncovering the mystery of Cortana's disappearance.
Infinite was first unveiled during the opening to Microsoft's E3 2018 conference with an engine demonstration trailer, lacking a release date. The game would later make an appearance at E3 2019, capping off the conference with the Discover Hope trailer, revealing a release date originally set for late 2020. On August 11, 2020, it was announced that due to ongoing difficulties in development due to the COVID-19 pandemic - among other factors - Halo Infinite was to be delayed, with a new release date set for 2021.
In lieu of a traditional beta, a series of Technical Previews through the Halo Insiders program began on July 29, 2021. On November 15, 2021, the multiplayer segment of Infinite was released in beta in celebration of Halo's 20th anniversary, with all unlocks and progression during this period transferring over to the full release. Releasing on the full Xbox family of consoles, with a simultaneous Microsoft Store and Steam release, Halo Infinite was formally released on December 8, 2021.
As the next chapter in the Halo Universe, Infinite focuses on the Master Chief and continue his story following the events of Halo 5: Guardians. It has been described as a "spiritual reboot" for the franchise while wrapping up story threads from the discontinued Reclaimer Saga.
Characters and setting
Halo Infinite is set in the year 2560. During the events of Halo 5: Guardians, the human artificial intelligence Cortana and allied AIs rebelled against the UNSC. Taking control of ancient Forerunner weapons known as Guardians, Cortana subjugated the galaxy in the name of the Mantle. Also fighting against Cortana and the UNSC are the Banished, a coalition of alien races led by the Jiralhanae Atriox. The game is set on the Forerunner ringworld Installation 07 (Zeta Halo), which has mysteriously suffered damage. The player assumes the role of Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 who is on a mission to stop the Banished from gaining control of the Ring, while also seeking to learn Cortana's ultimate fate.
In 2559, the UNSC flagship Infinity arrives at Zeta Halo, only to be ambushed and boarded by the Banished. Atriox defeats the Master Chief and drops him into space. Six months later, a UNSC pilot recovers the Chief adrift in space. While the Pilot wants to flee, Master Chief insists on continuing the fight against the Banished. The Chief and Pilot travel to Zeta Halo, which has been severely damaged by an unknown calamity. On the ring, Master Chief locates the Weapon, an AI designed to imitate Cortana to capture her for deletion. While the Weapon states that she was successful in her mission, she has failed to self-delete as per her directives. Master Chief retrieves the Weapon, and experiences visions of Cortana's memories and thoughts left as residual data.
Zeta Halo is controlled by the Banished, now led by Atriox's lieutenant Escharum after Atriox's apparent death. Master Chief, the Weapon, and a reluctant Pilot rally scattered UNSC forces on the ring's surface. Inside the Forerunner installation known as the Conservatory, Master Chief encounters Despondent Pyre, the Monitor of Zeta Halo. Despondent Pyre attempts to warn Master Chief of a threat contained within the installation, but is destroyed by the Harbinger, an alien awoken by the Banished. The Harbinger claims that her people, the Endless, were imprisoned by the Forerunners on Zeta Halo. She has allied herself with the Banished in order to rebuild the Silent Auditorium, which will allow her to free her people.
The Pilot reveals that he was a civilian engineer aboard Infinity who stole a Pelican to flee the battle. The Chief comforts him, admitting his own guilt over his failure to save Cortana. Master Chief and the Weapon stop Zeta Halo's repair process by disabling a series of spires on the ring. When the Harbinger attempts to hack the Weapon, the Chief activates a failsafe to delete the AI. The Weapon repels the Harbinger and deactivates the failsafe, angrily asking why Master Chief does not trust her. After seeing a vision in which Cortana uses the Guardians to destroy the Brutes' home planet of Doisac, the Weapon realizes that she is a copy of Cortana, and insists that Master Chief delete her so she does not become like her predecessor; Master Chief refuses, stating that he wants to trust her. The Pilot is captured by Jega 'Rdomnai, a Sangheili Spartan killer and a close friend of Escharum, as bait for Master Chief. Unwilling to let the Pilot die, Master Chief infiltrates the House of Reckoning and saves him, defeating Jega 'Rdomnai and Escharum in the process.
Master Chief and the Weapon head to the Silent Auditorium to stop the Harbinger. The two learn that Cortana was captured by Atriox after the Weapon locked her down; upon realizing that Atriox intended to use the ring, she destroyed herself, damaged Zeta Halo, and prevented the Weapon from being deleted. In a recorded message, Cortana says goodbye to the Chief and encourages him to work with the Weapon. The Chief defeats the Harbinger, but he is unable to stop her from contacting someone regarding the Endless. Afterwards, the Weapon and Chief reunite with the Pilot, who reveals that his real name is Fernando Esparza. The Weapon decides to choose a name for herself. The trio then prepare to liberate the rest of the Ring from the remaining Banished.
In a post-credits scene, an alive Atriox uses a key to unlock a sealed door, leading to the Endless. If the game is finished on Legendary difficulty, the scene features dialogue between Despondent Pyre and the Forerunner Grand Edict about the imprisonment of the Endless. When Despondent Pyre states that she cannot oversee the study of the Endless alone, the Grand Edict replies that the AI Offensive Bias has been deployed to assist her.
The Halo Infinite campaign comprises of 16 missions.
Infinite has been described as being a "platform" for the Halo franchise for at least the next decade. It is intended that the game be added to over time, rather than utilizing the previous system of numbered titles. The gameplay is inspired by the original trilogy, especially Halo 3, along with the gameplay from Halo: Reach, Halo 4, and Halo 5: Guardians, with a focus on the use of Equipment rather than Armor abilities. Unlike the original trilogy, however, the player has the Sprint ability as well as the Slide ability from Halo 5: Guardians. Like Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians, Halo Infinite did not feature playable Sangheili in multiplayer or dual wielding at launch.
The campaign takes place on Installation 07, within a seamless open world broken up by linear story missions. the campaign has been described as being larger than the campaigns of Halo 4 and 5 combined. The campaign intends to implement four player online co-op and two-player local splitscreen co-op. As a result of shifting focus towards a higher quality product at launch, the campaign co-op mode was not available at launch, but 343 Industries plans to include it alongside Halo Infinite's Season 02: Lone Wolves, which has also been delayed from it's initial estimate of 3 months after launch.
The game includes a dynamic day/night cycles which lasts approximately one hour. Enemies sometimes act differently per the time of day, like Unggoy sleeping at night. Weather elements such as wind and fog coming in at different altitudes also feature. Rain and snowstorms were not featured at launch, but may be added in the future.
The open world of Halo Infinite is divided into seven areas, each being unlocked as the player progresses through the main missions. When an area becomes accessible, the side missions within the area also become available. Side missions include retaking 12 UNSC Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), sabotaging seven Banished outposts, rescuing 20 marine squads in distress, and eliminating 15 Banished High-Value Targets. Upon retaking a FOB, nearby side missions (along with Mjolnir Armory lockers and Spartan Cores) are labelled on the TACMAP. Completing side missions reward Valor, which contributes to the FOB progression system, adding weapons, vehicles, and marines to FOBs. Most indoor areas dedicated to main missions cannot be accessed again in the open world after completing the main missions.
The seven areas and their missions are as follows:
Infinite's multiplayer became publicly available on November 15, ahead of the game's official December 8 launch. The multiplayer component is free-to-play, supporting 120FPS on Xbox Series X. Cross-play and cross-progression is available, allowing players to carry customization and progress across all platforms. Competitive playlists are restricted based on input devices across platforms. The game features microtransactions in multiplayer available in the game's shop and an "out of game" progression system. 343 has also confirmed that loot boxes will not be present. Furthermore, Infinite has seasons similar to Halo: The Master Chief Collection, with each season lasting approximately three months as well as special events known as "Fractures".
The game has a number of multiplayer maps including the following:
With the "vNext" update to Halo Waypoint released on November 5, 2021, players can access armor customizations, Battle Pass progression, and gameplay stats on the Halo Waypoint website and mobile app.
The Academy is a training mode that allows new players to learn the flow of Halo combat and let veteran players warm up before heading into matchmaking. Players are assisted by Commander Laurette Agryna, a Spartan supersoldier in charge of training new Spartan recruits at the Avery J. Johnson Academy of Military Science, a hidden outpost on a frontier world. There are several sections to the academy, such as a live fire range where players can test out weapons on AI controlled Spartans and a movement course that allows new players to become familiar with Infinite's movement.
Most notably, the Academy allows players to create matches populated by AI bots to test out their skills on hostile opponents. Bot difficulty, starting weapons, grenades, and the amount of bots can all be changed in game. Bots come in four difficulty types — Recruit, Marine, ODST, and Spartan — with the primary differences between them being intelligence and resourcefulness. All bots can use equipment, keeps track of power weapon spawns, and will try to use them.
Forge will be included in Halo Infinite, featuring an "Undo & Redo" buttons. As with Halo 5: Guardians, Infinite will feature weapon variants of several weapons. Due to technical complexities involved, Forge will not be available at launch, but it is planned to be included alongside Halo Infinite's Season 03, approximately nine months after launch.
The Battle Passes from each season will remain in-game for future purchases, allowing players to unlock armor permutations from past seasons at anytime. The season system includes an evolving story, centered around the player's avatar.
A sequel to Halo 5 had entered the planning stages by September, 2015. By this point, the developers were aware of where the story would go, and had begun writing the game. The game has been referred to offhand as "Halo 6," before the official title was announced at E3 2018. Frank O'Connor has argued that the next installment would feature "a much more human story". The studio plans on keeping the cooperative mode introduced in Halo 5. Halo Infinite will have two-player splitscreen, as will all other future Halo FPS games. Early "blue-sky" concept art was produced during this year, depicting the game's setting of a broken Installation 07.
As of June 2017, it has been confirmed that Halo Infinite will not be discussed "for quite some time", implying a longer development cycle. Halo Infinite intends to have a beta at some point prior to its release. Halo Infinite will also have more focus on the Master Chief by "doubling down" on him. There will be no Battle Royale mode featured according to Jeff Easterling's claim “The only BR we're interested in is the Battle Rifle”, in response to the popular trend during a livestream.
Since the launch of Halo 5: Guardians in October 2015, 343 Industries has been developing a new game engine—Slipspace Engine. The engine was built to help the development team fully realize their goals for the upcoming successor to Guardians, Halo Infinite. First announced with an engine demonstration at Microsoft's E3 2018 conference, Halo Infinite is still currently in relatively early development. The trailer depicted the Master Chief aiding Marines on a Halo installation, encountering wildlife similar to deer and rhinoceroses. None of the wildlife will be hostile to the player.
On a Mixer stream on December 19, 2018, several 343i employees confirmed that players who liked Halo: Reach's armor customization would be pleased with Halo Infinite's. Black undersuits for the multiplayer Spartans was also confirmed. Players who reach SR 152 in Halo 5: Guardians will be rewarded with the "Watchdogs" armor coating in Halo Infinite.
E3 2019 provided more information about the game. It showed an early scene from the game where a pilot of a derelict Pelican finds the Master Chief floating in space in front of a damaged Halo, retrieves him and powers his suit back up; preparing for battle. Another scene shows the Master Chief moving inside of an environment resembling a Halo's control room, and preparing a AI chip with the explicitly deliberate goal of "reconnecting" with someone or something. Additionally, an audio file hidden within the trailer's HUD sequence features Cortana's voice remarking that "This... This is part of me. I don't know why. I don't know how. But it is me."
The Xbox Games Showcase in July served as a substitute for E3 2020 which had been cancelled by the Covid-19 pandemic. A demo was streamed showing the Master Chief and Echo-419's pilot crash landing on Installation 07. It featured gameplay showing an "open-world" gameplay, the return of Sprint, gameplay with the new weapons and two of the new equipment: the Grappleshot and the Drop wall.
Development of the game was slowed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the pandemic eventually contributing to the game's delay for a 2021 release. The game was originally planned for a release on November 10, as an Xbox Series X launch title.
During the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase segment of E3 in June 2021, 343 Industries presented a trailer for the campaign and multiplayer. Multiplayer gameplay, including 4v4 arena, Big Team Battle, and player customization, were shown.
In July 2021, the first Multiplayer Technical Preview went live for selected members of Halo Insider Program. This first preview tested 4v4 bot multiplayer matches, Academy's Weapon Drills, and UI tests on Infinite's Battle Pass, Challenges, menu, and Spartan customization.
By 20 August 2021, Halo Infinite development has entered "shutdown" mode, where the focus has shifted towards bugfixes and reviews on campaign and multiplayer.
Flighting via the Halo Insider program took place sometime in the summer of 2021. Bots, challenges, a truncated Battle pass and only a select amount of Arena maps were featured in the Flight. All invited accounts were given a set amount of in-game Credits to use on unlocks, which did not transfer to the full release of the game.
Halo Infinite is being developed with cross-play and cross-progression available on the Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC. All platforms support customizable options in field of view and input devices, with players being able to use controllers as well as keyboard and mouse on all platforms. As such, the game also offers additional gameplay settings for keyboard and mouse users, including triple keybinds, advanced sensitivity, and acceleration sliders. Halo Infinite on PC supports interface with Steam and Discord, and comes with customizable in-game settings, including a wide range of display aspect ratios (including 21:9 and 32:9 formats) as well as advanced graphics options.
Halo Infinite will be the first debut of a new artstyle introduced by Nicolas "Sparth" Bouvier; Bouvier having worked as a concept artist for the series' expanded media, drew heavy inspiration from the most iconic and historic parts of the Halo franchise and fan feedback, while ensuring that the fidelity of those designs would take full advantage of the Xbox One's capabilities. The game focuses on the Master Chief, with 343i having taken feedback on the amount of time spent playing as the Master Chief in Halo 5. The studio has stated that they are making changes to how they approach the game's creation, while also taking new and unexpected directions. Community involvement in the game's design will be utilized, with community members being able to join early flighting programs to give 343i direct feedback.
When designing the setting, inspiration was taken from the Pacific Northwest. "Sub-biomes" also feature, representing said biomes from the Northwest. Some unique areas called "Deadlands" appear, representing war-torn areas of the ring.
Halo Infinite features an advanced audio system unlike any seen in previous games. Using a new sound mapping system, in-game audio could be more realistically affected by features of the environment, such as walls and doorways. Another new feature coming with Halo Infinite is "audio threat prioritization," which alerts the player to threats by making the sound produced by enemies—especially that of incoming fire—louder than sounds produced by the player and their allies.
E3 2018 trailer
On June 10, 2018, an announcement trailer for Halo Infinite was released, showcasing the ideas of what 343 Industries have in mind for the game.
E3 2019 trailer
On June 9, 2019, a new, five minute trailer for Halo Infinite debuted alongside the announcement of Project Scarlett. This trailer introduced a new human character, and revealed John-117's fully redesigned armor, alongside a damaged Halo installation.
343 Industries YouTube video
On January 30, 2020, a video was released, that showcased what the developers have in mind for the game as well as shared some comments on the Slipspace engine.
The Art of Halo Infinite
To coincide with the game's release, an associated art book is set to release on December 14, 2021, showcasing the artwork for the game created by the team at 343 Industries.
E3 2020 substitute: Xbox Games Showcase
The online Xbox Games Showcase on July 23, 2020, released the Step Inside trailer, followed by a 9-minute demonstration of the campaign gameplay. The Campaign Gameplay Trailer was released as a follow-up.
Inside Infinite is a series of monthly updates made by 343 Industries, where several members of Infinite's development team talk about the updates they have made on the game since the Showcase demo. Starting from December 2020, Joseph Staten and other team members have revealed and talked about specific themes in each monthly update, with the updates being planned to be disclosured during 2021:
During the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase segment of E3 2021 on June 13, 2021, Studio Head Bonnie Ross and Head of Creative Joseph Staten presented a teaser for the campaign and the Multiplayer Reveal Trailer, "A New Generation". The multiplayer reveal was followed by additional content and information on the following days:
Season 1 Cinematic Intro
During Gamescom 2021 on August 25, 2021, Joseph Staten presented the introductory cinematic for Halo Infinite's Season 01: Heroes of Reach, focusing on the origins of Spartan Laurette Agryna.
On October 21, 2021, 343 Industries released a video on the development of Halo Infinite on the PC and features exclusive to the PC version.
Campaign Gameplay Overview
The Banished Rise
On October 26, 2021, a trailer for the campaign was released, featuring a monologue from the game's antagonist Escharum.
UNSC Archives - Unspoken
On November 2, 2021, 343 Industries released a live-action short featuring Chris Preston, a UNSC marine that was tasked with recovering technologies that would help speed up MJOLNIR Shield System development.
UNSC Archives - Project Magnes
On November 6, 2021, 343 Industries released a live-action short, which featured a civilian engineer that built a prototype under Project MAGNES for the rapid mass manipulation of heavy objects. The prototype would later be used in MJOLNIR's Grappleshot systems.
UNSC Archives - Lightbringers
On November 13, 2021, 343 Industries released a live-action short featuring a group of BXR Mining Corporation miners on a human colony as it was attacked by the Covenant. The group sacrificed themselves to extract an ore critical in manufacturing MJOLNIR's reactive exoskeleton.
Forever We Fight & Carry On
On November 28, 2021, 343 Industries released two live-action trailers. Forever We Fight featured several moments in human history where heroes have risen when they were called upon, while Carry On depicted John-117 fighting Banished Jiralhanae on Installation 07.
Campaign Launch Trailer
On November 30, 343 Industries released a trailer focused on Halo Infinite's Campaign.
On December 8, 2021, hours before Halo Infinite's release, 343 Industries released an 6-episodes audio series on Spotify. The series focus on an ONI agent whose mission is to relay critical information to the Master Chief, but her memory resets every seven hours.
After their initial reveal over the weekend at the New York Toy Fair in 2020, Microsoft has revealed higher-resolution images of the upcoming Halo Infinite action figures. The items, which are made by Wicked Cool Toys in partnership with 343 Industries, include collectible figures and "premium" helmets. The 6.5" Master Chief figure is particularly noteworthy because its art and design is seemingly based off his MJOLNIR armor design from the original Halo trilogy. There were also new Unggoy and Sangheili figures, in addition to a life-size Master Chief helmet featuring working headlamps. The images also reveal that there will be new figures for Halo Infinite's villains. Some of these villains remain as TBD. One such villain has been revealed to be Hyperius.
Xbox Game Pass
In an announcement on February 24, 2020, Microsoft confirmed that Xbox Game Pass will support first-party games on the Xbox Series X, including Halo Infinite. Additionally, as the flagship product for Microsoft's new Smart Delivery feature, Halo Infinite will be one of many participating games also available on Xbox One, so when players purchase Series X, the user will already own Halo Infinite on the new console. In other words, users playing Halo Infinite, regardless via a Game Pass subscription or a full game purchase, they will possess the Xbox Series X version of the game upon purchasing the console. Owners of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate also receives monthly bonuses in Halo Infinite, with the first bundle in December 2021 being the "Pass Tense" MA40 AR Bundle, which contains the "Pass Tense" MA40 Assault Rifle weapon coating, four 2XP Boosts, and four Challenge Swaps.
Although it was announced in August 2020 that the release of Halo Infinite would be delayed, brand tie-ins for Halo Infinite were still released in the months leading up to its original Q4 2020 release timeframe. Additional tie-in products were released in 2021. The tie-in products offer digital codes for players to redeem Double XP consumables for the Battle Pass or exclusive in-game customization options in armor coatings, vehicle coatings, emblems, and nameplates.