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Halo Infinite's Next Multiplayer Preview Adds New Features, Might Not Start Tomorrow [UPDATE]

by John Carson on Sep 23, 2021 at 04:07 PM

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Update Thursday, September 23: Halo Infinite’s next testing period will be available for preload this afternoon and accessible to play tomorrow morning, according to a tweet by Halo Community Manager John Junyszek. 

Also not noted in the original story were the matchmaking times for the upcoming preview. Unlike the first public flight, all matchmaking is funneled into two four-hour sessions each day of the test. Those sessions run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time.

Original Story: Halo Infinite’s second round of technical previews starts this weekend on Xbox consoles and PC. Those who sign up for the Halo Insider program will have to check their email or account to see if they are participating. If you are, get ready for not one but two full weekends of an expanded multiplayer suite compared to the previous test.

Community Director Brian Jarrard hosted the stream showing off gameplay from the multiplayer preview.  Jarrard started with some “breaking news” that there may be a time shift involving the testing schedule due to some issue found in the flight build. Tomorrow is supposed to be the start of the test, but there’s a good chance it could see a short delay. Jarrard also revealed that the Big Team Battle portion of the test would be part of the second testing weekend. Those who haven’t been accepted into the test should look out for additional ways to access the test over the next week. 343 is currently looking into ways of “widening the funnel” to allow select Xbox insiders and friends of Steam users in on the fun. 

Everything from the previous test will be accessible in the new flight, including bot matches, the battle pass, and Weapon Drills. The maps Recharge, Free Fire, and Bazaar will also be returning. Bots will no longer have daily increases in difficulty but rather a mix of AI levels within a team of bots.

Those looking for something more significant than a four-on-four skirmish will be glad to see the arrival of Big Team Battle, allowing for massive 12 versus 12 matches, with Capture the Flag available in this mode. BTB also comes with the latest map, Fragmentation. This Big Team Battle map is set in a coniferous-looking canyon that gives Valhalla vibes from Halo 3. Plenty of hexagonal spires and Forerunner structures jut from the ground around the environment. Loot caves are a new sub-objective in the larger maps, allowing your AI companion to hack into a locked vault and reap the benefits of whatever weaponry and other goodies you find inside. Another new map featuring dual Forerunner bases in a desert location called Behemoth brings vehicular gameplay to the 4v4 Halo battles.

Academy is expanding with this new test. There are going to be a few new ways to onboard players into Halo Multiplayer. A tutorial mission and Training Mode, an unlimited bot match with additional tutorial options layered on top, give newcomers a safe place to learn the ropes of Halo. Weapon Drills are also part of the Academy. They will feature all of the projectile weapons to try out this time around, along with updated bot movements and AI for a more challenging shooting range experience.

Testing for the second Halo Infinite Technical Preview is supposed to start tomorrow, Thursday, September 23, through Monday morning, September 26, though, as mention above, this timing could change. The second weekend with the arrival of Big Team Battle is scheduled to go live Thursday, September 30 until Monday, October 4. Halo Infinite’s full launch is December 8 on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. Good luck out there, Spartans.

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Halo Infinite

Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
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