The first public beta test for Halo Infinite multiplayer will run from Thursday 29th July to Sunday 1st August, with emailed invite notifications going out now Halo Insiders that have been selected. Before the test flight gets underway, 343 Industries will hold a stream across the official Halo Twitch and YouTube channels to detail its content, starting at 10PM BST (UK time) / 5PM EDT / 2PM PDT today, 28th July.
Invitations started going out overnight, starting at around 1AM UK time, so if you have applied to the Halo Insider program, make sure to check your spam folder. Even then, if you did not yet receive an email, they may take some time to be sent out and the email itself is not required for participation. You will be able to log in on the Halo Waypoint website on Thursday to find the build and related install instructions are sent out.
343 Industries has already outlined some of the content of the technical preview and what their goals are for this first test. There will, of course, be the core multiplayer experience of head-to-head multiplayer and stability, but 343 also noted that they would be focussing on the AI bots game mode, the game’s menus and Battle Pass UI and the Academy Weapon Drills.
The AI bots in particular will be interesting, with this the first time that bots have featured in a Halo game. Bot Slayer will run across three maps – Bazaar, Recharge and Live Fire – with 343 intending to build up the amount of content in this mode over time as they gauge engagement with the mode.
The Academy Weapon Drills will be high score chases, with the technical preview featuring Weapon Drills for the following weapons:
- MA40 AR
- MK50 Sidekick
- CQS48 Bulldog
- VK78 Commando
- S7 Sniper
- Plasma Pistol
- Pulse Carbine
For the time being, testing will be restricted to the Halo Insider program, and inviting players from that pool of users. To sign up for future Halo Infinite tests, you need to apply, giving 343 Industries enough information so that they can try to get engaged players for the testing.
- Register for Halo Insider using your gamertag
- Verify your email by clicking on the confirmation email sent to your Preferred email address in your Halo Insider profile
- Opt-in for communications by selecting “I would like information, tips, and offers about the Halo franchise.”
- You’ll need to verify your email and check this box, otherwise we won’t be able to send you flighting emails
- Opt-in for flighting on the platforms of your choice (console and/or PC).
- To be considered for PC flighting, upload your DxDiag and connect your personal Steam account
However, it’s worth noting that being a Halo Insider does not guarantee getting your hands on technical previews and pre-release access. In a blog post on the weekend, 343 Industries explained that “For the tech preview, we have concurrency targets tied to our overall goals that will inform how many total Insiders should be invited. Within that pool of players, our first priority will be ensuring we have a broad distribution of platforms (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and different PC configurations) and then we will look at overall tenure in the program, prioritizing our longest standing Insiders, until we’ve allocated every invitation.”
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer was revealed at E3 2021, with Microsoft showcasing a variety of new elements, many of which will feature in this first technical preview, and with Big Team Battles expanding to feature up to 24-players. It was also re-confirmed that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free-to-play across all platforms.
Halo Infinite will release for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC – and day one on Xbox Game Pass – in the still rather vague “Holiday 2021” window. However, you could put good money on them targeting a release that aligns with the 20th anniversary of the Halo series and the Xbox consoles as a whole.
Source: my emails, Halo Waypoint