Halo Infinite – What time does it launch and can you pre-load?

Halo Infinite Performance Review Header

Halo Infinite is out tomorrow, 8th December, for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC, but this isn’t a typical game launch. For one thing, the game is already half released, thanks to the free-to-play multiplayer launch three weeks ago, and that seems to have an impact for how the single player campaign will launch as well.

What time does Halo Infinite release?

Halo Infinite’s campaign will go live for digital purchases and Xbox Game Pass subscribers at a unified time around the globe. There’s no rolling midnight launch across the planet (so no, you can’t set you console region to New Zealand to jump in early, and Kiwi’s actually have to wait until 9th December!), but instead a fixed launch time of 6PM UTC. That translates to the following times in different regions:

  • New Zealand – 7AM NZDT 9th December
  • Australia (Sydney) – 5AM AET 9th December
  • Japan – 3AM JST 9th December
  • Europe (France, Germany, Spain, Italy, etc.) – 7PM CET 8th December
  • UK – 6PM GMT 8th December
  • US East Coast (New York) – 1PM ET 8th December
  • US West Coast (California) – 10AM PT 8th December

Of course, if you’re grabbing a physical copy of Halo Infinite, then you should be able to install and play as soon as you get home – just make sure to disconnect your console from the internet to prevent it forcing an update to download.

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Update: Unfortunately, you cannot play the game from disc without an internet connection – a playable game install is not on the disc. Bit wasteful, innit? (via @Shinobi602)

Can you pre-load Halo Infinite?

Sadly the answer to this question is a big fat no on consoles. Halo Infinite’s campaign and multiplayer sides of the game will seemingly be unified as an install on Xbox One, and that would mean that it will be delivered as a secondary download or update to the currently available multiplayer client.

You can currently see this through the Xbox Game Pass app on mobile, which lets you attempt to start to pre-install the Halo Infinite campaign remotely. While this will initially cause the game icon to note that it is updating, no campaign is downloaded at this time. Hopefully this changes before launch.

However, on PC you are able to pre-load the Halo Infinite campaign via the Xbox app where you have two separate download options.

How big is the Halo Infinite download?

Update: 343 Industries has now confirmed the download size and capacity needed for Halo Infinite, and it’s smaller if you have the multiplayer game client already installed.

If you’re starting with no Halo Infinite game install at all, then downloading the campaign will be around 48.21GB (there is some variation between platforms, but that’s the gist). Alternatively, if you have the multiplayer already installed, there will be a 3.97GB multiplayer update and a 25.86GB campaign download for a total of 29.83GB.

Halo Infinite campaign download size

What should I play Halo Infinite on?

Pretty much try to play Halo Infinite on whatever system you have handy! The game is a great return to form for the Halo franchise, trying to do something that the series has never done before with an open world structure. That does mean that the original Xbox One hardware now feels thoroughly underpowered, but it’s still a decent experience if it’s the gameplay that matters to you most – Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will have the option to try and play via Xbox Cloud Gaming.

Meanwhile, the Xbox One X does a good job in Performance mode and the Xbox Series X is simply sublime. If you have a gaming PC, then you can obviously push the game as hard as you want to meet you performance requirements.

For more, check out our Halo Infinite console performance comparison.

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