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Everything Included In The Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta

"Halo Infinite" has had a rocky road on the way to release. The game suffered from a disappointing delay that kept it from releasing alongside the Xbox Series X|S. Fans went through a long period of wondering when they would ever get their hands on it, until a leak forced Microsoft to reveal its plan to release the game on December 8. But Microsoft truly shocked fans when it announced on Nov. 15 that the free-to-play multiplayer beta for "Halo Infinite" was being released immediately in honor of the series' 20 year anniversary.

The announcement came in the form of a tweet from the official "Halo" Twitter account with an attached trailer showing off the excitement the "Halo Infinite" multiplayer mode has in store. "Season 1: Heroes of Reach officially begins today," wrote the official "Halo" account. "All of your Battle Pass progression, Spartan customization, and shop purchases will carry over from the beta to the full release of #HaloInfinite." 

That means even though the current version is in beta, players won't have to start over after the game's full release. And that's good, because the beta is already pretty full of content. Here's everything fans know so far about the newly launched "Halo Infinite" multiplayer beta.

10 multiplayer maps

Most game betas feature a limited taste of what will be in the final product. Maybe players will only have access to a single map or maybe they'll only see one of the game modes. That doesn't seem to be the case with "Halo Infinite," however. 

According to a post on Halo Waypoint, the multiplayer beta has been launched this early because the devs want to make sure every bug is ironed out before release. Otherwise, the beta is pretty much a complete glimpse at what Season 1 of "Halo Infinite" has to offer. "While you may experience some bumps and bugs during this beta period," the post states, "it does mark the official start of Halo Infinite Season 1, with all day-one maps and modes enabled as well as the full Season 1 Battle Pass.'

In addition to the Spartan Academy, where players will be able to do weapon drills and various other training exercises to get a handle on the game, the "Halo Infinite" beta features 10 full maps. There are 7 Arena maps, which are called Live Fire, Behemoth, Streets, Recharge, Aquarius, Bazaar and Launch Site. Then there are 3 Big Team Battle maps — Deadlock, Fragmentation and High Power. The arena maps are typically smaller and feature tighter corridors, while the big team battle maps are open sandboxes designed to be crawling with Spartans.

2 categories and 11 game modes

Just like the maps, battle modes are funneled into two main categories. As Halo Waypoint explains, Arena modes are planned to be more traditional 4v4 battles and are set on smaller maps. There are 7 Arena modes available: Slayer, Capture the Flag, Oddball, Attrition, Elimination, Strongholds, and Fiesta. Meanwhile, Big Team Battle modes feature "12v12 combat on large maps with a wide array of vehicles." There are 4 Big Team Battle modes: Slayer, Total Control, Capture the Flag, and Stockpile.

According to a post on the game's Steam page, "if matchmaking isn't your cup of tea, grab some friends and jump into custom games (online or via local splitscreen) with maps and settings of your choice."

Steam also lists the three matchmaking playlists that are all currently available. The Big Team Battle playlist randomly combines Big Team Battle maps and game modes, the Quick Play playlist grants players an MA40 AR and an Mk50 Sidekick and mixes up 5 Arena game modes among several maps, and Bot Bootcamp allows players to practice their skills in 4v4 matches against bots, using the same maps and modes available in Quick Play. In addition, "Halo Infinite" will be adding several event playlists, which will become available as the seasons progress.

Spartan Customization

It would get pretty confusing if two dozen Master Chiefs were running around the map, so "Halo Infinite" gives players the opportunity to change up their looks. Players can create their own custom designs by mixing and matching components they've managed to unlock. The available designs are more than just simple color swaps, though. Players can customize their Spartan's armor core, coating, helmet, visor, left shoulder, right shoulder, gloves and kneepads, making it very unlikely that any two Spartans will look exactly alike.

According to the main "Halo Infinite" page on the Xbox website, players can "earn and discover new cosmetic items simply by playing campaign or multiplayer" and completing different tiers. The listing continues, "Or to obtain even more cosmetic rewards, purchase a Battle Pass that never expires and unlock new content at your own pace." Fans can likely look forward more exciting cosmetics debuting throughout the game's life cycle.

Cross-platform support

"Halo Reach" featured cross-play, but "Halo Infinite" seems to be taking things a step further. The multiplayer post on the "Halo Infinite" Steam page states that the game "features support for cross-generation, cross-platform, and cross-input play. No matter which platform you're on – or whether you use a controller or mouse and keyboard – there are no barriers to playing together. And, with cross-progression support, you can move between console or PC and seamlessly retain your progression, stats, and more." 

This is great news for players who enjoy their games on multiple platforms. Anyone who has a gaming PC in one room and an Xbox hooked up to a TV in another can freely switch between the two on the same account and play with their friends, regardless of which platform they're using. 

Hopefully "Halo Infinite" multiplayer can avoid some of the balance issues encountered in previous entries. Keeping crossplay fair between mouse and keyboard users and those who prefer a controller has been a struggle for the "Halo" franchise for a while now, as seen with the various updates made to the "Master Chief Collection.

Season One is getting additional events

The Halo Waypoint post states that Microsoft and 343 Industries' initial plan was to launch the "Halo Infinite" on December 8 and then to release a new season every three months. However, players may notice that the Battle Pass UI states that Season 1 will last until May 2022, a full six months after the beta's launch. However, there is a positive reason for this. 

"We made the decision to extend Season 1 to give ourselves more time to ensure Season 2 meets our high quality bar," the post states, "and so we can finish development for Season 2 in a healthy and sustainable way for our team. " This makes sense, especially since the team really needs these next couple of months to fine tune multiplayer based on beta reactions out of beta and to make sure that the campaign launch goes smoothly.

An extended Season 1 doesn't mean there won't be any new content rolled out over the next several months, however. "We aren't just stretching-out our original Season 1 plan," the post continues. "Indeed, we took this opportunity to add additional events, customization items and other content to Season 1 to make it an even richer experience from start to finish." 

Microsoft and 343 Industries have already released a free collection of cosmetics celebrating the franchise' 20th anniversary. In addition, an expanded Season 1 event calendar will be coming in January.