Halo Infinite isn’t out for another month, yet developer 343 Industries has already pulled back the curtain on how it’ll change. In a blog post on Halo Waypoint, community manager John Junyszek detailed a slew of balance tweaks planned for the first-person shooter, though it’s worth noting that many of the most significant updates likely won’t be present at launch.
Earlier this year, 343 hosted a series of technical tests for Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode, allowing players to fight against artificially intelligent and, during the second round, actual-fellow-human intelligent players on a small selection of maps. The changes 343 detailed are based on feedback sourced from those players.
Crucially, 343 will once again update the motion sensor. During the first test, held in late July, Halo Infinite’s motion sensor only showed opponents who sprinted or otherwise moved quickly — a significant tweak to how it previously functioned, registering most all movement that wasn’t done in a crouch. Following loud public feedback, 343 reverted the sensor so it’d work as it has in every previous Halo game. Still, players found it somewhat ineffective in the large-scale big team battle matches, saying it didn’t quite cast a wide enough net. So for big team battles, 343 will update its effective range by 20 per cent, from 18 to 22 meters, “shortly after launch.”
Speaking of big team battles, iconic Halo announcer Jeff Steitzer will voice announcements for the mode. He won’t be in those matches for the December launch, but 343 says it looks “forward to bringing his voice back in all its glory as soon as we can.”
Among other features, players requested an auto-sprint setting (the option to make it so you start sprinting when you tilt the left thumbstick forward all the way) and more colour options for friend-or-foe identification (the bright outline indicating whether fellow players are on your team or not). The developer says these features “won’t be able to make launch” but are “on our list of post-launch priorities.”
There are also plans to beef up the plasma pistol, which got nerfed hard for Halo Infinite. Crucially, the energy weapon no longer EMPs — or stuns — vehicles when they’re struck with a fully charged shot. And it supposedly also “underperformed” against fellow players. (The charge shot still takes out shields in one hit, though individual shots might be weaker than intended, but on the other hand who the hell uses the plasma pistol as a rapid-fire weapon?) To give the sidearm a bit more oomph, 343 plans to make “targeted changes” in how it impacts Spartans but “can’t guarantee [the changes] make launch.”
Physics have long played a behind-the-scenes role in Halo games, what with players using explosive tools, like rocket launchers, to gain extra height in jumps. For Halo Infinite, 343 says it’ll increase the velocity granted from grenades and the gravity hammer, though it may “not get these increases in for launch.”
Following a delay last year, Halo Infinite is now planned for a December 8 on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and will launch across platforms as part of the Game Pass library. Its multiplayer mode will be free-to-play. The game won’t, however, launch with the ability to play through its campaign cooperatively. That’ll come some time next year.