Halo Subreddit Temporarily Shutdown Because Angry Gamers Won’t Stop Being Toxic Arseholes

Halo Subreddit Temporarily Shutdown Because Angry Gamers Won’t Stop Being Toxic Arseholes
Image: 343 Industries / Xbox

Once again, the angry gamers are angry and yelling and being just the worst. This time it’s happening over on Reddit. Specifically, the main Halo subreddit, r/Halo, which has been locked until Monday due to how angry and toxic most of the posts and comments have been recently following Halo Infinite’s launch last month.

Halo Infinite’s multiplayer launched on November 15. It was a nice surprise and a lot of people jumped online and began playing and what they found was pretty good. However, if you hopped over to r/Halo over the last week or so it would seem like 343 had released the worst video game ever made that also gave you cancer if you touched it based on how some players were yelling 24/7 about it and every one of its big and small problems and shortcomings.

And as you might expect, with this being the internet, sides began to form, and people who enjoyed the game also began to attack and yell 24/7 in an effort to… well, there isn’t really a point to angry posts on Reddit, but many of the nearly one million Redditors who are part of r/Halo were locked in a worthless war of words, firing insults at each other and the devs behind Infinite. Folks began sending threats, namecalling and attempting to dox folks they disagreed with or disliked. It got so bad that last night, the mods of r/Halo made the decision to lock the entire subreddit down until Monday.

“On all sides this has absolutely gone on long enough and spiraled out of control,” posted r/Halo mod 343-Guilty-Spark last night.

“The amount of toxicity on the sub from both sides has made it impossible for people to have civil discussions, which is what the mod team strives for regardless of opinion. Some users on the sub have even been responsible for doxxing and death threats. We’re temporarily putting the sub on lockdown so people can hopefully settle down a bit and we can hit the reset button before launch. At the end of the day, this is a video game and this level of vitriol is unwarranted.”

Let’s take a second to focus on that last bit. All of this anger, the threats, and silly war of words and doxing is over a free-to-play video game. A pretty fun one too.

Image: 343 Industries / Xbox Image: 343 Industries / Xbox

Since launch, I’ve put a ton of hours into Infinite’s online modes and I, along with a lot of other players from what I can tell, have been having a great time. Of course, there are issues. The battle pass is crappy, the way you unlock stuff — even after some welcomed tweaks recently — can feel like a grind, and I wish there were a few more playlists featuring sillier modes like infected or Griffball. But there is a difference between disliking something or sharing criticism of it and harassing, attacking, or yelling at anyone and everyone unlucky enough to read your rants or threats.

Before the subreddit was locked down, 343’s community director Brian Jarrad posted a lengthy response to all the angry messages, demands, and threats that had been filling r/Halo at the time.

“First, I’m going to stress again that I 100% understand and generally agree with the frustrations most are expressing even if I don’t agree with the attacks and ways in which some choose to express those feelings,” explained Jarrad.

“Call me a shill, a liar, corp speak, etc. as you want, but I’ve never lied to this community and never will. And I’m not saying myself are 343 are a ‘victim’ in any way – that’s yet another narrative some folks here have chosen to apply. It’s my job to come in here, listen, frankly take it on the chin, and despite personally being very put off by the way in which many are expressing themselves, still ensure that we are advocating for players internally. We do that regardless of it being positive or negative and always will.”

According to Jarrad, there are more changes coming to progression, to the playlists, to the battlepass and more. He also acknowledged that some big and highly requested changes and features may take longer than some will like, but he asked for patience as the team at 343 continues to work hard. He also reminded folks that Halo Infinite will be around for a long time and the studio will spend the next months and years updating, tweaking, and improving the game.

“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. It’s your prerogative to play or not play. I’d rather have people who are so passionate they’re yelling at us than nobody caring at all,” said Jarrad. “But I just ask that people please take a breath here, understand there are human beings behind this who put years of their lives into just trying to make the best experiences they can, and do not rush to judge or assume you’ve got it all figured out.”

Shortly after that message, the subreddit was locked down by mods. Kotaku has reached out to the mods behind r/Halo about the lockdown, if it might last longer than just the weekend and what will happen when (eventually) the subreddit is reopened.

As for angry Halo players upset over Halo Infinite’s various legitimate shortcomings and issues, I’d recommend maybe stepping away, playing a game you like, and realising that none of this is healthy or productive. Remember, you don’t have to play the game you hate. I promise.


  • “As for angry Halo players upset over Halo Infinite’s various legitimate shortcomings and issues, I’d recommend maybe stepping away, playing a game you like, and realising that none of this is healthy or productive. Remember, you don’t have to play the game you hate. I promise.”

    I swear, people’s ability to emotionally regulate themselves has gone out the window. It’s a video game. It’s a piece of entertainment. We have like 10,000 problems, but a shitty video game isn’t one of them.

    Being critical is fine. Holding companies to account is fine. Voicing decent is fine. But jesus, people need to work on their delivery. What kind of example is it setting for the young just getting into gaming?

    • You would have had a point if you hadn’t said some really dumb shit, first it isn’t a shitty video game. Second being ‘entertainment’ is irrelevant, there is nothing more important to our species than art and the power of imagination/inspiration. We would still be living in caves throwing poop at eachother if we didn’t have those things.

      • Missing the entire point of the post and fixating on a single word out of context, then replying angrily to a stranger iyn the internet?

        Those sure are some choices you made to be part of the problem.

    • No, people are angry that their beloved game is being chopped out and parted out for microtransactions. Halo has been around for 20 years now, there are people who don’t know gaming without it. There are plenty of us that have seen the steep decline since peak Halo in 2007. 343i haven’t been good custodians of the franchise – Halo 4 was ok at best and Halo 5 was so different, it was almost Battlefield with a Halo skin. Add in their disasterous QA failure with the first couple years of MCC and you have a player base that has been let down multiple times for about 10 years, and just want to have the good games and stories come back to the fore.

      When they take a progression system and make it so bad that you don’t play the game mode to complete the tasks, but have to completely change the way you play in order to complete them, give a quick match list that rarely gives us Slayer or TDM and instead is heavy on team games like oddball and CTF (that require some level of coordination rarely found in PUGs) and give us the microtransaction crap? Makes people really disappointed for a game that was meant to go back to Halo’s roots.

      We haven’t even got campaign yet, but the announcement that they won’t be launching with co-op campaign? That is one of the fundamentals of Halo and IMO why Halo 5 is one of the shittest experiences in the franchise.

      You know what would be a fresh idea? Having a fully formed game, feature rich and complete, and have the microtransactions “in the works”. Not a surprise, but fully marketed and known but just delayed until they get the game worth it.

      • This is how the crap talking starts. Unrealistic expectations. The multi player is a pre release beta, there’s soooo many things missing but people judge it like it’s the full game. They’ve also already realised updates and tweaks to fix some of the issues. The only micro transactions and custom items that don’t affect the game. You’d have to be an idiot to pay for that stuff.

        I do agree 343 have been sub par since taking over halo but so far infinite feels like a massive step in the right direction.

        • “Beta”

          I have only skimmed the article and the comments. But by using this word to describe an early release you give power to a term which is regularly used to take advantage of the public.

          No video game “beta” is a true beta, or anything even remotely close to that. ESPECIALLY this one. “Beta” has become a word which is used to promote a game by releasing a version of the game which is almost identical to the day one release knowing full well they are pretty much the same, but also knowing the public will give the product leeway because it is a “beta”, even though there is no time to fix any major issues or even many minor issues. In this case, calling it a “beta” is even more ridiculous than most cases seeing as it isn’t a pre release snippet but actually an early release.

          Again, this doesn’t pertain to the blown up twitter feud about whether or not the release is acceptable. But do not call the release a beta and do not give any more credibility to the misuse of that term, as it is currently used for one thing and that is to confuse the consumer.

      • Last I checked Bungie’s masterpiece Reach came out in 2010. Also I just played 5 last week for the first time, it’s exactly like 4 just with a worse story and they’re both very different to classic Halo. Everything about Infinite points to them learning from their mis-steps but we’ll see on Wednesday! Also I don’t know why people care about micro-transactions so much, just choose not to purchase them, I’ve never played a game which was negatively affected by not purchasing any micro-transactions it’s usually just cosmetic crap.

      • ‘their beloved game’

        Maybe it’s this mentality that’s the problem. It’s not ‘your’ game, just because you’ve put thousands of hours into the series over more than a decade doesn’t give you some kind of special entitlement for it to be ‘your’ game. Besides, it’s free so you haven’t even bought it. Yes, there’s crappy parts about it, the devs know it, they’re working on it, it’ll only get better over time, end of discussion.

  • Sigh. Here we go again. Near weekly. All that changes is the game, and its apparent sins.

    We are now facing a generation of people who has already lived responsibility free in anonymity on social media, its no surprise this is where we are now. Often irrational, self-indulgent people with no filter on their expectations or ability to question things with a polite, rational and constructive mind. Nah, every game is the worse game ever made, every gaming outrage is worse than the outrage before it.

    Sure things like always do have a core of truth to them (EG… yes making Halo free-to-play does cause issues), but outrages like this take good talking points to create a mindless mob like a snowball, endlessly growing in size, everyone hiding in anonymity, parroting talking points, which in turn are used by others again, thus the snowball keeps growing… and what gets lost is that element of truth, in mindless thug mob as relentless as any Hammer Horror mob armed with pitchfork and flame.

    If only may of them just stopped and thought ‘if we were in a room together, is this how will be communicate with each other?’ The anonymity of the net makes monsters of all.

  • Its just not that good.

    For an arena shooter I could name loads that are better. It does have a lot of players though. For at least the next few months.

  • 20 year vet here. For context I enjoyed the Halo 4 narrative and not the gameplay, thought Halo 5 should have been aborted before it came to term – no co-op was a sin. This seems like a great start for Infinite. I’m seriously impressed at the way they seem to have nailed the Halo “feel” while modernising it a bit. I’m not a big competitive/arena shooter player, but I have been loving every minute I’ve played so far!

    I don’t really care about progression systems – as I feel they are often a way to hide poor gameplay behind some primal urge to grind for levels – but I appreciate it’s a modern trend that is somewhat expected these days – especially in the F2P, live service subset of the industry. I have actually really enjoyed playing the non-Slayer game types – though obviously the experience is vastly improved by having a full squad.

    The thing that bothers me most is that co-op is not available from the launch of the campaign, but I can CERTAINLY live with it if it’s an amazing solo experience that I can come back to with a mate later. It does sounds like the whole structure of the campaign is completely different to the more linear experiences of the past, which may explain why it wasn’t as simple as just plugging in co-op.

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