Halo Infinite’s big team battle mode has a big team problem, and it’s not the notoriously busted functionality. Infinite’s player base is, for perhaps the first time since launch, in lockstep on something: Developer 343 Industries should stop issuing BTB-focused challenges for the time being, players say, at least until the mode is fixed.
For the most part, Halo Infinite, which landed on Xbox and PC in November, has been a reliably functional first-person multiplayer shooter. But the big team battle mode, which pits two teams of 12 against each other on large-scale maps, has been busted since late last year. Some players get dropped from matches, or end up with mismatched team sizes. Others can’t get into matches at all, and will time out when trying to load into one. For a moment, 343 Industries dropped the team size down to 10 players on each side as a potential fix, but it didn’t seem to do the trick. (It’s currently back at 12…when it works.)
The whole mess is totally understandable; every online game launches with kinks, and ironing those kinks out takes time. However, player frustration is exacerbated by the fact that BTB-themed weekly challenges frequently pop up, even while the mode itself remains pretty dysfunctional.
Progression in Halo Infinite, as in games based on a similar free-to-play model, is driven by an XP-based battle pass. Every week, you get an allotment of 20 weekly challenges, ranging from low-effort slogs of attrition (“kill 50 enemies in PvP”) to downright impossible feats of heroism (“kill one enemy with the ravager.”) Some challenges simply ask you to finish matches in a specific mode, but if you can’t even load in that mode in the first place, you obviously can’t complete those challenges.
Over the past week, social media has been full of reports drawing attention to the matter. “343 should implement a [hotfix] to remove ALL BTB challenges until they fix BTB,” one player wrote in a Reddit post accompanying a screenshot showing the “big fish” challenge, which requires players to score 7,500 cumulative points in rounds of big team battle. “If 343 won’t fix BTB, can they at least pull BTB challenges from the rotation?” another player asked. Yet another described the problem as “frustrating” and “inexcusable.”
This week, I’ve been lucky to not get stuck with any BTB-themed challenges. Last week, not so much. I had two: one specifically constrained to the mode (“complete two total control matches in PvP”) and one best completed in it (“save allies from far away”). Good thing the weekly ultimate reward wasn’t much to write home about! But this week’s reward — a sumptuous reddish visor for the samurai armour suit — is sweet, and if I were prevented from earning it due to something beyond my control…yeah, I can understand the frustration.
Of course, you could always use challenge swaps — single-use items that allow you to switch up one of your weekly challenges — to get rid of any BTB challenges, but those are a limited currency. You get a limited number by making your way through the battle pass. Once you exhaust your stock, you’d need to pony up real-world money to buy more in Halo Infinite’s digital store. Or alternatively, you can eat a bunch of Pringles (they’re not even real chips!) or buy lunch at Chipotle (hard pass).
As a potential Band-Aid, some players have suggested 343 Industries give each player a handful of free challenges until BTB is fully functional. More popular is the idea of simply deactivating BTB challenges for the time being. There’s somewhat of a precedent: In November, players widely complained about not earning XP, even a modest amount, at the end of every match — a matter 343 Industries addressed overnight by changing the way daily challenges worked.
It’s unclear if 343 Industries has a solution in the works. Representatives for Microsoft, Halo Infinite’s publisher, did not respond to a request for comment.