Halo Infinite: Breaking down 343’s ambitious multiplayer seasons

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This month, 343i finally lifted the curtain on Halo Infinite’s multiplayer. We now know that the multiplayer will be free-to-play and that it will consist of quarterly seasons, each with their own unique theme.

In this month’s “Inside Infinite,” various members of the dev team provided more details and clarity as to what Halo Infinite’s seasons will consist of. Seasons won’t just feature a themed battle pass, they’ll come with new gameplay content, new events, new systems, new customizations and new progressions. And, of course, season will evolve and be shaped according to what’s working.

"We will look at what worked and see if we want to do more of it. If something did not work, we will learn from it and do better in the future. We want to experiment, learn, and listen with every release and make the game better for everybody."

In addition to all the customization, seasons will introduce new features “that make the game a larger, more fun experience.” But just because a new season arrives every three months, doesn’t mean players will have to wait three months for fixes to any issues that may come up between. 343 explained that they’ve got the infrastructure to deploy fixes quickly; seasons are simply meant as a way to provide players with cool new content, events and rewards.

The goal is to provide fun, not a grind, as is often the case with battle passes. One of the key things that sets Halo Infinite apart from other multiplayer titles, like Fortnite, Apex Legends, etc. is that battle passes will not expire. You’ll continue to be able to earn rewards from a previous season’s battle pass, regardless of how old it is.

It was also confirmed that Halo Infinite’s first Multiplayer Season will be called “Heroes of Reach.”

"Well, we’re not ready to share details yet. But I can share that we picked “Heroes of Reach” as a Seasonal theme for very specific reasons: Reach has a rich history; it’s a key location for Spartans of old and a focal point for a new generation of Spartans preparing to wrestle with the perils and mysteries of a galaxy that has fundamentally changed after the events of Halo 5.Indeed, Halo Infinite’s first Multiplayer Season takes place at a transformational moment in Halo history—at the pivot point from one generation of heroes to the next. In this moment, your Multiplayer hero is waiting just offstage, geared up for battle and ready to spring into action."

With Halo Infinite’s multiplayer, 343i wants your custom Spartan to be a part of the larger, overall story. They want your journey to be more than just tracking triumphs.

They’ll be able to accomplish this through seasonal events. The battle pass will support the canon of each season, but there will also be special activities and events with specific one-off thematic rewards. One of the Season 1 events teased features the reward called “Fracture.”

My thoughts

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Multiplayer has always been a core component of the Halo experience. But it’s always felt like its own thing, never really tied into the story or journey of the single-player campaign. It sounds like Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will attempt to canonize some of the multiplayer elements or at least make you feel like your custom character is a part of the universe.

I imagine seasons will be told similar to Fortnite. You’ll have these special moments and hints throughout the season that build up towards some sort of finale event and then a new season will be introduced. This can serve as a great storytelling tool to help grow the overall universe beyond the traditional campaign story and is a great way to keep fans involved well beyond launch.

This is undoubtedly the boldest direction Halo’s multiplayer has ever gone in and I think the overall experience will be better for it. It’s more than just collecting cool cosmetic rewards now. There’s a larger feel to the entire mode now. Unfortunately, Halo Infinite still doesn’t have a release date, but Microsoft has nailed down a holiday 2021 launch window.