Halo Infinite battle royale: Tatanka gameplay, leaks, and everything we know

Halo Infinite Last Spartan Standing
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

New game modes are one of the biggest and most important things that Halo Infinite needs, as fans have been voicing concerns about the game's lack of content since its Holiday 2021 launch. 343 Industries has been hard at work creating new playlists for players to jump into, but in January, we also caught wind of a new battle royale-style mode being made by developer Certain Affinity: Project Tatanka.

Neither 343 Industries nor Certain Affinity have acknowledged the mode's existence. However, information from trusted industry sources as well as leaks from a source that has a history of accuracy have revealed much of what fans may be able to experience when playing Tatanka. Here's an in-depth overview of everything we know about the project, including what it is, what leaks have revealed about its gameplay, and when it's expected to launch. 

What is Halo Infinite's Project Tatanka?

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

While a battle royale mode for Halo Infinite was originally ruled out by 343 Industries, it's all but confirmed that now, one is on the way. According to industry sources in contact with Windows Central Senior Editor Jez Corden, Certain Affinity's Project Tatanka mode is a battle royale-style experience designed to be more "newcomer-friendly" than Halo Infinite's Arena and Big Team Battle modes. Tatanka is also intended to draw in audiences that may not be interested in more traditional Halo experiences, such as fans of Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends.

Like other battle royale experiences, Tatanka will feature a shrinking zone that forces players into close proximity with one another as well as the overarching objective to survive as long as possible. Players will also drop into each match in controllable drop pods with their allies, similar to how "dropping" works in other games. However, based on what we've heard from our sources, it also sounds like Tatanka will expand on traditional battle royale systems in a few ways. The mode has been described as "[Halo 5] Warzone mixed with battle royale," suggesting that players will encounter PvE Banished forces in addition to their opponents as they fight to survive. Side objectives and locations to capture may also feature in the mode as well, potentially giving players access to stronger equipment when completed. Leaks have also indicated that players will start each game with an initial loadout rather than nothing, too, and we've heard from sources familiar with the mode's development that players may be able to earn respawn tickets as they play.

Tatanka will also be fully compatible with Halo Infinite's upcoming Forge level creation tool, and the mode may even prominently feature player-created content. Also, Tatanka may have its own dedicated progression system layered on top of the game's existing Battle Pass and challenge progression. 

Halo Infinite battle royale: Tatanka leaks and gameplay

Halo Infinite

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

While the details about Tatanka provided by insider sources are relatively limited, the individuals running the InfiniteLeaks Twitter account have uncovered several significant gameplay details by investigating the official Halo API. Note that while you should always take leaked information with a grain of salt, InfiniteLeaks has been overwhelmingly accurate and credible in the past.

If the leaks are indeed true, fans can expect Tatanka to feature at least four separate playlists ⁠— solos, duos, trios, and quads. This refers to the number of players in each squad during each match. Additionally, it looks like Tatanka will have a max lobby size of 100 players, though 60-player versions of the mode were also discovered. 

The leaks also reveal that Tatanka will have execution, revival, and bleedout mechanics like other battle royale games, as well as "lifepools" for players that can be increased with items called Respawn Tokens. The leaks also confirm the presence of loot tables, which is likely what will drive the randomized placement of weapons and gear around Tatanka's maps. Players will also have opportunities to find powerful weapons from gear caches, and can upgrade their weapons or repair damaged vehicles with weapon upgrade trunks and vehicle repair kits, respectively.

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Something called "Operations" were also discovered, which sound like the aforementioned side objectives described to Windows Central by inside sources. There are four kinds of Operations: Capture, Supply Run, Destroy, and Hoard. It's unclear what players and their allies can obtain by doing these objectives, but weapon and equipment drops are likely. These may include new items like Shock Blossoms, Hardlight Barriers, and Grav Lifts, the names of which were all discovered in the API.

Unfortunately, the leaks don't reveal what specifically players need to do to win a match of Tatanka. There's a good chance that a squad needs to be the last one standing to achieve victory, but it's also possible that multiple squads can survive and that the winning team is determined by points of some kind. If this is the case, we expect that players will be able to earn these points by killing AI enemies/bosses, taking down other players, and completing Operation objectives.

Halo Infinite battle royale: Tatanka release date

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Since Microsoft and 343 Industries haven't officially revealed Project Tatanka yet, there's no official word on when it will release. However, based on what our Senior Editor Jez Corden heard from inside sources, we anticipate that the Tatanka battle royale mode will arrive during Halo Infinite Season 4 at the earliest. 

This means that the mode could be available in-game on June 28, 2023, which is when Season 4 is slated to begin. However, it's also possible that we won't be able to get our hands on Tatanka until Season 5 or beyond in late 2023 or 2024. Ultimately, it all depends on how development of the mode progresses moving forward. If we learn additional details about Tatanka's release, we'll share them here.

Halo Infinite is available now on Xbox and PC, and while fans have expressed frustrations over the free-to-play multiplayer's lack of content, experiences like Project Tatanka may turn the ship around and help solidify Infinite as one of the best Xbox shooters available.

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Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite's bundles the most expansive Halo campaign yet with an ambitious free-to-play multiplayer experience. Despite the multiplayer's lack of content, it's still very fun to play, and the upcoming Project Tatanka mode sounds like it will be an awesome addition to the game for battle royale fans.

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Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.