Halo Infinite dev teases solution for one of its biggest problems on PC
Red reticles have been disabled on PC since launch, but it looks like that's about to change.
What you need to know
- Red reticles have been disabled on the PC version of Halo Infinite since launch as an anti-cheat measure.
- Red reticles and Red Reticle Range (RRR) help players by confirming whether or not they're looking at an enemy, whether or not they're in an effective range for their weapon, and by signaling when aim assist is active while using a controller.
- PC players have been vocally critical of the lack of RRR because of this, as it arguably disadvantages them.
- 343 Industries' Community Director Brian "Ske7ch" Jarrard has teased on Twitter that his "PC reticle...was red" during a playtest, strongly suggesting that the studio will enable RRR once again in a future update.
Ever since the first Halo game released in 2001, the franchise has had a beneficial feature called Red Reticle Range (RRR). As its name suggests, it represents the range at which your crosshair changes from blue to red when aiming at an enemy. Aside from letting players know that they'll hit their opponent when they fire and that they'll be able to effectively fight them with their currently-equipped weapon, a visible red reticle also indicates that aim assist and bullet magnetism are active. These systems help controller users aim by making small automatic crosshair adjustments or slightly bending fired projectiles towards enemies, respectively.
Every mainline first-person shooter Halo game, including Halo Infinite, has RRR. However, shortly before Halo Infinite launched late in 2021, developer 343 Industries made the controversial decision to turn off RRR on the PC version of the game (with some weapon-specific exceptions) regardless of whether you were using a controller or a keyboard and mouse. The studio's reasoning for the change was that it was an anti-cheat measure, as (in its words) it would be "easy to write a cheat that says, 'fire when this pixel turns red'" if RRR was enabled.
Since launch, the developer has stuck to its guns on the matter, even as players have frequently pointed out that Halo Infinite's cheating problem got out of hand despite the removal of RRR. Now, though, it seems that 343 Industries' stance is changing, as its Community Director Brian "Ske7ch" Jarrard recently teased on Twitter that his "PC reticle...was red" while playtesting post-Winter Update builds of the game.
Today I had a chance to jump into an in-person playtest for the first time in a while. Played some post Winter Update builds and let me just say my PC reticule… was red. 👀 We’ve got good stuff cooking. (3/3)October 19, 2022
Halo Infinite players on PC will undoubtedly be incredibly happy to see that the developers are going back on their previous decision, as the absence of RRR arguably disadvantaged them. Since a red reticle guarantees you're aiming at and will hit your opponent when you shoot, having one is immensely helpful whenever you're trying to target someone through particle effects or are choosing when to fire while your enemy is strafing. It also instantly tells you whether a player is actually an enemy or not, which will dictate whether or not you pull the trigger (sometimes it can be hard to tell at a glance since armor coatings have replaced team colors). And in a fierce competitive shooter like Halo, split-second hesitations caused by the lack of RRR can be massive difference-makers.
For now, it's unclear when exactly RRR is coming back to the PC version of Halo Infinite, though we do know that it will be after the game's new Winter Update that's adding co-op, Forge, and more on November 8. Hopefully it makes its triumphant return sooner rather than later, though, as PC players have been stuck without RRR for long enough.
Halo Infinite is available now on Xbox and PC. Despite its issues, it's one of the best Xbox shooters on the market right now for fans of arena-style FPS combat, and since the multiplayer is free-to-play, there's zero barrier to entry. The campaign is fantastic, too, as it features exhilarating gameplay and an excellent story.
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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.