New Halo Infinite battle royale 'Tatanka' datamine leak reveals new details

Halo Infinite
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • A new datamine leak has revealed some additional details about what players can expect from Halo Infinite's upcoming battle royale-style "Project Tatanka."
  • According to the leak, the mode will have distinct intro and deployment phases, and that players will drop into each match as a team in individual drop pods. These pods will be controllable mid-flight.
  • Up until it's time to drop, the game will be join-in-progress. Additionally, unlike other battle royale games and modes that start players off with nothing, players will be given an initial starting loadout.
  • The ambitious mode isn't expected to arrive until Halo Infinite Season 4 in mid-2023 at the earliest, although it's possible we may not see it until late 2023 or 2024.

One of the biggest upcoming releases that Halo Infinite players have to look forward to is the arrival of "Project Tatanka," a codenamed battle royale-style mode that's currently being developed by Certain Affinity. Details about the experience are limited since it hasn't been publicly announced yet, but throughout 2022, fans have been able to learn bits and pieces about it by datamining and combing through public Halo APIs.

Recently, new information about Halo Infinite's Tatanka battle royale has emerged from Twitter user Bathrobe Spartan, who has shared what appears to be datamined Halo Infinite game files that reference the mode. The code in the files indicates that Tatanka will have distinct a distinct intro phase as well as a deployment and release phase, and that players will begin each match by dropping into the map in a drop pod (likely similar to the ones used by Halo's ODSTs). While squads will deploy as a team, each member of the team will also have individual control over their drop pods so that they can land exactly where they'd like to. 

The datamined information also reveals that Tatanka will be join-in-progress up until the deployment phase, giving players time to join up with their friends ahead of the start of each match. We also learned that unlike other battle royale games that start you off with no weapons at all, Tatanka will equip everyone in the lobby with an initial loadout that players will be able to fight with until they find better gear.

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While leaks like these should always be taken with a grain of salt, sources in communication with Windows Central familiar with Tatanka's development have confirmed to us that it will indeed have drop pods. Additionally, we've also heard that the ability for players to earn respawn tickets is being tested ahead of the ambitious mode's launch, though whether this feature will make it into the finalized experience or not remains to be seen.

It's currently unclear when Tatanka will arrive and become part of the Halo Infinite content suite. It could arrive during Halo Infinite Season 4 in mid-2023 — there's no mention of the mode or anything like it in the roadmap for March's Season 3 — but it's also possible that we may not see the battle royale launch until late 2023 or 2024. Ultimately, we won't know anything for sure until Microsoft, 343 Industries, and Certain Affinity publicly reveal Project Tatanka to the world.

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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Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite promises fans the most ambitious Halo experience to date, featuring a fantastic campaign with a vast open world and an excellent story as well as a free-to-play multiplayer with strong core gameplay and plenty of cosmetic unlocks.

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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.