Surprise new Halo Infinite December Update adds Custom Games Browser, several cross-core coatings

Halo Infinite
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Halo Infinite has received a surprise December Update that adds a good amount of new content to the game while also improving some of its core issues.
  • The new update adds the Custom Games Browser feature and makes all existing armor cores free and available to all players, while also allowing each core to use all of the default Cadet armor coatings. Notably, this is the first instance of cross-core coatings that the game has had.
  • Additionally, the update also brings the Halo 3 The Pit remake Empyrean to matchmaking, and includes a variety of quality of life features and improvements such as increased network stability, better mouse and keyboard aim, and in-game reporting.

In a new December Update patch, 343 Industries has updated its live service sci-fi shooter Halo Infinite with a variety of significant content additions and improvements. Most notably, the Custom Games Browser has been released and is now available in the Community tab of the main menu. This tool allows players to search for and join Custom Games being hosted by other players, which makes enjoying the best Forge maps significantly easier and more intuitive. The Custom Games Browser wasn't expected to release until the start of Halo Infinite Season 3 on March 7, 2023, so its arrival now is a huge surprise.

Additionally, all of the game's "armor core" cosmetic unlocks — including cores that were exclusive to limited-time events — have been unlocked for all players. This means if you previously missed out on cores like Yoroi, Eaglestrike, and Rakshasa, you can now equip and use them in-game. All 10 of the default Cadet armor coatings in Halo Infinite can also now be used with all armor cores, which is the first time that cross-core coatings have been available to use. Hopefully the developers have plans to make other coatings cross-core in the future, too.

The new Custom Games Browser in Halo Infinite. (Image credit: Windows Central)

There's a variety of other improvements that have come in the December Update as well. This includes the addition of the Halo 3 The Pit remake, Empyrean, into matchmaking, as well as several new quality of life upgrades. The mouse and keyboard experience has been improved with the enabling of red reticle and several tweaks to the feel of aiming, and changes have been made that should reduce instances of network-related issues like desync and blank shots. The Energy Sword also got a small nerf, allowing players to melee trade with the weapon whenever both they and the wielder have no shields.

Halo Infinite now also supports in-game reporting via the scoreboard, which makes it easier for players to call out hackers and other bad-faith actors. With any luck, this will help address the game's cheating problems. Players can be muted from the scoreboard as well, making it easy to ignore annoying teammates without cutting off the rest of your allies. For the complete list of everything added in the update, check out the official blog post and patch notes.

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

Despite its issues, there's plenty to like about Halo Infinite. The core multiplayer gameplay is great, and since it's free-to-play, there's no barrier to entry. The campaign is fantastic, too, as it features an excellent story, fun open world gameplay, and plenty of action-packed levels to play through.

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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.