The Halo Infinite beta is now underway until August 2, and thousands of players on both Xbox and PC are jumping into the game to test their mettle against AI enemies. We've spent several hours playing the test since it launched, and we've discovered some important details about the gameplay experience that some people might not know. Here are five things about Halo Infinite that players should keep in mind as they tear up the multiplayer battlefield.
Weapons have damage types
One of the things we noticed while playing the technical preview is that each weapon in Halo Infinite has a damage type. Human weapons like the Assault and Battle Rifle are Ballistic, Banished firearms like the Plasma Pistol and Pulse Carbine are Plasma, and Forerunner guns such as the Heatwave are Hard Light. You can identify which damage type a weapon has by checking the colored symbol that's next to its name.
Each of these damage types influences the flow of combat in different ways. Ballistic weapons do more damage to unshielded targets, while Plasma ones are able to strip an enemy's shield quickly. Hard Light weapons do equal damage to both health and shields, but their projectiles have the ability to be bounced off of walls for indirect bank shot kills. Keep these damage types in mind as you pick up new weapons around the map!
Some weapons have alternate firing modes
Another important thing to note about Halo Infinite's weapons is that some of them have alternate firing modes that you can switch to by pressing the zoom button (some are accessed by holding down the fire button as well). These can help the weapon perform better at longer distances, and some of the alternate modes even drastically change how the weapon fires. For example, the alternate fire mode for the Heatwave makes the weapon fire its projectiles in a vertical pattern, which is ideal for fights against single targets. The Ravager, meanwhile, can be charged so that it creates a large pool of flame that damages players over time.
Experiment with each weapon you pick up and practice using their firing modes. Mastering each one will allow you to uise each weapon to its fullest effectiveness no matter what situation you find yourself in.
You (mostly) can't camp weapon spawns
Unlike previous Halo games that had set weapon respawn timers, Halo Infinite's weapon spawns are much more dynamic and responsive to the battlefield. You can't get fresh weapons from wall-mounted weapon racks if the other racks around the map still have weapons in them. This prevents you from camping weapon spawn locations for the most part, although power weapons like the Skewer will always spawn on a fixed timer.
In order to make sure you're able to consistently find new weapons to use as you play, stay mobile and move around the map frequently. Not only does this help prevent enemies from flanking you, but it'll also make sure that you always have a nearby weapon rack to take a new toy from. Note that the blue bar above the weapon rack indicates how close a weapon is to respawning there.
You can drop weapons for teammates
For the first time ever in Halo, players are now able to drop weapons for their teammates in Halo Infinite thanks to a new setting. Check your settings to find out which button or key the "Drop Weapon" command is bound to. Then, all you have to do to drop your currently-held weapon in-game is punch in that input.
While this may not seem like a big deal, I can foresee it being a very helpful quality-of-life feature moving forward. Players who aren't skilled with power weapons like the S7 Sniper or Skewer will be able to drop them for teammates who can put them to better use, which encourages teamplay and communication. It's also a great way for players to drop empty weapons so that they can pick up a fresh one easier.
Maps have alternate versions
Something else we discovered while playing the technical preview is that maps can have alternate versions that feature different weapons and weapon locations. For example, the map Live Fire has one version that features the S7 Sniper Rifle and Bulldog shotgun, while the other has the Skewer and the Heatwave. The spawn positions of weapons like the Battle Rifle and VK78 Commando also change on these different versions, which keeps players on their toes.
Memorizing the weapons and weapon locations on each of these map variants is an excellent way to improve your in-game performance, as you'll be able to keep track of important spawns effectively no matter which version of a map you end up playing on.
Did you get into the Halo Infinite technical preview? If so, how have you been enjoying it so far? Let us know. For more information on Halo Infinite and its beta, make sure you check out our full coverage on the Halo Infinite beta schedule as well as our list of Halo Infinite beta known bugs and launch issues. Also, make sure you read our guide on how to play the Halo Infinite beta so that you can properly sign up for the next flight if you haven't already. Catch our full Halo Infinite hands-on-preview for more detailed thoughts about the game.
Halo Infinite is expected to launch on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, and Windows 10 (and Windows 11) PCs during the Holiday 2021 season, and may specifically launch in November based on a possible leak in a donut ad. The campaign most likely costs $60, but the multiplayer will be completely free-to-play. With any luck, it will end up being one of the best Xbox games ever.
The next adventure in the saga
A new Great Journey awaits
Halo Infinite is the biggest Xbox game of the year by far, and based on the beta as well as on what we saw at E3 2021, it looks like it's going to be fantastic.
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