Halo Infinite MultiplayerSource: Microsoft

Update July 29 (9:30 p.m. ET): The Halo Infinite beta is now live on Xbox consoles and PC via Steam for select Halo Insiders invited to the first flight.

Microsoft has provided eager Halo fans the opportunity to trial its next mainline entry via the Halo Infinite beta. The test, formally dubbed the Halo Infinite multiplayer technical preview, provides the first taste of its competitive arena modes ahead of a launch later this year. It delivers action across three multiplayer maps, alongside new weapons and equipment to master.

The Halo Infinite preview is the first of multiple planned flights designed to trial various aspects of the title before launch. Microsoft is hosting its first session this week, accessible on an invite-only basis, with four days of multiplayer action on the docket. Here's everything you need to know about the Halo Infinite beta schedule, including planned testing dates and start times.

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Halo Infinite MultiplayerSource: Microsoft

The first Halo Infinite test delivers a hands-on opportunity in arena multiplayer sandbox, providing developer 343 Industries with large-scale testing ahead of the full release. It also grants players the first chance to grasp the look and feel of Microsoft's next mainline Halo entry beyond trailers.

Halo Infinite was first unveiled at E3 2019, targeting a November 2020 release in tandem with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The upcoming installment was later delayed into 2021, citing unforeseen obstacles introduced as a result of remote work. It returned at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase in June, flexing a reimagined multiplayer experience. While 343 Industries has kept details limited, we've now received our first session for testing.

Halo Infinite beta date and start time

343 Industries started hosting its Halo Infinite test on July 29, a surprise opportunity to get hands-on with the title. Invites have started rolling out among select applicants registered for flighting via the Halo Insider program.

Halo Infinite's beta kicked off with a global launch on July 29 for all selected testers after tackling some server issues. It resulted in a simultaneous rollout across the globe on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PCs enrolled in preview lighting. The first beta test will last four days before concluding on August 2 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. UTC.

Update July 29 (9:30 p.m. ET) — Halo Infinite beta now live

The Halo Infinite beta is now live worldwide, with instructions on how to install the beta sent to selected applicants via email. 343 Industries has warned of instability throughout the test, especially with high demand during early hours.

Microsoft offered no preload window for the Halo Infinite beta, meaning that once available, players can jump straight into the action. The studio has also warned that emails may take time to roll out among the full pool of playtesters.

While Halo Infinite will be playable every hour through August 2, 343 Industries has announced a series of dedicated "playtime" via the Halo Waypoint blog. These specified sessions will provide opportunities to experience Halo Infinite with higher in-game populations, reducing matchmaking times during its beta phase. We've rounded up the full list of Halo Infinite beta play dates below.

Date Eastern Time Pacific Time British Summer Time
July 30 3 PM - 5 PM ET 12 PM - 2 PM PT 8 PM - 10 PM BST
July 30 10 PM - 12 AM ET 7 PM - 9 PM PT 3 AM - 5 AM BST
July 31 3 PM - 5 PM ET 12 PM - 2 PM PT 8 PM - 10 PM BST
July 31 10 PM - 12 AM ET 7 PM - 9 PM PT 3 AM - 5 AM BST
Aug 1 3 PM - 5 PM ET 12 PM - 2 PM PT 8 PM - 10 PM BST
Aug 1 10 PM - 12 AM ET 7 PM - 9 PM PT 3 AM - 5 AM BST

The Halo Infinite multiplayer technical preview is scheduled to conclude at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT / 6 p.m. BST on August 2.

Halo Infinite beta download size

With the Halo Infinite technical preview offering no preload opportunity ahead of launch, players will need to download the title before jumping into online matches. The initial Halo Infinite beta weighs in between 11GB and 19GB, varying between platforms, but undercutting expectations of any full-fledged title. The limited content and just three multiplayer maps make for a relatively lightweight installation for those eager to get started.

What does the Halo Infinite beta include?

Halo Infinite MultiplayerSource: Microsoft

Microsoft outlined what participants can expect from Halo Infinite flighting with an over one-hour stream detailing maps, modes, and other planned experiences. The content spans several pillars of the Halo Infinite multiplayer sandbox, albeit focusing on conventional arena-style combat.

The Halo Infinite multiplayer preview debuts with three arena maps; Bazaar, Recharge, and Live Fire. Online matches will host the traditional Slayer game mode, with four-versus-four multiplayer action in a race to eliminate foes. However, the first beta test comes with one major twist – you'll squad up with three other Spartans to fight a team of AI-controlled bots. These bots play a major role in Halo Infinite multiplayer, with the technical test providing the ideal opportunity to fine-tune performance. Players can also partake in weapon drills, a new mode centered around familiarizing newcomers with the Infinite arsenal.

New progression and customization systems will also be present throughout the flighting period. The first flight introduces an early iteration of the Halo Infinite battle pass, the tiered reward system used by other top shooters like Call of Duty and Fortnite. The beta will trial a new user interface (UI) for the battle pass, with additional menus and customization options also present for testing.

How to play the Halo Infinite beta

The Halo Infinite beta is available to registered Halo Insiders with personal invites distributed over email. Microsoft shared the first wave of invites on July 27, confirming those with guaranteed placement in the first technical preview. Those selected for flighting received instructions on installing the build on their console or PC when the build went live.

Those who missed out on the first Halo Infinite test should ensure they're a registered Halo Insider, providing all necessary information to participate moving forward. Microsoft has selected hundreds of thousands of players for its first session, ensuring a diverse pool of players of adequate testing.

Our dedicated Halo Infinite beta guide rounds up how to register as a Halo Insider and meet the requirements for future flights.