Halo InfiniteSource: Xbox Game Studios

Microsoft has debuted its second Halo Infinite multiplayer beta on Xbox consoles and PCs, providing a work-in-progress glimpse into its player-versus-player (PvP) action. The technical preview means more hours with Halo Infinite before release, including the world-first hands-on with its expanded Big Team Battle mode.

Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has launched the beta this evening, providing a small window to download the game and try out its training mode and weapon drills, before matchmaking servers go live. Here's what you need to know.

What to expect from Halo Infinite beta

Halo Infinite MultiplayerSource: Xbox Game Studios

The Halo Infinite multiplayer technical preview returns this week, providing the latest hands-on opportunity with Microsoft's upcoming shooter, before its Dec. 8 street date. This week's flight returns bigger and better, bolstered with more multiplayer content than the previous trials, and available to the largest audience yet.

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The beta grants one weekend with Halo Infinite's multiplayer, and for 343 Industries, that means larger player counts to test its online offerings. With playtimes slated for Sept. 30 through Oct. 4, the weekend centers around its traditional four-versus-four Arena modes, plus its expanded Big Team Battle (BTB) with up to 24 players.

The first Halo Infinite preview spotlighted its new Training Mode, featuring AI-controlled bots designed to emulate real-world players and sharpen your aim. While 343 Industries has published a strict schedule of Halo Infinite beta times for matchmaking, its bots will remain playable throughout the three-day test windows. Halo Infinite's battle pass and new customization systems also return in this flight.

When is the Halo Infinite beta available for download?

The second Halo Infinite beta is now available for download on Xbox consoles, via the Xbox Insider Hub app. Those on PC can download the game on Steam but require an invite or one-time code from a participating friend.

The beta is now live, although with matchmaking restricted to specific time windows. However, the team has stated "late-breaking issues" could derail the rollout. This already happened once, although the developers were able to resolve the issue quickly and roll back a previously announced delay. The beta is currently rolling out to players worldwide, but be aware that issues may potentially affect access to the game.

Halo Infinite beta download size

Halo Infinite Behemoth CombatSource: Xbox Game Studios

The first Halo Infinite technical preview weighed in between 11GB and 19GB, with Xbox Series X|S and PC boasting larger file sizes. The second preview is marginally larger at 20GB, likely due to the additional content in this flight. Existing testers on PC also saw an update earlier this week, deploying performance upgrades that improve framerates up to 15% over previous tests.

How to download Halo Infinite beta

Halo Infinite MultiplayerSource: Xbox Game Studios

Previous Halo Infinite flights were tied to Microsoft's Halo Insider Program, allowing applicants to sign-up for future pre-release tests for upcoming Halo projects. The application process required players to share details on their Xbox console, PC specifications, and other gaming habits, with 343 Industries selecting a diverse pool of participants from the lineup. It meant that not everyone could play the first Halo Infinite flight, and while the second opened to more players, it still required additional preparation before the test.

With Halo Infinite's final release fast approaching, 343 Industries has shaken up plans for its next technical preview, spanning Sept. 30 through Oct. 4. This four-day test is now open to any Xbox console owner, only requiring the Xbox Insider Hub app from the Xbox Store.

Restrictions have also loosened on PC, albeit with roadblocks for some players. Those invited via the Halo Insider Program now receive a one-time friend code, allowing for a plus one for the next Halo Infinite flight. Those on PC without a Halo Infinite preview invite will need to ask an eligible friend.

How to download Halo Infinite beta on Xbox One, Series X|S

Halo Infinite's next technical preview is open to anyone with an Xbox console. You need the Xbox Insider Hub app, available via the Xbox Store, and the know-how to enroll in the test.

Microsoft distributes its Halo Infinite flights exclusively via the Xbox Insider Program, its dedicated channel for pre-release Xbox OS updates, games, and other work-in-progress software.

The Xbox Insider Hub app is available to anyone with an Xbox console, including Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S. The app grants access to various unreleased Xbox features, including game previews like Halo Infinite. The following steps provide all you need to download the Halo Infinite preview on Xbox.

  1. Open the Microsoft Store on your Xbox console.
  2. Select the Search tile.

    Xbox Insider HubSource: Windows Central

  3. Search for "Xbox Insider"
  4. Open the Xbox Insider Hub app. Install the Xbox Insider Hub app, if not currently installed.

    Halo Infinite Xbox Insider DownloadSource: Windows Central

  5. Navigate to the Previews tab.
  6. Select Halo Infinite — Insider from the "Available" previews list.
  7. Select Join. Follow the on-screen steps to complete the download process.

Those who join the Halo Infinite flight via the Xbox Insider app will receive an on-screen walkthrough, taking applicants through terms and conditions, before triggering a download via the Microsoft Store. Once installed, Halo Infinite is playable via the "My games & apps menu," alongside other titles installed on your console.

How to download Halo Infinite beta on PC

Downloading and installing the Halo Infinite beta on PC is equally simple, provided you signed up as a Halo Insider before Sept. 13 and received an invite. Microsoft has used Steam for testing on PC once again, with keys provided via the Halo Insider website.

  1. Navigate to the Halo Insider profile page (make sure you log in to your Halo Waypoint account).
  2. Navigate to the My Flights tab at the bottom of your profile.
  3. Under the Additional Info heading, look for a Steam Key listing next to the name of the current beta test.
  4. Click on Steam Key to display the Steam download code for the beta test.

    Halo Infinite Beta Steam KeySource: Windows Central

  5. On Steam, click on the Add A Game button found in the bottom-left corner of the Steam client.
  6. Select Activate a Product on Steam...
  7. Select Next.
  8. Select I Agree after reading the Steam Subscriber Agreement.
  9. Paste the Halo Infinite beta code into the code box.
  10. Select Next.
  11. Select Install when asked if you want to install the game.

Once the beta build of the game finishes installing, you can launch and play the Halo Infinite beta.

The Halo Infinite beta download is now live, and once complete, players can get hands-on with its training mode and weapon drills. Multiplayer matchmaking, facing real-world players, is limited to strict four-hour testing periods, with a full breakdown via our list of Halo Infinite beta dates and times.

How to invite a friend to the Halo Infinite beta

Halo Infinite Friend CodeSource: Windows Central

While the first Halo Infinite beta opened its doors to Halo Insiders, the second has expanded to more Xbox consoles and PCs. PC players can invite a friend via a redeemable, one-time-use code. This extra invite can onboard a friend for the entirety of the next test, set for Sept. 30 through Oct. 4.

Halo Infinite friend invites were sent out to eligible Halo Insiders via email on Tuesday, Sept. 28, with the subject line "Halo Infinite - Multiplayer Technical Preview." The email includes a 20-digit code to send to a friend and submit via halowaypoint.com/en-us/redeem. Once redeemed, it grants access to the Halo Infinite beta via on-screen steps.