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Halo Infinite won't let you disable crossplay, but it should

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

After many years of waiting, the Halo Infinite multiplayer experience is finally here. Offering players a variety of classic Halo game modes, a delightful sandbox filled with new and returning weapons, vehicles, and equipment pieces, and snappy, addicting gunplay to master, Halo Infinite's multiplayer is nothing short of fantastic. For the first time in a decade, it finally seems like Halo has a chance to take back its place as one of the best multiplayer shooters available.

However, there is one caveat to the game that doesn't sit right with me, and it's one that's also ruining the experience for many Xbox players: the inability to disable crossplay in Halo Infinite. That's right; at the time of writing, there is no in-game setting to stop Halo Infinite's matchmaker from pairing Xbox players with users on PC. Disabling crossplay at the console level in your Xbox settings doesn't work, either.

While a subset of PC gamers will vehemently argue otherwise (controller aim assist isn't overpowered like you think it is), it's generally accepted that players using mouse and keyboard have an advantage over controller users due to the fact that mice are more precise than thumbsticks. Additionally, mice also have a much faster turn speed, allowing mouse users to react to threats much faster than controller players can. Keyboards have a notable advantage, too, as all those extra keys give players more options when it comes to control schemes. Keyboard users also have the option of using macros, which bundle a series of commands into a single input that can make performing difficult maneuvers like skill jumps easier.

It's also worth pointing out that PC players with monitors with incredibly high refresh rates have a considerable advantage against Xbox players as well. While skill is still the ultimate deciding factor in engagements, 240 or 360 FPS gameplay is objectively smoother and more fluid than the 60 or 120 FPS gameplay that Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles support. In situations where two players are equally skilled, the person with a higher frame rate will be able to more precisely adjust their aim.

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Then there's the matter of cheating, which has proven to be a growing issue in Halo Infinite's multiplayer. Evidence of players using cheats like wallhacks and aimbots has flooded the internet ever since Halo Infinite's release, and the problem is only going to get worse as time goes on until the developers are able to counter these hacking programs. The Halo Infinite cheating problem isn't the most severe one out there — that title deserves to go Call of Duty: Warzone — but it's still significant nonetheless.

To its credit, 343 Industries has promised that more anti-cheat measures are coming in the future, and I don't doubt that they'll be effective at stopping cheaters from running rampant. But the fact that Xbox players are being forced to play against these hackers right now is incredibly unfair.

The only place where Xbox players can hope to be relatively safe from cheaters right now is in the Ranked Arena playlist, as players have the option to use input-based matchmaking that only matches them with players using controllers. However, this does nothing to stop PC players that are using cheats while playing with a controller, and since this setting is exclusive to the Ranked Arena playlist, it also doesn't help players who want to avoid running into mouse and keyboard users while playing non-competitive modes like Quick Play Arena or Big Team Battle.

Source: Xbox Game Studios (Image credit: Source: Xbox Game Studios)

It's simply a bad look for Microsoft, 343 Industries, and Xbox as a whole — especially since Head of Xbox Phil Spencer originally promised that Xbox players wouldn't be forced to play against PC users several years ago. Not giving players the choice to avoid using crossplay if they don't want to is unnecessarily restrictive.

Don't get me wrong, crossplay has many benefits and is an excellent feature to have available. Being able to play with friends who are using another platform is awesome, and crossplay also helps ensure that queue times are as short as possible since the matchmaker has a wider pool of players from which to pull. But it's not something that should be forced onto players. It's something that players should be able to freely opt in or out of.

Even after Microsoft and 343 Industries nips the cheating problem in the bud, it will be important for Xbox players to be able to choose whether or not they want to play against PC players. The advantages of the PC platform are clear, and by strong-arming Xbox users into crossplay, the developers are alienating players who want as fair of an experience as possible. Halo Infinite needs an option to disable crossplay, and it needs it sooner rather than later.

Halo Infinite's multiplayer is free to play and is available on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows PCs. It's a ton of fun, and paired with the Halo Infinite campaign, it's easily one of the best Xbox games available right now.

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.

5 Comments
  • I think cheaters are more of a real problem to solve than people using mouse and keyboard. Other than that, I think it's more value in everyone playing together (yeah, people who use a controller on PC too) than otherwise. And you use it as an example of something normal for PC users, but using keyboard macros seems pretty close to cheating to me.
  • I'd say it was an issue if you couldn't hook up a keyboard and mouse to your console, but you can. So people looking for a competitive edge will just do that if they really feel they can't succeed with a controller. Cheating, to me, is definitely a bigger issue.
  • I don't mind cross play, I think they did the right thing in the ranked playlists, where you're matched by input type rather than platform.
    They should add the option to do the same on the social playlists, however.
    And fix cheating, of course.
  • I agree I think input type makes more sense as a filter. I will also say, which I don't know who compiled it or where it came from, but there's a graph out there that shows how controller players have more of an advantage in halo infinite specifically due to the aim assist and the fact that halo is less of a movement focused game (compared to say other fps games like apex) so aiming well is more important.
  • I'm boycotting the multi-player until they either get the rampant cheating under control, or give us the option to turn off cross-play. Running into cheaters 3 out of 5 matches was the final straw for me.
    Good thing the campaign is Amazing.