Halo Infinite is finally here, after years upon years of waiting. The campaign has taken its most dramatic redesign in the franchise's 20-year history, shifting to an open-world structure atop and within Zeta Halo. In Halo Infinite, Master Chief is discovered adrift in space, following mysterious circumstances between Halo 5 and Halo Wars 2. Rescued by a lone pilot survivor, you travel to Zeta Halo, one of the oldest rings in the galaxy, to continue the fight.
The Banished faction which rose from the ashes of The Covenant has taken command of Zeta Halo and exterminated virtually all the UNSC human forces in and around the Halo ring. It's on you to rescue the survivors, establish a foothold on the ring, and ultimately discover the fates of Cortana, Atriox, and various other characters from recent events.
In Halo Infinite, you can unlock a range of Spartan Upgrades for Master Chief, which will enhance his various abilities. This includes armor skills like thrusters, deployable cover, and the popular new grappling hook. If you don't fancy waiting to finish the campaign to find out what they all are, here's what you need to know.
How to unlock Halo Infinite abilities and upgrades
Upgrades are a new feature in Halo Infinite, that allows Master Chief to enhance his armor with various abilities. Many of them are taken from equipment in previous games, but some are brand new, such as the physics-defying Grappleshot.
Each upgrade is unlocked gradually as a result of playing the campaign. The first one you'll find is the Grappleshot, which allows Master Chief to hook onto various surfaces and swing like a heavily-armored Spider-man.
Each upgrade comes with a baseline version, but they can be enhanced further using Spartan Cores. Spartan Cores are essentially upgrade points that you find on the world map, often hidden in obscure locations. Every time you capture a Forward Operating Base (FOB), it reveals the location of nearby Spartan Cores you can collect. There are more than enough throughout the game to fully upgrade everything, so don't worry too much about picking and choosing what to upgrade first. Go with whatever is the most fun. Abilities are equipped using the directional pad and then deployed using the "LB" and "RB" shoulder buttons by default on Xbox controllers.
For a list of Halo Infinite equipment, and their associated upgrades, see below.
Halo Infinite: Complete list of abilities and upgrades
There are currently five armor categories to unlock and upgrade for Master Chief. These include the Grappleshot, Shield Core upgrades, a Threat Sensor, a deployable cover Drop Wall, and a Halo 5-inspired Thruster.
Each ability is broken down into four separate upgrades in Halo Infinite, with gradually increasing Spartan Core requirements. There are more than enough Spartan Cores strewn throughout Zeta Halo to ensure you'll be able to upgrade everything. Initially, you start with the Grappleshot at the beginning of the game and discover more upgradeable abilities as you progress through the story.
The Grappleshot is exactly as it sounds; it's a wrist-mounted grappling hook that can attach to any surface. This includes weapons, allowing Chief to grab guns from afar. It also includes enemies, letting you pull yourself to them for a melee attack. You can also grapple onto moving vehicles for a ranged hijacking. The Grappleshot is arguably the most powerful and versatile of all the abilities in the game, and one you will most likely be using more than all the others.
- Grappleshot (Rank 1): A retractable hook for personal transportation and retrieving objects.
- Voltaic (Rank 2) (1 Spartan Core): Grappleshot stuns grappled enemies for several seconds.
- Quick Shot (Rank 3) (2 Spartan Cores): Reduces Grappleshot cooldown by 40%.
- First Strike (Rank 4) (3 Spartan Cores): Delivers a powerful shockwave blast when holding melee while grappling.
- Reachfall (Rank 5) (3 Spartan Cores): Increases damage and radius of shockwave blast. Enemies within it will be stunned.
The Shield Core is the only passive ability Master Chief obtains throughout Halo Infinite, and it does as you might expect. Investing Spartan Core points into the Shield Core will increase its base power, allowing you to soak more damage.
- Shield Core (Rank 1): An enhanced shield module that increases capacity to 115% of base shield strength.
- Fortress (Rank 2) (1 Spartan Core): Increases shield capacity by an additional 15% of base shield strength.
- Bastille (Rank 3) (2 Spartan Cores): Increases shield capacity by an additional 15% of base shield strength.
- Redoubt (Rank 4) (3 Spartan Cores): Increases shield capacity by an additional 15% of base shield strength.
- Citadel (Rank 5) (3 Spartan Cores): Increases shield capacity by an additional 15% of base shield strength.
The Threat Sensor is another wrist-mounted deployable that can be fired much like a grenade. It then sticks to a surface and pulses every few seconds, revealing the locations of enemies caught in the radius.
- Threat Sensor (Rank 1): A scout projectile that tracks enemies through walls and terrain.
- Seeker (Rank 2) (1 Spartan Core): Increases Threat Sensor detection radius by 50%.
- Operative (Rank 3) (2 Spartan Cores): Adds a second charge to the Threat Sensor.
- Clairvoyant (Rank 4) (3 Spartan Cores): Reduces Threat Sensor cooldown by 40%.
- Omniscience (Rank 5) (3 Spartan Cores): Adds uninterrupted enemy visibility to the Threat Sensor and reveals their health.
The Drop Wall allows Master Chief to rapidly deploy a grid of energy shields directly in front of him, blocking incoming bullets and attacks. Each segment has a limited amount of shield strength and will dissipate after receiving a certain amount of damage. You can also fire through this barrier, making it a potent ability in situations where cover is minimal.
- Drop Wall (Rank 1): A single-sided deployable shield providing instant cover from enemy fire.
- Swift Shelter (Rank 2) (1 Spartan Core): Reduces Drop Wall cooldown by 20%.
- Rampart (Rank 3) (2 Spartan Cores): Increases Drop Wall strength by 35%.
- Blockade (Rank 4) (3 Spartan Cores): Increases Drop Wall strength by 70% and increases wall size.
- Direct Current (Rank 5) (3 Spartan Cores): Adds shock damage to any projectile fired through the Drop Wall.
The Thruster returns from previous games to give Master Chief some much-needed (optional) mobility. When you have this ability equipped, a quick tap will thrust you forward in the direction you were moving, allowing you to cover ground more quickly or rapidly evade into cover.
- Thruster (Rank 1): A module that activates short bursts of directional movement to evade attacks.
- Afterburner (Rank 2) (1 Spartan Core): Adds a second charge to your Thruster.
- Thermal Control (Rank 3) (2 Spartan Cores): Reduces Thruster cooldown by 20%.
- Impulse (Rank 4) (3 Spartan Cores): Adds significant power to the Thruster, allowing further and faster travel.
- Escape Velocity (Rank 5) (3 Spartan Cores): Adds a personal cloak effect to Thruster, lasting 4 seconds after activation.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!