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Halo Infinite on PC is not good enough

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

Recently, I ran a Twitter poll asking Halo Infinite players on the PC platform if they've been frequently experiencing serious issues, minor issues, both, or few to no problems at all since the game officially launched in December 2021. Nearly 3,000 people responded, and the data is rather shocking: Only 22% of the respondents report that their experience with the game has been relatively smooth. A whopping 78% of users, regardless of the hardware in their gaming rigs, have frequently dealt with a myriad of issues that hinder their gameplay experience.

Admittedly, this Twitter poll is far from scientific, but its results line up with many of my own experiences, and I think it does a good job of representing the overall state of Halo Infinite on PC — especially since it's not hard to find countless reports of PC-specific issues elsewhere online. Ultimately, the game simply isn't in an acceptable state right now.

The list of issues that players have reported while playing on PC is massive. Everything from wildly inconsistent frame rates and instances of horrendous stuttering and screen tearing to infinite loading screens and frequent crashes to desktop due to memory leaks are common problems, and many have also experienced serious rubber banding (jerky movement glitches that "pull" players back to a previous position) despite having a perfectly fast and stable internet connection. Desync with the game's servers is another frequent problem on PC, resulting in situations where players fire bullets that do no damage and get killed by opponents who never even appeared on their screen.

Visual glitches are a problem in Halo Infinite, too. PC players have reported several instances of the textures for player models, weapons, vehicles, and even entire pieces of map geometry "stretching" into the sky (see the above images), often completely obscuring the player's view and making the game unplayable (this issue occurs in campaign cutscenes as well). The game also often begins to look like a blurry mess whenever performance issues start occurring, indicating that there's something seriously wrong with the game's resolution scaling. Sometimes the game's customization menus won't even display properly regardless of how long the player waits, requiring a restart.

There are ways to combat these issues somewhat — disabling Xbox Game Bar's background recording and enabling Async Compute in the video options can be an effective workaround for performance problems — but fixes like these only work for some. For many, there's no way to make Halo Infinite's instability more tolerable.

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Then there's Halo Infinite's cheating problem, which has rapidly begun to get out of hand in recent weeks. The game's current anti-cheat measures have proven to largely be ineffective against hacks being used by cheaters on PC, resulting in widespread instances of aimbotting and wallhacking. This issue has ruined the multiplayer experience for many PC players, and it affects Xbox players too since there's currently no way to disable crossplay in Halo Infinite. Reporting cheaters is a chore as well, as Halo Infinite currently lacks an in-game reporting system and instead forces players to dig through the Halo Support website to do it.

343 Industries' Head of Creative Joe Staten previously confirmed in November that "more anti-cheat measures are in the pipeline," and recently, Community Director Brian "Ske7ch" Jarrard commented that a patch coming in mid-February will attempt to address the cheating problem. Hopefully this update effectively patches Halo Infinite's vulnerabilities, because if it doesn't, the hacking problem will only continue to worsen.

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

It's just not an acceptable state for Halo Infinite to be in, and PC players aren't going to tolerate these issues forever. In fact, the average player count on Steam has already declined significantly since Halo Infinite's multiplayer launched last year, and the game's rating on Steam recently dropped from "Mostly Positive" to "Mixed" at the time of writing due to the problems I previously mentioned.

At the end of the day, the PC version of Halo Infinite simply isn't good enough, and the fact that we haven't heard anything from Microsoft or 343 Industries regarding major fixes for the game's glitches and performance issues is very concerning. Halo Infinite was supposed to be the franchise's triumphant first step into the PC gaming space, but so far, it's tripping over its own feet and delivering a subpar experience (at best). Halo Infinite has the potential to become one of the best PC games, but that won't happen until the developers are able to get the game in shape. And based on how quickly many PC gamers have put the game down for more polished alternatives, those improvements need to come sooner rather than later.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows