Halo Infinite: 343i breaks down second beta, Big Team Battle

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

What you need to know

  • 343 Industries has broken down details about Halo Infinite's second beta as well as Big Team Battle, the Academy training mode, and more in a new blog post.
  • The second beta will be available on the weekends of Sept. 23-26 and Sept. 30 to Oct. 3. Matchmaking will be limited to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PT / 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET on each day the test is active.
  • The first weekend will focus on 4v4 Arena PvP, while the second will focus on 12v12 Big Team Battle PvP as well as Arena.

In a new "Inside Infinite" blog post, 343 Industries has shared several new details about the second Halo Infinite beta as well as the game's Big Team Battle mode, Academy training mode, and progression systems. In the post, it's confirmed that the second Halo Infinite beta test will be split up across two weekends. The first weekend will focus on 4v4 Arena PvP, while the second weekend will focus on 12v12 Big Team Battle PvP. Arena will still be available during the second weekend, however.

The first test will run from Friday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 26, while the second test will run from Thursday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 3. Players won't be able to play on the Thursdays before each weekend test, but they will be able to download the Halo Infinite beta. Additionally, matchmaking servers will only be available between the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PT / 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET each day during the test weekends. The developers acknowledge that this ultimately means that there will be less time to play compared to the previous Halo Infinite beta schedule, but state that "it's critical to our primary goal of ensuring that our online services are ready for launch." The beta's Training Mode, Weapon Drills, Battle Pass system, and customization will always be accessible throughout the weekend.

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

The developers also provided several details about the design and structure of Halo Infinite's Big Team Battle mode in the post. 343 Industries explains that their primary goal with Halo Infinite's Big Team Battle is to make the experience feel bigger and more action-packed than ever before while still preserving and encouraging teamwork and strategy. To accomplish this, the developers have added four more players to each team and have implemented a dynamic vehicle spawning system that "escalates" over the course of a match. For example, "standard" vehicles like Ghosts or Warthogs may spawn at the start of a match, but as the game goes on, more powerful vehicles will appear, with heavy ones like Scorpion and Wraith tanks entering the battlefield towards the tail end of a match. Notably, Halo Infinite's equipment items will also have more uses in Big Team Battle.

343 Industries also touched on the game's Academy mode, which will feature a full-blown tutorial at launch and will eventually get Vehicle Drills to go alongside the game's suite of Weapon Drills so that players can practice using the entire Halo Infinite sandbox. There are also plans to implement training modes that you can play with your friends after the game launches on Dec. 8.

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

Finally, the developers spent some time explaining how Halo Infinite's progression systems will work. Players will be able to earn experience and rank up their Halo Infinite Battle Pass by completing daily and weekly challenges. Daily challenges consist of simple tasks like completing and winning matches and will provide a consistent and stable "XP drip," while weekly challenges have a wide range of objectives that encourage them to play specific game modes, use specific weapons or vehicles, or perform specific actions (like sniping a vehicle driver).

Weekly challenges reward significantly more experience than dailies, and if you complete all of your weekly challenges, you'll be given an Ultimate Challenge that rewards you with a coating or emblem unlock once you finish it. 343 Industries also noted that in addition to the standard seasonal Battle Passes, Halo Infinite will also have occasional limited event Battle Passes with unique rewards. These passes will be separate from the main one, and players will only be able to progress them in the first week of each month before they go away (progress is saved between weeks).

Overall, there's a ton of information in this post and we can't cover all of it here, so I highly recommend reading through the full post. Also, make sure to tune into the Halo Twitch channel on Wednesday Sept. 22, as the developers are planning to go over information about the second beta test in a livestream. Halo Infinite is expected to launch on Dec. 8, 2021 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows PCs. The campaign costs $60, though the multiplayer is completely free-to-play. Halo Infinite preorders are available now, though it's important to keep in mind that the game will also be available on Xbox Game Pass.

Brendan Lowry

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.