343 Industries and Microsoft are planning to launch Halo Infinite this fall, and according to a development update in December 2020, 343 Industries is planning to use the Halo Insider Program to roll out test flights before the game launches. These test flights help the developers identify and fix bugs that may have otherwise gone unnoticed (check out my spotlight of the Master Chief Collection's incredible 2020 journey to see just how effective Insider flighting has been for 343 Industries thus far), and they also give fans an opportunity to go hands-on with Halo projects before they release.
Considering the game in question is Halo Infinite, that's quite an exciting prospect. You'll need to sign up for the Halo Insider Program to have a chance at participating in Halo Infinite beta playtests, but thankfully the process to do so isn't difficult at all and will only take a few minutes. Here's a quick guide on how to sign up and become a Halo Insider.
What are Halo Infinite beta tests and 'flighting'?
Test flights are periods of time in which 343 Industries provides Halo Insiders with access to a test build of a game. These flights usually last about a week or two and are active 24 hours a day, but may be shorter or longer and may also have more specific start and end times. The content available in the flight can vary widely depending on what 343 Industries wants to test. For example, test flights for Halo: Reach on PC initially contained a small number of campaign missions. Future flights eventually expanded in scope to include multiplayer and the Firefight horde mode, along with a larger number of campaign levels.
It's not clear if the flighting system 343 Industries is planning for Halo Infinite will work in the same way, but considering how successful the MCC's flights were, there's a good chance that it will.
Halo Infinite beta start date
Right now, we don't know exactly when testing for Halo Infinite via the Halo Insider Program will occur. However, we do know that it's coming "later this year," according to 343 Industries. Since Halo Infinite is slated to launch in Fall 2021, we suspect that test flighting for the game will begin in Summer 2021. It's likely that these tests will then continue up until the game's full release, just like they did for the MCC on PC.
How to sign up for Halo Infinite beta tests
The Halo Insider Program is 343 Industries' official system for testing upcoming Halo experiences, and it proved itself very effective with the Master Chief Collection. Both Xbox and PC players (through Steam and the Windows 10 Store) can sign up for the program, and since Halo Infinite will be released on both of those platforms, testing will likely be done on both platforms for the game.
To get started with your registration, follow the steps below.
- Visit the Halo Insider page on Halo Waypoint.
- Click Signup.
- Under "Sign in to your Xbox Live account," click Sign In.
Sign in with your Microsoft Account credentials.
- Grant Halo Waypoint access to your Xbox Live information if requested.
- Confirm that you are 18 or older.
- Confirm that you agree to the Halo Insider Program Confidentiality Statement.
Click Join the Program.
- In the provided fields, enter your preferred email, location, timezone, and experience with Halo games.
- Click Continue.
- If you're an Xbox player, click Yes when asked if you'd like to be considered for console flighting.
FIll out your console ownership and setup details and then click Continue.
- If you're a PC player, click Yes when asked if you'd like to be considered for PC flighting.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to obtain and upload your PC specifications with Windows 10's DirectX Diagnostic.
- If you use Steam, click the Link Steam Account button and login with your Steam credentials.
- When asked about flight availability, select the days and times you are typically available for test sessions.
- Click Complete Signup.
- Open the Halo Insider email sent to your provided address.
- Click Verify my Email Address in the email.
You're done! Your Halo Insider profile will automatically pop up once you're finished, and your information can be edited at any time if something changes. Keep in mind that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles haven't been listed as consoles you can say you use yet, so if you own one of these consoles, check back frequently and select the appropriate option when it's added. You'll also need to sign up for the Xbox Insider Program if you play on Xbox since you'll need access to the Xbox Insider Hub application.
Will there be Halo Infinite beta rewards?
It remains unclear where Halo Infinite testers will receive rewards for participation, although given examples from past tests, some cosmetics are assumed. In previous Halo beta tests and flights, players have received exclusive in-game bonuses, including cosmetic skins or nameplates. We believe similar rewards apply here, although likely to be announced at a later date.
Will there be a Halo Infinite open beta?
While Insider test flighting is confirmed, many wonder if a traditional public beta will be held for the game. At the time of writing, this is unclear. Many believe that 343 Industries will hold a beta because, in a 2015 interview with Game Informer, Head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross stated that all future Halo titles would have a beta following the disastrous launch of the Master Chief Collection.
"Going forward, you will never see a Halo game coming out without a beta. It (The Master Chief Collection) was obviously painful for our fans and for us," Ross said. "But it won't happen again."
However, it's also entirely possible that 343 Industries considers Insider test flighting to fit the definition of what a "beta" is. It's also important to keep in mind that Ross's comments were made years before the Halo Insider Program was created; the Insider Program may be a system that 343 Industries developed for long-term use to keep its word. Ultimately, only time will tell if Halo Infinite will have a traditional-style open beta.
What is the Halo Infinite release date?
Halo Infinite is expected to release in Fall 2021 on the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows 10 PCs. It's expected to cost $60 when it releases (the multiplayer is free-to-play) and it will hopefully end up being one of the best Xbox One games. In the meantime, we highly recommend the Master Chief Collection, which bundles all of the pre-Xbox One Halo shooters for an incredible price.
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