Should Halo Infinite get its rumored battle royale mode?

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

Recently, a rumor surfaced that suggests that Halo Infinite, the next mainline FPS game in the Halo franchise, will feature a battle royale mode similar to the likes of Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. According to the rumor, the mode will be free-to-play (the entirety of Halo Infinite's multiplayer will be free) and will be set on Zeta Halo, which is the primary location of the game's singleplayer campaign.

While the rumor itself has been denied by 343 Industries, it did get us thinking: Is a battle royale mode for Halo Infinite the wrong move? Ultimately, we think it's a good idea, though it needs to be done carefully and without taking away from Halo's traditional game modes.

It will draw in countless players to the franchise

Source: 343 Industries (Image credit: Source: 343 Industries)

The major benefit that the inclusion of a battle royale mode would bring to the table is a large influx of players who may not have considered playing Halo Infinite otherwise.

Following the release of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in 2017, the battle royale genre exploded in popularity across both PC and console. Now, three years later, battle royale games are still a hot commodity — Call of Duty: Warzone's reported 75 million players proves it. There's no doubt in our minds that if Halo Infinite had a battle royale mode, it would drive countless new players to Xbox's flagship series.

Considering that Halo has struggled to maintain any time in the spotlight since 2010's Halo: Reach, a battle royale mode would help the franchise regain some of its long-lost relevancy. The game would most likely do just fine without a battle royale, but having one would undoubtedly boost Halo upwards.

It's also worth pointing out that since the rest of Halo Infinite's multiplayer will be free as well, battle royale fans would get an opportunity to try out Halo's traditional multiplayer experiences without an added cost. This would give Halo Infinite an edge over games like Call of Duty, which still currently charges full price for titles that have "normal" multiplayer.

The traditional Halo experience should come first

Source: 343 Industries (Image credit: Source: 343 Industries)

While the inclusion of battle royale would be awesome for drawing in new players, it's equally important that Halo Infinite delivers a satisfying traditional Halo experience first and foremost.

There's a strong argument to be made that one of the largest reasons why Halo has declined in popularity over the years is because the ability-focused gameplay of Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians deviated from the sandbox-driven style that originally made Halo such an industry juggernaut. Halo is, at its core, an arena shooter. Therefore, Halo Infinite's traditional arena-style multiplayer needs to be prioritized.

If the battle royale mode is more polished than the arena gameplay, fans who were disappointed by the move away from a sandbox focus will no doubt feel disappointed by Halo Infinite's prioritization of battle royale over arena gameplay. This has the potential to drive Halo's remaining core audience away from the franchise, and you never want to lose your core audience.

While it's true that these losses might be offset by the arrival of battle royale players interested in Halo Infinite, it would be sad to see the Halo franchise continue to become more generic. The shooter market is full of ability-focused titles with battle royale modes right now, and so far, the move to go all in with the latest trends hasn't worked out particularly well for Halo. Therefore, it would be much better for Halo to primarily go back to the sandbox-driven arena formula that made it so unique in the first place. The battle royale mode should be an alternative experience on the side.

Bottom line: Yes, but not as the primary gamemode

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

While the benefits of a battle royale mode in Halo Infinite are undeniable, it's also clear that Microsoft and 343 Industries need to make sure that Halo Infinite delivers a great sandbox arena shooter above all else. A battle royale mode would be great to have, but it should be an alternative to the core gameplay experience rather than the core of the game itself. The qualities that make Halo stand out amongst its competition need to be prioritized, or else the franchise will continue to struggle to gain relevancy.

Halo Infinite is expected to release sometime in 2021 on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows 10 PCs. While you wait for the game, we highly recommend checking out the Master Chief Collection, which provides access to all of the pre-Xbox One era Halo shooters for an incredible price. Also, don't forget to check out our roundup of the best Xbox Series X and Series S headsets as well so that you can hear Halo's legendary music and sound at its best.

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.