Halo Infinite‘s first-ever Technical Preview is flighting tomorrow and today 343 Industries gave us an overview of the first flight for Halo Insiders. 343i said that this first technical preview is the smallest and will grow over time, adding more Halo Insiders in the coming months.
- If you’re a content creator, streamer, or a player who wants to share gameplay footage of the tech preview, you absolutely can! Go nuts.
- Check out the latest Inside Infinite, which provides a deep dive into our flighting process, our goals, approach, and much more: Read our latest Inside Infinite!
- Note that while the tech preview is live, you’ll always have the ability to matchmake! But, if you’re unsure of when to play, please join us during the following scheduled play times:
- Thursday, July 29: Tech preview is officially live! Go wild, Spartans.
- Friday, July 30 Scheduled Play Times: 12-2 PM PT, 7-9 PM PT
- Saturday, July 31 Scheduled Play Times: 12-2 PM PT, 7-9 PM PT
- Sunday, August 1 Scheduled Play Times: 12-2 PM PT, 7-9 PM PT
- Monday, August 2: Tech preview closes at 10 AM PT
- Available Content: Bot Slayer, Weapon Drills, Waypoint vNext
- Support and Feedback: Halo Support’s Insider site will be available for players to use all weekend. Those that make it into the tech preview will have access to new links that will only be available to invitees – please check your forthcoming email and/or Waypoint message for the appropriate links!
Focus areas of the flights
- Stability: How stable is the game across various hardware specs and platforms? Is the game freezing or crashing at a certain time or on specific hardware? Getting a large-scale sampling of real-world hardware profiles is something we can only really accomplish via a large flight of this nature and as we launch on PC for the first time, this is a critical focus for the team.
- Online Services: Can all our interconnected online services function well at an immense scale? This is our largest bucket since it includes so many intertwined services that need to function in perfect harmony. Matchmaking, server scaling, playlists serving the proper content, challenges, stats (Post Game Carnage Report), Battle Pass progression & Store functionality, armor customization, partying up with friends, etc.
- Halo Insider / Waypoint vNext: Can our Halo Insider communication systems and flighting tools function at scale? How do the Waypoint vNext app (iOS & Android) and web experiences feel and function as extensions of the game?
Feedback focus areas
- Core gameplay: We want to know how you feel about the core combat experience. How do you feel about player movement, weapon balance, equipment, etc.? How fun is it to engage in a battle in Halo Infinite?
- Maps & Modes: How did you feel about the design and flow of the maps? Are the maps and mode both fun and fair?
- Academy’s Weapon Drills: Did Weapon Drills give you a good understanding of how a weapon functions? How fun were the various Weapon Drills?
- Menu & Battle Pass UI: How intuitive was the menu navigation? Were you able to understand your progression through the Battle Pass? Were you able to find and equip customization items easily?
What will be in the upcoming Technical Preview
343i wants to focus in on “these specific areas to help us gather some scale data as we bring these new experiences to Halo for the first time. As we look further ahead, we plan for future flights to expand into more content including traditional PVP Arena and Big Team Battle.”
- Arena gameplay vs. Bots
- Arena Maps
- Academy’s Weapon Drills
- Menu & Battle Pass UI
- New Waypoint experiences on web, iOS, and Android
What won’t be in the first Technical Preview
- No Assassinations…but still coming
- No split-screen local multiplayer…yet
Halo Infinite is the franchise’s first foray into the world of multiplayer Bots. To provide a totally new multiplayer experience for players and to gather feedback on Bot behavior and online performance, we’ll be debuting the Bot Arena playlist, which puts 4 players against 4 Bots on Arena maps.
For this technical preview, the Bot Arena experience will feature Slayer across three maps in this build:
- Bot Slayer on Bazaar, Recharge, and Live Fire
To keep players on their toes and keep the experience engaging, we’re planning for a daily content offering that will evolve over the course of the flight based on the overall engagement of participants. We’re going to intentionally start things off slow to help everyone get acclimated but as the community gets up to speed and slays copious amount of Bots our goal is to crank things up to provide greater challenge and variety.
Bot Arena is a great place to familiarize yourself with Halo Infinite’s gameplay and maps in a stress-free environment. The Bots still have their quirks, which is why we’re flighting them, but they certainly aren’t pushovers. Be prepared.
Academy weapon drills
As part of the Academy experience, another first for Halo, Weapon Drills offer players a brand-new way to learn how each weapon functions before entering the heat of battle. Dropping you into a firing range area, that features moving and strafing Bots for target practice, Weapon Drills feature different levels of difficulty and a star rating system. The more damage you deal to the Bots, the higher you’ll score.
In this upcoming technical preview, we’re planning to include the following subset of Weapon Drills:
- MA40 AR
- MK50 Sidekick
- CQS48 Bulldog
- VK78 Commando
- S7 Sniper
- Plasma Pistol
- Pulse Carbine
There have been times at the studio when people would compare their best scores in these Weapon Drills. It always leads to some fun and healthy competition – especially when it comes to the BR and Sniper. Share your best Weapon Drill scores with us by tweeting us @Halo!
Battle Pass, Challengers, Menus, Customization
343i wants “to make sure that the game’s menu navigation feels intuitive. We’re especially interested in seeing how players move through the UI to unlock their Battle Passes, check their Challenges, use the Store, and apply their earned customization elements in the Armor Hall.”
343i will be giving Insiders a set number of in-game credits for Battle Passes and to “unlock various customization options. Players will be free to use their credits how they see fit, but customization items unlocked during technical previews will not carry over when the game releases later this year.”
“Similar to how we’re only flighting with a subset of Arena maps and modes, this technical preview will feature a truncated Battle Pass and a small fraction of the Customization options planned for launch. The key focus is to ensure the Battle Pass and Challenge unlocking systems and customization equipping systems are both functioning properly, and hold up at scale. The reasoning for having these Battle Pass, Challenges, and Customization systems in the flight is purely technical, and isn’t meant to be a showcase of our launch content – so please don’t read into it that much.”
How to become a Halo Insider
- Register for Halo Insider using your gamertag
- Verify your email by clicking on the confirmation email sent to your Preferred email address in your Halo Insider profile
- Opt-in for communications by selecting “I would like information, tips, and offers about the Halo franchise.”
- You’ll need to verify your email and check this box, otherwise we won’t be able to send you flighting emails
- Opt-in for flighting on the platforms of your choice (console and/or PC).
- To be considered for PC flighting, upload your DxDiag and connect your personal Steam account
343 Industries (343i) is quick to note that not all registrants for Halo Insider will be granted access to the technical previews or pre-release flights. It seems that 343i wants an equal number of players on all platforms, so if you are playing on a next-gen console like Xbox Series X or Series S, that is probably the smallest number of players for Xbox consoles since availability of the next-gen Xbox consoles has been relatively low and you probably have the best shot at making it into the technical preview. If you have been a participating Halo Insider for many years than 343i will also prioritize you over new Insiders as well.
343i says “we had goals to robustly test our game and core services at a large scale and allow players to provide feedback on the game before launch. Next, we focused in on outlining how to measure progress toward these goals. A hypothetical example of would be, “we want to have a matchmaking success rate of 100%.” That’s a great goal to have, but then the real work begins building systems that can reliably measure whether we are hitting these goals or not. In the matchmaking success rate example, this means adding code to the game client or our online services that can monitor and report when matches are made successfully and, more importantly, when they fail.”
It sounds like the Halo Infinite Technical Preview will be a bit rough “we will certainly have some bumps and rough edges in this build.” 343i goes on to further describe “this technical preview is a couple months behind where the development team and ‘main’ game build currently is given the process and time it takes to go through all the gates and steps before releasing to the public.”
“By flighting the game to Halo Insiders, we’re going to see players uncover quirks in our online services, find whacky new bugs in the game and menus, and so much more.” Halo Insiders get early access to the game, but also get to help discover bugs which is what 343i describes as the “beautiful part of this process is that it’s all intentional – discovering these issues, small or major, months ahead of launch is the entire point of flighting.”
New waypoint web app
343i “will also flighting our new Halo Waypoint web and mobile app experiences. Halo Insiders should be able to view their Battle Pass progression, Challenges, and even customize their Spartans. All Halo Insiders that were invited to the technical preview will be able to view, access, and take advantage of these experiences, which will be directly connected to their profiles in the flight.”
Starting on Thursday, Halo Insiders invited to the tech preview will be fighting against bots, then on Friday Insiders will fight against ODST bots, then on and on until Spartan bots, but that is only if 343i gets the data they need to get there by Sunday evening, so to all of my fellow Invited Halo Insiders, play long and play hard starting tomorrow!