The Red Shift armor coating, which has clearly seen battle and looks absolutely phenomenal, can be secured by purchasing any Halo or Xbox merchandise at GameStop from November 9 - December 13. Similar to most of our other promotions, you'll want to save your receipts and redeem the code at halowaypoint.com/redeem. We'll be able to share more specifics on this partnership in our next Community Update!
Now, let's take some time to answer that popular question: "What is an armor coating?"
Over the last few weeks, a number of different marketing promotions have started popping up around the world with partners offering a variety of in-game customization offers for Halo Infinite. While we shifted our release to 2021, many of these programs are still proceeding this Fall as planned which lets fans redeem and bank items now. These cosmetics will be available in-game when we launch. From Mega Construx toys to Monster Energy drinks to Mondelez cookies, candies, and more, fans around the world will have opportunities to score 2XP boosts, emblems, and ‘armor coatings.’ We know folks are eager to get a better sense of what’s happening out there and we’re working with our partners to pull together the specifics around these programs. Depending on locale, there may be slightly different terms, conditions and rewards, but these products will be staying on shelves and we are moving quickly to adapt to the shift in launch. Rest assured, we'll continue to communicate these programs and prizes as they come online.
Admittedly, product promotions weren’t how we originally envisioned sharing the first look at some of these customization elements. In our last Community Update, we offered a closer look at the “Monarch” armor coating – a special award being offered by Mondelez (US & CA), and before that, we shared a closer look at the Monster Energy weapon coatings in this Xbox Wire blog. Overall it’s been great to see excitement for this early look at some of Halo Infinite’s customization items but we know many of you also have questions. We’ve got a lot more to share and show about multiplayer and customization in Halo Infinite – and we will get to it in due time – but for now, we want to provide a bit more clarity around what you can expect from coatings.
From the beginning, ‘player expression’ has been a key pillar of Halo Infinite and to achieve these goals, the team has developed a new system which is a powerful and flexible way to create customization content quicker and more robustly than we’ve been able to in the past. According to Lead Player Investment Designer, Christopher Blohm, a “coating" is “a seven-layer shader that allows us to put any artist-authored color, material, or pattern into seven channels and apply it to in-game items like weapons, armor, and vehicles.” Yes, that’s right, including vehicles. Here’s an example:
Azure vehicle coating on a Warthog [Work-In-Progress Render]
Coloration, along with materials and patterns, will now be baked into the coating, taking the place of the primary/secondary armor color options found in prior games. While we understand that many players are fond of the previous color system, we’re very excited about the breadth and scope of armor, weapon, and vehicle customization options that will be available in Halo Infinite because of the coating system. Additionally, players should expect more robust per-piece armor customization choices akin to what was available in Halo: Reach vs. what was offered in Halo 5: Guardians. And, as we expand our customization capabilities with armor geometry, materials, colors, and textures, it’s important to the team that players are given even more opportunities to express themselves within the game itself (more on that later!).
When we shared the “Monarch” armor render in our last update, we also saw some feedback around it looking “like plastic” or being “too clean.” While we are very excited about the return to a more classic Halo art-style, we do want to acknowledge that the nature of these work-in-progress renders is such that they aren’t completely representing the base material as shown in-game with ‘real’ lighting. Additionally, as you can see with Red Shift above, the overall look will also depend on the design style of each specific armor coating.
We know this is a lot to wrap your head around, particularly without being able to see it in practice. Learning about some big new customization changes coming to Halo Infinite by seeing some marketing materials and reading a few paragraphs isn’t ideal, but with programs already in motion and our date shifting, here we are. We also want to stress that we know some folks are likely going to be disheartened by the limited nature of some of these current programs (tied to specific regions or products), but please rest assured the team has a lot of customization content planned including items that will be earned in-game and some that will be earned as special rewards (i.e. the Halo 5 152 legacy reward we’ve mentioned in the past). Stay tuned as we’ll have a lot more to say and show regarding customization and progression in Halo Infinite down the road.