News

Multiplayer Technical Preview Overview

By 343 Industries -

Back at the very tail end of July a great many Halo Insiders joined us in our tech preview – the very first public test for Halo Infinite. That weekend brought us laughs, memories, and perhaps most of all, data and feedback from you, our community.

That’s why this weekend and next (September 23-26 and September 30 - October 3) we’re going to be running two more multiplayer tech previews. Our primary focus during this tech preview is to test our backend systems and online services at scale ahead of launch. Our secondary goals will be to receive feedback and find additional bugs around the content in the flight.

Fragmentation, a Big Team Battle map, features stunning Forerunner architecture [Click here to get the image in 4K]

Over the next two weekends there will be a fair amount for all of you to dig into, so we wanted to take a chance to collect all the information we could in one place, so that you know what’s going to be included in this preview and when you can get involved.

But, if you’re short on time and only want the top-level details, here’s the most salient points:

  • Am I Invited?: For your invite information, be sure to check Halo Waypoint vNext or your Private Messages starting tomorrow evening.
  • Stream approved: Everything you can access via normal means can be shared with your friends and followers. Content creators, have a great time out there!
  • Goal oriented: If this is your first time joining us, we want to thank you for participating in a process we call flighting. For more information on our goals check here, and for outcomes from the previous tech preview be sure to check here.
  • Two weekends: We’re excited to be running for two weekends, but please note that there are focused play sessions to help stress our services.
    • Weekend 1: (September 24-26)
      • Friday, September 24 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Saturday, September 25 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Sunday, September 26 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
    • Weekend 2 (October 1-3)
      • Friday, October 1 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Saturday, October 2 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Sunday, October 3 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT

The schedule of the Multiplayer Tech Preview

While flight access is open, the Academy experiences will still be fully available to Halo Insiders. So, if you want to warm up for the next play session in the Weapon Drills or Training Mode, you’ll be free to do so.

TECHNICAL PREVIEW GOALS

Halo Infinite’s release date might seem distant, but December will arrive before we know it. Over the course of the next two weekends testing the game’s services at scale will be critical to us, so we’re thankful that so many of you will be able to join in on the action. If you ended up not registering as a Halo Insider in time, don’t worry. There’s still a chance you can make our second weekend.

Next week, we plan on expanding the audience through a few methods – including potentially allowing Halo Insiders to invite a friend – so that we can push the servers to their limit. We'll have more to share about this audience expansion next week. We're excited to host our largest flighting audience to date, and we’re eager to learn as much as we possibly can.

Additionally, as a thank you for helping test our services, players who complete 10 matches during the second weekend (October 1-3) will be granted a special emblem for their Spartans when the game launches this December.

A Spartan with the Sol Testing Grounds Emblem on their chest

Overall, our goals for these technical preview weekends can be distilled down to the following three areas:

  • Testing the services behind Halo Infinite at large scale
  • Gathering real world data about PC hardware configurations
  • Collecting community feedback and reports

As always, if you want to learn more about our entire flighting process, be sure to check out July 2021’s Inside Infinite. Now, let’s take a closer look at all of the content you’ll be able to play during these technical previews.

TRAINING MODE

A new addition to the action, and a first for the Halo franchise, will be Training Mode. In Training Mode, you can load into a solo sparring session against Bots on the Arena map of your choice.

To help you focus on what you’d like to improve, you can customize the following options on the fly, mid-match:

  • Bot Difficulty
  • Number of Friendly Bots
  • Number of Enemy Bots
  • Weapons (Primary & Secondary)
  • Grenades (Primary & Secondary)
  • Equipment
  • Reveal Enemy Location
  • Playfighting
  • Infinite Ammo
  • Deathless

Over the course of your training adventures, you’ll be able to choose from all Arena maps available in the build as they arrive. So, when Behemoth is be added to the Preview on Sunday, you’ll be able to dive in.

WEAPON DRILLS

The ‘how’ is often just as, if not more important, than the ‘what.’ For those of you that joined us in the last tech preview, you’re likely familiar with the races for top scores with the S7 Sniper Weapon Drills all over Twitter. We’re extremely excited to see more of you enter the fray and push those scores as high as they can go.

Of course, you can take the time to learn the new weapons at your disposal, so you can come up with ideas of just how you’re going to put them all to use to maximize the number of Spartans you slay in any given round.

This time around, you’ll have access to the following Weapon Drills:

  • MA40 AR
  • BR75
  • MK50 Sidekick
  • CQS48 Bulldog
  • Needler
  • VK78 Commando
  • S7 Sniper
  • Plasma Pistol
  • Pulse Carbine
  • Ravager
  • Heatwave
  • Skewer
  • Shock Rifle

Behemoth, an Arena map, is sure to be filled with vehicular action [Click here to get the image in 4K]

BOT ARENA

In our last tech preview, you got to go head-to-head with our Bots for the very first time. Unforgiving. Relentless. And steady-handed with a grenade. Over the course of that flight, we received tons of data and feedback alike that’s already helped us make improvements to our Bot behavior – from movement, to combat decisions. That said though, our Bots are still learning, and for now, they have an aversion from jumping in vehicles. We've all seen how good they are on foot already. We want them to be that good and comfortable in vehicles before we let them get behind the wheel or jump on the turret.

In Bot Arena, you’ll have access to the following:

  • Slayer on Bazaar, Behemoth, Live Fire, and Recharge
  • Capture The Flag on Bazaar and Behemoth
  • Strongholds on Live Fire and Recharge
    • Please note that Behemoth will join the rotation on Sunday, September 26, and will be available for both weekends after its debut.

SOCIAL ARENA

Social Arena will the primary way that you’ll go head-to-head against other Spartans during our scheduled play times – but, if you’d prefer to get the ball rolling with a few rounds against Bots you’re entirely welcome to do so as well.

During the last tech preview, we added in a new map and incrementally upped the difficulty of our Bots each day. This time around, we’ll be adding a new map, Behemoth, and modes throughout the weekend in both Bot Arena and Social Arena.

Two Spartans battle on Behemoth's lower bridge [Click here to get the image in 4K]

Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect in Social Arena each day, with new additions bolded:

  • Weekend 1 (September 24-26)
    • Friday, September 24 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Slayer on Bazaar, Live Fire, and Recharge
    • Saturday, September 25 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Slayer on Bazaar, Live Fire, and Recharge
      • Capture The Flag on Bazaar
      • Strongholds on Live Fire and Recharge
    • Sunday, September 26 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Slayer on Bazaar, Behemoth, Live Fire, and Recharge
      • Capture The Flag on Bazaar and Behemoth
      • Strongholds on Live Fire and Recharge
  • Weekend 2 (October 1-3)
    • Friday, October 1 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
    • Saturday, October 2 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
    • Sunday, October 3 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT

The full suite of Arena content will be available throughout all play sessions of Weekend 2 (October 1-3). We hope you’re ready!

BIG TEAM BATTLE

For the very first time, we’re thrilled to welcome players from outside of 343’s hallowed halls into the excitement of our new, updated, 12v12 Big Team Battle. As a note once more, BTB will only be available during the second weekend of testing, October 1-3. If you want to be kept in the know of exactly when things go live, be sure to sure to read the schedule below and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

So, if you’re interested in throwing down in one of the biggest battlegrounds we’ve cooked up, make sure to be prepared to dive in on the following dates and times:

  • Weekend 2 (October 1-3)
    • Friday, October 1 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Capture The Flag, Total Control, and Slayer on Fragmentation
    • Saturday, October 2 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Capture The Flag, Total Control, and Slayer on Fragmentation
    • Sunday, October 3 @ 10am-2pm & 5pm-9pm PT
      • Capture The Flag, Total Control, and Slayer on Fragmentation

Update: All three Big Team Battle modes will go live on Friday, October 1, and will persist throughout the weekend.

A Spartan overlooks a Pelican delivery on Fragmentation [Click here to get the image in 4K]

BATTLE PASS AND MENU UI

Last time around, you all did a tremendous job of identifying areas of feedback and helping us improve the Battle Pass UI and overall user flow. And, even helped us track down a couple of tricky bugs.

This time around, we’ve upped the number of Challenges and addressed bugs that were preventing players from completing them in the previous flight. Notably though, as far as the Battle Pass itself goes, if you spend time checking it out in our last tech preview – you’re likely to be familiar with it. It hasn’t undergone a significant amount of change in terms of rewards or experience, but we’ve also upped it to require 30 levels, instead of 20.

An example of Daily & Weekly Challenges in the Multiplayer Tech Preview build.

As a reminder, what you see in this Battle Pass is a very small slice of the content available in Season 1 of Halo Infinite. We had a lot of fun selecting each little item that went into it, so we do hope you enjoy.

HALO WAYPOINT APP & WEB EXPERIENCES

Like with our previous tech preview, those that have access to the multiplayer tech preview will also have access to the new version of Waypoint, which we affectionally refer to as “Waypoint vNext.”

Over the next two weeks, Halo Insiders will have access to Halo Waypoint on web, iOS, and Android. Once inside, you will be able to view your Battle Pass progression, Challenges, and even customize your Spartan.

Halo Waypoint includes the mobile App (left) and the website for your computer (center, right) or mobile web browser. [Click here to download the image in 4K]

If you’re interested in learning more about Waypoint vNext, be sure to check out the June 2021 edition of Inside Infinite for a full interview with the team that’s running the show.

FEEDBACK

During our last tech preview, we were thrilled at the amount of feedback that we were able to action on, and you can see a full rundown of what that entailed here in our full Outcomes blog. While testing our services is the key goal for this flight, we will be paying attention to what you all have to say.

To help focus the conversation here on Waypoint, we’ve stood up specific threads for the content available in the tech preview:

On Sunday, October 3, select Halo Insiders will receive a survey in their email inbox. We’d be thankful for any time that you spend filling it out and sharing your thoughts about the game.

Lastly, just as a reminder, feedback and bug reports follow two separate processes during flights. Thoughts about the game, design, weapon balance, etc. should be shared on Waypoint. Technical issues, bugs, and glitches should be reported on the Halo Support site. Let’s take a closer look at Halo Support!

Render of a Spartan using the Repulsor equipment [Click here to get the image in 4K]

HALO SUPPORT

The Halo Support team are stalwart in their process, and in their goals. Chief among them is ensuring that they can work with players to get bug reports, provide detailed information to flight participants, and to make sure that all of that intel and data makes its way back to the dev team.

If you end up running into any bugs or having any experiences where you feel like the game or any of our systems haven’t been working correctly, be sure to check out the Halo Insider-specific Support Site over at: aka.ms/HaloInsiderSupport

For any other top-level questions you might have, be sure to check out the following links once the flight kicks off tomorrow evening:

The Halo Insider Support site will reopen its doors on September 23 when the very first weekend kicks off, and will close down 48-hours after the end of our second weekend on October 6.

THANK YOU

As always, we wanted to make sure the final words in this blog were focused on gratitude. Each and every one of you that’s signed up to be a Halo Insider and are taking the time to join us these next weekends – thank you. It means the world to know that when we reach out for your assistance, you answer in force.

We can’t wait to get a chance to join you all out in the fray this weekend, and we’re even more excited to take this critical step towards our launch on December 8.

Thank you, Spartans. We couldn’t do it without you.

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