Tech Preview Overview
Halo Infinite’s very first tech preview is just around the corner. It’s a moment we’ve been building up to for quite some time – and, we’re thrilled that so many of you are excited to dive in and check out what we’ve been hard at work on. Bearing in mind that the upcoming tech preview is truly a work-in-progress test, we want to make sure that you have all the information on hand so that you know when and what you are playing, where to deliver feedback, and everything in between.
And as a reminder, while our plan is to get as many people into the tech preview as we possibly can, not every single Halo Insider will receive an invite. If you don’t get in this time around, don’t despair! We still need to grow the scale of these tests in time on the road to launch, so your opportunities are far from over.
An interior look of Bazaar. [For the full-res image, click here.]
Regardless, if you’re on the hunt for the nitty gritty details of this upcoming tech preview you’ve come to the right place. Just below you can find the following:
- Dates and times during which the tech preview will be up and running
- A rundown of content you can find in the tech preview
- Details around where you can deliver tech preview feedback
- Info on how you can reach out to our Support team, if needed
To that end, here’s a quick rundown of the top-level details to get you started:
- 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!
Hungry for the finer details? We’ve got you covered just below. Or, if you'd prefer to check out our stream from July 28th which covers much of the same content, feel free to get all caught up. The show starts at the 12:00 mark!
TECH PREVIEW GOALS
Halo Infinite is the most ambitious title we’ve ever made, and we’re thrilled about this new entry into the Halo universe. This weekend we’re thankful that so many of you have signed up to help us test what’s in the build – and, perhaps more importantly, what’s behind it.
This weekend we’ve got a few main focuses for this preview:
- To test the services behind the game at scale
- Gather tons of real-world data about PC hardware configurations
- To collect your feedback!
Curious to learn more about what those bullet points mean? We highly encourage you to read the latest Inside Infinite, which will tell you more about our flighting process and will provide details on how we’re going to accomplish the goals above.
KNOWN ISSUES AND HALO SUPPORT
This tech preview is a small slice of the game that’s designed around our specific scale-testing needs. There are bugs – some big, some small – and while most are covered in the Known Issues list, others will surely surface for the first time thanks to your help testing at this scale. For context, this tech preview build is a couple of months behind where the ‘main’ build is so there’s already been lots of bug fixing and polish that won’t be reflected here.
Here are a few of the issues we’re aware of in this build:
- AMD players should make sure the AMD Graphics Driver is version 21.6.1 or later. Earlier versions are not compatible with this version of the game and may result in significant performance and/or stability issues.
- We have a pesky bug related to Matchmaking that can result in a player being unable to join into a session, timing out, and then returning to the main menu. When this occurs, the match will proceed but you might be missing a player from your game for a brief period until another player joins-in-progress.
- We’re aware of and tracking a few different crash scenarios though the overall average failure rate is well below our targets. We’re particularly interested in getting more crash logs from a wider breadth of platforms as stability work continues internally.
- Various situations can cause stuttering, de-sync, warping, and other abnormal behavior.
- Occasionally, player scores will not appear during the victory screen at the end of the match and/or the post-game carnage report may not load after some matches.
- Rarely, a player may begin a match unable to see their own weapon and have reduced audio.
- Rarely, a player’s melee attack may not register as expected.
- Sometimes after pressing A at the title screen, Challenges, Customization, and Commerce screens take a while to appear on the main menu.
For more information on the flight’s Known Issues, participants should head over to the Halo Insider Support site and check out the full Known Issues article (these links are only accessible by valid flight participants once the flight has gone live on Thursday). If you see any issues not listed in that article, please use the “Submit a ticket” link at the bottom of the article to let us know! Tickets help us understand which issues are impacting players the most which then helps the team prioritize those issues and gather critical info to facilitate their investigations.
The Insider Support site is also home to your platform’s installation instructions (Xbox/Steam), a list of the included content and play sessions, as well as a handy FAQ. If you’re not seeing flight-related articles on the Insider Support site, please make sure you’re signed in with the Xbox Live account that was invited to the tech preview.
Please note that the Halo Support team is unable to change your invited platform or assist with code redemption issues.
CONTENT INCLUDED IN THIS TECH PREVIEW
At the very center of this tech preview will be the Bot Slayer playlists which feature 4 players squaring off against 4 Bots on one of three possible maps (Live Fire, Bazaar, and Recharge). Please note that while players can team up online, splitscreen is not supported in this build.
With bots being a brand-new addition to Halo, we’re excited to get a chance to let you go toe-to-toe with our state-of-the-art spar partners. Bots also utilize our dedicated servers in a different way than standard matchmade games so it’s extra critical we get large-scale, real-world testing to help ensure a smooth launch this holiday.
We’re going to kick things off with the lowest skill level of Bots on a single map to help everyone get acclimated and ease into the experience. If the community can collectively help us hit our daily engagement goals over the course of the flight, we’ll increase the Bots' skill and add more maps. The more bots you slay, the more the experience will evolve! They’ll get more deadly with each update – so, dive in early and often to make sure you’ve got a handle on what skills they’re bringing to the battlefield.
Be sure to drop in each day to play and do your part to slay some bots, unlock more content, and help us gather data! And keep an eye on @Halo each day for updates to the available matchmaking content. We’re also going to be shouting out the top Bot Slayer, the player with the most daily wins, and the team who can win the fastest each day and looking to award these heroes a special nameplate when the game launches this holiday.
Show us your clips! If you pull off incredible feats or wacky shenanigans, please share your clip with us on Twitter using #InfinitePlays – we can’t wait to see the medals and magical moments that await.
SOCIAL ARENA (CONDITIONAL)
If we’re able to hit our target engagement and testing goals for the Bot Slayer before the flight concludes, we’re looking to enable a brief opportunity for some good old fashion 4v4 Social Arena Slayer. If we hit this phase, expect it to land sometime in the final stretch of the flight (i.e. Sunday evening) and expect there to be a few potential hiccups with your experience.
Specifically, we know that in some cases players will end up in a bad state as a session is forming and after a brief delay, will be kicked back to the main menu. As a result, the game itself will start as 4v3 which is certainly a less than desired experience all-around. However, as a technical preview, getting additional scale data around this problem, across a breadth of hardware, can be invaluable to the team as they work to solve this issue. Based on our prior private flights, we can generally expect that on average, a match will start with a full 4v4 approx. 60% of the time while the other 40% involves a 4v3 start with the final player joining-in-progress within a minute.
We’d love to get some additional testing and data to help the team, but we really want to ensure players understand the experience and potential hiccups before jumping in. Tech preview participants should stay tuned to @Halo and the in-game news feed to know if and when Social Arena gets enabled.
Interested in locking in your aim? Are you certain your skills with the Commando surpass that of all your friends? Now you can prove it. In this tech preview you can put your skills to the test with the following subset of Weapon Drills:
- MA40 AR
- MK50 Sidekick
- CQS48 Bulldog
- VK78 Commando
- S7 Sniper
- Plasma Pistol
- Pulse Carbine
BATTLE PASS AND MENU UI
In the upcoming tech preview, we’re going to be granting Halo Insiders a set amount of in-game credits (cR) so that they can dig in with a very trimmed-down version of our first Battle Pass. (Worry not, we’re saving plenty of content for launch.) As a reminder, none of the items unlocked over the course of tech previews will carry over to the game’s release later this year. Everything should be considered work-in-progress and not indicative of the final shipping systems including the cost of customization pieces in the store, the order in which they’re unlocked in the Pass, the XP granted by challenges, and more.
The key focus here will be to test out if the systems that dictate when you unlock and equip items are working correctly. So, keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t work how you would expect and let us know. We’re going to have our ears open for your feedback!
If you read through the June 2021 edition of Inside Infinite you know big things are in store for Halo Waypoint. And, as a part of the upcoming tech preview, you’re going to have a chance to see it all first-hand!
Halo Waypoint’s new version (which we affectionately refer to as “Waypoint vNext”) is going to launch on web for your standard browsing experience, along with iOS and Android in app form. If you’re joining us for tech previews, then you’ll be able to use this same experience to edit and update your Spartan in Halo Infinite. Everything will work for MCC and Halo 5 as well.
Introducing Fret, a Personalized AI. [For the full-res image, click here.]
We can’t wait to hear your feedback! In addition to the surveys we’ll be sending out to a portion of Halo Insiders on Monday, August 2, we’ll also have dedicated feedback threads ready and waiting for you over on Halo Waypoint and Steam. Notably, these links are currently live - but, the threads themselves will not unlock until the tech preview has gone live.
We know our Insiders will have a LOT of feedback and we can’t wait to hear your thoughts. However, we also want to be upfront and acknowledge that as we’re actively working on closing out the game and readying for launch, there’s only so much feedback the team can truly act on between now and then. Some feedback could be addressed now, others could be addressed post-launch, and some feedback might go against the team’s intent - either way, we’ll be sure to share the overall outcomes in a transparent manner once the flight dust has settled.
SEATS IN THE FULL UPRIGHT POSITION
The road to Halo Infinite’s launch is paved by the hard work of teams here at 343 as well as the participation of our Halo Insiders. From the very first whiteboard scribbles all the way up to this week’s test, we’re thrilled to have such a passionate and driven community with us for this journey.
And, if all this tech preview talk has gotten you interested in flighting, it’s not too late to join us in the future! By signing up to be a Halo Insider, verifying your email address, opting into communications, and uploading your DxDiag (if you’re on PC), you’ll be officially added to our list.