In just under two months, you'll have the chance to become the Master Chief, inspiring hope in humanity through heroism and sacrifice, no matter the cost. Step into Master Chief's shoes and become the hero of the journey as you face the Banished and travel across Zeta Halo when Halo Infinite launches on December 8. In honor of that, we wanted to share some artwork that evokes some of those sentiments. These make fantastic PC Wallpapers so be sure to download the zip file now! (Updated 10/25)
For those of you keeping count at home, that makes it under 60 days to launch – can you believe it? Before we get to that point, we have a ton of news to cover from MCC Season 8, to some Halo 5 updates, and more. We've captured all the latest in one spot so read on to get the latest from around the Halo community!
HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION
Before we get into the awesomesauce that is Mythic, I want to take a minute to give some appreciation to Pub Team. They have worked exceptionally hard to breathe new life into MCC and the amount of love and time they've poured into the game is immeasurable. I hope you join me in giving them a well deserved round of applause for the nonstop efforts they've put forth.
Season 8 is here and it does not disappoint. Mythical mod tools, amazing armors, hellaciously heroic head-gear, and more – there's something for everyone. We released some mod tools for Combat Evolved back in July and we're excited to put mod tools for Halo 2 (Classic only!) and Halo 3 in your hands. We've already seen some incredible innovations come through and I know that's only scratching the surface. We're very excited to see what you all come up with and our socks are ready to be blown off. You can read all about the update in our launch blog.
Arguably the fanciest feature taking center stage here are the new Mythical armor sets for Halo 3. Close second would be all the new additions to ODST Firefight! You can battle it out against Grunts only, deal death to Drones, or slaughter Sentinels to your heart's content. My personal favorite is the addition of Icebox (aka Turf! My favorite map ever!) to Halo 3.
You can check out @Postums' latest Seasonal Sitrep to get the latest low-down on the update.
HALO 5: GUARDIANS
Six years ago (almost to the day!) Halo 5: Guardians debuted. Week after week, season after season, the teams have worked tirelessly to keep things moving like a well oiled machine. However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and, as such, I'm here to talk to you about Halo 5's final playlist updates, which will happen after Halo Infinite launches later this year. While saying goodbye to our weekly playlist updates is certainly difficult, we feel we've hit a good balance for everyone who may want to play Halo 5 after Halo Infinite's release.
Our goal is to make sure that there's a variety, that the playlists remain healthy, and that you have the ability to complete your in-game Commendations. When we launch Halo Infinite later this year, these are the playlists you can expect to find in Halo 5:
- Quick Play
- Super Fiesta Party
- Big Team Battle
- Big Team Super Fiesta
- Team Arena
- 2v2 Competitive
- Warzone Firefight
- Mythic Warzone Firefight
- Warzone Warlords
- Warzone (Warzone will be the primary default with Warzone Turbo and Warzone Assault added in at a lower weighting)
We will also be kicking off one final ranked Arena Season come December that will run indefinitely. We expect this to be the last playlist update for the forseeable future as our focus will primarily be on Halo Inifnite. That said, we will periodically re-evaluate the health of playlists to ensure we continue to have a good experience for players looking to play online.
As a reminder, Ranked Free-for-all is currently available for the rest of the month. Not to mention the treat that is Double XP in Infection all month long. And next week, we’ll be rotating in the fan-favorite Castle Wars and the bombastic Warzone Turbo for the weekend!
HALO INFINITE COMPETITIVE SETTINGS
We recently released a blog and new video that dives into Halo Infinite’s settings for ranked and competitive play. To walk us through a full match using these competitive settings, Multiplayer Lead Andrew Witts and Competitive Insights team member Visal Mohanan (eL ToWn) joined host Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky at the studio. To read up on how we landed on these settings, read the blog right here on Halo Waypoint! Before you load up the video, here’s a quick summary of which settings are different in comparison to Halo Infinite’s social multiplayer settings:
- The BR75 will be the starting weapon
- Motion Tracker will be disabled
- Grenade Hitmarkers will be disabled
- Friendly Fire will be turned on
- Modes will be Slayer, Capture the Flag, Strongholds, and Oddball
- Weapons, equipment, and grenades on maps will be set on static spawners meaning they will always appear in the same location on each map and mode combination, and will respawn at the same intervals
HCS KICKOFF MAJOR RALEIGH 2021
The HCS Kickoff Major will be Halo Infinite’s first in-person tournament and will be taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 17-19, 2021 with a starting prize pool of $250,000. Once again, the Halo community will be united under one roof, and this time with an entirely new Halo game to play and watch. In tried-and-true Halo esports fashion, the HCS Kickoff Major will feature an open bracket, seating for spectators, as well as full main stage and featured stations for pool play and the championship bracket. To ensure a world class experience onsite and for viewers at home, we have enlisted none other than Esports Engine to operate the event with us. If you’re interested in competing or watching the event, head to Halo.gg/Raleigh2021 or read our announcement blog to find all the info!
The train that is @HaloGear is full steam ahead and is showing no signs of slowing down or stopping any time soon. Some of my personal favorite collaberations/products have come out in the past month but there's a lot of goodness to choose from, in addition to the new Xbox Sphere collection. Grab your very own 117 or collect all three designs to share your love a-round (pun intended). Let's check out the rest now!
HYPERKIN DUKE – CORTANA EDITION
Some things never go out of style, and while it’s been a few years since its debut alongside the classic Xbox, the Duke is back to celebrate 20 years of Halo. Rocking an exclusive purple color, a 20th Anniversary Cortana design, and a nostalgic video, Hyperkin is bringing back the past in the best possible way. Pre-order now!
RAZER X HALO INFINITE
Gearing up to play Halo Infinite on PC? Razer has you covered, and with fantastic offerings like the BlackWidow V3, the Deathadder V2, and Goliathus Extended Chroma, you’ll be fully equipped to handle whatever the Banished may try and throw at you. Not to mention, the Kaira Pro will make sure you hear your enemies coming. And don't forget the awesome in-game rewards that come with them.
MASTER CHIEF X ESCHARUM DIORAMA
Set a fire in your heart, Spartan – it doesn’t get any more epic than this! Gaming Heads brings the drama and the spectacle in this collectable diorama featuring Master Chief against Escharum, the Banished War Chief. Get your own today!
HALO 20TH ANNIVERSARY PLAYING CARDS
MS Casual Games recently revealed the fantastic Halo card deck theme for Microsoft Solitaire and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. So of course, it is a pleasure to announce that we’ve created a physical version of the deck you can now order the Xbox Gear Shop to enjoy IRL. Featuring themed suits and familiar faces, you can bet it will make any card game you play particularly heroic.
KING ICE X HALO
King Ice’s Halo Collection is a jewelry box of goods with pendants featuring everything from Master Chief’s iconic helmet to the elegant beauty of an energy sword. So, whether you’re meeting a certain someone on Cairo station, or just looking for a new accessory, you’ll definitely be wearing something nice. The collection is available now!
Head back to the Ark with new and familiar faces in Troy Denning’s latest novel, Halo: Divine Wind. Set a year after the events of Halo 5: Guardians, the fate of the galaxy is at stake as Veta Lopis and her Spartan-III Ferret team go undercover in their most dangerous mission yet... Grab your copy from Simon & Schuster today!
As a bonus, we've also had a really slick series about making a real life Warthog and MAC Cosmetics (yes, really!) showed off their phenomenal artistry. Halo's come a long way and I am loving seeing the expansion into new, previously untapped, markets.
@TheHoonigans crew put together a ten-episode series all about their build of the iconic Halo Warthog, and you can now watch the whole thing in one sitting. So, pull up a chair and settle in for a wonderfully wild ride that sheds light on what goes into making a 1000 horse-power ‘hog.
As if that wasn't enough, there's a surprise bonus epsiode where the Hoonigans take their Warthog fender to fender against a 500hp Delorean. Yeah. It's as awesome as it sounds and the behind the scenes shots are gorgeous. What's not to love here?
ROCKSTAR X HALO
Energy drinks and gaming, name a better duo – I'll wait. Halo Infinite has taken center stage thanks to a prodigious partnership with Rockstar. The 5 Artist-Series Cans are inspired by Master Chief and have started appearing on shelves as of this month. If you pick up one of these collector-edition cans, you can find a code under the tab and use that to earn in-game unlocks for Halo Infinite. For full details about the offerings be sure to check out the Rockstar website.
MAC X HALO
@MACcosmetics pulled out all the stops for this Cortana-inspired look. Make-up artist @marinaderosa_mua did a stellar job and seeing Halo in this sphere is one of my favorite things. The best part is that this is just the beginning so keep your eyes on the horizon for more to come from this partnership!
- Halo Xbox 360 Service Sunsetting: The end of an era draws near as we get close to the end of the line for legacy Halo Xbox 360 services. Online services will be discontinued on January 13, 2022. Game owners will be able to play these titles indefinitely, but be sure to read the blog for all the details.
- Microsoft Solitaire & Mahjong by Microsoft: Looking for something to keep you busy until December 8th? Look no further! Microsoft Casual Games is now a part of the Halo universe with recently added Halo themes in Microsoft Solitaire Collection (PC & mobile) and Mahjong by Microsoft (mobile). Both are available to play (for free!) today!
- Waypoint vNext: The future is looking bright, and with the next chapter of Waypoint almost upon us, we wanted to make sure people were aware of what to expect when the new experience rolls out in November.
- Adrien Cho & the Summer Apprentices: Art is one of the cornerstones of our game so learn how Adrien Cho uses his skills to help find talented artists to work on building our universe, all while also assisting with the summer apprenticeship programs at 343 and Turn 10.
- 20th Anniversary Celebration: Just as Halo turns 20 soon, so does Xbox! Check out what they have in store:
Just as MCC has kept rolling, so have all things Halo Infinite. The studio is all hands on deck and working hard as we prepare for December 8. Between running our second Technical Preview (over two weekends!), a new issue of Canon Fodder, the latest Inside Infinite, and some jaw-dropping concept art, we've had one of our busiest months thus far. Here's the "short" recap, just for you!
THE GREAT (PC) JOURNEY
Halo Infinite has been built from the ground up to make the PC a first-class platform. Come December 8, you'll be able to experience a Halo free-to-play mutliplayer designed with PC (and console) in mind. You'll be able to choose your input for ranked matchmaking, have local LANs using your PC as a dedicated server host, experience multiplayer crossplay and cross-progression across Xbox and PC, and so much more. Get the scoop first-hand from our PC and Sandbox teams now:
AMD X HALO
We're extremely pleased to announce that AMD is the exclusive PC partner for Halo Infinite. Our teams have been working with the crew at AMD for over two years to make game title optimizations that benefit a vast range of hardware and device endpoints. You can catch the full rundown in the PC blog released yesterday.
As an added bonus, AMD created these very limited, highly exclusive AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT video cards. They're designed to look like our favorite Master Chief and only 117 were made. Enter to win one in the RazerCon 2021 giveaway today!
WHEN WE ALL PLAY, WE ALL WIN
We have taken that mantra very much to heart as we work to make Halo Infinite accessible through numerous menu and gameplay options. You can catch our very own UXUI Producer Paige Johnson explaining her role in championing accessibility features for the game on the Xbox Accessibility Showcase. Some of the features include:
- Subtitles options: Change font size, background opacity, and on by default
- Text size adjustment
- Menu narration
- Color blind options via player outline colors
- HUD opacity adjustments
- And more!
Each month we manage to find time with some of the devs working on our new favorite Halo game and last month, was no different. We've talked with our Audio team, our Live team, and more. In September, we sat down with some of the people working on the game's multiplayer to pick their brains about all things Big Team Battle (BTB). The mode has long been a staple of the Halo experience and we wanted to find out the teams approach to designing the biggest and best BTB to-date. It's definitely worth reading so make sure you do that now – assuming you didn't already.
Flighting is tricky and complicated. And sometimes, mistakes happen. In this particular instance, we inadvertently left some concept art files in the Tech Preview build. Our error is your gain as we decided to face the issue as open and honestly as we could. We opted to package up the collection in downloadable zip files and shared some of the art of Halo Infinite with you directly.
Some of the images will look familiar as we've used them previously but that aside, we want to be clear that none of these images spoil any part of the campaign you will get to dive into in December. You will be able to get some of these images in a beautiful book by our friends @DarkHorseComics. While you wait, you can grab the full set we released in both 4K and HD zip files in the blog. We hope you enjoy them as they are simply stunning works and make for incredible desktop wallpapers.
Halo-ween and Inktober are some of my favorite things so let's check out some of the awesome art that comes from those!
For those that have stuck with me this far, thank you! There's a lot of info and a lot of excitement and we're all very much looking forward to December 8. For those of you who had artwork featured, don't forget to fill out the latest form so we can hook you up with your Fire Unicorn rewards. 🦄🔥
Stay tuned for more between now and launch. It'll be here before you know it!