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Infection Overview | Season 4

The Infection Classic Playlist image with a survivor about to get jumped by an Infected Spartan.
Photo of Alex
  -  a year ago

Season 4 of Halo Infinite arrives in just a few days on June 20 and brings with it the highly anticipated fan-favorite Infection mode.

The Academy has been compromised. Iratus has taken control, and mayhem is about to be unleashed. Will you succumb, or survive?


Once upon a time, Infection was an unofficial custom game played with honor rules in Halo 2—a game that released in the periphery of 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and Resident Evil, and so it was little wonder that Halo fans had zombies on their collective minds.

The precise origin of this particular game mode is difficult to determine, perhaps even lost to time, but it is undoubtedly a very early example of the kind of impact that community creativity has had on Halo.

In its original form, Red Team were the humans and Green Team were the Energy Sword-wielding zombies. You would manually switch teams using the pause menu if you got killed by a zombie to join the infected horde (and hell mend you if you didn’t honor that rule). All sorts of variations and allowances and compromises would be debated, agreed upon, and inevitably broken.

These were the early days of online multiplayer gaming on Xbox Live. During this time, the maps Foundation and Headlong became a fiery crucible in which lifelong friendships were forged amongst clan mates gathering to play a few rounds of Zombies—until they realized through bleary eyes that it was 3AM. Thus, the foundations were set for what remains one of the most beloved modes in Halo.

Infection has returned as an official mode in each successive title, bringing some updates and variations along the way to its settings and aesthetics.

And now it returns once more to Halo Infinite.


In Season 3: Echoes Within, we saw our Spartan descend into a hidden area of the Avery J. Johnson Academy with Spartan Dinh—a black site built early in the Covenant War where the Office of Naval Intelligence have buried some of their secrets.

After the Banished AI Iratus scoured Dinh’s memories, he seized on the opportunity to take control of the Academy’s systems, appearing over a disassembled suit of MIRAGE IIC armor held in a Brokkr armor mechanism.

As noted earlier, each iteration of Infection over the years has had some variations to its aesthetics. In Halo 4 and Halo 2: Anniversary, the infected player model was a Flood-infected Spartan, while in Halo 2 through Halo 5: Guardians it has been elements of customization (such as armor color and effects) that separated the survivor from the horde.

Halo Infinite is no different, as Iratus brings a new visual flair and flavor to the Infection experience, as you can see in some of the stunning concepts our Art Team has cooked up.

Halo Infinite concept art of Alpha and Beta Infected showing the different Iratus effects

Alpha Infected will see more prominent effects on their Spartan, with Iratus covering their helmet and other red holographic effects over their armor. Beta Infected will also have Iratus-themed effects applied, but more subtly to differentiate them from Alphas.

Some of you may have noticed certain peculiarities in the Academy background as you navigate various menus throughout Season 3, such as power surges in UNSC equipment and red flickering. Upon entering the simulated environments of the multiplayer maps, you will see some very noticeable changes to these spaces because we’ve got Infection-specific map variants that will be played with this mode.

Maps will be overtaken with distortions and digital lightning to convey the thematic aspects of this incarnation of Infection, but they’ll also have dead Spartans on the ground, new areas to hide or find temporary shelter, and other paths that might be blocked off by crates that could leave you at a dead end.

Halo Infinite concept art of the Infected Energy Sword


With that groundwork established, let’s talk about the rules of how Infection is played in Halo Infinite—for many of you, the music to this particular dance is undoubtedly well known.

  • Infection is a round-based mode where one team (Infected) converts enemy players (Survivors) to their team upon killing them.
  • Each round, a limited number of players are selected to be Infected—these are Alpha Infected, and the Survivors they kill are converted to Beta Infected.
  • Survivors start out with limited supplies and will need to acquire additional weapons, equipment, and ammunition from the map.
  • The goal is for the Infected to eliminate all Survivors. The last Survivor (the Last Spartan Standing) will have special traits applied to them (such as Overshield and unlimited ammo), but a nav-point will reveal their location to all Infected.

And there you have it. Scout, scavenge, survive—or succumb to the Infected...

Season 4 is almost here and Hell needs a new janitor, so get ready to dust off that shotgun and prepare to face Iratus as he goes viral.

For a closer look at some of the major elements of Season 4, take a look at our other blogs below.

  • CAREER RANK Learn more about Halo Infinite’s new progression system.
  • FORGE UPDATE OVERVIEW Find out about new objects, palettes, options, and more coming to Forge.
  • SANDBOX OVERVIEW All you need to know about the Quantum Translocator, Threat Seeker, and other sandbox balancing changes in Season 4.
  • MAPS OVERVIEW Take a guided tour of Scarr and Forest with our multiplayer designers.