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Sandbox Updates | Season 3

A Spartan in pink armor is flanked by a friendly Spartan in green armor as they focus on the same target.
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  -  a year ago

Season 3: Echoes Within is fast approaching, and it’s bringing two brand-new items into the sandbox. The M392 Bandit weapon and the Shroud Screen equipment are sure to add fun and skillful new ways to approach each engagement. There will also be a few tuning updates and bug fixes for networking (“desync”) and existing sandbox items, all of which should help improve your gameplay experience.

If you want to get extra ready for Season 3, be sure to read up on our other blogs here on Waypoint: 

Also, in case you missed, a small update in February brought a few Sandbox adjustments, such as improved accuracy when no-scoping with the S7 Sniper, reduced Frag Grenade damage radius, and more, which you can read about here on Waypoint.  

With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at what you can expect when Season 3 lands on March 7!

M392 Bandit

The newest addition to the UNSC arsenal in Halo Infinite is the M392 Bandit. This semi-automatic weapon, which has a silhouette that’s reminiscent of the DMR from Halo: Reach, is best suited for mid-range combat. You won’t need to worry about bloom when going for a 5-shot kill but we’d still advise that you keep your shots controlled, as the recoil will kick up when spamming multiple shots in a row. Mastering this single-shot weapon is bound to pay off on the battlefield.

A render of the M392 Bandit on a UNSC background.

Shroud Screen

The Shroud Screen is a launchable equipment that creates a spherical shroud upon landing, obstructing line-of-sight and motion tracker. Acting like a smoke screen, it can add to the fog of war in a tactically advantageous (and fun) manner if used correctly. Rewarding players with smart positioning and a strong understanding of the game flow, the Shroud Screen can buy you and your teammates time to reload, go after the objective, traverse the map without being spotted, and so much more. Use it wisely and you’ll be rewarded.

Multiple Spartans fight in and around a Shroud Screen that has been deployed on Live Fire.

Balance Updates

VK78 Commando 

  • Tuning: The VK78 Commando will require one more shot to kill
    • From 8 bullets to 9 bullets to kill (damage per bullet from 20 to 17.5)

Sandbox Dev Team Notes: We got pretty consistent feedback after the Winter Update that the Commando felt better to use, people were able to keep on target and land their shots! But this new handling made it a little too easy to have a high damage output. Since the Commando was feeling good to shoot, we wanted to pursue a small nerf to its efficacy to keep it in line with other weapons in the Sandbox.

Plasma Pistol 

  • Tuning: The Plasma Pistol’s charged shot will have its charged time increased and its tracking properties adjusted

Sandbox Dev Team Notes: The Plasma Pistol was another weapon that got a buff in the Winter Update. That patch pushed it in the right direction, but we were still not totally satisfied with it. There were two situations we were seeing on social media and running into ourselves during playtests:

  • First, players could sprint with the Plasma Pistol, start getting shot in the back, turn while charging and "noob combo" the player that should have had advantage. Reversals are important to Halo, but with how strong the Plasma Pistols charged shot has to be mechanically, the reversal was just too easy. This gameplay loop is also less interesting than a charge when it takes more commitment, and rewards a player's good positioning and timing.
    • Charge time increased from 1s → 1.6s 
  • The tracking was unpredictable for victims. We want to give victims a chance to avoid the projectile if played well. To encourage this, we gave a mixture of changes to the projectile tracking which should make it more consistent overall. Player should find the projectile seeks closer to center mass but has less aggressive tracking.
    • Tracking Angle Max: 70 degrees → 50 degrees 
    • Tracking Angle Min: 35 degrees → 25 degrees 
    • Tracking Target Radius: 0.5 wu → 0.3 wu (World Units) 
A Spartan wearing purple Mark V [B] armor holds a Plasma Pistol with a destroyed Brute Chopper in flames behind them.

As mentioned in our February tuning update blog, we did plan on reducing the amount of power on the map in Ranked due to weapon respawn rates and ammo counts. We updated the respawn timers in February and we’ve updated the ammo counts on select weapons in Season 3. In Ranked, you can expect to see fewer rounds of ammo in the CQS48 Bulldog, Heatwave, Shock Rifle, and Stalker Rifle to help address this community feedback.

To further improve the flow of gameplay in Ranked Arena, Season 3 will also bring a few changes that the HCS Team discussed in their latest competitive blog.

  • Enemy footsteps are now harder to hear at a distance, but easier to hear when very close. We’ve also improved the accuracy of enemy location based on footstep audio when enemies are above, below, or behind you. 
  • Removed from Ranked Arena: Mangler, Energy Sword, Pulse Carbine 
  • Will receive future tuning: Disruptor, Spike Grenades 

We’re excited to see how the gameplay meta continues to evolve with these changes. As always, please make sure to share your feedback online about how everything feels to you once you’ve had a chance to go hands-on with Season 3.

Networking & “Desync” Improvements

Beyond creating new weapons and updating existing ones, the team has also been hard at work improving the foundation of the online experience. Season 3 will bring about another round of improvements to address feedback around “desync” and networking during matches.


  • Rubberbanding is less likely to occur when moving or sprinting immediately after a match starts. 
  • Ammo, Equipment, and Grenades counts are more consistent after entering and exiting a vehicle. 
  • On the map Behemoth, players are now less likely to experience rubberbanding while using the Grappleshot to pick up a weapon from a Power Weapon pad. 
  • Vehicles are now less likely to desync when players use the Repulsor against them. 
  • Melee attacks are now more likely to register while holding a Power Seed. 
4 Master Chiefs with different weapons jumping down from a high elevation

Campaign Network Co-Op

  • When playing with an unlocked framerate on PC, rubberbanding and teleporting is now less likely to occur in the mission Warship Gbraakon.
  • Players are now less likely to fall through the floor of the gondola in the mission Conservatory.
  • Stuttering and teleporting are now less likely to occur after taking the teleporter to the elevator room in the mission Spire.
  • Rubberbanding and teleporting is now less likely to occur in the Pelican at the end of the mission Outpost Tremonius. 

We appreciate the support and feedback around our sandbox and Halo Infinite all-up. We’re excited to continue improving the experience, and we’ll see you when we take that next step together when Season 3: Echoes Within releases on March 7!