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Halo Infinite

Season 1 Outcomes Report

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  -  2 months ago

Since the launch of Halo Infinite, we’ve been paying close attention to community feedback, addressing what we can in a timely manner, communicating what we’re working on with “Closer Look” blogs, and prioritizing future content and features internally based on that player input.

Similar to what we did with our Outcomes reports during Halo Infinite’s Technical Previews, which shared learnings from each flight, we wanted to be transparent about the feedback we’ve received so far and provide the team’s responses to emerging themes in the community.

You will definitely see similarities in key feedback themes from the tech previews that carry over into Season 1. In the months leading up to release, the team was fully focused on launching Halo Infinite with very little room to begin work on the majority of these areas (many of which are quite significant in scope). In some cases, work on these common themes has been happening already while in others, new insights and data gleamed from Season 1 has helped to further refine scope and priority for the team to address moving forward.

During last year’s pre-release flights, we highlighted both the positively received areas and the key feedback areas. Since this Outcomes report covers almost the entirety of the Halo Infinite’s multiplayer experience, and not the limited scope of a flight, we’ll only be drilling into what’s most important – the feedback. We gather this feedback and data via surveys sent to Halo Insiders, telemetry on in-game player behavior, and thoughts shared on Halo Waypoint forums, Twitter, reddit, YouTube videos, Twitch streams, and more.

A close-up of a Spartan holding a SPNKr on Behemoth.

To set expectations, please keep in mind that this is not meant to cover all the upcoming work we have planned for Halo Infinite – nor does it have specific timelines for every item. It will, however, cover many of the common feedback areas that you’ve seen raised and discussed online with a focus on what’s landing in Season 2. We’ll have more to share around the specific timing of features and content in the future. As Joseph noted earlier this month, the team is also actively working towards shipping fixes, features, and updates in more agile ways during our seasons.


TL;DR

We recommend reading the full blog below to get all the details and context, but here’s a quick look at some of the updates coming when Season 2 launches on May 3.

This is by no means everything, and you can find additional insights from the team in each of their sections below, but we wanted to list some outcomes we think you’d like to see up front that are already locked and loaded for next month as work continues in numerous other areas.

AUDIO

  • The ability to hear an opponent’s shield recharge sound will be reduced to prevent providing too much information about a player’s location
  • The volume of the Grunt Birthday Party sound effect will be increased in Campaign

MULTIPLAYER

Arena

  • Catalyst (new Arena map) will be added to multiple playlists on day one
  • King of the Hill will be added to multiple playlists
  • Attrition will be added to multiple playlists
  • In Attrition, a revived player will be able to move immediately after spawning back in
  • Motion Tracker (Radar) will have its outer edge detection enabled for shooting and sprinting in social playlists

Big Team Battle

  • Breaker (new BTB map) will be added to matchmaking on day one
  • Jeff Steitzer’s voice is returning to call out player-earned medals
  • Issue causing asymmetrical Weapon Rack spawns has been addressed

Matchmaking

  • Rather than track a player’s entire session, the CSR progression bar will now reflect the progress made from their most recent match

Custom Games & Forge

  • Addressing some Custom Game bugs, with more coming down the road

Personal AI & Spartan Chatter

  • Balance adjustments were made to emphasize what’s most important for players

PC

  • Noticeable stability improvements; the team has resolved dozens of PC crashes

SANDBOX

Networking

  • Melee fights should be more consistent, with opponents “phasing” through each other less and “whiffing” less when a melee should’ve connected

Weapons

  • A global melee damage decrease of 10% on all weapons will require the Mangler to land two shots and a beatdown for a kill.
  • The Ravager’s base (non-charged) shot will see a damage increase

Friend or Foe (IFF) Recognition (Player Outlines)

  • This system will now have options allowing players to modify the opacity and thickness based on their preferences

Equipment

  • Drop Wall will see slight performance increases
  • Overshield will provide slightly more shielding

Vehicles

  • Chopper collision (splatter) damage will be increased to its vehicle-splattering glory
  • Banshee’s agility and damage output will be increased to improve its role as a strike fighter
  • Warthog & Razorback should be more resistant to flipping and bouncing

We’ll have another Outcomes blog focusing on the Live Team’s areas such as Customization, Shop, Battle Pass, Progression (Challenges), Events, Theater, and Observer Mode in the near future. Be sure to keep an eye out for it here on Halo Waypoint and give it a read when it lands.

Today’s Season 1 Outcomes blog is meant to highlight key community themes and the Halo Infinite team’s responses to each of them. To start, we’ll be going in alphabetical order and kicking things off with our teammates working on Accessibility!


A Spartan holding a Skewer is walking around a base on Behemoth.

Accessibility

  • Feedback: Desire for an auto-sprint option  
  • Feedback: Desire for more color-blind settings 
  • Feedback: Desire for an audio visualization feature 

Accessibility Team Responses

  • Feedback: Desire for an auto-sprint option

Accessibility continues to be an area we want to focus and improve in, and we believe that feedback from the Gaming and Disability Community is at the forefront of that. We’ve received feedback that folks are looking for more ways to configure movement to be accessible, including more options for making sprint accessible. Our Sandbox team is currently investigating settings that can be created for this.

  • Feedback: Desire for more color-blind settings

The ability to configure friend and enemy colors for colorblind needs or color preferences has been received positively, but players are looking for additional colorblind settings. The UX/UI team is currently investigating exposing more color options based on pain-points for players (e.g. damage colors, HUD colors, etc.). We are prioritizing exposing these individual settings over a color channel filter, as we’ve seen feedback from the community that these are more valuable.

  • Feedback: Desire for an audio visualization feature

An audio visualization feature remains the most design and implementation heavy of the accessibility requests. We are in very early exploratorily stages but are committed to the design goal of making Halo Infinite fully playable without audio, with the same information that players who play with audio receive.

A Spartan is throwing Dynamo Grenades on Fragmentation.

Audio

  • Feedback: Shield recharge sound on opponents is loud, providing too much information as to where players are hiding
  • Feedback: Dynamo Grenades provided audio hit ticks, allowing them to serve as ‘audio hitmarkers’ in ranked settings when grenade hitmarkers should be disabled
  • Feedback: Grunt Birthday Party Sound Effect is too quiet
  • Note: Reports of issues hearing players and shots behind you on certain headphones

Audio Team Responses

  • Feedback: Shield recharge sound on opponents is loud, providing too much information as to where players are hiding
  • Feedback: Dynamo Grenades provided audio hit ticks, allowing them to serve as ‘audio hitmarkers’ in ranked settings when grenade hitmarkers should be disabled

We appreciate all the feedback from community on the game’s audio. Since launch, we’ve received feedback regarding the audio mix balance in multiplayer and recently released a mix tuning pass in the mid-season update in February. Since then, we’ve continued to work on more detailed tuning to further improve the mix based on community feedback.

One specific piece of feedback we received was that the third-person Shield Recharge sound is too loud, which provides too much locational information when an enemy is hiding, giving away their location. In response to this feedback, we have turned down the volume of the sound slightly, and increased the acoustic filter tuning which will release as part of Season 2. Players have also called out that the Dynamo Grenade hit detection sound still triggers in ranked modes, even though other grenade hit detection sounds are disabled in ranked. The fix for this likely won’t be ready by Season 2, but we will be addressing it in a future update.

  • Feedback: Grunt Birthday Party Sound Effect is too quiet

The community also shared a helpful note for Campaign Audio, that Grunt Birthday Party fanfare sound is quieter than in past titles and is not as satisfying. We appreciate the note very much, and we turned up the volume of that sound so it is audible from an even greater distance. These changes will go live with Season 2 as well.

  • Note: Reports of issues hearing players and shots behind you on certain headphones

Many players have also reported missing sounds from behind, while playing the game with certain headphones. In our investigations, we discovered that this is a specific hardware/platform issue which also affects other titles, and therefore cannot be solved by an update to Halo Infinite itself. If you are experiencing this issue, please follow the steps on this page to find potential workarounds for this issue on the Halo Support site.

We have reported this issue to the relevant partner teams, and we’ll share updates as soon as there is any progress. Thank you for your patience.


First-person perspective of a player in the VK78 Commando Weapon Drill.

Multiplayer

Academy

  • Feedback: Many players would like longer or untimed Weapon Drills

Multiplayer Team Responses

We agree and you can expect endless weapon drills to come in Season 2!

Arena (Maps & Modes)

  • Feedback: Desire for more Arena maps and modes
  • Bring Attrition back to matchmaking (Quick Play)
  • Feedback: In Attrition, players wanted the ability to move while reviving a fallen teammate and to be able to move immediately after being revived
  • Feedback: Many players would like Elimination to appear in matchmaking so they can unlock the “MEDIC!” Achievement
  • Note: Confusion around Motion Tracker (Radar) ranges

Multiplayer Team Responses

  • Feedback: Desire for more Arena maps and modes
  • Bring Attrition back to matchmaking into Quick Play

We, like all of you, want more maps/modes to play and have a list of them we’re working on for future releases. For Season 2, we have an updated version of King of the Hill that you’ll be able to play in Matchmaking and Customs (along with being able to set it to “classic” version). You’ll also see a lot of updates to playlists, including the addition of the new Catalyst Arena map and Attrition going into Quick Play. Over the season our goal is to rotate in some new playlists with some fun variants we’ve been playtesting a lot lately.

  • Feedback: In Attrition, players wanted the ability to move while reviving a fallen teammate and to be able to move immediately after being revived.

With Attrition going into Matchmaking, we’ve tweaked the revive mechanic slightly to no longer “pause” the revived player they spawn back in. Initially this was intended as a balancing mechanic for revive but after playing it more in the wild, we decided that the risk of the revive interact itself was enough of a risk reward. The interaction to revive downed teammates will remain the same for now, but we’re excited about some revisions we’re working on for future updates to Attrition that will change this mechanic more.

  • Feedback: Many players would like Elimination to appear in matchmaking so they can unlock the “MEDIC!” Achievement

Elimination will be making its debut during Season 2. When the mode lands, it will show up in matchmaking as a rotational playlist and be made available in custom games. To help make sure the “MEDIC!” Achievement is always attainable outside of matchmaking; we’ve updated its underlying requirements to allow it to also be unlocked in custom games. We hope this helps all the achievement hunters out there.

  • Note: Confusion around Motion Tracker (Radar) ranges

In Season 2, we’ll be enabling the “edge” functionality for the Motion Tracker in all social playlists. This means that players who are sprinting, shooting, or operating vehicles but are just out of range, will now show up on the outer fringe of the Motion Tracker. The inside of the Motion Tracker will continue to detect walking, sprinting, shooting, and operating vehicles as precise blips. To be even more specific, Arena’s Motion Tracker distance will be 18m, with edge functionality at 30m. Big Team Battle’s will be 24m, with edge functionality set to 40m. We’ll be listening to feedback here, so once this rolls out the door be sure to let us know what you think.

Two Pelicans are dropping off Scorpions at the same time on High Power.

Big Team Battle (Maps & Modes)

  • Feedback: Desire for more BTB maps and modes
  • Feedback: Desire for the multiplayer announcer (Jeff Steitzer) to be heard in BTB
  • Feedback: Desire for members of your fireteam to show up in your intro camera line-up
  • Feedback: Desire for equal vehicle drops, including asymmetrical modes like Slayer & Total Control
  • Note: Weapon Rack spawns are not always symmetrical in BTB

Multiplayer Team Responses

  • Feedback: Desire for more BTB maps and modes

We have some great BTB maps going through their arting process at the moment (the longest part of map development) that we’re excited about releasing in Infinite’s future. For Season 2, we’re dropping Breaker into the mix, which features a giant moving laser that cuts across the center of the map and destroys anything that gets caught in its beam. It’s a tighter and faster-playing BTB map that feels different than anything we currently have in Infinite. We’re excited play it with everyone in BTB right when S2 launches!  

  • Feedback: Desire for the multiplayer announcer (Jeff Steitzer) to be heard in BTB 

While we believe in the concept of Commander Agryna giving you orders and feedback in your battle training during BTB, one thing that ultimately felt missing was the Medal feedback, but it also just didn’t feel right having her shout “Overkill” in the same way as Jeff Steitzer. For Season 2, Steitzer is in to call out your Medal accolades to keep the hype going while the Commander will still be there for your field evaluation feedback. 

  • Feedback: Desire for members of your fireteam to show up in your intro camera line-up 

In BTB we group the teams of 12 into 3 squads of 4, which are the players you see in the intro camera shots. In Season 1 we made it so your Fireteam would always appear as part of your squad in the in-game UI, and we’re going after this lineup grouping in a future update. This update will prioritize your fireteam members appearing in your squads so you can see your friends within the lineup. With larger size fireteams, it’ll still leave chances of the “odd-Spartan-out” but in general you should generally see yourselves together as you come off of spawn. 

  • Feedback: Desire for equal vehicle drops, including asymmetrical modes like Slayer & Total Control 

Pelican vehicle drops in BTB can indeed fall out of sync and we’ve identified the root cause. We’ll share more on this as a fix for this gets closer, but please know that we’re tracking this and will get it addressed in a future release. 

  • Note: Weapon Rack spawns are not always symmetrical in BTB 

We have addressed this in the Season 2 build. Instances of uneven weapon spawns on symmetrical placements were not intentional and were due to issues with the settings on those specific Weapon Racks. In these instances, both teams should have the same weapon in their Weapon Racks. If you spot any more uneven Weapon Rack spawns on symmetrical maps, be sure to let us know.

A picture of Deadlock featuring the Weapon Racks underneath a base.

Matchmaking

  • Feedback: In Ranked, players are reporting teammates that are out of their depth
  • Feedback: In Ranked, desire for Champion rank for highest-ranked Onyx players
  • Feedback: In Ranked, the amount CSR goes up and down is confusing
  • Feedback: Many players would like a reconnect/rejoin or forfeit feature, especially for Ranked
  • Feedback: Desire for more player agency to choose experiences (via a Match Composer feature or additional playlists)
  • Feedback: Desire to opt out of crossplay for various reasons
  • Feedback: Desire for regional server selection

Multiplayer Team Responses

  • Feedback: In Ranked, players are reporting teammates that are out of their depth

Ranked is an area we are working on and monitoring closely. There has been a lot of work going on to reduce the difference in the skill between players in competitive matches – it’s our top priority for ranked. The recent “Halo Infinite’s Ranked Experience” blog, which we highly recommend reading, has our responses to these other ranked themes in even greater detail.

  • Feedback: In Ranked, desire for Champion rank for highest-ranked Onyx players
  • Feedback: In Ranked, the amount CSR goes up and down is confusing

In regards to the Champion rank, we’ll be adding it in a future season down the road. CSR progression is dependent on many factors - the outcome of the match (Win/Loss), your individual performance, and the relative skill of your teammates and opponents. The ranked blog provides more specifics on this one. Additionally, we have seen confusion around how the CSR updates appear on your screen after a match. Currently, the meter shows your total session progress in ranked (since you launched the game), which we understand is a bit confusing – especially when trying to determine the impact of your last match.

When Season 2 launches, the CSR progression bar will be updated to show the progress made from the most recent match. This should help communicate better the impact that the most recent match had on a player's rank.

  • Feedback: Many players would like a reconnect/rejoin or forfeit feature, especially for Ranked 

We have a lot of things we’re working on to help mitigate player pain when a player quits or disconnects from a match in Ranked. While they won’t make the launch of Season 2, the integrity of Ranked matches is a priority area for us to continue iterating on to improve to ensure the best quality of matches possible. 

  • Feedback: Desire for more player agency to choose experiences (via a Match Composer feature or additional playlists) 

In Season 2 we will have more regular rotations to our playlists, rotating out less popular playlists and putting up new ones for players to dive into. S2’s launch will also bring the new Arena map, Catalyst, and the fan-favorite mode, King of the Hill, to multiple playlists on day one. Long term, we’re looking at more options for players to have more autonomy over what they’re wanting to play while maintaining healthy matchmaking for everyone. Expect more updates on this in the future. 

  • Feedback: Desire to opt out of crossplay for various reasons 

We believe supporting crossplay as our primary avenue for players to match make is important to maintaining healthy and populated matchmaking experience for players to find matches quickly. There’s work on our feature list we’re looking to get into future updates along with improvements to our anti-cheat systems to help ensure better matchmade experiences. 

  • Feedback: Desire for regional server selection 

Since launch we have already done some work to help improve matchmaking in some regions, such as Australia, and will continue monitoring and making updates during the lifetime of this game. It was mentioned in our Online Experience blog, but it’s worth restating in this post too. If we ever feel like the matches we are making do not meet player expectations or our quality bar, we will evaluate additional means of improving the online experience - including considering features like a server selection similar to MCC or search preferences similar to Halo 5 - further down the road.

A Spartan with customization items from the Cyber Showdown event is running on the map Streets.

Custom Games & Forge

  • Feedback: Desire for more adjustable game mode options in Custom Games
  • Feedback: Desire for additional bug fixes
  • Note: Desire for Custom Games Browser
  • Note: Desire for Forge to arrive as soon as possible

Multiplayer Team Responses

  • Feedback: Desire for more adjustable game mode options in Custom Games

100%! Extensibility is a core pillar for Halo Infinite and Customs plays an important part in this goal to let players make an endless assortment of game modes. Our plan is to continue expanding Custom options over time and we have an ever-expanding list of Custom Game options on our backlog we’re working through to create more flexibility in Customs to build way more mode variety and give players control over all the settings. This coupled with the coming launch of Infinite’s incredibly powerful Forge will give players infinite possibilities to create new gameplay experiences!

  • Feedback: Desire for additional bug fixes

We have addressed some Custom Game bugs for Season 2 and will continue addressing bugs to improve the Customs experience. If you run into any issues while running a custom game lobby, please be sure to submit a ticket for them on the Halo Support site (aka.ms/HaloSupport) so our team can properly investigate them.

  • Note: Desire for Custom Games Browser

Custom Game Browser is something we are deeply passionate about too, and we’re happy to say that the team is in the early stages of production for it.

  • Note: Desire for Forge to arrive as soon as possible

It broke our hearts to not be able to launch Forge alongside the rest of Infinite but to ensure it meets the bar we’re setting for it to achieve, this massive overhaul to Forge in Infinite just wasn’t able to make it out before the end of last year. It’s very much another generational leap forward in what it will be capable of and brings with it many of the community’s highly requested features which we believe will greatly empower the community to build WAY more impressive and creative gameplay experiences inside of Infinite.

Like the rest of Infinite, it will continue to grow and expand in capabilities with each update after it is released. It’s coming and we’re excited to allow Halo Insiders to go hands-on with it and provide feedback via flighting ahead of its release. It will be worth the wait for our Forge community and fans of the content they are able to create!

Personal AI & Spartan Chatter

  • Feedback: Granular controls of each in-game voice (Personal AI, Spartan Chatter, Multiplayer Announcer) 

Multiplayer Team Responses 

Since launch we’ve been addressing a lot of the feedback around how much the game is “talking” and have been using the tools at our disposal to improve the tuning in the experiences. In Season 2 you should hear a better balance of combat chatter and feedback across multiplayer. Basically, you should generally hear less chatter with a greater emphasize on what’s most important for players to understand. We’ll continue to evaluate the health of these features and as well as evaluate the option to offer more granular tuning by players in the future.


A Spartan holding a turret uses their Personal AI to hack a door on Fragmentation.

PC

Stability & Performance

  • Feedback: Various reports of crashing on different hardware specs
  • Feedback: PC players would like better performance across all machines, especially on high-end machines

PC Team Responses

  • Feedback: Various reports of crashing on different hardware specs

We’ve been analyzing telemetry and partnering with the Halo Support team (thank you to everyone who has submitted tickets!) to identify and prioritize issues with the most impact, in terms of severity and frequency. Our internal builds have gotten much better in terms of stability as the team set out to fix common TDRs (timeout detection and recovery) and other graphics crashes, and more. In total, the team has resolved dozens of crashes and the impact should be quite noticeable when S2 launches – and our work will continue with all future releases.

  • Feedback: PC players would like better performance across all machines, especially on high-end machines

Optimization work that improves performance will be a constant goal for the team throughout the lifetime of the game. Internally, for beyond Season 2, we’ve started a new, focused effort around optimizing the game while playing on high refresh rates (120+ fps). This will maintain the same visual quality bar while allowing players to bump their framerate compared to what they get in S1. We’ll continue to share more as we continue to optimize.

Anti-Cheat

  • Feedback: Desire for better anti-cheat measures
  • Feedback: Desire for better reporting process in-game
  • Feedback: Desire for red reticle to return on PC

PC Team Responses

We know that cheating has been a hot issue for players since launch and we’re exploring a few ways to make meaningful impact in both the short- and long-term here. Our efforts are concentrated on two main areas where we have the biggest gaps in our approach; we are working to streamline the process of reporting players for cheating or toxic behavior (which can currently be done on the Halo Support site at aka.ms/HaloReportAPlayer) with a new in-game reporting flow, and we are evaluating several different solutions for improving our ability to keep cheaters out of our game once we’ve detected them.

As for the state of red reticle on PC, we still believe that keeping this as is and making it harder to develop certain cheats is the right decision for the health of the game.

We recently released a blog post here on Waypoint which goes into a lot more detail about how we’re tackling cheating now and in the future.

Aiming

  • Discussed in Sandbox’s aiming section below

PC Team Response

We’ll be working closely with our Sandbox team to ensure aiming on PC feels great. Be sure to read their section on aiming below to more details.


A Spartan vents an overheated Ravager on Behemoth.

Sandbox

Networking/Desync

  • Feedback: Reports of players dying behind walls/around corners
  • Feedback: Reports of poor melee fight experiences due to warping
  • Feedback: Reports of inconsistent bullet and melee registration
  • Feedback: Reports of warping when moving normally
  • Feedback: Reports of full desync when interacting with vehicles 

Sandbox Team Responses

We are aware of desync issues related to shot registration and players rubberbanding or warping and a working on improvements in all of these areas. For a deeper dive on mitigations and future work on the issue, please check out our blog post on networking issues here on Waypoint.

Specifically for melee, in Season 2 we will have improvements on melee you can look forward to that resolve some of the warping or phasing that happens when players melee each other. When players melee, there is a brief "rebound" window where they go airborne and bounce backwards, however players also have air control during this window. Since you generally hold forward while melee'ing, you end up moving forward during this window. Combine that with two players both holding forward, and you may see players phasing through each other.

To help reduce these occurrences, we're adjusting the melee rebound behavior, which should lower the possibility of overlapping positions while in close-quarter engagements. Another melee fix we have for Season 2 addresses the melee lunge accuracy. Aim should better snap towards your target on a successful melee lunge, helping keep your target in view for successive melees (reducing the need to spin around) and hopefully reduce instances of "whiffing", which typically occurs when the target is towards the edge of your screen.

Weapons

  • Feedback: Mangler is prominent in high-level gameplay, especially with its one-shot + melee combo
  • Feedback: Many players find the Ravager’s damage output to be underwhelming
  • Feedback: Many players have reported that the Pulse Carbine is hard to use effectively against Spartans
  • Feedback: Similar to above, the Plasma Pistol was also viewed as not being effective enough on Spartans
  • Feedback: Some players report that aiming is too “loose” and difficult with the VK78 Commando
  • Feedback: Some players would like for the Gravity Hammer to have a faster attack that can be activated via the melee action and not deplete the ammo
  • Feedback: Rocket Launcher damage feels inconsistent, leading to confusion around damage radius 

Sandbox Team Responses

  • Feedback: Mangler is prominent in high-level gameplay, especially with its one-shot + melee combo

As we start looking at overall balance changes, we’d like to highlight our Inside Infinite blog from last year which covers our design pillars, goals, and more. If you haven’t read it already, you should give it a read here on Waypoint.

We have made some adjustments to melee overall as well as curbing the Mangler one-shot beatdown. For Season 2, we've reduced global melee damage by 10% across all weapons, which will lower the Mangler melee proportionally to now be a two-shot beatdown. The BR in Ranked will maintain its melee damage to ensure it stays a two-shot beatdown as well.

  • Feedback: Many players find the Ravager’s damage output to be underwhelming

In addition, the Ravager splash damage on the base (non-charged) shot will be increased for Season 2.

  • Feedback: Many players have reported that the Pulse Carbine is hard to use effectively against Spartans
  • Feedback: Similar to above, the Plasma Pistol was also viewed as not being effective enough on Spartans
  • Feedback: Some players report that aiming is too “loose” and difficult with the VK78 Commando

Beyond that, we are also tracking balance issues with the Pulse Carbine, Plasma Pistol, and Commando, and are aware they’re underperforming. After the Mangler, Ravager and melee changes are in for Season 2, we’re going to evaluate their impact on the meta and make adjustments to the other weapons as necessary in a future update.

  • Feedback: Some players would like for the Gravity Hammer to have a faster attack that can be activated via the melee action and not deplete the ammo

As for the Gravity Hammer, an additional melee strike is something we would like to support as well. It’s on our radar for a future update.

  • Feedback: Rocket Launcher damage feels inconsistent, leading to confusion around damage radius

Lastly, we are working to improve the Rocket splash damage to make it feel more consistent and reliable.

A Spartan holding a Mangler runs in front of a sign on Live Fire.

Friend or Foe (IFF) Recognition (Player Outlines)

  • Feedback: Shield flare FX could communicate an opponent’s shield state better. Some players believe shields flare up too much, too quickly
  • Feedback: Desire for more options remains, including the ability to turn them off

Sandbox Team Responses

  • Feedback: Shield flare FX could communicate an opponent’s shield state better. Some players believe shields flare up too much, too quickly.

We agree that the shield FX could better communicate the opponent’s shield state. That’s something we will be addressing with a future update.

  • Feedback: Desire for more options remains, including the ability to turn them off

In Season 2, we’ve added the ability to modify the values of both opacity and thickness for the outlines. Building the “fully off” functionality per-team and hooking it into a player’s option will take more time, but philosophically we are aligned with allowing players to customize their outlines for the desired experience.

A Spartan is using a Drop Wall for cover while their teammates push up on Fragmentation.

Equipment

  • Feedback: Drop Wall feels like it does not offer enough protection
  • Feedback: Many players believe the Overshield is not providing enough extra shield health
  • Feedback: Some players report that an Overshield player’s shield state (full OS vs sliver of OS) is not apparent when in combat against them

Sandbox Team Responses

  • Feedback: Drop Wall feels like it does not offer enough protection
  • Feedback: Many players believe the Overshield is not providing enough extra shield health

We agree with the Drop Wall and Overshield sentiment that they’re not providing enough benefit. Coming in Season 2 we will have some balance tweaks to both of these pieces of equipment that should help them perform better.

  • Feedback: Some players report that an Overshield player’s shield state (full OS vs sliver of OS) is not apparent when in combat against them

Similar to the shield state FX, the OS shield state is also on our radar as something we could better communicate - expect to see a revisit on those FX in a future update.

A Spartan drives the Chopper up an incline on Deadlock.

Vehicles

  • Feedback: Chopper’s splatter damage potential, gun damage output, and maneuverability felt lacking
  • Feedback: Banshee did not feel effective enough, with concerns around Banshee bomb’s damage output, ineffectiveness of aerial maneuvers, and total vehicle health
  • Feedback: The Wasp seems much more effective than the Banshee when it comes to air superiority
  • Feedback: Warthog, Razorback, and Mongoose can flip too easily

Sandbox Team Responses

  • Feedback: Chopper’s splatter damage potential, gun damage output, and maneuverability felt lacking

Among this feedback, our priority was getting the Chopper and Banshee feeling appropriately effective in their roles. Coming in Season 2 we will have a buff to the Chopper collision damage that brings back its vehicle-splattering glory. With that change, we’re going to evaluate further if the Chopper needs additional gun damage.

  • Feedback: Banshee did not feel effective enough, with concerns around Banshee bomb’s damage output, ineffectiveness of aerial maneuvers, and total vehicle health
  • Feedback: The Wasp seems much more effective than the Banshee when it comes to air superiority

For the Banshee, we have a host of changes for Season 2 that buff the Banshee’s agility and increase damage from its weapons. We have held off on adjusting the Banshee’s health for now as its intended role is a strike fighter and the weapon and agility buffs should bring it closer in line with that role. We’ll monitor how these Banshee updates impact airspace control and dogfights before making any changes to the Wasp’s current effectiveness.

  • Feedback: Warthog, Razorback, and Mongoose can flip too easily

As for the Warthog, we agree it was taking the bumps in the road rougher than it should. Instead of absorbing these bumps, the vehicle would either twist or roll a frustrating amount. Bounciness is an important part of the Warthog’s fun, but not if it makes the vehicle go out of control.

In Season 2, we’ll be pushing out the position of the tires while reducing the angles they consider valid ground will widen its footprint, give the suspension more room to absorb force, and treat the ground more flat than it actually is. This applies to the Razorback as well. The Mongoose we will continue evaluating and potentially adjust in a future update.

A Banshee makes a low strafing run on the map Behemoth.

Movement

  • Feedback: Desire for increased physics impulses to help with grenade jumping, etc
  • Feedback: Some players like no player collision, while most would like it to return

Sandbox Team Responses

  • Feedback: Desire for increased physics impulses to help with grenade jumping, etc

Regarding the desire for increased physics impulses, that’s something that’s a sensitive area between capturing the fun and legacy physics players expect in a Halo game, and balancing around a competitive shooter in a way that feels exciting but maintains consistency. Pushing it too far results in players being thrown around too much by enemy grenades, exacerbating existing grenade spam issues. We think we have a good middle ground between these two aspects but as always will continue to monitor and tune as needed.

  • Feedback: Some players like no player collision, while most would like it to return

Collision was turned off for allies to reduce frustrating moments of getting hung up on friendlies in tight spaces, or backing into allies and feeling like you’re hitting a wall. We feel like this keeps things cleaner and lets combat flow more naturally. However, we are aware of the community sentiment and are discussing future mitigations. We also want to include making it an option players can switch on and off in custom games.

A Spartan with a S7 Sniper protects Power Seeds that recently dropped on the map.

Aiming

  • Feedback: Controller players believe M&K players have the advantage
  • Feedback: M&K players believe controller players have the advantage
  • Feedback: Using Scroll Wheel to change weapons on mouse felt inconsistent and could lead a player to accidentally swap back to original weapon
  • Note: Some controller players believe aim-assist stops mid-game, on opponent’s shield break, or when jumping
  • Note: Players are concerned that weapon zoom magnification does not properly correlate with sensitivity settings

Sandbox Team Responses

  • Feedback: Controller players believe M&K players have the advantage
  • Feedback: M&K players believe controller players have the advantage

We are aware of the sentiment between Controller vs M&K effectiveness and are analyzing the data now to find precise answers. Looking initially at the data we can say that it’s not a black and white issue, as each input method lends benefits to different aspects of the game. This isn’t a simple topic with a clearcut solution, but we do plan on addressing any disparities as best we can, while still playing to the strengths of each input. Look for more on this topic in a future update.

  • Feedback: Using Scroll Wheel to change weapons on mouse felt inconsistent and could lead a player to accidentally swap back to original weapon

Regarding the scroll wheel issue, that’s something we’re targeting a fix for after Season 2.

  • Note: Some controller players believe aim-assist stops mid-game, on opponent’s shield break, or when jumping

When it comes to aim assist, there are no intended moments where aim assist turns off on shield break or jumping. However, we have seen players report that this could be happening under certain conditions and are investigating. Again, this would be a bug though as there is no instance where you would have your weapon up and in range of an opponent, and not get aim assist when firing.

  • Note: Players are concerned that weapon zoom magnification does not properly correlate with sensitivity settings

We’ve also seen conversations online about aim sensitivity while zoomed in. Due to feedback we received ahead of launch, the default zoom sensitivities in Halo Infinite are indeed slightly slower than previous Halos to allow for more fine-tuned control. However, since being able to replicate the feeling of those games is critical, players can match previous settings by adjusting their zoom sensitivities to the following:

  • 1.4x Zoom Sensitivity: 1.3
  • 2.5x Zoom Sensitivity: 1.3
  • 3x Zoom Sensitivity: 1.3
  • 5x Zoom Sensitivity: 1.2
  • 6x Zoom Sensitivity: 1.2
  • 10x Zoom Sensitivity: 1.2

The aiming experience is critical to any FPS title, and we want to make sure it always feels as good as possible. Thanks for your feedback on this area so far, and please keep it coming.


A Spartan runs by flowers and a banner hanging off the side of a base.

UXUI

  • Feedback: Many players believe that vertical menus would improve the customization process
  • Feedback: Desire to have Challenges appear on start menu while in a multiplayer match
  • Feedback: Inability to see second grenade type in HUD left some disappointed
  • Feedback: Some would like HUD customization options
  • Feedback: The flow to "mute" a player takes more steps than previous Halo games, causing some confusion
  • Feedback: Due to lack of in-game messaging, players didn't know why they were banned or for how long – causing frustration

UXUI Team Responses

  • Feedback: Many players believe that vertical menus would improve the customization process

We agree that our customization presentation needs improvement and have been putting together a plan over time for improving this experience. While there will be quality of life improvements to the existing flow prioritized for the near term, we will be connecting larger efforts like menu layout and navigational changes to upcoming feature releases.

  • Feedback: Desire to have Challenges appear on start menu while in a multiplayer match

As many of you had noticed, Challenges did appear on the pause menu during flighting last summer. The reason it was removed was because there were larger system limitations that prevented us from displaying incremental challenge progress during a match – this would often lead players to think their progress wasn't being tracked. While we sort out how to better achieve the original intent, we will be bringing a simpler, more static list of the current challenges back into the pause menu so players can use it as quick reference in match.

  • Feedback: Inability to see second grenade type in HUD left some disappointed

While we continue to have prioritization discussions around short- and long-term HUD improvements, having backpack/secondary grenades visible in multiplayer will be inbound as part of a coming update.

  • Feedback: Some would like HUD customization options

Options to make certain aspects of the HUD layout more configurable are actively being worked on. This is a ways off, but our first target is to allow players to choose to display their equipment next to their radar, similar to Reach and H4.

  • Feedback: The flow to "mute" a player takes more steps than previous Halo games, causing some confusion

Muting players from the back button scoreboard during gameplay is currently being worked on. We will be releasing this as part of a larger short-term effort to enhance our player reporting/anti-cheat features.

  • Feedback: Due to lack of in-game messaging, players didn't know why they were banned or for how long – causing frustration

We will be continuing to expand upon our player reporting/anti-cheat features, which will include better in-game messaging to our players that have been put on cool-down. This will be coming online once we've gotten our first round of quality-of-life improvements mentioned in the previous point.

A Spartan runs alongside a Wraith and Scorpion on High Power.

CLOSING

We’re excited to continue improving the game, and your input is a critical part of the process so please keep it coming. If you want to participate in surveys and future Halo Infinite flights, be sure to register for the Halo Insider program. To provide feedback beyond surveys, we’d encourage you to join the discussion on our Waypoint forums, Twitter, reddit, etc. We pay attention to them all equally.

As a reminder, if you ever run into any bugs or issues with the game itself, please file a ticket with the Halo Support team at aka.ms/HaloSupport so the team can look into it.

Last, but certainly not least, if you haven’t read our “Closer Look” blogs that dive further behind the scenes, we highly encourage you check them out. These recent blogs share the inner workings of specific Halo Infinite systems and detail the steps we’re taking to improve them:

Thank you for your continued support and feedback during Season 1 of Halo Infinite. Stay tuned for the next blog with the Live team, and we’ll catch you online!