343 Industries is finally putting Halo Infinite in the hands of players this weekend in the form of the Multiplayer Technical Preview.
Ahead of Halo Infinite’s release later this year, 343 is looking to test its upcoming free-to-play offering in the form of this preview. After a year-long delay, it’s safe to say that a hands on experience has been a long time coming for die-hard Halo fans.
So what sort of content will be in the technical preview, and how can you access it? Let me explain it all.
It’s a Technical Preview, Not A Beta
First up, it’s important to note that this isn’t your typical ‘Beta’. A lot of other titles, like Call of Duty and Battlefield, often run beta programmes shortly before launch to give players a taste of what the game is like. While these do usually influence parts of the final game, it’s usually much more of a marketing tool than anything else. Those betas are usually organised so close to launch dates that it’s rare for any meaningful changes to be made.
That’s not the case with this Halo Infinite technical preview. With a good 3-4 months left until launch day, 343 are clear that this really is more of a technology stress test than an out-and-out ‘beta’. “Calling it a tech preview, that encapsulates it – we’re testing our technology here,” says Sam Hanshaw, the live operation producer on Halo Infinite. “We’re looking to get players into games, we’re looking to make sure that the servers are up and running well and that we can support everything with our service infrastructure.”
Optimising a game for consoles is one thing when there’s only a couple of variants, but optimising for PC is another kettle of fish entirely. With so many different combinations of hardware on the market, this technical preview will give 343 a bigger picture on how it can make the game work on as many PC’s as possible.
As such, this build of Halo Infinite will be two months old and far from the final product that we can expect to see by the time it launches. You can expect there to be bugs – probably lots of them. While it’ll surely be a blast to finally play a new Halo game, don’t go in expecting a finished product.
When can you play?
The technical preview is expected to go live at some point today, July 29th. No time has been specified, though it’s expected to be in the evening, US time. That might mean that us Brits have to wait until the early hours of Friday morning to get our hands on the thing.
Once into the tech preview, you’ll be able to matchmake all weekend. The servers will constantly be running with no scheduled downtime expected. There are a few scheduled play time slots which is when 343 are hoping servers will be busiest to stress test the system. Those are:
- 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
The tech preview will eventually close on Monday 2nd August at 5PM BST. That should be plenty of time to get properly stuck into some multiplayer matches!
So what content can you expect to see in the technical preview? Well, the main mode that 343 is focusing on is the Bot Slayer gamemode. Halo Infinite is meant to bring a big focus on Bot players with the introduction of a training practice arena.
As such, 343 is keen to test that these bots are up to scratch and not just going to be a complete pushover. On the first day, they’ll have a relatively easy difficulty pattern, but will gradually be ramped up as the weekend progresses.
If there’s enough players in the preview, 343 is hoping to bring 4v4 Social Arenas to the game in the latter half of the event. By Sunday, we could expect to see the classic mode return. There’ll be three maps to play on: Bazaar, Live Fire, and Recharge.
If you just want to get to grips with the weapons of Halo Infinite, you can do so with a series of weapon drills. All of the following weapons are expected to be in the technical preview:
- MA40 AR
- MK50 Sidekick
- CQS48 Bulldog
- VK78 Commando
- S7 Sniper
- Plasma Pistol
- Pulse Carbine
Finally, we’ll get our first glimpse of the new battle pass system. 343 are allocating a small amount of credits to every player which they can use to experiment with cosmetic unlocks. It should be noted that any progression unlocked from this technical preview will not carry over to the launch build of the game.
The theatre mode won’t feature in the technical preview, but it is expected to be around at launch. You’ll spot a couple of settings relating to the replay system, but they won’t actually change anything in this preview build.
How to get an invite
To get access to the Halo Infinite technical preview, you’ll need to make sure that you’re signed up to the Halo Insider program. You can do so on the Halo Waypoint website. Once you’ve created an account, all you can do is hope for an email that confirms your acceptance into the preview build.
Unfortunately, not everyone that signs up to the Insider program is guaranteed access to the technical preview. 343 community director, Brian Jarrad, explains why the team has been so selective with who it lets into the technical preview:
Have you been lucky enough to get into the Halo Infinite technical preview? Let us know across our social channels.
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Featured Image Credit: 343 Industries