Microsoft soon provides eager Halo fans the opportunity to trial its next mainline entry via the Halo Infinite beta. The test, formally dubbed the Halo Infinite multiplayer technical preview, provides the first taste of its competitive arena modes ahead of a launch later this year. It delivers action across three multiplayer maps, alongside new weapons and equipment to master.
The Halo Infinite preview is the first of multiple planned flights designed to trial various aspects of the title before launch. Microsoft has outlined plans to host its first session later this week, accessible on an invite-only basis, with four days of multiplayer action on the docket. Here’s everything you need to know about the Halo Infinite beta schedule, including planned testing dates and start times.
The first Halo Infinite test delivers a hands-on opportunity in arena multiplayer sandbox, providing developer 343 Industries with large-scale testing ahead of the full release. It also grants players the first chance to grasp the look and feel of Microsoft’s next mainline Halo entry beyond trailers.
Halo Infinite was first unveiled at E3 2019, targeting a November 2020 release in tandem with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The upcoming installment was later delayed into 2021, citing unforeseen obstacles introduced as a result of remote work. It returned at the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase in June, flexing a reimagined multiplayer experience. While 343 Industries has kept details limited, we’ve now received a timeline for testing.
Halo Infinite beta date and start time
343 Industries has announced plans to host its first Halo Infinite test on July 29, a surprise opportunity to get hands-on with the title. Invites have started rolling out among select applicants registered for flighting via the Halo Insider program. The first beta test will last four days before concluding on August 1 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. UTC.
Halo Infinite’s beta kicks off with a global launch scheduled for July 29 for all applicants. It results in a simultaneous rollout across the globe on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PCs enrolled in preview lighting. The developer has now provided a schedule for the beta, although it’s yet to offer an exact start time for July 29.
343 Industries expects to publish its first Halo Infinite technical preview build sometime in the “afternoon,” stated community director Brian Jarrard on Twitter. With the developer headquartered in Redmond, WA, we expect testing to commence from afternoon local time, translating to late evening for those in Europe. Jarrard stated that 343 Industries will announce when the first build is available, distributing an email among Halo Insiders with instructions on installing the title.
Microsoft will offer no preload window for the Halo Infinite beta, meaning that once available, players can jump straight into the action. The studio has also warned that once the build is published, emails will take time to roll out among the full pool of play testers.
While Halo Infinite will be playable every hour through August 1, 343 Industries has announced a series of dedicated “playtime” via the Halo Waypoint blog. These specified sessions will provide opportunities to experience Halo Infinite with higher in-game populations, reducing matchmaking times during its beta phase. We’ve rounded up the full list of Halo Infinite beta play dates below.
|Date||Eastern Time||Pacific Time||British Summer Time|
|July 30||3 PM – 5 PM ET||12 PM – 2 PM PT||8 PM – 10 PM BST|
|July 30||10 PM – 12 AM ET||7 PM – 9 PM PT||3 AM – 5 AM BST|
|July 31||3 PM – 5 PM ET||12 PM – 2 PM PT||8 PM – 10 PM BST|
|July 31||10 PM – 12 AM ET||7 PM – 9 PM PT||3 AM – 5 AM BST|
|Aug 1||3 PM – 5 PM ET||12 PM – 2 PM PT||8 PM – 10 PM BST|
|Aug 1||10 PM – 12 AM ET||7 PM – 9 PM PT||3 AM – 5 AM BST|
What does the Halo Infinite beta include?
Microsoft recently outlined what participants can expect from Halo Infinite flighting with an over one-hour stream detailing maps, modes, and other planned experiences. The content spans several pillars of the Halo Infinite multiplayer sandbox, albeit focusing on conventional arena-style combat.
The Halo Infinite multiplayer preview debuts with three arena maps; Bazaar, Recharge, and Live Fire. Online matches will host the traditional Slayer game mode, with four-versus-four multiplayer action in a race to eliminate foes. However, the first beta test comes with one major twist – you’ll squad up with three other Spartans to fight a team of AI-controlled bots. These bots play a major role in Halo Infinite multiplayer, with the technical test providing the ideal opportunity to fine-tune performance. Players can also partake in weapon drills, a new mode centered around familiarizing newcomers with the Infinite arsenal.
New progression and customization systems will also be present throughout the flighting period. The first flight introduces an early iteration of its first battle pass, the tiered reward system used by other top shooters like Call of Duty and Fortnite. The beta will trial a new user interface (UI) for the battle pass, with additional menus and customization options also present for testing.
How to play the Halo Infinite beta
The Halo Infinite beta is available to registered Halo Insiders with personal invites distributed over email. Microsoft shared the first wave of invites on July 27, confirming those with guaranteed placement in the first technical preview. Those selected for flighting will receive instructions on installing the build on their console or PC ahead of the scheduled start time.
Those who missed out on the first Halo Infinite test should ensure they’re a registered Halo Insider, providing all necessary information to participate moving forward. Microsoft has selected hundreds of thousands of players for its first session, ensuring a diverse pool of players of adequate testing.
Our dedicated Halo Infinite beta guide rounds up how to register as a Halo Insider and meet the requirements for future flights.
Update July 29, 3:45 a.m. ET: Updated with additional context on Halo Infinite start times via 343 Industries.