Just in Time for Xmas: “Halo Infinite” Winter Updates

In November 2022, the Winter Update for Halo Infinite launched, giving players some of the largest and most highly anticipated free updates in the franchise's history!

This "throwbacks" era of Halo boasts a wide range of cosmetics and gameplay modes offered in older gamesincluding the much-anticipated Forge feature that allows players to build and edit their own maps.

The update includes the Battle Pass, two new maps, a new Capture the Flag variant game mode, and crossplay compatible co-op accessibility for Xbox and PC.

In addition to several significant improvements, players will be excited to know this sizable patch has fixed many of the game's earlier bugs and glitches that will allow the game to run with less lag and faster speeds.

Following is a list of the items contained in the Winter Update, which has arrived just in time for the holidays — or the "Halo-days."

Halo Infinite gameplay Photo source: Halo.fandom.com

The Battle Pass

The Winter Update boasts a brand new 30-tier Battle Pass available for free to all players. A wide selection of Halo: Reach-themed cosmetics are unlockable in every tier of the Battle Pass.

Players can unlock customizations for their Spartan, vehicle, and weapons by earning Match XP (experience points) and completing Challenges in the game to reach higher tiers. Players can also upgrade to the Premium Battle Pass for a wider selection of unlockable customizations.

Many unlockable cosmetics have old-school fans buzzing as the graphics of Halo Infinite elevate the classic designs of Reach armor. 

Here is the complete list of Winter Update Battle Pass rewards:   

Tier 1. Mark V [B] Armor Core

Tier 2. Armor Emblem: Brooch

Tier 3. Mark V [B] Chest: UA/TAAP

Tier 4. Mark V [B] Left Shoulder Pad: SAP/SEC

Tier 5. Mark V [B] Right Shoulder Pad: SAP/SEC

Tier 6. Consumable: XP Boost

Tier 7. Vehicle Emblem: Brooch

Tier 8. Visor: Sardonic

Tier 9. Mark V [B] Utility: UA/Type CHOBHAM

Tier 10. Mark V [B] Helmet: CQB

Tier 11. Consumable: XP Boost

Tier 12. Weapon Emblem: Brooch

Tier 13. Mark V [B] Knee Pads: UA/Type GR

Tier 14. Mark V [B] Left Shoulder Pad: SAP/GND

Tier 15. Mark V [B] Right Shoulder Pad: SAP/GND

Tier 16. Consumable: XP Boost

Halo Infinite game play on screen with gamer silhouette

Tier 17. Nameplate: Brooch

Tier 18. Mark V [B] Left Shoulder Pad: SAP CQC

Tier 19. Mark V [B] Right Shoulder Pad: SAP CQC

Tier 20. Mark V [B] Helmet: CQC

Tier 21. Consumable: XP Boost

Tier 22. Visor: Bullfrog

Tier 23. Mark V [B] Armor Coating: Moa Assault

Tier 24. Mark V [B] Chest: UA/SIMA

Tier 25. Mark V [B] Helmet Attachment: UA/Type C1

Tier 26. Consumable: XP Boost

Tier 27. Mark V [B] Left Shoulder Pad: SAP/SEC [K]

Tier 28. Mark V [B] Right Shoulder Pad: SAP/SEC [K]

Tier 29. Mark V [B] Chest: TAC/Kukri Machete

Tier 30. Mark V [B] Helmet: Mark V

Covert One Flag

Players are given a new mode that is a variant of One Flag CTF.

Covert One Flag is round-based and allows players to play as both the attackers and the defenders as they fight for control of a single flag. Attackers are equipped with Active Camo to help sneak past defenders. The defending team possesses Threat Sensors to combat their opponents and spot intruders.

The addition of more stealth-mode game types lets players enjoy strategy and coordination within each game, giving this mode a refreshing twist on an old classic.

This multi-round game allows players the chance to try each position before the game ends with the team that has won the majority of rounds being crowned the winner.    

Halo Infinite game play with Xbox controller

Forge

The Forge Beta is making its big debut in Halo Infinite after its original release in Halo 3. This update allows players to create custom multiplayer maps and modes in six different canvas maps. The canvases are starting maps that are each equipped with themed ground textures and skyboxes. All six preset canvases are listed below.

  • Arid: A desert biome with wide open spaces and dry, sandy grounds

  • Ecliptic: Set in space with no ground terrain and a skybox surrounded by planets

  • Institute: A grassy clearing framed with snowcapped mountains and a handful of trees

  • Mires: This marsh biome boasts a smattering of small pools in this wetland environment

  • Seafloor: The seafloor becomes a battlefield as players customize the underwater environment in this oceanic map

  • Void : This map is a "blank" environment equipped with a horizon and atmospheric effects to allow players full customization capabilities.

Forge allows players to customize maps using an endless array of lighting and audio tools, items, and file-sharing capabilities called a “Prefab.” Everything in the new Forge mode is free to play and included in the Halo Infinite multiplayer experience. Forge is still in its beta testing stages.

Players can start from scratch on a new map and fully customize weather patterns such as fog or snow, as well as control the daylight to make the perfect setting for their games.

Forge is also allowing re-introducing players to Infection mode. Allowing fans to play from the perspective of both the survivor and the one infected, this intense game mode brings a level of familiarity into Halo Infinite and gives players a peak into the potential of game creation in Forge.

This mode will continue to improve in further updates, but players can still enjoy editing and modifying in-game objects and creating new playable maps.     

Halo Infinite gameplay scenery Photo source: Halo.fandom.com

New Maps

One of the most anticipated features of the Winter Updates is the inclusion of two new playable maps. The “Argyle” and “Detachment” maps were created in Halo’s Forge mode and are customizable for all players as canvas maps.

Argyle is set within a UNSC vessel and makes for a ruthless and strategic arena environment. The symmetrical map boasts tight corridors and vast courtyards that allow for strategic gameplay and competitive fun. 

Detachment offers players both indoor and outdoor gameplay. The symmetrical arena map overlooks the rocky cliffside where an abandoned UNSC research facility sits. With a Capture the Flag design style in mind, players explore a variety of different routes that connect two bases. There is also an island accessible through Man Cannons that boast weapons and other advantages over enemy teams.

With both indoor and outdoor environments to explore, this Big Team Battle map provides opportunities for dynamic combat.

Mission Replay 

Mission Replay is now available for players to retry the main story missions as well as side objectives such as Outposts and Targets. After selecting to replay a formerly completed mission, players will be able to retry old missions equipped with their current weapon loadout.

This means players can use updated weapons or newly unlocked Skulls to play missions they previously completed missions. Completing missions on higher difficulty will count towards Achievements, so clear up some of those outstanding collectibles!

Mission Replay is available in your TACMAP and is permanently carried over to your save file.

Crossplay Co-Op

Up to four players can complete the Halo Infinite campaign together in Campaign Network Co-Op. Making Halo Infinite a cross-platform game means that friends can now play together on both Xbox and PC.

All teammates in multiplayer mode share the progress completion and all collectibles that are unlocked together in this mode.

Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 Photo source: Halo.fandom.com

Campaign Achievements

The Winter Update gives players 24 new Achievements for players to earn. Some of these Achievements can only be unlocked through Co-Op mode, meaning players must use the multiplayer mode to unlock them.

Fans can play on any difficulty to earn Achievements, but some are harder to acquire than others.

Here is the complete list of new Campaign Achievements: 

  • Mix Things Up: Get at least one kill with every available weapon and grenade on the Banished ship (20 Gamerscore)

  • Stick Around: Defeat Tremonius with the Skewer (20 Gamerscore)

  • Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly: Destroy both Phantoms before they leave Outpost Tremonius (20 Gamerscore)

  • Out with a Bang: Kill the Tower commander with a Plasma grenade (20 Gamerscore)

  • Workplace Safety Violation: Kill an enemy with the Banished mining laser (20 Gamerscore)

  • Conservation of Momentum: Complete the Conservatory in less than 15 minutes (20 Gamerscore)

  • It Really Does Beat Everything: Eliminate all enemies at the South Beacon with a Scorpion Tank (20 Gamerscore)

  • Vintage Fisticuffs: In the Nexus, kill the Hunter pair with melee final blows (20 Gamerscore)

  • Spire Stalker: Kill 40 enemies with the Stalker Rifle at the Command Spire (20 Gamerscore)

  • Turnabout is Fair Play: Kill one Chieftain and use his turret to kill another in the Repository (20 Gamerscore)

  • More Than He Bargained For: Defeat War Chief Escharum without ever fully losing your shields (20 Gamerscore)

  • What's Rightfully Ours: In co-op, capture all Forward Operating Bases on any difficulty (10 Gamerscore)

  • Wardens of Zeta: In co-op, complete all seven Banished outposts on any difficulty (10 Gamerscore)

  • First Responders: In co-op, answer all UNSC distress calls on any difficulty (10 Gamerscore)

  • Hunting Party: In co-op, eliminate all Banished High-Value Targets on any difficulty (20 Gamerscore)

  • Air Raid: In co-op, kill 100 enemies while all players are riding air vehicles (10 Gamerscore)

  • Cow Catcher: In co-op, splatter 50 enemies while riding in a vehicle with another player (10 Gamerscore)

  • Gruesome Twosome: In co-op, kill 50 enemies while riding a Mongoose with another player (10 Gamerscore)

  • Keep It Steady: Kill 5 enemies with a Sniper Rifle from a vehicle. All players aboard the vehicle share progress (10 Gamerscore)

  • Rolling Thunder: Kill 5 enemies with a Gravity Hammer from a vehicle. All players aboard the vehicle share progress (10 Gamerscore)

  • Inseparable: In co-op, kill a Hunter and its bond brother within three seconds of each other (20 Gamerscore)

  • You, Me, Same Page: In co-op, destroy all cooling towers at the Dig Site within 60 seconds of each other (20 Gamerscore)

  • Controlled Demolition: In co-op, destroy four Fuel Silos within five seconds at either Ransom Keep or the Forge of Teash (20 Gamerscore)

  • Wolves at the Doors: In co-op, lower all three gates within 15 seconds of each other at Riven Gate (20 Gamerscore) 

Playlists

The Winter Update will also include week-to-week refreshments of playlists to keep the game exciting. Here are the rotational and permanent playlists:

Permanent Playlists

  • Quick Play

  • Big Team Battle

  • Ranked Arena

  • Fiesta

  • Tactical Slayer

  • Team Slayer

Rotational Playlists 

  • Rotational Core Slot: A playlist similar to the core Halo gameplay experience (Team Snipers, Team Doubles, etc.)

  • Rotational Social Slot: A playlist closer to the social and funnier side of Halo (Social Slayer, Big Team Social, Rumble Pit, etc.)

  • Rotational Ranked Slot: A playlist aimed at a competitive experience (Ranked Doubles, Ranked FFA, etc.)

Halo Infinite advertisement with Xbox controller

Matchmaking, XP, and Weekly Challenges

Updates to matchmaking are also underway. Local matchmaking will become far more frequent to resolve latency issues and give fans smoother gameplay. 

Match XP is helping players to map their progression by giving players XP for achieving accomplishments such as Winning Team, Match MVP and Big Team Battle Match Complete.

Match XP is still in beta testing. Players should look for changes and improvements to this experience in later updates. 

Weekly Challenges have also been given a makeover in the Winter Update, reducing from 20 to 10 the number of completed challenges needed to unlock the Ultimate Challenge.

Challenges are now more overall “general.” All Weekly Challenges can be completed in any multiplayer playlist. 

Happy "Halo-Days"

This massive patch in the Halo Infinite game feels like the beginning of a “throwback era” in Season 3 of Halo as Mission Replay, Forge, and Covert One Flag allow fans to relive moments in Halo history.

With new campaign achievements and plenty of unlockable customization features in the Battle Pass, gamers will find new daily fun in Halo Infinite as they earn Match XP.

The Forge Beta allows fans to customize and build playable maps with visual effects, weather changes, and six canvases to choose from.

The addition of two new maps allows players more space for tactical combat as well as showcase the customization capabilities in Forge.

With new achievements and weekly updating playlists, fans can enjoy completing new challenges all season long.

The Winter Update will run from November 8 – March 7, when Season 3 will be released with updates on Forge and Match XP derived from the collected feedback from players.

This update continues to ignite players’ passion for the game and to spark new and creative projects and gameplay. With so much room for creativity, it looks like fans will have plenty of new game types to explore during the "Halo-Days"!

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