Halo Infinite’s Winter Update : Everything You Need to Know

The Winter Update arrives today for Halo Infinite and it not only includes a lot of content but also a number of changes that will impact players of different types. As someone who spends an inordinate amount of time playing Halo Infinite, I wanted to break it down for all audiences. Let’s dive in!

  • Network Campaign Co-Op
    • This allows you and up to three friends the capability to play through Infinite’s campaign together. For clarity, this is over network only. Split-screen co-op is not supported.

  • Mission Replay
    • This allows you to select the core missions from the campaign and replay them as you choose (difficulty, skulls, etc…)
  • The Winter Update Battle Pass and Map Additions
    • For the Winter Update a new Battle Pass is being introduced. It is free to all players and has 30-tiers mostly consisting of fan favorite armors and cosmetics relating to Halo Reach.
    • All players will also receive the “Birthday Bash” kill effect for free and for simply logging in.

  • Two new maps are being added in the Winter Update. Each was built entirely in Forge by 343i to demonstrate some of the capabilities.
    • Argyle is the Arena map
      • It is a tight, symmetrical map and will be added to the Arena (4v4) and Ranked playlists (as well as the HCS rotation in Year Two).
    • Detachment is the Big Team Battle map
      • It represents an abandoned UNSC facility and has unique paths and opportunities for engagement.

  • Playlist Updates and New Game Mode
    • A new game mode arrives with the Winter Update in “Covert One Flag.”
      • Asymmetric team loadouts equip attackers with Active Camo to help sneak their way past enemy defense while defenders possess Threat Sensors to help spot the intruders. The team who wins the majority of rounds wins the match.
    • Playlists will also be receiving an update. Here are the key details which include the new “permanent” playlists along with the updated “rotational playlists.”
      • Permanent Playlists
        • Quick Play
        • Big Team Battle
        • Ranked Arena
        • Fiesta
        • Tactical Slayer (SWAT)
        • Team Slayer
      • Rotational Playlists
        • Rotational Core Slot: A playlist that is typically close to the core Halo gameplay experience, similar to Quick Play (e.g., Team Snipers, Team Doubles, etc.)
        • Rotational Social Slot: A playlist that is usually closer to the fun, social, and whacky side of Halo (e.g., Social Slayer, Big Team Social, Rumble Pit, etc.)
        • Event Playlist Slot: A slot that will be used when Events roll into the game (e.g., Cyber Showdown, The Yappening, etc.)

  • Match-Based XP System (Beta)
    • One of the biggest requests by the fanbase has been to revise the XP system in Infinite to be more match-driven regardless of the mode you enjoy playing.
    • This is being added in “beta” form with the Winter Update. XP is provided for the match, whether you win, and individual performance. The goal by 343i is to continue to fine-tune this system for “full launch” with Season 3 in February.
  • Revised Challenge System
    • The number of challenges needed to complete the Weekly Ultimate Rewards is being reduced from 20 to 10.
    • All Challenges in regular weekly decks can be completed in any playlist.
    • Challenges are more “general” overall.
    • Note: the “Weekly Ultimate Rewards” for the Winter Update will be a range of rewards from Seasons 1 and 2 to allow players to grab ones they have missed due to the old system.

  • Forge Arrives!
    • As demonstrated thoroughly by 343i, the new Forge is the most expansive yet and acts more like a game-development suite than merely a map-maker.
    • It launches today with a new Content Browser which makes it easy to find maps and modes developed by the community.
    • You can find a multi-part series on the intricacies of Forge here which include several different videos directly from 343i. The first is in the series can be found below.

There are several more features and improvements arriving with the Winter Update as well. Here’s the rundown along with some further details.

  • Local Region Matchmaking
    • This adds a toggle which will allow you to select your matchmaking preference. If you want to prioritize a lower ping/less latency by matching on servers closer to your location you will now be able to.

  • Improved Logic for Ranked CSR Progression and Overall Balancing
    • From 343i directly: “We’ve made it more configurable and set up the configuration so that a win or loss for the whole team matters more than individual performance when determining the CSR gains and losses for each player.”
    • Reduced / more clear penalties for uneven teams.
      • CSR and ban penalties will be improved depending on if the match began with less than a full-team, if a teammate quits, etc. Note that these specific improvements will be arriving on Thursday (November 10th) in a separate update.
  • There are Additional Future Enhancements in Ranked to come in the near future (date TBD)
    • Clearer display of CSR Changes
      • The specific point-values will be shown in the future instead of simply the bar which is less than ideal.
    • CSR-Based Matchmaking
      • Currently matchmaking is completed via the hidden “MMR” value of players while the CSR is merely the viewable rank. While the two are tied-closely together, they do not match entirely. This will be updated to match directly on CSR in the future which will make team balance more clear.

  • Sandbox and Balancing Updates
    • There are some meaningful updates coming to the sandbox/weaponry with the Winter Update.
      • Plasma Pistol
        • Increased base shot damage from 20 to 28
        • Increased charge shot angular velocity from 20 to 35 degrees per second
        • Increased charged shot guided angular velocity at rest from 50 to 70 degrees per second
      • Pulse Carbine
        • Increased guided angular velocity at rest from 25 to 35 degrees per second
        • Decreased angular velocity from 50 to 30 degrees per second
        • Increased targeted leading fraction from 0.35 to 1
        • Increased guided projectile error radius from 0.2 to 0.22 degrees
      • Commando
        • Increased Headshot Prioritization Angle from 0 to 0.1 degrees
        • Increased Bullet Magnetism Angle from 1.25 to 1.3 degrees
        • Increased Aim Assist Angle from 5 to 6.25 degrees
        • Decreased minimum error angle max from 0.8 to 0.6 degrees
      • Battle Rifle
        • Headshot Prioritization Angle reduced from 0.25 to 0.2 degrees
        • Bullet Magnetism Angle reduced from 2.4 to 2.2 degrees
        • Bullet Magnetism Range reduced from 20wus to 18wus
        • Bullet Magnetism Falloff Range reduced from 12wus to 10wus
      • Frag Grenades
        • Increased detonation timer by 0.2 seconds
      • Disruptor
        • Increased magazine ammo count from 10 to 12
      • Snap Sliding has been removed.

In the recent broadcast, Head of Halo Infinite Live-Service also commented on the upcoming Winter Contingency event in December along with the fact that another “drop pod” update should come before the end of the year. More details to come on that front but you can find some of the continued targets for improvement via this post here.

As always stay tuned to Seasoned Gaming for updates when available. And also keep an eye out for future Halo Infinite Community Playdates which will benefit gaming charities!

By Ainsley Bowden (Porshapwr)

Founder of SeasonedGaming.com, avid game collector and enthusiast since the Atari 2600 era. You can find me online or on Twitter as Porshapwr as well. Thanks for checking out Seasoned Gaming!

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