The latest season of Halo Infinite launches tomorrow and brings with it a load of updates and additions. Titled “Echoes Within” we’ll break down all of the details you need to know below courtesy of the 343 Team and Halo Waypoint!
Playlists and Maps
- ONI research base set on the side of a cliff.
- Asymmetric Arena mode map for 4 vs. 4 playlists.
- Designed primarily around “Control” game modes such as Strongholds and King of the Hill
- Forerunner installation that was primarily pulled from the Campaign’s second mission “Foundation.”
- Rotational symmetrical Arena Mode map for 4 vs. 4 playlists.
- Designed primarily for Capture the Flag but will be used for additional modes.
- Large mountainside installation built around Forerunner structures.
- Asymmetrical Big Team Battle map for 12 vs. 12 playlists and Last Spartan Standing.
- Design inspiration from Halo 4’s Exile.
- Designed around more vehicle usage and BTB CTF.
A special playlist will be introduced for the first week that only features Chasm and Cliffhanger called New Arena Unlimited. After a week, New BTB Unlimited will rotate into that slot and exclusively feature Oasis for the next week.
New Arena Unlimited
- Maps: Chasm and Cliffhanger
- Modes: Escalation Slayer (new mode!), CTF, King of the Hill, Slayer, Strongholds, One Flag CTF
New BTB Unlimited
- Map: Oasis
- Modes: BTB Escalation Slayer (new mode!), CTF, Slayer, Fiesta, Fiesta Total Control, Total Control
You can find the full calendar for March below of rotational lists, special playlists, and the Fracture event:
New Mode : Escalation Slayer
In Escalation Slayer, players progress through a list of weapon and equipment loadouts as they score kills. With each elimination, you advance to a new weapon, culminating in a final challenge to win: getting a kill with the Oddball.
You can also de-level enemy players by meleeing them in the back, so watch your six out there!
The order of loadouts is as follows:
LEVEL 1: Rocket Launcher, Cindershot, Repulsor
LEVEL 2: Energy Sword, Gravity Hammer, Grappleshot
LEVEL 3: Sniper Rifle, Skewer, Threat Sensor
LEVEL 4: Hydra, Ravager, Repulsor
LEVEL 5: Bulldog, Needler, Grappleshot
LEVEL 6: Battle Rifle, Commando, Threat Sensor
LEVEL 7: Shock Rifle, Stalker Rifle, Drop Wall
LEVEL 8: Heatwave, Sentinel Beam, Thruster
LEVEL 9: Bandit, Assault Rifle, Drop Wall
LEVEL 10: Mangler, Sidekick, Threat Sensor
LEVEL 11: Oddball, Shroud Screen
- Launching with two variants: Team Escalation and FFA Escalation.
- Team Escalation progresses all players on a team through the loadout list together. Kills are summed across the team, so everybody’s efforts count. And FFA Escalation is, of course, every Spartan for themselves!
- There will be a BTB version of Escalation Slayer, along with a “Super” version of the mode which will bring in the special weapon variants and upgraded equipment that you can obtain in Halo Infinite’s Campaign.
- 5-shot precision weapon. Designed to feel like the classic DMR but to play like the Halo 5 magnum.
- No bloom but will feature recoil when fired quickly.
- Will replace certain weapon boxes at launch with the option to have Bandit starts in the future.
- Acts like a smoke screen. It obstructs line-of-sight and the motion tracker.
- Will be particularly useful when capturing objectives and running flags.
- Will replace other equipment drops on some maps.
- Tuning: The VK78 Commando will require one more shot to kill
- From 8 bullets to 9 bullets to kill (damage per bullet from 20 to 17.5)
Sandbox Dev Team Notes: We got pretty consistent feedback after the Winter Update that the Commando felt better to use, people were able to keep on target and land their shots! But this new handling made it a little too easy to have a high damage output. Since the Commando was feeling good to shoot, we wanted to pursue a small nerf to its efficacy to keep it in line with other weapons in the Sandbox.
- Tuning: The Plasma Pistol’s charged shot will have its charged time increased and its tracking properties adjusted
Sandbox Dev Team Notes: The Plasma Pistol was another weapon that got a buff in the Winter Update. That patch pushed it in the right direction, but we were still not totally satisfied with it. There were two situations we were seeing on social media and running into ourselves during playtests:
- First, players could sprint with the Plasma Pistol, start getting shot in the back, turn while charging and “noob combo” the player that should have had advantage. Reversals are important to Halo, but with how strong the Plasma Pistols charged shot has to be mechanically, the reversal was just too easy. This gameplay loop is also less interesting than a charge when it takes more commitment, and rewards a player’s good positioning and timing.
- Charge time increased from 1s → 1.6s
- The tracking was unpredictable for victims. We want to give victims a chance to avoid the projectile if played well. To encourage this, we gave a mixture of changes to the projectile tracking which should make it more consistent overall. Player should find the projectile seeks closer to center mass but has less aggressive tracking.
- Tracking Angle Max: 70 degrees → 50 degrees
- Tracking Angle Min: 35 degrees → 25 degrees
- Tracking Target Radius: 0.5 wu → 0.3 wu (World Units)
As mentioned in our February tuning update blog, we did plan on reducing the amount of power on the map in Ranked due to weapon respawn rates and ammo counts. We updated the respawn timers in February and we’ve updated the ammo counts on select weapons in Season 3. In Ranked, you can expect to see fewer rounds of ammo in the CQS48 Bulldog, Heatwave, Shock Rifle, and Stalker Rifle to help address this community feedback.
To further improve the flow of gameplay in Ranked Arena, Season 3 will also bring a few changes that the HCS Team discussed in their latest competitive blog.
- Enemy footsteps are now harder to hear at a distance, but easier to hear when very close. We’ve also improved the accuracy of enemy location based on footstep audio when enemies are above, below, or behind you.
- Removed from Ranked Arena: Mangler, Energy Sword, Pulse Carbine
- Will receive future tuning: Disruptor, Spike Grenades
Ranked modes will also now only require 5 placement matches instead of 10.
Networking & “Desync” Improvements
Beyond creating new weapons and updating existing ones, the team has also been hard at work improving the foundation of the online experience. Season 3 will bring about another round of improvements to address feedback around “desync” and networking during matches.
Season 3 brings with it a new Battle Pass for you to earn a plethora of customization content (over 180 individual items!)
The Echoes Within Premium Battle Pass features over 100 tiers of rewards, including 1000 Credits, and additionally offers players a fourth Challenge slot whenever this Battle Pass is equipped. Premium Battle Pass owners will also receive bonus Match XP for every match they complete throughout Season 3 (no matter what Battle Pass they have equipped) and will begin their great journey through Season 3 at tier 25.
Oh, and purchases of the Premium Battle Pass instantly unlock the Redsteel Splinter armor coating for all available Armor Cores!
Mirage Armor Core
With roots that extend to the jungles of Onyx, MIRAGE IIC joins Halo Infinite as a new free Armor Core for Season 3. Based on the fabled SPI armor of previous Spartan generations, MIRAGE IIC provides a sleek and stalwart solution to any danger the galaxy throws at you.
Whether you’re an old-timer who discovered the meaning of the phrase “Spartans never die” within the pages of Eric Nylund’s Halo: Ghosts of Onyx in 2006, or if you’re just joining us now, MIRAGE IIC brings the fan-favorite semi-powered infiltration (or “SPI”) armor to Halo Infinite.
Chimera Armor Core
Born from the ashes of a failed AI uprising, CHIMERA is the second free Armor Core for Season 3.
Serving as the theme for the Fracture: FIREWALL Event series, CHIMERA offers a unique vision of a potentially dangerous digital future where artificial minds and augmented bodies have become one.
The Fracture: FIREWALL Event debuts March 21 and will see a total of four occurrences in Season 3. We will be exploring the connective tissue between this armor and the Halo universe in a four-part Story Shard series titled Precipice that will certainly surprise fiction fans with just how deep its roots go…
Also coming as a free addition for players are the new Steel Series armor coatings, which will be available in Red Steel, Green Steel, and Blue Steel variations for all Armor Cores at the start of Season 3.
As noted earlier, purchases of the Premium Battle Pass instantly unlock the Redsteel Splinter armor coating for all available Armor Cores.
A couple of additional Cadet coatings coming for free to all players as well. Added to your base selection of coatings across all Armor Cores will be Cadet Olive for those who like the undefeatable big green style of life, along with Cadet Red for those who might describe themselves as the gruff team leader type that favors shotguns.
As Cadet Red is free on all Armor Cores, the purchasable “Scarlet” coatings that were released in Season 1 have been updated with new and improved looks—these coatings are Scarlet Empress, Scarlet Skies, and Scarlet Wake.
- There will be a half-week slot which refreshes every Tuesday and Friday
- There will overall be more offers throughout the season
- The Shop will have a consistent layout
- Dailies will refresh every day
The Shop will also see the addition of “super bundles,” which provides players the opportunity to buy multiple offers packaged together at once—at a price that is substantially less than buying each of them individually.
During the launch week of Season 3, the Aquahex Bundle will be available in the Shop, which offers a plethora of cosmetic items for your MIRAGE IIC and MARK VII Armor Cores, along with additional weapon coatings.
There are a few additional free goodies for all those who log into Halo Infinite in Season 3 in the form of helmet attachments.
This includes the MK62 CBRN/ISES helmet attachment for the FIREFALL helmet on the MARK VII Armor Core, and the UA/TYPE O5 which is available on the Mark V [B], CQC, HAZOP, Air Assault, JFO, ODST and Recon helmets on the MARK V [B] Armor Core.
The first week of season 3 will feature the “Purple Reign” Bandit Rifle skin for the capstone weekly reward.
Season 3 will launch for Halo Infinite on Tuesday, March 7th. You can find the timing for the launch in your specific region below!