Join the Halo Insider Program today, Spartan!

343 Industries and Microsoft are planning to launch Halo Infinite later in 2021, and based on what was said during the Xbox E3 2021 show, 343 Industries is planning to use the Halo Insider Program to roll out test flights before the game launches. These test flights help the developers identify and fix bugs that may have otherwise gone unnoticed (check out my spotlight of the Master Chief Collection’s incredible 2020 journey to see just how effective Insider flighting has been for 343 Industries thus far), and they also give fans an opportunity to go hands-on with Halo projects before they release.

Considering the game in question is Halo Infinite, that’s quite an exciting prospect. You’ll need to sign up for the Halo Insider Program to have a chance at participating in Halo Infinite beta playtests, but thankfully the process to do so isn’t difficult at all and will only take a few minutes. Here’s a quick guide on how to sign up and become a Halo Insider.

Halo Infinite beta:

What to expect from a Halo Infinite beta

Players can expect Halo Infinite’s beta tests to be centered around the game’s action-packed and sandbox-driven multiplayer experience. Halo Infinite’s multiplayer has been broken down by 343 Industries in a recent overview, with the developers explaining that the core focus of the game is to encourage players to use anything they can find on the map to skillfully and creatively take down other players. Aside from a wide arsenal of different weapons to use, players will also be able to find special equipment pickups on the map that allow them to perform feats like grappling from one place to the other or reflecting an overcharged plasma pistol bolt.

In terms of game modes, we expect that traditional Arena modes as well as the brand new Halo Infinite Big Team Battle with 24 players will be available for beta testing. It’s also possible that campaign content will enter beta testing at some point, too, but right now there’s no official word on this.

Early betas, otherwise known as technical previews, may be more focused on the overall experience and stability of Halo Infinite and its supporting systems, rather than specific gameplay elements.

What are Halo Infinite beta tests and ‘flighting’?

Test flights are periods of time in which 343 Industries provides Halo Insiders with access to a test build of a game. These flights usually last about a week or two and are active 24 hours a day, but may be shorter or longer and may also have more specific start and end times. The content available in the flight can vary widely depending on what 343 Industries wants to test. For Halo Infinite, we expect that the flights will focus on the multiplayer primarily, but may include campaign content down the line.

Halo Infinite’s flights will operate mostly the same way, with the Halo Infinite team planning to release different technical previews and betas for players to test, each with a different focus. The goal is for 343i to collect information they otherwise wouldn’t be able to collect on their own, in order to “stress test” Halo Infinite ahead of a wider launch.

Halo Infinite beta start date

We still don’t have an exact start date for Halo Infinite’s beta tests or flights, but we know we’re close. We already knew that the plan was to test Halo Infinite with players at some point in Summer 2021, but we now know more information about the first Halo Infinite technical preview, which may land in the hands of players as soon as the end of July, 2021. 343i’s plans aren’t entirely set in stone yet, but players may be able to play Halo Infinite themselves for the first time in just over a week.

The first flight

343i has finally confirmed details for the first Halo Infinite beta flight, and players are mere days away from being able to test it. Even without an exact release date, we know the first Halo Infinite flight will allow players to test several aspects of the game, including:

  • Arena maps. Three maps (Bazaar, Recharge, and Live Fire) from the Arena game mode will be introduced in the first Halo Infinite test, letting players explore the environments for themselves.
  • Gameplay vs. bots. On the three aforementioned maps, players will be able to square up against the newly introduced bots, which are positioned as a way for new players to become accustomed to the game through the new Halo Academy.
  • Weapon drills. Players will also be able to use an assortment of Halo Infinite weapons for the first time through the Halo Academy weapon drills. The weapons that will be featured include:
    • MA40 AR
    • BR75
    • MK50 Sidekick
    • CQS48 Bulldog
    • Needler
    • VK78 Commando
    • S7 Sniper
    • Plasma Pistol
    • Pulse Carbine
    • Ravager
    • Heatwave
    • Skewer
  • Battle Pass and menu UI. An important aspect of any game is the UI players use to navigate, and 343i is looking for feedback here. Players will be able to test the Halo Infinite menus, customization, and Battle Pass UI. Players will even be given a bit of Halo Infinite currency to help with the testing, although anything that is unlocked will not carry over to the main game.
  • New Halo Waypoint. Halo Waypoint is being rebuilt from the ground up for Halo Infinite, including a new mobile app. The first Halo Infinite technical preview will include the first tests for the new Waypoint experience on web, Android, and iOS.

How to sign up for Halo Infinite beta tests

The Halo Insider Program is 343 Industries’ official system for testing upcoming Halo experiences, and it proved itself very effective with the Master Chief Collection. Both Xbox and PC players (through Steam and the Windows 10 Store) can sign up for the program, and since Halo Infinite will be released on both of those platforms, testing will likely be done on both platforms for the game.

To get started with your registration, follow the steps below.

  1. Visit the Halo Insider page on Halo Waypoint.
  2. Click Signup.
  3. Under “Sign in to your Xbox Live account,” click Sign In.
  4. Sign in with your Microsoft Account credentials.

  5. Grant Halo Waypoint access to your Xbox Live information if requested.
  6. Confirm that you are 18 or older.
  7. Confirm that you agree to the Halo Insider Program Confidentiality Statement.
  8. Click Join the Program.

  9. In the provided fields, enter your preferred email, location, timezone, and experience with Halo games.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. If you’re an Xbox player, click Yes when asked if you’d like to be considered for console flighting.
  12. FIll out your console ownership and setup details and then click Continue.

  13. If you’re a PC player, click Yes when asked if you’d like to be considered for PC flighting.
  14. Follow the on-screen instructions to obtain and upload your PC specifications with Windows 10’s DirectX Diagnostic.
  15. If you use Steam, click the Link Steam Account button and login with your Steam credentials.
  16. Click Continue.

  17. When asked about flight availability, select the days and times you are typically available for test sessions.
  18. Click Complete Signup.
  19. Open the Halo Insider email sent to your provided address.
  20. Click Verify my Email Address in the email.

You’re done! Your Halo Insider profile will automatically pop up once you’re finished, and your information can be edited at any time if something changes. Keep in mind that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles haven’t been listed as consoles you can say you use yet, so if you own one of these consoles, check back frequently and select the appropriate option when it’s added. You’ll also need to sign up for the Xbox Insider Program if you play on Xbox since you’ll need access to the Xbox Insider Hub application.

Will there be Halo Infinite beta rewards?

It remains unclear where Halo Infinite testers will receive rewards for participation, although given examples from past tests, some cosmetics are assumed. In previous Halo beta tests and flights, players have received exclusive in-game bonuses, including cosmetic skins or nameplates. We believe similar rewards apply here, although likely to be announced at a later date.

You shouldn’t assume that any rewards or progress you earn in a Halo Infinite test will carry over to the main game, however. Unless 343i specifies otherwise, it’s likely any content you gain access to or unlock is simply part of the test flight and won’t extend beyond that.

Will there be a Halo Infinite open beta?

While Insider test flighting is confirmed, many wonder if a traditional public beta will be held for the game. At the time of writing, this is unclear. Many believe that 343 Industries will hold a beta because, in a 2015 interview with Game Informer, Head of 343 Industries Bonnie Ross stated that all future Halo titles would have a beta following the disastrous launch of the Master Chief Collection.

“Going forward, you will never see a Halo game coming out without a beta. It (The Master Chief Collection) was obviously painful for our fans and for us,” Ross said. “But it won’t happen again.”

However, it’s also entirely possible that 343 Industries considers Insider test flighting to fit the definition of what a “beta” is. It’s also important to keep in mind that Ross’s comments were made years before the Halo Insider Program was created; the Insider Program may be a system that 343 Industries developed for long-term use to keep its word. Ultimately, only time will tell if Halo Infinite will have a traditional-style open beta.

What is the Halo Infinite release date?

Halo Infinite is expected to release in Holiday 2021 on the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One consoles, and Windows 10 PCs. It’s expected to cost $60 when it releases (the multiplayer is free-to-play) and it will hopefully end up being one of the best Xbox One games. In the meantime, we highly recommend the Master Chief Collection, which bundles all of the pre-Xbox One Halo shooters for an incredible price.

The next adventure in the saga

Halo Infinite

$60 at Best Buy
See at Microsoft
See at Steam

A new Great Journey awaits

Halo Infinite is sure to be an incredible game filled with wonder, adventure, and more. Based on what was seen at E3 2021, we can’t wait to play it.

Finish the Fight

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

$40 at Microsoft (Xbox One)
$40 at Microsoft (PC)
$40 at Steam

Experience the entirety of Halo history

The Master Chief Collection is a collection of every Halo shooter from the pre-Xbox One era, offering incredible value at an incredible price.

Update July 23: Updated with news about Halo Infinite’s first technical preview.