If you’ve fallen off the Halo Infinite multiplayer train, developer 343 Industries might just bring you back to the FPS game with its incredibly detailed XP overhaul. Since launch last year the number one player complaint in the multiplayer game that I’ve seen is the XP system, which only rewards you for completing specific challenges and not just playing the game, but that’s about the change with the Winter Update.
Since launch the free-to-play Halo Infinite multiplayer portion has really struggled to find its footing. The moment-to-moment movement and shooting is some of the best I’ve ever experienced, but the incredibly slow drip feed of content and some strange progression decisions held myself and many others back from revisiting the game as much as 343 would like.
The Winter Update on November 8 looks to change that, as 343 has now outlined what we can expect from the revamped Match XP system, which will move away from only giving player XP for completing specific challenges.
It seems odd to say this, but after a year since release you’ll finally be able to play the Halo Infinite multiplayer and get match XP from playing the game modes you want, and performing well in them. So if you’re top of the leaderboard, or your team wins, you get more XP.
We initially had a problem where you’d either ignore the objective to complete a specific challenge, or be waiting ages in game mode rotations to work towards a specific challenge. These issues will disappear, which is excellent. Rewarding players for actually playing the objective and winning should have been in from the start, sure, but it’s good to see it now at least.
This match XP system is also in beta form, as 343 wants to monitor the Halo Infinite multiplayer rewards and tweak them where needed, which is another small but welcome piece of news.
Challenges will also still exist, but now as a “bonus boost” to the XP you earn, which is how it should work. 343 wants to use them as short term goals, with the main reward still being the weekly reward – which I admit was a fun extra objective to try and reach, but not as the sole XP earning method.
The number of challenges needed to get the ultimate weekly reward will go from 20 to ten, with all challenges in regular weekly decks completable in any playlist, and challenges will now be more “general” according to 343.
This highlights a massive problem the original challenge XP system had in the Halo Infinite multiplayer, and I am glad to see it gone: you’d queue for games you didn’t want to play, for challenges you didn’t want to do, and you’d often have to leave game’s with friends if you really wanted to complete them. It was a broken system antithetical to online multiplayer games at their core, so it’s good to see 343’s philosophy change after hearing feedback.
As you progress through each battle pass in Halo Infinite’s multiplayer separately, there’s been some calling for a more general career-based progression system as well. 343 knows this, and has talked about how everything it’s doing will lead into this system when they have more to show.
“We’ll have more to share on that in the future, but it is important to plant a stake in the ground at this point and make clear that what’s coming in the Winter Update is just the beginning of broader changes to come.”
Put all of this together, and you’ve got the ingredients for some more long-term success with Halo Infinite. This is what I, and many others, have wanted all along. The gameplay is good, the maps are well designed, and the game modes themselves offer up some great variety, so it will be good to see if Halo Infinite can stick to its second landing and remain in more player rotations going forward.
YouTuber Cr1tikal called the recent Halo Infinite roadmap the “final nail in the coffin” for the game, but I’d love to see Master Chief punch his way out of there and climb back up the surface, he deserves it. You can find 343’s blog post with all the details here.
If these changes are convincing you to dive back in, you might find our breakdown of the Halo Infinite system requirements helpful, or how the Halo Infinite ranks work in the more competitive play types.