Halo Infinite updates aim to improve online play

Halo Infinite level select on Campaign is coming, promises devs

The Halo Infinite devs have been busy working on ways to improve the FPS game’s online experience. Developer 343 Industries has shared some lengthy posts outlining a bunch of new updates it’s rolling out to improve matchmaking, match stability, multiplayer playlists, and more.

In the game’s ‘February Fix’ Halo Waypoint post, the devs note that “desync and the overall online experience have been topics of concern of late”, and they’ve detailed a bunch of updates and tweaks aimed at addressing some of these, as well as a thorough look at how the online experience works, across a range of different facets. Sandbox team lead engineer Richard Watson explains that the devs have increased the priority of low pings to the game’s servers in the matchmaking process.

“This step should help you match with local players, and therefore have a better connection, more often,” the post explains. “As you get more of these local matches, instances of playing on further data centers will also decline.”

Additionally, the devs have taken some extra steps to “ensure you can have quality matches with players from your respective regions, more often”. They believe that the tweaks they’ve made will have a noticeable effect on matchmaking in less-populated regions, including Australia and Asia, among others. The update rolling out these changes went out earlier this week, and the devs say that results are already “promising”.

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The new update should also prevent players from “geo-filtering” their online matches, which should hopefully improve online gameplay stability. “Geo-filtering” refers to – as the devs explain in a separate, dedicated post – the process of manipulating system files or router settings to get the game’s matchmaking system to “give them matches hosted on servers located near them”.

You can check out the full reasoning of why this causes problems in that post (with a handy example thrown in to illustrate this, no less), but the long and the short of it is that “when players do this, it creates a small benefit to them at the cost of making the match worse for everyone else”. This was causing unstable matches for others in the player’s lobby, so the devs have now rolled out a change that stops this process from being used.

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Elsewhere, the devs outline some other improvements they’ve been cooking up in recent weeks. These include some matchmaking service improvements for the game’s Big Team Battle mode (“players should find full matches quicker and more consistently”) and changes to Oddball in both ranked and arena multiplayer playlists, which changes how tying matches get resolved and scored.

The posts are rather chonky but worth digging into if you’re keen to keep up with 343’s work on online play, and the maths (and probably magic) that goes into it all. Seriously, there’s a whole lot of server processing time, shot registration, and collision talk, so grab your popcorn.