Halo Infinite is finally out—or at least the multiplayer. If you’re like myself and have been starved for the sensation of bonking someone on the head with a hammer, you’ve probably been playing since the multiplayer shadow-dropped a month ahead of the official launch. Otherwise, maybe you’re waiting on the full release, and kudos to you for having such strong will. You’re just built different. Whether it’s your first time in Halo or if you’re a returning vet, we’re all clear on one thing: Infinite’s provided one of the most fun and open-ended multiplayer sandboxes in years. Still, even if you’re a hardened Halo pro, there’s a lot to re-learn and plenty more to pick up as you play through the game. On that note, here’s some starting tips on the multiplayer portion of Halo Infinite.
This is the easiest advice to give ever, because it’s not even really a unique trick. If Infinite is your first Halo game, learn the rules of the game with bots. Even if it’s not, mess around with the bots. It’s much better than getting stomped out and demoralized playing against people who’ve done this for 20 years. I once jumped into Halo 2 a decade later and it was the worst. You deserve to like this game.
Load into the Academy when you boot up the multiplayer suite, which is as good an on-ramp as you need. Doing this tutorial not only nets you achievements (if you’re into that) but also gives you a fairly basic understanding of the rules of this game. Infinite is neither your extreme throwback arena shooter nor your more casual and straight-laced Call of Duty game. It’s got its own flow and weight, ability and weapon spawns, and more that is covered not only in the tutorial, but by your ability to do weapon drills and play full matches against bots. You can do a training mode only match where you can tailor the settings to your exact needs or take it online as a team of four players against a team of bots and earn XP! Take your time, the rest of the game will always be there.
On that note, weapon drills and bot matches really come in handy in Halo Infinite, which introduces a slew of new guns that could take some time to learn—like the Shock Rifle, which is neat, if impractical, and the Ravager, which sucks! You don’t want to figure out you’re firing the Cindershot the wrong way in the middle of a fight you could’ve won if you had only known how to use it. Sure, we didn’t always have training modes or bots, and you could always just learn the hard way still, but why embarrass yourself like that? Don’t be cringe. Take the time to practice with these new toys, and here are some tips to get you started.
The Skewer, a popular new launcher with a big-ass nail, is not a one-hit kill to (most) vehicles, even if we all want it to be. For example, you should soften up a Warthog before you launch a Skewer at it. Launch a frag first, then hit it with that nail for maximum effect. Your mileage may vary on anything that flies, but that’s between y’all. I just give free advice.
Never aim your Cindershot, unless you play for FaZe clan or something to that effect. When you aim, your shot will track your reticle and you will almost definitely lead it astray and miss. You are better off shooting from the hip and bouncing the shot off the ground in front of you at your foe. Seriously, do not aim this thing unless you’re hitting every shot.
There’s no DMR in this game, but the Commando is basically that, even if it does fire at full auto. It rips too, and is my new favorite weapon. Use it in three to four round bursts around the head and you should be getting perfect kills in no time. Commando starts in Ranked Arena when?
Aim Ravager shots at the chest and higher, so that you don’t end up like me, pointing what looks like a grenade launcher at my enemies’ feet wondering why I’m doing next to no damage.
There are Banished weapons in multiplayer, like the Mangler or Ravager, which are weapons used by the new enemy faction in Halo Infinite and importantly have huge blades attached to them like bayonets. Yes, they absolutely do extra melee damage. Melee may seem negligible in a game with all these guns, but it’s the quickest way to end a fight, and the sooner you can pop off a one-hit KO, the better.
I’ve learned the hard way that jumping over speeding vehicles does not mean they won’t hit you still. Take that one to the bank. In Halo Infinite (and I guess real life), the best way to avoid getting splattered is by stepping to the side, clear out of the way of the oncoming death machine on wheels. This also puts you in the best position to jack the vehicle, whether it be the driver seat, passenger seat or the turret! Alternatively, a grappleshot will always safely reel you into the vehicle and automatically jack it, but you will rappel to whatever seat the shot landed on. Aim carefully.
Sidenote: if you jack the driver seat and your enemies’ friends are still in the passenger or turret seat, find the nearest cliff and slam on the gas. Start exiting the vehicle a good few seconds before you get to the edge because the animation is a long one and you don’t want to accidentally die with them. Otherwise, bring a grappleshot and look incredibly sick emerging from that pit alive.
Speaking of rides, stop running flags all the way back on foot in Big Team Capture the Flag. I’ve seen too many people dragging power seeds all the way back to their base in Big Team Stockpile too. Vehicles are half the fun of these games and almost none of you are using them right. Wasps, which are not even built for objective play, can do things like this, which is all to say: y’all….there are vehicles and some of them are specifically debuting in this game for this express purpose! Razorbacks are not just neutered Warthogs, they are friends with storage on their bumper. If you’re cold, those power seeds are cold. Bring ‘em inside (the Razorback and back to your base).
You’ve likely heard literally all about Halo Infinite’s kind of lame progression system. It’s being tweaked to provide more generous XP payouts for casual players who can only log a match or two a night, which is admittedly neat. Beyond that, there’s at least one major workaround for completing challenges (the only other way to climb the battle pass) that makes leveling less of a chore and it’s completely intended. Don’t worry—the feds aren’t coming for you for doing this.
Unless a challenge explicitly states “in PVP” at the end of it, you can complete them in Bot Bootcamp, the mode that pits you against a team of…well, bots. They are dense as all hell and easy cannon fodder. These challenges are even marked differently on the menu, rocking a grey look whereas PVP-centric challenges have a brighter blue hue. Challenges are still overwhelmingly in favor of PVP, but if you don’t mind a slower crawl up the ranks, the new XP updates should pair well enough with these “exploitable” challenges and rotating dailies to give your progress a good shot in the arm. Speaking of which, get vaccinated and get your boosters. Free life tip right there, gamers.
JUST FUCKING DO IT.
I’m trying to delete it now, I’m really sorry.
But really, a lot of noise is being made about the Grappleshot, which is a cool new ability in Halo Infinite, but the Repulsor should be your other mainstay. A force push essentially, it’s a really flexible new tool in the arsenal of a smart player. For one, it gives you space in a dicey situation, giving you the chance for an escape. You can also use that space to knock people away and line up a headshot while they’re scattered and flying through the air. Think about the flag captures you can deny with this thing? You can straight up just knock people off ledges or cliffs, and bouncing an oncoming Warthog backwards or into a hole is an underrated pleasure in this life. You can also use it as a double jump??
It’s one of the most malleable new additions to the game and a really fun ability even at its most basic level, while boasting more practical uses than any other, so go nuts with it.
And I think that’s all I’ve got for you! Halo Infinite really shines when you’re in there making incredible moments happen for yourself with all these wildly fun new tools (except you Ravager, you’re not cool) so get in there and mix it up!
Moises Taveras is a former intern for Paste Magazine. He was that one kid who was really excited about Google+ and is still sad about how that turned out.