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Halo Infinite’s guns rain from the sky, and all players start on equal footing

Halo multiplayer is all about hunting for power weapons

Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

Players got some new details around Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer during 343 Industries and Microsoft’s Halo multiplayer livestream on Monday. The livestream showed off a little more than 10 minutes of new gameplay and developer interviews. It gave 343 Industries an opportunity to deliver its philosophy for Halo Infinite's multiplayer: old school.

Early in the stream, 343 Industries developers made it clear that players will start on equal footing with “fair and balanced starts,” and that they wanted to go back to the old-school Halo style of hunting for power weapons once you spawn. However, it’s not currently clear if Halo Infinite will have loadouts.

Games like Halo Reach had pre-built loadouts where players could choose between weapons like a DMR rifle or an assault rifle when they spawned. This kind of loadout is technically still “equal footing,” as all players still have access to all pre-set loadouts. The “equal footing” phrase instead likely means there won’t be loadout unlocks a la Call of Duty, so all players will start with the same options regardless of player level.

While 343 Industries will keep that old-school approach for the start of matches, weapons will spawn in a little differently than in previous titles. Instead of a new power weapon or vehicle just popping into the world, they’ll appear via dropships and drop pods.

Instead of going to the rocket launcher spawn, the rocket launcher will fall from the heavens in a metal tube, ready for destruction. Similarly, the livestream showed off Pelican dropships bringing in vehicles and dropping them off for players with “Scorpion tank is inbound” calls going over the in-game radio.

We’re currently unsure if these new weapon spawns will work the same way in non-Big Team Battle game modes. We’ve reached out to 343 Industries to clarify which modes offer weapon ordnance drops and how weapons will spawn in on smaller maps.

This is certainly a more modern approach to an old idea, as the older Halo game’s weapons manifesting from nothing every two minutes is a bit silly. But that seems to be 343 Industries’ primary focus for Halo Infinite. With so much time away from Halo — Halo 5: Guardians turns six this October, and the franchise itself turns 20 — it looks like Halo Infinite will try to evoke the classic arena feel that made the series famous.

Halo Infinite will come to Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X later this year.