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Home Gaming The full Halo Infinite beta schedule, from start time to finish

The full Halo Infinite beta schedule, from start time to finish

Source: Xbox Game Studios

Microsoft has provided eager Halo fans the latest opportunity to trial its next mainline entry via the Halo Infinite beta. The test, formally dubbed the Halo Infinite multiplayer technical preview, provides the first taste of its arena and Big Team Battles modes ahead of a launch later this year. It delivers action across various multiplayer maps, alongside new weapons and equipment to master.

The preview marks the latest of multiple planned flights designed to trial various aspects of the title before launch. Microsoft is hosting two sessions over the coming weeks, accessible on an invite-only basis, with three days of multiplayer action on the docket. Here’s everything you need to know about the Halo Infinite beta schedule, including planned testing dates and times.

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Halo Infinite Multiplayer

Source: Xbox Game Studios

The next Halo Infinite test delivers a new hands-on opportunity with its arena multiplayer sandbox, providing developer 343 Industries with further testing ahead of the scheduled Dec. 8 release date. It also grants players the second chance to grasp the look and feel of Microsoft’s next mainline Halo entry, now expanding to more players at its largest scale to date.

Microsoft recently announced plans to launch Halo Infinite this December, with its $60 single-player story and free-to-play multiplayer both on track for later this year. However, 343 Industries plans to add cooperative campaign support and the Forge level editor several months after launch, positioning its reimagined multiplayer as the focus for 2021.

This time we’re looking at two full weekends of testing split between traditional four-versus-four arena multiplayer and its expansive 24-player Big Team Battle Mode in later sessions. Unlike previous tests, which focused exclusively on player-versus-bot matches, this Halo Infinite flight centers solely around player-versus-player (PvP) matchmaking.

Halo Infinite beta date and start time

Halo Infinite Multiplayer

Source: Xbox Game Studios

343 Industries plans to host two weekends of Halo Infinite flighting into early October, each providing three days of multiplayer testing. Invites have started rolling out among all applicants registered for flighting via the Halo Insider program prior to Sept. 13, 2021.

The next Halo Infinite technical test comes attached with a strict schedule, with testing slated to run from Sept. 23 through Sept. 27, with a second weekend poised for Sept. 30 through Oct. 4. However, the beta test has strict playtimes limiting multiplayer matchmaking to two four-hour test sessions per day.

Halo Infinite multiplayer matchmaking first goes live on Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT/6 p.m. BST for all players. The servers will be taken offline after four hours before returning at 8 p.m. ET/5 a.m. PT/1 a.m. BST that same day. The technical test will maintain this cycle of four-hour windows throughout the two weekends.

However, 343 Industries has stated participants will receive an opportunity to download the build before Sept. 24, currently slated for the “evening” of Sept. 23 in the U.S.

Halo Infinite beta times and schedule

343 Industries has broken Halo Infinite testing into six four-hour play sessions per weekend, signifying the hours where multiplayer matchmaking will be accessible. Halo Infinite multiplayer modes will not be accessible outside these strict sessions.

These sessions occur during the same hours every day, providing four hours to play before going offline. We’ve compiled a full Halo Infinite beta schedule for the two weekends to stay on top of when you can play.

Weekend 1 (Sept. 24-26)

The first Halo Infinite technical test has play sessions slated from Sept. 24 through Sept. 26, with downloads slated for Sept. 23. These sessions will provide access to arena multiplayer, pitting players in four-versus-four matches.

Date Eastern Time Pacific Time British Summer Time
Sept. 23 (Download live) TBA TBA TBA
Sept. 24 (Session 1) 1 p.m.-5 p.m. ET 10 a.m.-2 p.m. PT 6 p.m.-10 p.m. BST
Sept. 24 (Session 2) 8 p.m.-12 a.m. ET 5 p.m.-9 p.m. PT 1 a.m.-5 a.m. BST
Sept. 25 (Session 1) 1 p.m.-5 p.m. ET 10 a.m.-2 p.m. PT 6 p.m.-10 p.m. BST
Sept. 25 (Session 2) 8 p.m.-12 a.m. ET 5 p.m.-9 p.m. PT 1 a.m.-5 a.m. BST
Sept. 26 (Session 1) 1 p.m.-5 p.m. ET 10 a.m.-2 p.m. PT 6 p.m.-10 p.m. BST
Sept. 26 (Session 2) 8 p.m.-12 a.m. ET 5 p.m.-9 p.m. PT 1 a.m.-5 a.m. BST
Sept. 27 (Beta Close) 1 p.m. 10 a.m. 6 p.m.

Weekend 2 (Oct. 1-3)

343 Industries will host a second Halo Infinite test from Oct. 1 to Oct. 3, centered around the same four-versus-four arena multiplayer, and a revamped 24-player Big Team Battle mode.

Date Eastern Time Pacific Time British Summer Time
Sept. 30 (Beta re-opens) TBA TBA TBA
Oct. 1 (Session 1) 1 p.m.-5 p.m. ET 10 a.m.-2 p.m. PT 6 p.m.-10 p.m. BST
Oct. 1 (Session 2) 8 p.m.-12 a.m. ET 5 p.m.-9 p.m. PT 1 a.m.-5 a.m. BST
Oct. 2 (Session 1) 1 p.m.-5 p.m. ET 10 a.m.-2 p.m. PT 6 p.m.-10 p.m. BST
Oct. 2 (Session 2) 8 p.m.-12 a.m. ET 5 p.m.-9 p.m. PT 1 a.m.-5 a.m. BST
Oct. 3 (Session 1) 1 p.m.-5 p.m. ET 10 a.m.-2 p.m. PT 6 p.m.-10 p.m. BST
Oct. 3 (Session 2) 8 p.m.-12 a.m. ET 5 p.m.-9 p.m. PT 1 a.m.-5 a.m. BST
Oct. 4 (Beta Close) 1 p.m. 10 a.m. 6 p.m.

The chosen times favor U.S. time zones, spanning midday through the later hours of the evening, local time. While the hours may prove inconvenient for those in other regions, the two daily playtimes should accommodate most time zones.

While some popular closed and open beta tests leave matchmaking open all weekend, 343 Industries has reasoning behind the decision. Confining players to strict windows allows for larger concurrent player counts, allowing the developer the stress-test servers before the full release. Having more users online also makes it faster to matchmake with other players for multiplayer games.

Halo Infinite beta download size

Halo Infinite Multiplayer

Source: Xbox Game Studios

The exact download size remains unclear with Microsoft yet to release its new Halo Infinite technical preview build. With downloads expected to go live on Sept. 23, players will likely receive at least 12 hours to preload the title before kick-off. Those unable to download the title before the first play session can join in later sessions throughout the weekend.

The first Halo Infinite technical preview weighed in between 11GB and 19GB, with Xbox Series X|S and PC boasting larger file sizes. We expect marginally larger download sizes with this next round of testing, given the new Big Team Battle maps and modes available. The beta may also receive an update later this month ahead of the second week of playtesting.

What does this Halo Infinite beta include?

Halo Infinite Multiplayer

Source: Xbox Game Studios

The first Halo Infinite multiplayer beta was all about its four-versus-four arena action but served as a trial for its AI-controlled training bots. The next Halo Infinite flights look to test PvP modes, but with new and returning content, split across two action-packed weekends.

Weekend one focuses on four-versus-four modes, with Bazaar, Live Fire, Recharge, and other Halo Infinite multiplayer maps expected to feature. However, with bots no longer present, it’s time to test your skills against the real world. Participants can expect the same classic Halo gameplay we all know and love, remixed with an Infinite-flavored twist.

The second weekend brings another hands-on opportunity, with arena combat returning, coupled with the new Big Team Battle mode. 343 Industries has expanded the playlist with 12-versus-12 battles, host to on-foot and vehicular chaos across some of the largest Halo maps to date.

The new Training Mode and Weapon Drills will also be available throughout the weekend, including when matchmaking servers go offline. The flight will also test an early iteration of the Halo Infinite battle pass, the tiered reward system used by other top shooters like Call of Duty and Fortnite. The beta will trial a new user interface (UI) for the battle pass, with additional menus and customization options also present for testing.

How to play the Halo Infinite beta

Halo Infinite Multiplayer

Source: Xbox Game Studios

The Halo Infinite beta is available to registered Halo Insiders with personal invites distributed over email. Microsoft began distributing emails from Sept. 20, confirming those with guaranteed placement in the next technical preview. Those selected for flighting received instructions on installing the build on their console or PC when the build went live.

Those who missed out on the first Halo Infinite test should ensure they’re a registered Halo Insider, providing all necessary information to participate in Halo tests moving forward. This latest test invites everyone who signed up prior to Sept. 13, ensuring a diverse pool of players of adequate testing.

Our dedicated Halo Infinite beta guide rounds up how to register as a Halo Insider and meet the requirements for future flights for what might become one of the best Xbox games.

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