Halo Infinite’s December 2022 update is quietly one of the biggest

Halo infinityThe last update of 2022 is surprisingly also one of the biggest. The update, available today on Xbox and PC, adds a new map, a bunch of free cosmetic options, and a file browser (which is… far more important than it sounds).

As a live service shooter Halo infinity receives regular content updates, both in the form of seasonal flagship releases and smaller, sporadic “drop pods”. Typically, these drop-pod updates are small potatoes – minor tweaks to how certain weapons work, or tiny tweaks to how the scoreboard looks. They aren’t usually massive rollouts that completely overhaul the game.

The most notable addition today is the inclusion of The Pit in multiplayer map rotation. An integral part of the series since 2007 halo 3developer 343 Industries revealed its inclusion in Halo infinity back in Sept. 2022. For his Halo infinity Incarnation, it’s Empyrean re-dubbed and given a purple respray. Empyrean née The Pit rotates in multiplayer matchmaking and games found through the new Custom Games browser.

Image: 343 Industries/Xbox Game Studios

If you wanted to play online matchmaking in the past Halo infinity, you were limited to the maps and modes offered in 343’s rotating playlist. The Custom Games Browser gives players the ability to enter game types with customized rule sets determined by other players. But it also opens the floodgates for matchmaking in Forge, Halo infinity‘s robust suite of authoring tools.

Over the past month, developers have created literally thousands of new maps, from a toy story level to a reinterpretation of Super Smash Bros.‘iconic Final Destination stage. But the only way to actually participate in these games is to either A) have friends who are also playing (extremely unlikely), or B) find a discord full of dedicated fans (difficult happen). Halo infinityThe custom game browser should allow more players to play these inventive game modes.

Halo infinity‘s approach to cosmetics was…divisive to say the least. Most cosmetic options are tied to modular kits called armor cores, each of which has its own unique set of color options. The fancier sets are usually only available to those who pick up each season’s premium pass, which retails for $10. (As a half apology for the delay Halo infinity‘s third season, 343 Industries made the Hello Reach-Theme Mark V[B] Available for free last month.)

Today’s update makes every single armor core free for every player. Additionally, all five current cores will be able to rock the basic 10 color suite of color options. These shades are by no means the flashiest of cosmetics Halo infinity has on offer (see screenshot at the top of this article), but the addition of options suggests so Halo infinity could one day allow any player to mix and match colors across cores.

This comes with standard quality of life improvements: things like tweaks to mouse and keyboard support, as well as improvements to the game’s notoriously fiddly online connectivity. Oh yes, and you can now mute annoying players from the scoreboard. Take theArbiterSucks420!

You can read the full patch notes here.

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