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Halo Infinite: What we know about Master Chief’s next adventure

343 Industries kicks off a new chapter in the Halo saga

A render of Master Chief’s helmet from Halo Infinite 343 Industries/Microsoft
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

At E3 2018, Microsoft and developer 343 Industries revealed the next chapter in the Halo saga: Halo Infinite. The follow-up to 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians will be a showpiece for 343’s new game engine technology, known as the Slipspace Engine. But many details about Halo Infinite are still a mystery, including when and where we can play it.

Here’s what we know about Halo Infinite so far.

What is Halo Infinite?

Halo Infinite is the next chapter in the Halo series, Microsoft says, and will lead the franchise into “new and unexpected directions.” Microsoft and 343 promise an increased focus on Master Chief, the series main playable protagonist.

“This is an entirely new chapter in the Halo saga,” Aaron Greenberg, general manager of marketing at Xbox, said about the game’s E3 reveal during an interview with Geoff Keighley on YouTube Live. “What we did was an in-engine demonstration. The Slipspace engine is new. The 343 team has built this purposefully to take Halo in a whole new direction. It’s a story that centers on Master Chief. I think you saw visually some of the capabilities of the engine and we’re excited to share more, but for now: There’s a new Halo coming, it’s Halo Infinite and it features really a focus on Master Chief, which I think will be received well by the fans.”

Greenberg reiterated that Infinite — not Halo 6 — is “the next Halo game,” and that it will realized a “bigger, bolder vision” for the franchise. 343 Industries studio head Chris Lee said Halo Infinite will “continue [Master Chief’s] saga after the events of Halo 5.”

Ancient rings encircle four marines on a grassy plain in a screenshot for Halo Infinite Image: 343 Industries/Microsoft

When is coming out? And on what platforms?

Microsoft and 343 haven’t announced a release date for Halo Infinite. The game could be a year or more off. But the game will be playable on Xbox One and Windows PC. It’s not known whether Halo Infinite will be a cross-generation game — meaning whether it will be playable on Xbox One and the new Xbox consoles that Microsoft revealed it’s already working on.

But just for reference, the first teaser for Halo 5: Guardians was revealed more than two years before that game shipped on Xbox One.

Why is it called Halo Infinite?

According to Greenberg, 343 Industries is moving away from numbered sequels to do “something completely different.” 343’s Chris Lee said the studio wants to “make a great Halo game for our fans that also invites new players into our franchise,” so while Halo Infinite is not a reboot or a spinoff, it sounds like a new starting point for the franchise, which was previously designed with trilogies and multi-game sagas in mind.

The “infinite” in the game’s title may also refer to a game that players will spend time with for a long time to come.

When asked whether Halo Infinite would be a “games as a service” title — effectively meaning a long-running title supported by regular updates and content, Greenberg said, “The world has changed. We look at Fallout, Sea of Thieves — you know, gamers want to be able to have access to stuff earlier, it’s becoming more of a service-based industry and digital-first business, and so because of that we’re definitely thinking about Halo that way.”

It sounds like Halo fans will be able to get their hands on Halo Infinite early — either via Xbox’s Game Preview program or through a more limited testing group.

“In the future, you will be able to join early flighting programs that will let members of the community play the game with us, and give direct feedback, much like the current Insider flighting program for Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” Chris Lee said in a blog post. “It will take some time for us to be ready to kick those flighting events off, but when we do they will start small and grow along the way.”

Halo Infinite’s title may also be a hint to the expansiveness of its game world. The game’s in-engine tech demonstration teases vast, wide-open spaces, and 343 Industries may be going for a more open-world-scale map.

What else do we know?

While Halo Infinite is clearly looking toward the future, in terms of technology and expanded scope, it’s also looking to the past. The game’s art style, under art director Nicolas “Sparth” Bouvier “draws significant inspiration from the most iconic and historic parts of the Halo franchise,” according to Chris Lee. That’s evident in the sneak peek at Master Chief’s armor, which is cleaner and more simplified — and more ... Bungie.

Halo Infinite - Master Chief holding his helmet at his side Image: 343 Industries/Xbox Game Studios

343 is definitely trying to invoke an impression of Halo at its peak. The Halo Infinite teaser features a musical stinger from the beloved Halo 3.

Halo Infinite may also take place, in whole or in part, on Installation 07, aka Halo Zeta. 343’s teaser trailer includes a bit of Morse code that references that particular part of the Halo Array. The deer-like creatures seen in the teaser are inhabitants of that Halo, according to Halopedia.

We’ll continue to update this story as new details about Halo Infinite are revealed.