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Halo Infinite beginner’s guide, tips, and tricks

Welcome back, Spartan

Halo Infinite beginner’s guide, tips, and tricks Image: 343 Industries/Xbox Game Studios via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Halo Infinite is here, and it’s time to step back into the role of Master Chief. This time, you’ll be exploring the mysterious Zeta Halo in the first open world Halo game. You’ll still be shooting aliens and driving Warthogs, but you’ll also have a lot more freedom to explore and find some familiar open-world game tropes in the Halo style.

In this Halo Infinite beginner’s guide, we’ll give you our best advice, along with some tips and tricks to get you started on Infinite’s campaign whether you’re a returning veteran or a newcomer.

Take advantage of the weapon buffet

The first hours of Halo Infinite precede its open world. Take advantage of this time while the game is easiest to learn about new weapons and how to use them.

There are a lot of guns in Halo Infinite. You’ll start with the standard pistol and assault rifle, but there are dozens more. Each has its own quirks and strengths. You’re also going to run out of ammo constantly — it takes a lot of bullets to put down those alien enemies — so it makes sense to change up your loadout as necessity (and lack of bullets) dictates.

Use Infinite’s introduction to swap between a lot of different weapons so you can start to understand them better. You’ll be thankful you did as the firefights get more and more intense.

There’s even an easy way to spot those guns …

Use your Scanner often

Halo Infinite Scan Image: 343 Industries/Xbox Game Studio via Polygon

Pressing down on your controller’s D-pad triggers your AI scanner. This highlights things like weapons and crates around you (and even behind walls). Weapons appear blue and interaction objects — things like Spartan Cores, explosive coils, and control terminals — appear yellow. It also highlights any current mission objectives on your HUD.

Get in the habit of using your AI scan early.

Use your Grappleshot offensively

In Halo Infinite, Master Chief gets a sci-fi version of Link’s hookshot from The Legend of Zelda. It’s easily our favorite addition to the Halo universe. Using it for navigation is obvious — you’ll use it to climb up and over things a lot. But there’s a lot more to do with it than just zipping around Zeta Halo.

Try these strategies out early and often to use your Grappleshot effectively:

  • Jackal Shields. Hit a Jackal’s shield with the Grappleshot, and it’ll knock it to the side, exposing the Jackal to headshots.
  • Close distance rapidly. Hitting an (unshielded) enemy with the Grappleshot zips you over to them and lets you deliver a melee blow at the end of the trip. It’s great for when you (finally) pop the shields of an Elite.
  • Hijack vehicles. Hitting a vehicle with your Grappleshot shoots you onto the vehicle and automatically start the hijacking process.

Upgrade your Grappleshot and Shields early

Halo Infinite also allows you to upgrade Master Chief’s gear to improve the Grappleshot, Shield Core, Threat Sensor, Drop Wall, and Thrusters, which you pick up over the first few story missions. You’ll upgrade them with all with Spartan Cores.

Without question, our favorite upgrade is the Grappleshot. You’ll increase its range and add a stunning electrocution to it with just a couple Spartan Cores worth of upgrades.

A close second is upgrading your Shield Core. Each upgrade increases the strength of your shields by 15% — and extra shields just mean you get to spend more time shooting the bad guys (and ideally less time dying).

Explore after missions

There’s so much going on around Zeta Halo. There’re things like outposts, collectibles, Spartan Cores (that you need to upgrade your Grappleshot), multiplayer cosmetics, and quick combat encounters.

These various side missions and activities available between campaign missions fill out the world (ring) of Halo Infinite and give you more to experience than just the main story. More importantly, they reward you for the effort.

Some of these activities earn you Valor that upgrades Forward Operating Bases. Speaking of which …

Prioritize claiming FOBs

Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) are resupply platforms scattered across Halo Infinite’s Zeta Halo. At a FOB, you can call in a vehicle, pick up ammo and weapons, as well as recruit Marine reinforcements. As you earn Valor, the vehicles, weapons, and Marines available at your controlled FOBs improves.

When you first discover a FOB, you’ll need to clear out the Banished that have taken it over. Once you control it, it reveals points of interest in the area and acts as a fast travel location.

Make (re)claiming FOBs your priority. That way, you’ll be better equipped (and loaded up with ammo) for every challenge you take on, and you can fast travel around the ring without a lot of work.

You’ll also have backup …

Take Marines along on every mission

Once you control a FOB, the UNSC Marines return to the area and hang out. If you approach them, they’ll follow you — meaning Master Chief will end up leading a squad of Marines wherever he goes.

Once you unlock the Razorback Warthog Variant, you can load up to five Marines and carpool around wherever you go.

At the most crude, these Marines are good bullet sponges that take some of the heat off of you as you fight. But they’re not bad fighters on their own. They’ll pick up better weapons as they need them and can provide some valuable firepower in a tough fight.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.