343 Industries have announced some changes and fixes coming to Halo Infinite this week, targeting two of the most heavily criticised elements of the game: the broken Big Team Battle matchmaking and in-game store pricing.
The BTB matchmaking issues have persisted since before Christmas, with many users encountering countless error messages when trying to join a match. 343 Industries were unable to isolate and fix the problem before the holidays, but has made it a priority since returning to work this year. A hotfix has made its way through internal testing and is now with Xbox certification for an expected release in the middle of the week.
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As a kind of compensation, all users that open up the game within the next month or so will be handed 5 XP Boosts and 5 Challenge Swaps.
Here’s the statement from 343 from Friday:
As promised, back with a quick update on the status of Big Team Battle.
Yesterday the test pass was completed and the hotfix is now in the process of going through Xbox certification. As long as no issues arise, we are targeting releasing this hot fix middle of next week. (note that Monday is an office holiday in recognition of MLK Jr Day)
To kick off the new year and also offer a small token of appreciation for your patience during these issues, all players will be granted 5 XP Boosts and 5 Challenge Swaps. This will be active once the hotfix is released and automatically added to the inventory of every player who logs in. This grant offer will remain active for about a month so just log in any time before then and you’ll get hooked up.
As well as fixing BTB, 343 Industries are finally able to adjust the in-game shop for premium cosmetics in the free-to-play Halo infinite multiplayer. These have come in for strong criticism for being far too expensive for the amount of value that they offer, and 343 are hopefully going to be able to bring prices right down.
Starting Tuesday, the Shop experience will vary week-to-week. We are focused on reducing pricing across the board, providing stronger values in our bundles, starting to put individual items outside of bundles, and more.
— jerry hook (@hookscourt) January 15, 2022
Pricing will be reduced across the whole in-game shop, with individual items now available outside of pricey bundles, and with the shop now being modified week-to-week.
All positive sounding changes, but a bigger problem with the store remains in how it relates to the Battle Pass in the game. Season 1 of Halo Infinite is running for an extended 6 month period instead of the originally planned 3 months, and with details from dataminers, this seemingly combined with 343 Industries stripping content from the pass and shunting it over to the premium store. Not only that, but the way that customisation works in the game means that the store has had very basic red and blue colour schemes for Spartan armour being sold for $10. A bit nuts.
343 Industries community managers and producers have said on a number of occasions that they’ve heard this criticism and are working to address them in future. A patch expected in mid-February will be targeting issues with cheating in particular, but 343 note that “work continues on plans/updates to other key topics we know are top of mind for the community (economy, armor customization, ranked, cheating, networking, etc.).”
Halo Infinite’s free-to-play multiplayer and paid campaign are both now available across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC and Xbox Cloud Gaming for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. In our Halo Infinite review, Dom said:
“Halo Infinite marks a clear moment in 343 Studios’ handling of the series. They finally have a grasp on what makes Master Chief tick, and they bring all of that knowledge to bear in often-spectacular fashion. While some issues nag, it’s clear that Halo Infinite is a brilliant new entry in the series, and one that makes this particular sci-fi FPS relevant once again.”
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