Though Halo Infinite‘s campaign launched this week, the game’s multiplayer component has been available for a few weeks already. This is the first time Halo multiplayer has ever been free-to-play, which has almost certainly led to an influx of players who are entirely new to the Halo franchise. If this is your first outing with the series, there’s a decent chance you’ve found yourself outgunned by Halo veterans in multiplayer matches. This article will give you a few tips that can instantly make you a better Halo Infinite player.
Before we dive in, it’s important to note that these are basic gameplay tips that are meant to help new or casual players get better at the game. These are not meant for Halo veterans. If you’ve been playing Halo games since the early days, you can probably move on because you likely already know a lot of this stuff (we suggest checking out our full Halo Infinite review instead).
Use those grenades
There’s no such thing as friendly fire in Halo Infinite‘s social modes – Bot Bootcamp, Quick Play, and Big Team Battle. This is new for the Halo series because, in previous games, it was entirely possible to blow up your teammates with a poorly placed grenade or assassinate them with an ill-timed melee attack. Since this isn’t the case in Halo Infinite, you can let those grenades fly.
However, there are a few things to consider before you prime your throwing arm. The first is that the grenades you throw can still hurt you, so don’t throw a grenade and go running in after it right away. The second is that the enemy team knows that grenades can’t cause friendly fire damage, too, so they will be spamming grenades whenever they have them, especially around corners. In short: watch out for grenades at the beginning of an engagement, because they’ll be coming in hot more often than not.
Stay with your team
Given Halo‘s recharging shields, it can be tempting to try to break off on your own, find isolated enemies, and become some kind of lone wolf Spartan-hunter, but that kind of thinking is a trap. If you run into more than one enemy after going off on your own, you’re almost certainly dead, so often going solo means that you’ll die without getting anything in return for it (like an enemy kill).
Instead, pick someone on your team and follow them. You don’t need to be communicating with them in voice chat, just follow them around the map. If you two encounter a lone enemy, you’re almost guaranteed a kill, and if you encounter another duo, the fact that you’re with a buddy will even the odds.
In objective games like Oddball and Stronghold, you’ll often see the winning team grouped up as players on the losing team spawn and then filter into the objective one-by-one. The only thing this accomplishes is feeding the enemy team kills. It doesn’t make any progress toward claiming the objective and makes it easier for the winning team to grow their lead. When you’re on the back foot in a match with an objective, stay near your team so you can stage an assault as one unit rather than staggering your attacks.
When you’re ahead in an objective-based match, play defense
On the other side of that coin, if there’s ever a time that your team is ahead in Capture the Flag or Oddball, stick with your team and defend the objective. Don’t split off from your group and go looking for kills because that makes it easier for the enemy team to group up and successfully attack the ball carrier or steal the flag. If you’re playing Oddball, stay near the ball carrier and defend them. In Capture the Flag, stick near your flag and protect it. Remember: the enemy team can’t even the score and pull ahead if they can never get to the objective in the first place.
I often see players who only ever play offense in my games. For example, my team will be ahead in a Capture the Flag match, but instead of hanging back and letting the enemy come to us, one or two individuals will run off on their own, get killed, and give the enemy team a numbers advantage, which is exactly what they want. It may be fun to get kills, but kills don’t win Capture the Flag or Oddball matches.
Steer clear of the middle of maps (most of the time)
Many maps in Halo Infinite – Aquarius, Bazaar, Recharge, and Streets, in particular – have wide-open central areas surrounded by hallways and buildings that allow for more cover. When playing on these maps, try to avoid going into the center if you can. Sticking to the sides will give you more coverage and makes it easier to hide when you come under enemy fire.
Conversely, walking into the center of these maps exposes you from multiple angles and makes it hard for you to keep tabs on your enemies. When you consider that even the smallest maps tend to house weapons that can be effective at medium-to-long range (such as the Battle Rifle), that’s an even better reason to stick to cover. Behemoth is one of the few maps where it may be better to stick to the center, as the sides don’t offer much cover.
Reload often (except in the heat of battle)
The starting weapons in Halo Infinite‘s social modes, the MA40 Assault Rifle and MK50 Sidekick Pistol, are very effective weapons. If you get the jump on an enemy, you can burn them down with a single assault rifle magazine if your aim is good. With that in mind, you want to make sure that you’ve always got a fresh magazine in your weapon because starting a fight with a partially empty magazine is a great way to wind up dead.
If, however, you’re forced to start a fight with a partially full magazine, don’t bother reloading. Empty your current magazine, then switch to your other weapon instead of reloading the first. When you reload in the middle of a fight, you’re essentially leaving yourself utterly defenseless for the second or two it takes for the reload animation to complete. Quickly switching weapons will allow you to keep firing and can help secure a lot of kills.
Don’t ignore plasma weapons
Plasma weapons like the Pulse Carbine and the Plasma Pistol may not have the same power behind each shot that the more traditional weapons do, but they can still be handy. Both the Pulse Carbine and the Plasma Pistol can be effective at quickly dropping enemy shields, allowing you to switch to a kinetic weapon like the Assault Rifle, Battle Rifle, Pistol, or Commando to finish off enemies. Both guns have their drawbacks, as their slow projectiles can make it hard to hit bouncy enemies, but they’re still worth considering if you’re having a problem taking down enemy shields.
The pistol is highly effective at medium range
Halo Infinite‘s MK50 Sidekick is one of the weapons you start each social match with, and while it isn’t as strong as the Pistol we had in Halo: Combat Evolved, it can still do work. This is especially true at medium range; since the MK50 is a semi-automatic weapon, it fires as quickly as you pull the trigger on the controller/click the left mouse button, so you can fire it quickly while maintaining decent accuracy.
While I have even had some success with the Pistol at long range, it’s much better as a fallback for when enemies outrange your Assault Rifle. At those ranges, whip out the MK50 to keep the pressure on, and don’t be afraid to fire quickly. With some practice, you’ll be pressuring and even killing enemies half a map away with nothing but this small sidearm.
Don’t go for the head – at least not at first
If there’s one thing first-person shooter games have ingrained in our heads over the years, it’s this notion that headshots reign supreme. That’s true in Halo too, as headshots will do more damage to enemies but only when their shields are down. While the enemy still has their shields up, headshots do as much damage as body shots, so save yourself the trouble of precise aiming and focus only on landing hits until you get those shields down. Focus too much on aiming for the head in a duel and your enemy may very well burn you down faster.
Don’t get tilted
This last tip goes without saying for anyone who has played a competitive game before, but there will be times when it seems like you’re completely outmatched. Maybe your aim feels slightly off, or it feels like you can’t quite finish the fights you start. When this happens, it’s important to take some deep breaths and keep your cool because tilting will only make things worse. I’ve already seen some impressive come-from-behind victories in Halo Infinite, but those are only possible with cool heads.