Halo Infinite release window set for F2P multiplayer and single-player campaign

The Halo Infinite release window has been set, and you'll be playing the first part of its campaign as well as the first chunk of its multiplayer season by the end of the year.

The Xbox E3 2021 event confirmed that the Halo Infinite release date - at least for its initial parts - is set for holiday 2021. That includes free-to-play multiplayer and an "epic campaign" which follows the adventures of Master Chief on Zeta Halo.

Xbox delivered the news with a pair of trailers for the two modes, showing Master Chief preparing to set out on a new mission with a surrogate Cortana for the story, and a whole bunch of chaotic Spartan combat for the multiplayer side. While we've seen how Chief ends up on Zeta Halo to begin with - getting brought out of cold sleep by an extremely lucky, or maybe unlucky, pilot - we now get a teaser of what his mission will be once he arrives on the ringworld proper.

That will include an uneasy alliance with a new AI who was specifically designed to impersonate Cortana and help Master Chief finally destroy her for good. I'm sure there won't be any uneasiness between the two of them with regards to that particular part of the mission? Meanwhile, there's no uncertainty between the Spartans in multiplayer mode: just lots of exchanging gunfire on foot and in sprawling vehicular combat.

The trailer shows off a number of the customizations you'll be able to apply to your own Spartan, including some returning favorites such as a new iteration of the Hayabusa Powered Assault Armor (AKA the one that makes you look like a space samurai) and new picks. With multiplayer being free-to-play, it should be easy to get all your friends aboard so you can all show off your futuristic armor fashion sense - that includes the option to apply Destiny-style shaders to give your gear a new look with special colors and textures.

You'll also be able to play across both Xbox and PC thanks to cross-play, though mouse and keyboard and controller players will be separated for ranked matchmaking.

See what else is on the way with our guide to upcoming Xbox Series X games. 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.