The Halo Infinite campaign co-op beta is finally coming July 11, and you’ll want to get signed up now.
After opening sign-ups earlier this month and hinting at a July launch, 343 Industries set a firm release date in a new interview (opens in new tab) posted to the Halo blog. The campaign co-op beta is targeting “the week of July 15,” 343 says, and as PC Gamer (opens in new tab) reports, the studio has separately clarified that Monday, July 11 is the planned launch date.
As it stands, the beta will run through July 22 and support four players (with full cross-play support). And yes, everyone is Master Chief; no generic fill-in Spartans here. The exact timing may shift a few days, though; the studio says it “will keep the community apprised of any updates on that in the coming days.”
The co-op beta will be available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and PC to anyone who owns the Halo Infinite campaign or has Xbox Game Pass. Steam users will also need to be signed up as a Halo Insider (opens in new tab). If you aren’t on the list already, 343 advises joining Halo Insider as soon as you can – by July 5, ideally, otherwise you may risk missing the co-op bus, at least at first.
If you’re playing on Xbox, you’ll also need the Xbox Insider app downloaded, and you’ll want to opt into the “Network Co-Op flight program” once it’s live. Steam users will receive a key from Halo Insider to access the beta build.
343’s Isaac Bender and John Mulkey discussed a few new features coming with campaign co-op, with a focus on a unified campaign experience. Mission Replay is the headliner here, and will be available solo and with friends.
“In both solo and co-op play, you can open your Tac-Map, highlight a completed mission, and then choose Replay,” Mulkey explains. “You will then be prompted to select the difficulty and be offered to activate any Skulls you (or your teammates) have collected. Setting a mission to replay resets it and teleports you (and your fireteam) to the location to tackle the challenge. You are free to wander off to do something else, Fast Travel away, or resume your furthest main mission.”
You’ll keep any Spartan Core upgrades when you replay missions, and they’ll be tracked separately on a per-player basis.
Mulkey also outlined how campaign progress will be tracked in a group through a system described as “No Spartan Left Behind.”
“When players join the Fireteam and choose their save slots to play on, the game aggregates the states of all missions across those saves and sets up a world state in which any missions completed by all Fireteam members are marked as complete while any missions not completed by all are marked as incomplete,” he says.
As Isaac put it, “this means that any unlocks you find in co-op are retained in single-player,” including mission progress, collectibles and equipment, achievements, and upgrades. “Gone are the days of playing someone else’s game while earning no progress,” Mulkey adds.
There is one limitation: what Mulkey calls an area of operations that’s roughly 1,000 feet wide. When you get 800 feet away from your co-op partners, you’ll get a warning message to return to the area of operations. At 1,000 feet, you’ll be killed and respawned by your team.
“To give you an idea of that scale in-game: if two of you want to hit a really big objective like the Banished dig site, the AOO will definitely allow you to tackle an objective of that size from opposite sides with room to spare,” Isaac added.
It’s also worth noting that, for the beta specifically, 343 says that “due to the nature of this new build all players will need to download the campaign build and start a fresh campaign playthrough as no previous progress will carry over.” Progress in the beta will not carry over to the main game.
Modders had Halo Infinite playable in co-op earlier this month, though it was a little janky.