Christmas has come early for Zeta Halo as The Winter Update gets another facelift. The new content comes just in time for a celebratory free-for-all that makes it easier than ever to play custom maps, modes, and the latest variant of The Pit.
Halo infinity is the sixth installment in 343 Industries’ sci-fi fantasy darling. The first part of the winter update added a co-op option (opens in new tab) to the main campaign, and we didn’t expect the next update to come until later in 2023, when the third season ends.
However, the December update has a lot more in store for us; Not only can we now easily view custom maps and modes in the Custom Games Browser, but the new PvP mode Empyrean sees the return of a beloved mode last seen in the third and fourth Halo games.
It’s a true testament to the malleability of Halo’s multiplayer modes, proving how vital it is to the series’ continued success.
Forged in fame
With the arrival of the Forge in the Winter update, we finally got the tools to create our own maps and modes in Halo Infinite.
The Halo community has done that in spades by creating hundreds of custom games to play. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult to find the best of them. This is what makes this Custom Games Browser such an essential quality of life feature: it’s finally easy to find the types of maps and modes you want to play.
“We totally agree with players who felt the Custom Game Browser should be a priority – it’s an important support structure for what players create in Forge and a pillar for the community,” said 343 Industries community writer Alex Wakeford in the update notes (opens in new tab). “The team worked incredibly hard to land this feature that much further in advance, but with that comes the caveat that this is a V1. It will therefore probably have some rough edges, but we felt it was more important to get this into the hands of the players as soon as possible.”
The December update also brings the new Empyrean PvP mode, a recreation of Halo 3’s The Pit, which the team last played on a similar map in Halo 4.
Here, players are paired up with other players through the multiplayer matchmaking menu before being dropped into the slick indoor arena where only one team can prevail. You’ll need to sprint for powerful weapons like the Rocket Launcher, or scramble for opportunities on the ground by moving ahead of your enemies to the Sniper Turrets.
These familiar features will be tempered by Halo Infinite’s own chaos. As the blog post asks, “How do Halo Infinite’s toys, such as the limited-use equipment, some of those [established] dynamics and affect how you traverse the battle dance floor?
This new update also gives you plenty of freebie cosmetics, unlocking all currently available Armor Cores and ten Cadet Coatings for everyone.
Making it easier than ever to get into custom maps and battle it out in Empyrean, the Halo Infinite team clearly knows how to leverage the series’ strengths. The customizable sandbox elements of Halo’s multiplayer have always been a big part of what makes it special, and this update really makes those elements shine brighter than ever before.