Halo Infinite season five’s mid-season update is finally here, and it’s one the player base’s excitement has been palpable for as it brings back a classic mode that hasn’t been seen since Halo 5: Guardians in 2016: Firefight.
Firefight is a PvE mode first introduced in Halo 3: ODST, where a team of four players face down waves of increasingly powerful enemy combatants. In a twist unique to Infinite, the squad now battles for control of hills across the mode’s nine launch maps, a change made to encourage rotations and prevent teams from holing up in one location.
But Firefight isn’t the only thing that dropped in Dec. 5’s update. New equipment, new Forge tools, stability improvements and even a preview for an upcoming networking overhaul have been released as well.
The networking overhaul will be a particular point of interest for players invested in the ranked and competitive scene for Infinite. After all, the game’s lackluster servers have been the source of plenty of discourse in the years since its release. Developer 343 Industries promised the lack of incremental improvements was due to work being done on a comprehensive rework instead, and the fruits of their labor are now able to be previewed through the Firefight: King of the Hill playlist.
“You’ll be able to jump into the Firefight: King of the Hill playlist and try out the new networking model in a safe environment. Enabling it in a PvE experience gives us a safe testbed to see how it behaves at scale before enabling it in a PvP mode,” the developer explained in a preview blog. “If the results are promising, we’ll look to host a PvP experience in the Combat Workshop in the future.”
The more general stability improvements brought to the wider multiplayer experience included fixes for the custom game browser, allowing Fireteam leaders to bring along their entire party into a hosted session, as well as an issue that blocked some players from joining custom game browser session being resolved. Ranked has also been given robust CSR protection systems for when players on both your team and the enemy team leave a match early.
To complete the package, Forge received even more updates surrounding Skull modifiers and AI combatant availability, the Repair Field equipment has been added which can heal both vehicles and allies, and over 100 more coatings have been made multi-core. It’s a hefty update in its own right, and continues Halo Infinite’s positive trend upward when it comes to the consistency of its content delivery pipeline.