'Halo Infinite' Multiplayer Is Live — Here's How to Start Playing Right Now

Microsoft celebrated 'Halo's' 20th anniversary by unexpectedly making 'Halo Infinite' multiplayer available early. Here's how to play.

Meg Dowell - Author

Nov. 19 2021, Updated 1:02 p.m. ET

The wait is finally over. Halo Infinite is only a few weeks away, and it will arrive just in time for celebrating the franchise's 20th anniversary. Longtime Halo players have waited patiently for the game’s release, and this week, the wait got a little easier.

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On Monday, Microsoft confirmed the early release rumors that had begun circulating over the weekend about the game’s multiplayer modes. Online gameplay is now available, and getting started is easy. Here’s everything you need to know.

Here's how to play ‘Halo Infinite’ multiplayer.

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Though Halo Infinite doesn’t release in full until December, it was announced on Nov. 15 that the game’s multiplayer beta was officially open to all players. With the right system and a Microsoft account, Halo Infinite multiplayer is now available to play.

Halo Infinite can be played either on Xbox or through the Steam platform on PC. To access multiplayer on PC, go to the Halo Infinite multiplayer page and click the “GET” button next to the GamePass option. You’ll be prompted to enter your Microsoft account information before downloading.

You can also download through Steam or the Microsoft Store or Xbox apps.

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Will ‘Halo Infinite’ multiplayer be free?

Halo Infinite’s multiplayer modes are free to play while currently in beta, which means you can play online without having to pay to download anything — even before the full game launches in December.

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The official Xbox website clarifies that the beta multiplayer modes were released as part of its 20th-anniversary celebration. “The next era of Halo begins,” it reads. “To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer beta is available now and free to play on Xbox and PC.”

The even better news for Halo players is that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer modes remain free even after the game releases. Historically, these games make a lot of their money from micro-transactions, so they can get away with keeping online play free without losing out on profits from other avenues.

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Here's what to know about the 'Halo Infinite' multiplayer before you jump in.

This is a beta experience, and if you’ve ever interacted with a beta version of any game before, you know what that means. There will be bugs. Some things won’t work as well as intended, and loading times will be painfully slow at points. But it’s all worth it for the various game modes available within Halo Infinite’s multiplayer.

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With Arena and Big Team Battle modes, players have the chance to play Halo online the way they want to. But that’s not all. The game’s customization options even in multiplayer mode allow for cosmetic upgrades beyond anything you’ve seen before. You’ll have to play to earn the best of what’s available, but for seasoned players, this is nothing new.

And this is only the first season of this cross-generation, cross-platform multiplayer gameplay. According to Xbox, there will be seasonal updates to online play similar to other free-to-play online games such as Fortnite and Overwatch.

Halo Infinite is available for pre-order now and releases fully on Dec. 8, 2021.

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Are the 'Halo Infinite' servers down? Users report issues only days after the multiplayer launched.

Within days of the multiplayer mode launching early, players were already reporting issues with the servers, claiming they cannot access online play. For many, this happened around the same time that the game launched a new update with some small bug fixes.

This, of course, has frustrated many players who have been trying to get into the game before the campaign launches in December.

In response to the many reports of the servers being down, the Halo support Twitter account tweeted out potential fixes for players.

"If you're currently unable to matchmake or connect to #HaloInfinite services, please relaunch the game or restart your Xbox console," the developers tweeted.

This seems to be an ongoing bug with the servers. Unfortunately, there is little you can do until the developers roll out a patch for this problem, though it appears they are aware and working on it.

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