As previously promised, Halo Infinite’s long-awaited campaign co-op is taking its first steps towards launch, thanks to a network beta flight slated for July.
Much like the multiplayer beta that preceded Infinite’s launch last fall, this co-op beta, which runs from July 11 to July 22, allows registered players to tackle the entire campaign alongside a friend to make sure everything is working as planned for the full deployment. As this is a new campaign version for players to download, 343 states that no previous story progression continues, so players will be starting from scratch. Progress made during the beta version will also not carry over to the retail version.
In a Halo Waypoint blog post, Isaac Bender, 343’s lead software engineer, and John Mulkey, lead world designer, discussed the features of co-op mode. A four-player squad can create separate campaign saves for co-op, and progress – such as missions completed, collectibles acquired, gear, upgrades, and achievements – counts towards both players’ individual saves . This means that you don’t have to be the Fireteam leader to keep your team’s achievements. For upgrade cores, if a player collects one, the whole team gets it. However, players spend hearts individually.
Regarding how the game takes into account each player’s individual campaign progress, Mulkey says:
“The way we handle this is through something we call internally ‘No Spartan Left Behind.’ saves and sets up a world state in which all missions completed by all Fireteam members are marked as complete while all missions not completed by all are marked as incomplete.”
Bender then adds:
“You can think of this system as creating a version of the world that looks like the ‘lowest common denominator’ (or ‘intersection’, if you’re into set theory) of everyone’s campaign progress. That way, little no matter what you do, no one completes missions out of order.”
Since Halo Infinite takes place in an open world, 343 confirms that players can tackle different locations separately, governed by a system called Zone of Operations. This term refers to the maximum distance Fireteam members can move away from each other; going too far triggers a warning to return to the team, or you will die and respawn near everyone. 343 describes the radius of the AOO as having a “warning radius” of 800 feet and an “elimination radius” of 1000 feet.
Players can redo missions thanks to the return of Mission Replay. Highlighting completed missions in the Tac-Map now displays a replay option. You can choose the difficulty and activate all the skulls you and your teammates have found. It also allows you to revisit previous stages using all the upgrades and weapons you’ve collected since then.
New achievements targeting co-op and replay missions will also be implemented. Co-op also supports cross-play between Xbox, PC, and xCloud, with sessions hosted on dedicated servers. In terms of the characters each player assumes, everyone is Master Chief while playing together.
To participate, you’ll need to be part of the Xbox Insider program or, if you’re playing on Steam, a Halo Insider. Xbox Game Pass members can join the Insider Program by following these instructions. Steam players must register at Halo Insider Program before July 5 to have the best chance of being selected for the cooperative beta. Invitations will be sent via email, which will take players to Halo Waypoint for instructions on how to download the campaign build. Surveys will be sent out after the beta ends.