Happy birthday, indeed! The surprise release of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer beta took the industry by storm on November 15. Xbox’s 20th anniversary celebration also marked one of the most exciting game launches in recent memory.
Expertly designed gameplay, fast and fluid movement, and satisfying gunplay make the long-awaited shooter a must-play. The same cannot be said about the game’s battle pass system, which is grindy, dull, and nowhere near as rewarding as other live-service games.
Here are three ways developer 343 Industries can improve the battle pass system.
Why the Halo Infinite battle pass doesn’t work
Unlike live-service shooters like Warzone and Fortnite, there isn’t a constant XP system in Halo Infinite. Instead of earning battle pass XP as you rack up defeats and complete objectives, the only way to rise through the ranks is to complete challenges. At any given time, you only have a handful of these to complete. Once you’ve finished them all, you must wait for more to be added.
That means leveling up takes far too long. While the challenges aren’t too difficult, the fact that there are so few of them makes the battle pass a grueling and unappealing affair. After four hours of play, I was still at level 1, which didn’t leave me motivated to progress further.
Perhaps 343 wants players to stick around for as long as possible. If the battle pass can be completed quickly, the player-base will dwindle. The problem is that the result feels more tedious than fun.
3. Implement more challenges to complete
If 343 is adamant about utilizing a challenge-based battle pass system, simply having more available could be the change this game needs. Having only four or five to choose from isn’t enough. For instance, Warzone has a boatload of challenges tied to certain weapons, game modes, and objectives. This encourages players to spend time with the game and rewards them for doing so.
To keep players around, 343 could have a larger list of rotating challenges that cycle daily and weekly, creating more opportunities to level up. This wouldn’t fundamentally change the progression system, but it would give players more freedom.
2. Add a traditional XP system
On the flip side, 343 could transition to a traditional XP system similar to contemporary live-service shooters. Once again, Warzone does this well, rewarding you with battle pass XP for nearly everything you do — eliminating players, completing objectives, and using specific weapons.
With this method, 343 could keep players around by rewarding small amounts of XP for taking out foes, winning matches, and completing objectives, while ensuring progression never feels like a slog. It’s immensely satisfying to check your battle pass after a match (especially when you performed well), to see the progress you’ve made. A more traditional XP system would reward players for doing well and playing the objective more than the current challenge-based system.
1. Why not both?
The best-case scenario would be to combine both approaches, offering a boatload of rotating challenges while also rewarding players with XP for playing normally. This would encourage players to experiment with various weapons, playstyles, or modes, without penalizing those who simply want to play the objective.
That means if a challenge required you to use a weapon you aren’t good with, you could choose not to complete this particular challenge, as there would be numerous other ways to earn XP.
The current setup of the battle pass forces you to play in counterintuitive ways. Thankfully, the community team at 343 Industries has said it is aware of the concerns surrounding the battle pass, so it’s likely this system will change, for the better.
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer beta is out for free on Xbox and PC right now.