Microsoft has announced updates to Halo Infinite’s battle pass ahead of schedule, following widespread backlash at how it awards XP. While it won’t address all of the underlying criticisms, these new tweaks will definitely make the grind a little more palatable in the weeks leading up to the game’s full December 8 launch.
The fixes set to go live before the end of the week mostly focus on tweaking Weekly Challenges to make them easier. “We’ll be watching these changes closely to make sure they have the positive impact we all want on your progression,” Halo community manager John Junyszek tweeted last night. “This is only our first step - we are committed to continue evolving these systems but it will take time.”
Here are the changes that were announced:
- A new Daily Challenge automatically awarding 50 XP for completing the first match of the day.
- Some of the more annoying Weekly Challenges will be removed.
- Others will have their difficulty dialed back so players can complete them faster.
- Double XP boosters will now last for an hour instead of just 30 minutes.
- This week’s current Ultimate Reward, the Sigil Mark VII Visor, will be given away to everyone for free between Nov 23 - Nov 30.
Read More: Halo Infinite’s Battle Pass Sucks, Fans Say
When Halo Infinite’s multiplayer surprise soft-launched earlier this week, players who hadn’t been a part of earlier betas were shocked to find that just playing matches didn’t earn any battle pass XP—the main path for unlocking new rewards. Instead, the only way to get XP was to complete Daily and Weekly Challenges, making progress painfully slow, and in some cases ruining matches as players focused on their next Challenge rather than playing the objective. One player recently complained that it took them 18 hours to gain six levels, which would mean hundreds of hours to complete the whole thing.
The new 100 XP Daily Challenge for completing a match appears to have been in the game since at least Tuesday, with different tiers that slowly increase the number of matches you need to play to earn the next 100 XP. For example, after your third match you’ll need to complete two to earn the next 100 XP, and by your 10th match you’ll need to start completing three. These diminishing returns mean you’d still earn short of the 1,000 XP needed to rank up one level on the battle pass even after over a dozen matches.
343 Industries had previously said it wouldn’t start tweaking the battle pass until after season 1 finished in May, so it’s impressive that the studio was able to rush out any update so quickly. At the same time, until XP starts getting awarded more generously after every match regardless of Challenges, it’s hard to not see it continuing to feel like a slog.
Update: 11/18/21, 12:14 p.m. ET: The changes are now live, however there’s now some new controversy around the Daily challenge XP. It was previously 100 XP each for the first three matches. Now it’s 50 XP. It’s unclear if that is an intentional downgrade or if the previous amount was an error or one-time thing. Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Weekly Challenges, however, have indeed become significantly easier. Some of the requirements for completion have been cut in half, or simply involve playing specific modes.