Before the multiplayer beta launched, 343 was on a roll, hitting all the right notes when it came to their battle pass and progression systems implementations. "We’re not trying to build a grind-machine that burns everyone out in an attempt to get more game time from them," a blogpost read all the way back in 2020.
On top of the aforementioned, the announcement of a never-expiring battle pass excited the community. It felt like the developers acknowledged a reality most try to avoid -- people are often invested in more than one live service title at a time, triggering the so-called fear of missing out with time-sensitive content that can eventually turn them away from titles entirely.
While the promise has been kept and Halo Infinite's battle passes will never go away, the frustratingly slow progression of the game has been the focal point of critics, who are hoping 343 addresses the severe issues its scheme has moving forward.
Halo Infinite battle pass completion time
At the moment, even with some slight tweaks to the XP grind, it will take dozens of hours to get through Halo Infinite's battle pass. Let's do the math, shall we?
The Halo Infinite battle pass has your standard 100 tiers of premium and free content but unlike others, it doesn't have progressively bigger XP requirements to complete each tier as they're all set at 1,000 XP.
Sounds great? Not quite. XP is granted only via Challenges, there's no immediate reward for your performance like in Warzone, where each kill grants you battle pass XP progression.
As we've previously mentioned, there are 20 weekly quests with an extra available for premium battle pass owners. The XP these quests bring may vary, but most oscillate between 200-300XP. There are also daily quests that grant 100XP and after fan outcry, a standard "Play a Match" permanent reward has been added, handing out 50 XP.
The difficulty of the weekly quests can throw people for a loop. One, Noisemaker, may simply ask you to kill a single enemy with a Rocket Launcher in PvP, an easy 250 XP.
What if you want to get the 300 XP from Chef's Kiss? Glad you asked, you only need to get a Perfect medal (kill an enemy with peak efficiency, or in other words hit all headshots) three times using a kinetic semi-auto or burst weapon.
"In general, challenges are meant to be straightforward and never directly conflict with the objective of the match," John Junyszek, Community Manager at 343, wrote in a blogpost just two months ago in September. Sorry team trying to play a normal CTF match, I'm trying to get some Perfects over here!
Let's say you're a god gamer and get the normal 20 weeklies on top of seven daily quests done. Congratulations, you've unlocked an outstanding five whole battle pass levels in Halo Infinite courtesy of 5,500 XP.
Of course, we have to take into account how much time and matches did it take you to accomplish this. Time played is hard to quantify, and skill level will make the Challenge grind near impossible to calculate as well.
It can take a single match to get three Perfect medals or maybe five, ten, who knows.
In our experience, a 10-15 minute match is the standard. Using that as a measurement and assuming that not only you win most of your matches but are at least above average at the game, we believe it should take you around 20-25 matches or 4-5 hours per week to accomplish this if you're specifically going for the challenges, adding another 1,000 XP to the weekly tally.
So, six levels in five hours gives us a rough estimate of 85 hours to complete the Halo Infinite battle pass.
Now, let us tamper your expectations, this is an absolute lowball of a number. We took into consideration how easy are some of the challenges (Agoge simply tasks you with playing four multiplayer matches for 250 XP) and the fact you can do multiple at the same time under the right circumstances.
Sadly, you can only have three or four weeklies available at a time, and a lot of the time they don't synergise with one another. What if you're stuck with challenges that require specific guns? Or that you're forced to wait for an enemy Spartan to pilot a Banshee just on the off chance you get lucky enough to take it down... three times?
Hardcore people won't go out of their way in ranked to fulfil these requirements and heading to Big Team Battle or Social playlists to ruin everyone else's time seems like an unhealthy move for the longevity of the game.
Sure, there are XP boosts and Challenge swaps tokens you can buy to smooth the experience, making the grind just a bit more bearable, but it's clear that on a fundamental level, Halo Infinite's battle pass progression is outright broken and doesn't reward players for their time as much as you'd think.
Gameplay alone should be able to carry Infinite's early lifespan while 343 works on a permanent solution, however, with gamers more than ever craving immediate positive feedback, the Halo Infinite battle pass has to be reworked in order for the game to succeed.
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Featured image courtesy of 343 Industries.