Halo Infinite Takes A Strong First Step Towards Esports By Announcing Free To Play Multiplayer

Halo Infinite Takes A Strong First Step Towards Esports By Announcing Free To Play Multiplayer
Credit: HALO via YouTube

Here’s news that can cut a room in half: Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer aspect will be free for everyone to play on launch.

If you’re eager to see some serious Halo esports in the near future, this is the best possible news that you can get. For others, not so much.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive went free to play after years on the market; every sale was punctuated by thousands of cheaters playing in off-accounts to see what they could get away with without VAC becoming suspicious. It was common to simply avoid CS:GO for a few weeks after every sale.

Then it went free to play, as Valve apparently thought their anti-cheat was strong enough to ensure an integrity-laden competitive environment. It wasn’t, and now Counter-Strike offers one of the worst matchmaking mechanics ever seen.

Thankfully there are third-party services that take a far heavier approach to the bad actor shenanigans, but it’s a shame that Valve simply can’t get up to snuff.

Overwatch also has had its issues during free to play weeks, where matches would be riddled with those that are attempting to throw competitive matches for fun and views, and an occasional smattering of cheaters.

CoD: Warzone constantly bans massive numbers of cheaters seemingly every month, where they simply make a new account and go back to cheating, thanks to a lack of IP and hardware bans (which can easily be circumvented).

So 343 is banking hard on anti-cheat and other anti-griefing measures being enough to stipend the inevitable wave of bad actors eager to make a name for themselves by having a relatively broken moral compass.

On the counter, however, this bodes well for the popularity of multiplayer, ensuring strong competition where the best might actually rise to the top.

Granted, Halo has another massive hurdle that they will need to overcome for competitive viability: aim-assist being offered for controllers leaving keyboard and mouse users at a massive disadvantage.

Bringing the question to ‘how much cheating is ok‘ when you’re attempting to compete head to head. With cross-platform play marrying PC users and Xbox console owners, it’s already almost guaranteed that controller users will have an advantage; meaning that positioning and kill trading will supersede the importance of being able to aim.

This will be the last major hurdle that stands in the way of Halo Infinite, and it’s unlikely a hurdle that will be cleared with relative ease within the near future, as scores of other titles have similar problems. It remains unknown how some users actually aim with a controller.