During the Xbox Anniversary Celebration event today, Microsoft and 343 Industries had a rather big announcement drop: Halo Infinite Multiplayer is out now for free, and Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S players can jump in right now. It's a soft launch with a beta tag, but all day one content along with the first battle pass Season 'Heroes of Reach' is fully active.
The surprise push to launch comes way ahead of the December 8 release date the free-to-play experience was attached to before. It's a fitting date too, as the original Halo: Combat Evolved released exactly 20 years ago.
Today's launch comes with 11 multiplayer maps spread between Arena (up to 8 players) and Big Team Battle (up to 24 players). A broad range of game modes are included too, like Slayer, Capture the Flag, Oddball, and much more. The AI training modes and Academy tutorials are also available. Being a beta though, some bugs can be expected. Check out the release notes here to get a full rundown.
On PC, Halo Infinite Multiplayer is available on the Microsoft Store and Steam, while Xbox players can simply use the Store app. The full Halo Infinite Multiplayer launch out of beta is still happening on December 8, and all progress from the current beta period is being carried over as well, so there's not much point in holding back.
With multiplayer now (almost) out of the way, the Master Chief himself is set to return with Halo Infinite's story campaign on December 8, unless another surprise release is planned.