Halo Infinite to receive ray tracing with Season 3 in March

As 343 Industries prepares Halo Infinite updates for this winter and next spring, one of the game’s most notable announcements comes from AMD. However, the confirmation of ray tracing for Halo Infinite might leave more questions than answers.

During its Radeon 7000 GPU unveiling, AMD announced that ray tracing will come to Halo Infinite with its Season 3 update in March 2023. Microsoft first confirmed its cooperation with AMD in October 2021. After the patch, Halo Infinite will include ray-traced shadows in its Arena and Big Team Battle multiplayer modes. The game seems to aim for a light touch regarding ray tracing, which makes sense for multiplayer.

Many other games implement ray-traced ambient occlusion, reflections, and global illumination for more accurate lighting, but those features weigh heavily on performance. Competitive shooters prioritize high frame rates, and shadows may be a less computationally expensive RT component, especially for the Xbox version of Halo Infinite. Team Red didn’t say whether ray tracing is coming to the game’s other modes like the campaign.

The presentation included the reveals for the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT, which ships on December 13 for $999 and $899, respectively. They feature AMD’s new chiplet design, dedicated AI accelerators, and support for DisplayPort 2.1. The company also announced new performance-enhancing technologies coming next year, like FSR 3 and HYPR-RX.

Ray tracing is the most recently-announced detail in Halo Infinite’s upcoming updates. New modes, maps, and other features are coming, though not without some disappointment for fans.

When 343 delayed Season 3 from September to March, it tried to soften the blow by announcing a minor winter update which arrives next week. On November 8, Halo Infinite receives two new maps, a new flag-based game mode, a free 30-tier battle pass, local region matchmaking, quality-of-life improvements, and the Forge map editor beta.

Perhaps Halo Infinite’s most significant addition next week is four-player campaign co-op. Campaign players will also gain the ability to replay individual missions. Unfortunately, 343 canceled plans for split-screen co-op.

In addition to ray tracing, the official launch of Season 3 in March will introduce a custom game browser, two new maps, two additional modes, new gear, forge updates, a new story event, a 100-tier battle pass, and more QoL enhancements.