There have been some rumors and hints that Halo Infinite could release with a battle royale mode. Regardless of whether or not the rumors are true, the prospect of a BR mode has many players excited. 100 Thieves Streamer Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, who began his pro career playing Halo, even went as far as saying that not releasing a BR mode with Halo Infinite would be “one of the greatest gaming failures in history.”
So let's say that 343 Industries does implement a BR, what would that look like within Halo's existing mechanics and world? Here is our wishlist for everything we would like to see in a Halo Battle Royale mode!
1. Stay true to Halo mechanics.
If they add a BR mode to Halo, not too many things would have to change about the standard Halo mechanics to make it work. Halo mechanics already lend themselves really well to both small-scale and large-scale BR modes, so it would be best to lean into that by only changing elements of gameplay when absolutely necessary.
2. Use the BR constricting circle system to maintain the pace of play
A lot of different zone tightening techniques have been used in BR’s in the past. The most successful, by far, has been the circle technique, which has a circle that constricts over the course of a match limiting the playing area and forcing players into encounters with one another. At this point, circles are the standard for the mode, so they would probably work just fine for a Halo BR.
3. Make power weapons a focal point
There is no question about it, they will not be able to properly balance power weapons. But thats okay. As we saw with Fortnite’s implementation of mythic weapons, introducing asymmetric combat isn’t always a bad thing, so long as the location of the mythic weapons is known to all players so everyone has an equal shot at a power weapon.
Halo multiplayer has always revolved around controlling power weapons. A BR mode should be no different. While many games have implemented “levels of weapons” Halo has the opportunity to keep it simple. Their weapons already have a natural hierarchy, so it’s just a matter of setting up predictable enough spawns for the power weapons and fair spawn rates for everything else.
Two different BR modes
Halo has two identities as a shooter. There is the arena-style multiplayer experience, which pits players against each other on small maps with no vehicles. This style BR would have appeal for players who are tired of the slow pace of many modern BR’s but likes the last person standing format.
There is also the classic large map Halo experience, which typically features various kinds of vehicles on much larger, more populated maps. This experience is something many Halo fans will be looking for in a BR mode, so it is an essential thing to include.
To reflect this dual identity, it would make sense for the Halo BR to include two new playlists: Last Spartan Standing (Large) and Last Spartan Standing (Arena)
Last Spartan Standing - Large
The Last Spartan Standing (Large) mode could feature teams of two and four, numbers that line up with Halo’s typical player splits for teams.
Since this mode will feature a full 100 players, it will make sense to have a little bit longer timer for each game. However, Halo is not about slow-paced gameplay, so the pace of the game should remain high at all times. One way to help keep the pace of play up is to keep the timers tight so that you force players on the edge of the map to be constantly moving toward the center.
While the developers could implement a BR on their standard larger maps, it would probably be best for them to create dedicated maps for the BR purpose. This will ensure that the maps are balanced and fun to play in BR, instead of attempting to retrofit maps made for entirely different purposes.
The drop mechanic for the BR could be an orbital drop. This mechanic already exists in the Halo universe in the form of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers from Halo ODST. This is a perfect use of the same concept.
Every team could orbital drop from a random edge of the map, with players being able to control where they fly from there. This gives players a good balance of freedom and constraint since they can make decisions but can’t access just any part of the map.
Around the map, there should be various points of interest, like any BR, around which combat can take place. In addition to power weapons to grab, players should also be able to find standard power-ups that you would find on a Halo map, like overshields, invisibility, etc.
The Last Spartan Standing (Large) mode will feature a variety of vehicles, which are essential to the core identity of classic Halo games. These vehicles could spawn at places of interest, adding one more thing to help funnel players into high-value confrontations throughout the map.
Last Spartan Standing - Arena
For those who want a faster-paced version of the Halo BR, it would be cool to see Bungie implement a 20 person Battle Royal mode on a smaller map without vehicles. This mode could take place on a short 10-minute timer and feature just three quick circle phases that will periodically constrict the battlefield.
This mode could be isolated to just solos and duos play, though it might be interesting to see them experiment with five teams of four as well. For this mode, they could probably use standard health and shields, since it’s meant to be fast-paced and more similar to standard Halo multiplayer, but with permanent death.
In my opinion, a smaller arena-focused BR would be a legitimately interesting mode for a lot of Halo fans. The length of the mode won’t turn fans off like many BRs can, and with only twenty players to beat, it feels like winning is more within reach than against 100 other players.
How health could work
For a Halo BR mode to work, there would need to be a health bar like in Reach, not just rechargeable shields in Halo 3. This would ensure that there was some level of possible punishment for engagements, forcing players to play more tactically, which is a key part of any successful BR.
That said, it would be bad to punish aggression completely since these are super soldiers and Halo is very much about aggressive combat. So shields should still charge automatically, but players should still need to heal periodically. While you could implement some kind of Heal slot, like Call of Duty Black Zone did, the developers could also just implement relatively standard health packs around the map which players have to compete for.
How loot could work
There is no need to change the basics of Halo’s inventory system. Players can carry two weapons. Maybe they could add a third weapon slot, but it isn’t entirely necessary.
The power weapons are difficult to balance, but Halo has never really been about balance. You can help keep the weapons from being too overpowered by making the ammo for the Rocket Launcher and Sniper Rifle pretty rare, forcing players to manage the limited resource.
The power weapon locations should be consistent, and their spawn timers should be public so everyone can see. This will make the power weapon spawns the focal point of high-level combat, while still allowing people to find more common weapons in less intense areas of the map. This provides the risk/reward kind of gameplay that keeps BR’s interesting over time.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.