Halo Infinite: Performance modes shine on Xbox Series X and Xbox One X

Halo Infinite: Performance modes shine on Xbox Series X and Xbox One X

Halo Infinite

The latest technical tests of Halo Infinite have gone in full swing. Last weekend the action took place in a trio of maps that we had already seen in the first preview, and in new unreleased maps, as well as through offline training options and on the brand new "Behemot" map. Based on what we have seen playing, the console versions are the ones that impress the most, and there is also good news regarding the performance modes on the Xbox Series X and, perhaps unexpectedly, also on the Xbox One X.

However, the truth is that by and large the technical aspect of Halo Infinite has largely remained unchanged since the debut of the multiplayer testing phase. So, in summary, the Xbox One S version is the most problematic one. It tries to shoot at 1080p but an aggressive dynamic resolution scaling algorithm is active that acts independently on the number of pixels of the horizontal and vertical axes. The visual result can look rather crude and the situation is not helped by a 30fps frame-rate cap implemented with a lot of instability. But it's still Halo Infinite, it's playable even if you are at a disadvantage compared to Xbox users with better machines, the game is enjoyable despite everything.

What about Xbox Series S? Here, too, the situation is almost unchanged from the first time we saw the game's multiplayer code running there, which updates at 60fps. You don't aim for 1440p, but settle for a solid 1080p experience - even with DRS on, it's rare to find situations where you aggressively step into the game. The 120Hz mode available in the first test phase has been removed. Too bad because on that occasion it was more stable than its equivalent on Series X, even if it could cause resolution drops up to 540p. Perhaps for this reason 343 Industries is having second thoughts.

A look at how the Halo Infinite multiplayer beta runs in all its versions via the build that went online last weekend.

Watch on YouTube. Meanwhile, the Series X's performance mode is in a much better state than ever before. Except for a few frame skips (essentially invisible to the human eye), we are faced with 120fps gameplay locked with an active DRS operating in a resolution window between 1080p and 1440p. Aside from the 60fps animations, movement and fluidity are excellent, the graphics hold up well despite the fluctuations in resolution and overall this rendering mode is a triumph. The interesting thing is that you can access this mode via a quality / performance selector which did not work at all in the first preview. Now the switch is functional, but as long as you have selected 120Hz output in the dashboard. If, on the other hand, you have selected the output at 60Hz, you will only have access to the quality mode, which seems to offer a dynamic resolution between 1800p and 2160p. Both modes run smoothly and the Series X offers the best console experience at the moment.

But perhaps the biggest surprise in the last phase of testing was the Xbox One X version, which impressed in the its debut with graphics quality similar to that obtainable on Series X but with a frame-rate limited to 30fps (albeit with fewer smoothing problems than the One S). So the aesthetics are great, but basically a first person shooter that runs at 30fps doesn't do very well and puts you at a disadvantage compared to those who play on next-gen Xbox. Here, too, the quality / performance switch has been fixed and the second option allows you to play at 60fps, even if they are not as stable as on Series X / S. This mode looks similar to the X Series but with half the frame-rate, as the resolution is identical: DRS 1440p-2160p. The 60fps also holds up well in the Behemot map, which is more open and full of vehicles. Performance can drop into the 50fps sphere, but the gameplay improvement over quality mode is sensational.

And in case you forgot, here are our initial impressions of the first demonstration of the multiplayer component.

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According to what we've seen so far, however, it is the PC version that is worrying. First of all, to run the game with v-sync on a 60Hz screen you need to use the in-game 60fps limit, which however seems to lock at 57-59fps instead of 60, causing obvious stuttering that can only be avoided by disabling the v. -sync from the GPU control panel. First-person weapon animations seem to update at a lower rate than the game refresh, but the absurd thing is that we found that an RTX 3090 can't run the game at a fixed 120fps even at low quality, suggesting a neck of CPU side bottle.

It's not all to be thrown away however, as these are the only problems encountered and the multiplayer component of Halo Infinite is taking shape very well on consoles. By removing the aliasing that plagues the basic Xbox One version, all other consoles offer a good chance to enjoy the game, which is brilliant, fast and responsive. The Xbox One X version is certainly the one that amazed us the most, and it's good to see that the capabilities of this machine have not faded into the background now that the Xbox Series has taken the stage. In many respects, the Xbox One X version offers better graphics quality than the S Series, even if the frame-rate is physiologically lower and unstable.

Summing up, despite last-gen consoles having sometimes rough and edgy textures and performance / quality selectors that don't work intuitively requiring game reset, the debut of Halo Infinite in multiplayer version on these consoles was solid when we first saw it, and the improvements made in the last phase of testing are remarkable. PC users need a code from an insider who already has access, but if you have an Xbox console just download the Insider app and you should be able to enter the next test phase.

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