Is Halo Infinite’s Battle Pass worth it? That’s what I asked myself as I hovered over the option to buy 1,000 credits and upgrade to the premium pass. I’d already seen, and written about, the dazzling array of armor customization options that could be mine for just $10 and dozens of hours of playing Halo Infinite’s multiplayer mode, the latter of which I planned on doing anyway.
I caved in and bought it. Why not? I, too, would like to play Spartan Dress-Up, and 343 makes your version of John Halo start life in a drab suit of grey with few outstanding features. That’s intentional, obviously, so you’ll see the panoply of life and color everyone else is kitted out in and want the same for yourself.
The problem isn’t the Battle Pass, or at least, not completely. $10 for 100 tiers of decent-to-middling rewards that don’t expire is a good deal in theory. The plunder itself is slightly uninspired compared to what you get for the same price in, say, Apex Legends. But this is also Halo Infinite’s first season and 343’s debut effort at creating a free-to-play experience, so I kept my expectations in check.
Your hard-won XP nets you new armor cores for different styles, attachments to mix and match, and more shades and tints than you’ll likely ever use. The problem is how you get them.
With the exception of cores, your new gear gets doled out in long intervals. My new blue armor is nice, but I wanted the snazzy visor at the Battle Pass’ third tier. Halo Infinite’s unforgiving XP system means I won’t be seeing said snazzy visor for a while, though. It took me clearing multiple challenges just to reach tier two, where I received one tiny visor attachment I care little for and nothing else.
I’ll finish enough challenges to get my visor, and then some matching shoulder pads and who-knows-how-many other attachments I don’t actually want. Eventually. I remain unconvinced that $10 was $10 well spent, though. Halo Infinite’s challenges — the only way you earn XP — are fun distractions to focus on from time to time but grinding them just to get a measly 300 XP that barely moves you closer to the next tier is an excellent way to make the game a boring slog very quickly.
XP Boosts you earn from time to time or can buy with more credits do make the process a bit smoother. It’s evident 343 hopes you’ll spend more money on the Premium Pass bundle, though, which gives you enough XP Boosts to shoot up to tier 25 immediately. I’m not buying it.
Instead, I’m looking forward to Halo Infinite’s first Fractures event, Tenrai. 343 promises a suite of themed rewards we can earn through completing event challenges, and since it’s a limited-time event, I imagine the activities won’t be as much of a grind to complete. And even if they are, it’s free.
343 already promised to look into adjusting XP earning and tweaking the Battle Pass based on the mostly negative feedback they’ve received so far. I'm not sure getting a few hundred extra XP per match will make a significant difference to the reward layout and the challenge grind, though it's at least a start.
And it's a sign of more changes to come, hopefully. With 343 actively modifying the system and working with the community to make it better, whether the Halo Infinite Battle Pass is worth it will probably have a different answer by the time the (almost) full game launches December 8. For now though, save that $10 and get the free and event rewards or put it towards something in the Halo Shop.