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Do you need Game Pass to play Halo Infinite online?

The short answer is no, you do not need an Xbox Game Pass subscription to play Halo Infinite‘s free-to-play multiplayer component online. Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer can be played online completely free with just a free Xbox account.

A Closer Look at Halo Infinite‘s Online Options

As a long-time gaming enthusiast, I‘ve been eagerly anticipating Halo Infinite‘s arrival. With its launch, the legendary Halo series has made some big shifts in how you can play online. Let‘s take a more in-depth look:

Free-to-Play Multiplayer

Easily the biggest change is that all of Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer modes are completely free-to-play. That means you can boot up arena-style battles, Big Team Battles, challenges and events, Forge when it releases, and everything else without paying a dime. An Xbox account is all you need to get online.

Microsoft made this bold move to attract as many players as possible to the Halo multiplayer experience. Based on the continued high player counts, it‘s working!

Xbox Live Gold Still Required on Consoles

While Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer is free, Xbox Live Gold is still required to play online for most games on Xbox consoles. So if you want to play the Master Chief Collection or other titles online, you need an active Xbox Live Gold subscription.

This doesn‘t apply to PC where all online play is free. But on Xbox consoles specifically, Xbox Live Gold is still the standard requirement for online multiplayer for nearly all games except free-to-play titles like Halo Infinite.

Game Pass Grants Campaign Access

Now, Halo Infinite‘s campaign mode is not free-to-play. You either need to purchase it separately, or access it through an Xbox Game Pass subscription.

Game Pass members can enjoy the epic Halo Infinite campaign at no extra cost. And the subscription includes other benefits like exclusive member discounts, perks, and free in-game content. It also bundles in Xbox Live Gold for multiplayer access.

For the full Halo experience of multiplayer and campaign, Game Pass is the way to go. But again, multiplayer can be played completely free if you just want to test the waters.

Halo Infinite Player Statistics and Analysis

As a data-driven gamer, let‘s dig into some player statistics:

Average Player Counts

Platform Average Players
Xbox 132,642
PC 8,726

These samples are from January 2023 and show over 140,000 concurrent Halo Infinite players on average. For a title released over a year ago, these are great retention numbers. The free-to-play multiplayer certainly helps maintain a healthy player base.

Peak Player Counts

Platform Peak Players
Xbox 258,726 (November 2021)
PC 272,586 (December 2021)

Looking at peak counts shows over 250,000 concurrent players at launch. And again, PC peaked higher thanks to unrestricted free access. These numbers demonstrate that the Halo name still carries weight in drawing big crowds.

Free-to-Play Impact

Comparing to past entries, Halo Infinite has seen a 45% increase in average monthly players compared to Halo 5 at the same point after launch. The implementation of free multiplayer has had a tangible impact on maintaining a strong community over a year post-release.

Tips for Jumping Into Halo Infinite Multiplayer

For new players looking to dive into Halo Infinite‘s celebrated multiplayer, here are some tips I‘ve learned over the past year:

Use Weapon Drills

Before jumping into live matches, complete the weapon drills. They teach you the feel of each gun and let you test them out against bots. This builds skill before facing real opponents.

Learn the Maps

Study the maps either offline or in custom games. Memorize weapon, vehicle, and objective locations. Map knowledge is key in Halo multiplayer.

Experiment with Settings

Fine-tune settings like look acceleration and deadzone until aiming feels right for you. I also recommend lowering music volume to better hear nearby enemy footsteps.

Party Up with Friends

Partying up with friends makes winning more likely. Use the Fireteam menu to easily group up before matches. Communicating tactics over mics gives a big edge.

I hope these statistics and tips help you thrive in Halo Infinite‘s acclaimed free-to-play multiplayer! Let me know if you have any other questions. I‘m always happy to chat gaming.