The recent Halo Infinite technical test received a mostly warm reception from players, who seem to love the new weapons, the nostalgic run and gun action, and the subtle tweaks to Halo 5's mechanics. Many hail Infinite as a return to form, and that may be in part due to several standout gameplay additions. The most prominent of the bunch is the way guns show up on each map and the way Infinite sometimes mixes that up. While Halo 4 added countdown timers for power weapons, each and every gun in Infinite has a prominent spawn location that lets players know exactly when and where to grab their preferred weapon of destruction.

Dubbed weapon racks by developer 343 Industries, Halo Infinite's weapon spawns take inspiration from Halo 2's initial trailer and its first level. While it made sense that weapons were just lying around on the Halo ring in the first entry, future games have since had weapon storage containers pop up from time to time as well as a few similarly stored weapons in Reach. However, Infinite takes the concept from obscure lore to gameplay relevance in its multiplayer arena.

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The guns Spartans find on weapon racks aren't usually going to shift the game in one team's favor. Instead, they function as slightly upgraded replacements for the starting Assault Rifle or Sidekick pistol. The trusty Battle Rifle and the brand new Commando offer precision at various ranges while the newly deadly Needler and the Bulldog shotgun provide options for close combat. Just like in Halo 5, each weapon in the sandbox feels like it has distinct advantages and disadvantages, promoting a sense of variety that's very healthy for an FPS.

Why Halo Infinite's Weapon Spawns Are So Great

Rather than leaning against a wall or hiding in a toll booth, each weapon that spawns now hangs on the wall at eye level, making it easier to learn maps at a glance. When a rack is empty, it offers a holographic indicator of what weapon players can pick up next time they sprint by, and the indicator is colored based on which team currently has the gun on the field. While racks don't offer exact spawn timers like power weapons, it's easy to see at a glance what's available across the battlefield. And, for those who just want to wait for one specific gun, there's even an animation of the weapon emerging from the wall. The details and animations for weapon spawns really serve to make this iteration of Halo's deathmatch and the characters it introduces feel like a cohesive part of the greater universe.

It's important that weapon spawns stand out on Halo Infinite's maps because they're not static across each match. Much like how Halo 5 added variety with visual refreshes for some of its maps, Halo Infinite's technical test had two variations of each map featuring different weapon loadouts. The replacements (including swapping the shotgun for the close-range Heatwave and Halo's trusty Sniper Rifle for the brutish Skewer) don't change the category of weapons available; players always have the same mix of long-, short- and mid-range options. However, varying the exact weapon placements across rounds makes the game more fun to play over longer sessions, since a game could play out very differently even on the same map.

Since the days of Halo: Combat Evolved, grabbing the right weapons in a game of Slayer makes all the difference. In the earliest days, that meant breaking out a physical timer and placing it in front of the TV to ensure that the rockets at the bottom of Damnation went into the right hands. In 2021, Halo Infinite and its weapon racks do a lot of that work on their own, letting players of all skill levels experience a little bit of the magic of Halo multiplayer at its highest levels.

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Alex Santa Maria

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Alex Santa Maria is a writer, editor, and critic based out of the Sunshine State. Raised on a healthy diet of gaming mags at an Xbox LAN center, Alex is an enthusiast who loves shooters, roguelikes, and arcade-style games. He has an unhealthy obsession with bad movies, a love of the 1980s, and the skills to rack up a high score on your local pinball table. When not covering the latest news on Screen Rant, you may find his byline on a growing number of webzones, including GameRevolution, TechRaptor, Mandatory, and WrestleZone.

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