Playing with friends will have to wait until at least May 2022.
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Talk about a real rollercoaster of a week for Halo Infinite fans. First, 343 Industries and Microsoft surprised dropped the multiplayer to everyone weeks ahead of schedule. Then issues surrounding the Battle Pass progression were brought to light by most everyone playing the game. However, 343 Industries said that they were taking feedback and will be making adjustments in the future. In fact, 343 Industries already applied a bandage to the system and made progress far more consistent for players, which has been a great start.

Today, we were met with the unfortunate news that the campaign co-op and Forge modes have been delayed even further than previously expected. In August 2021, 343's Joseph Staten announced that Halo Infinite would ship without the ability to play through the campaign in co-op. Today, we learn that co-op will not be added until at least May 2022.

In speaking to Eurogamer, Staten says that due to the extension of Halo Infinite Season 1 from three months to six months, the co-op and Forge mode were also pushed back. The plan was to release co-op in Season 2 with Forge arriving in Season 3. That is still technically happening but because Season 1 now runs until May 2022, there will be a much longer wait for this other content to be added to the game. Season 2 will presumably begin May 2022 with Season 3 presumably beginning around August 2022.

These are merely assumptions as Staten could not offer a firm release date for either co-op or Forge.

"We can't commit to any hard dates right now, because as we're seeing with this multiplayer beta, other things might move up in the priority stack for us. If it turns out that our progression system just isn't working the way that we intended, if we need to move some of these bigger rocks sooner, then we as a team will make those decisions and will clearly communicate to our fans why we're why we're doing certain things."
It's definitely a bummer that a staple of the franchise won't be included until several months after launch, but there is a bit of good news today. 343 Industries and Microsoft announced that Halo Infinite has gone gold and the campaign is on track to be released as planned on December 8, 2021 at 1PM (ET).