343 Industries provides a fresh look at the co-op experience coming soon-ish.
Halo Infinite network campaign co-op

For fans of Halo co-op experiences, the omission of the feature from Halo Infinite's launch did not go unnoticed. Developer 343 Industries said that network campaign co-op would come after launch and well, they seem to be sticking to that statement. Today, the studio shared some new information about Halo Infinite's campaign co-op experience.

First off, the feature will enter into the testing phase via a new Halo Infinite flight scheduled to begin the week of July 15th. This will give some users enrolled as Halo Insiders a chance to test the feature and notify 343 of any obvious issues.

343 Industries also posted an interview with principal software engineering lead Isaac Bender and lead world designer John Mulkey to talk about their experiences building and testing campaign co-op.

Campaign co-op is such a beloved feature of the Halo experience, we knew it was definitely something Halo Infinite would and should have—but the road to making it a reality would extend a bit beyond launch. What were some of the challenges the team faced here?

Mulkey: One of the greatest creative challenges has been in how we support this new, more open experience and the many new questions that raised. How do we set up a shared world state? How do we keep the Fireteam together? How do we determine intent and mission focus? How do we prevent sequence breaking the narrative?

Isaac: One of our core principles is that we don’t want to require you to have an isolated Co-Op save. Of course, you can use a separate save slot for Co-Op if you want to, but we wanted to give players the option to have Co-Op progress count toward your “main” playthrough, if that’s how you want to play.

We also wanted everyone’s progress to count toward their own saves, regardless of who the Fireteam leader is. I’ve played a number of co-op games where “Player 2’s” progress essentially doesn’t count, and I’ve always found that disappointing.
As part of this interview, we have learned that all progress made in co-op will be retained no matter if you go back to a solo play session or not. This progress includes everything: Mission progress, acquired collectibles, equipment found, achievements, and upgrades.

We also learned that the gameplay experience will be the same regardless of which platform you are playing on. There is full cross-play support allowing with the only differences being graphics quality and framerate. This means that you could theoretically have one player each on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and even on Xbox Cloud Gaming.

We also know that co-op games will be hosted on dedicated servers. Players will all play as Master Chief. We know that while players will be somewhat free to go off on their own, teams will need to stick somewhat close together. 343 created an "Area-Of-Operations" (AOO). They say that this is the max distance players in a team can tray from one another. Stray too far and the game will first warn you and then kill you "for going AWOL" and respawn you at the nearest teammate. The range of this AOO is 800 feet for the start of the warning zone with an outer kill radius of 1,000 feet.

New achievements will be added into the game for campaign co-op and mission replay. Oh yeah, the ability to replay missions will come alongside this network co-op update.

“Mission Replay” is a feature that’s also coming alongside the Network Co-Op update. Can you explain how that will work?

Mission Replay has always been a mainstay of Halo, and we want to continue that tradition with Halo Infinite. However, the more open nature of Infinite poses new creative challenges that did not exist when missions were broken up into their own discreet levels. You could simply reload that level and replay it.

In Infinite, missions are locations in a much larger playspace of other mission locations. We are leaning on the Tac-Map as your gateway to interacting with individual missions.

In both Solo and Co-Op play, you can open your Tac-Map, highlight a completed mission, and then choose Replay. You will then be prompted to select the difficulty and be offered to activate any Skulls you (or your teammates) have collected.

Setting a mission to replay resets it and teleports you (and your fireteam) to the location to tackle the challenge. You are free to wander off to do something else, Fast Travel away, or resume your furthest main mission.
Mission replay will allow players to go back to any earlier mission with all of their upgrades intact.