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Halo Infinite Season 3 to feature new maps, modes, cosmetics

The developer of Halo Infinite, 343 Industries, has revealed that Season 3, titled “Echoes Within,” will be released on Thursday, March 7, 2023.

While the official end date for Echoes Within is June 27, a calendar invite revealed on the Halo Discord suggests that the event will conclude on June 20. Regardless, Season 3 is considerably shorter than the previous two seasons, which lasted six and ten months.

According to the official announcement, the third season expands the game’s sandbox with new maps, weapons, cosmetics and modes.

New Maps

Season 3’s debut trailer confirmed that the developers would add three new maps to Halo Infinite. The first map is called Oasis, a Large Team Battle map based on Exile, one of the best Big Team Battle maps from Halo 4.

It takes place on a landscape of red rocks undergoing terraforming to a lush green. Almost all locations on this map are accessible by vehicle, meaning players can drive a warthog through the tunnels and buildings that dot the landscape. This map also provides challenging and tactical opportunities, particularly for the capture-the-flag (CTF) mode.

The second is Cliffhanger, a mid-sized Arena map with a slew of man cannons, similar in scale to Launch Site rather than Live Fire. The map debuted at the Charlotte Kickoff Major’s grand finals last month.

Cliffhanger was built with zone management in mind. It’s asymmetric, and the design team aimed to make each section feel different and strategically distinct depending on the mode in which players play the game. This map also features a snowy mountaintop concealing a Naval Intelligence research site office.

The third map is called Chasm, another Arena. Zeta Halo’s interior is displayed here, with bridges and floating columns perching precariously above a chasm.

Although it is not a direct copy, the inspiration for Chasm came from a location in the Halo Infinite story campaign.

The map has been tweaked to make grappling across the area a complex and sometimes lethal challenge.

The first week of Echoes Within will have a dedicated playlist using the two Arena maps, while the second week will showcase a playlist featuring only Oasis.

Previously, the Season 2 of Halo Infinite ended with the addition of the Community Collection playlist, which featured a selection of the best Arena maps made using the Forge editor. Season 3 will see regular updates to that playlist.

New modes, cosmetics

The announcement highlighted a new mode called Escalation Slayer, where players can level up their weapons and armor as they rack up kills and improve their score.

The catch is that players will lose a level if a behind-the-back melee strike hits them. Escalation Slayer will be available in two varieties — Team Escalation and FFA Escalation.

The first event of Season 3 is dubbed “Mindfall,” which continues the so-far barebones plot of Infinite’s multiplayer mode. It will be held from Friday through March 20.

The second event of Season 3 is a Fracture, a recurring playlist that cycles throughout the season. Fractures grant non-traditional Halo cosmetics such as samurai and WWII armor sets. This upcoming Fracture event is dubbed “Firewall” and will run from March 20 through March 27. The third one, “Site Unseen,” is scheduled for later, toward the end of the season.

Season 3 of Halo Infinite will introduce two new weapons to the sandbox — the bandit rifle and the shroud screen.

The bandit is a single-shot rifle. While it looks and sounds like Halo 4’s DMR, developers and pros, who have pre-released and played it, believe it works similarly to Halo 5: Guardians’ pistol sidearm.

The other new weapon is the shroud screen, which produces the same effect as a smoke grenade.

New cosmetics for Halo Infinite will be made available in the game’s microtransaction store every week, with some requiring the purchase of the premium 100-level battle pass.

Some of these cosmetics are compatible with standard armor cores. However, most of them will be usable only with the Mirage and Chimera sets from the Echoes Within expansion.