Details have been announced regarding the second multiplayer technical preview for Halo Infinite, and it looks as though opportunities for matchmaking will be severely limited in order to stress test servers. Matchmaking will not only be accessible for just six days across two weekends, but it will also only be available for eight hours on those days.
343 Industries revealed the restrictive timeslots in September’s Inside Infinite post over on the Halo blog. The second multiplayer tech preview will run through the weekends of September 23 to 26 and September 30 to October 3. However, 343 points out that “daily matchmaking windows for both weekends will be 10am-2pm PT & 5pm-9pm PT on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of each flight.” That amounts to eight hours of matchmaking across six days, or 48 hours total of availability.
Some fans were disappointed at both the limited time that matchmaking would be available and the lack of attention toward time zones outside of the US. When Halo community manager John Junyszek clarified on Twitter that these times are the only opportunities players will have to matchmake (with bots or humans), Australian Halo YouTuber Mint Blitz responded, “You’ve gotta be joking?”
Indeed, the 10 AM to 2 PM PT slot is during the early morning hours of 3 AM to 7 AM Australian Eastern Standard Time. For players in the UK, the latter slot of 5 PM to 9 PM PT happens from 1 AM to 5 AM British Summer Time.
While 343’s decision not to stress test different regions at peak hours is frustrating to many, Halo community director Brian Jarrard responded to Mint Blitz, “Understand folks will be upset as obviously people want to play as much as possible but this is still technical in nature and a preview, not a marketing/pre-order Beta, etc. Good news is only a few months to go at this rate.”
For now, it seems players will have to schedule around the current time slots if they want to check out matchmaking during Infinite’s second tech preview.