Halo Infinite impresses on Xbox Series X, as older consoles suffer

halo infinite ctf 2021
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

For those of you who’ll be playing Halo Infinite on anything other than an Xbox Series X/S (or PC), it seems the game doesn’t run so well on last-gen Xbox hardware, including the Xbox One X and Xbox One S.

The report comes from Digital Foundry, with a recent Halo Infinite video from the popular YouTube channel covering the game’s first technical beta. While the findings were incredibly positive on Xbox Series X/S, where Halo Infinite managed to meet and maintain a 60fps performance, tests on Xbox One consoles were a bit more dour.

While the Xbox One X targets an impressive 4K picture, it sacrifices a higher frame rate to do so, being locked at 30fps on the console. For the most part, though, it does at least maintain that cap. Unfortunately, Xbox One S results proved the console was less capable. The less-powerful machine struggled to stay at 30fps even with dynamic resolution scaling back to a soupy 540p.

Due to release during the Holiday 2021 period (barring any delays, of course), Halo Infinite still has a ways to go before its official launch. Developer 343 Industries has also said it expects to run at least one more technical beta before the game releases.

While Halo Infinite is coming to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service, its multiplayer component can be downloaded as a separate, free-to-play client which will be supported by a Battle Pass-style rewards system.

Analysis: is Halo Infinite in trouble on older hardware? 

It’s important to note that Digital Foundry’s tests, while certainly eye-opening for last-gen console users, represent a game that’s still in development. A huge reason why 343 Industries is performing these technical betas is to receive feedback on performance. As such, its decision to make the first technical beta playable on Xbox One consoles is somewhat admirable in itself.

Hopefully, 343 Industries will be able to dodge a Cyberpunk 2077 situation, where the game severely struggled to run on Xbox One and PS4, prompting Sony to delist the game from the PlayStation Store. And while that game has since been reinstated on the digital store thanks to performance and stability improvements, it’s a cautionary tale that other developers – including 343 – are likely heeding.

We do expect Halo Infinite’s performance to improve on older consoles, then. And while the optimal experience will undoubtedly be on Xbox Series X/S and PC with their support for higher resolutions and frame rates, the experience on Xbox One likely won’t be totally unplayable. Just don’t be surprised if the Xbox One versions need a patch or two to improve overall performance post-launch.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.