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Halo Infinite December 14 patch notes: Team Slayer & SWAT playlists, challenge overhaul, more

Halo Infinite got a new update on December 14, and here are the patch notes detailing the full list of new changes.



Halo Infinite cover

Halo Infinite received a new update on December 14, and we have the update patch detailing all the changes, including new playlists for SWAT and Team Slayer along with a challenge overhaul.

The Halo Infinite multiplayer beta gave players a feel for how the game performs, and 343 Industries listened to their feedback. Now that the game is available, the devs have begun fixing some of its issues.

A new update arrived on December 14 that brought several changes to the game. We have the full patch notes detailing everything included, such as new playlists for SWAT and Team Slayer along with changes to challenges.

Halo Infinite December 14 playlist update

halo infinite spartan

Halo Infinite players have been calling for the developers to give them more variety in playlists. Now, 343 Industries have listened to this feedback and added four new matchmaking options for fans.

Here are all the new game types:

  • Team Slayer
  • Free-for-All
  • Tactical Slayer (“SWAT”)
  • Fiesta

Fans have been asking for these game types since the Multiplayer preview. 343 Industries have promised some more game modes and better matchmaking experiences in future updates.

Halo Infinite December 14 challenges overhaul

Master Chief in Halo Infinite

One of the biggest complaints among Halo Infinite players was with the game’s challenges. The December 14 update has changed the requirements for players in order to complete these challenges.

These changes are a direct response to a frustrating problem where players were unable to complete certain challenges because the random matchmaking put them in the wrong game modes.

Halo Infinite December 14 Ranked updates

Halo Infinite Spartans firing weapons

The December 14 update also changed how Ranked matchmaking system finds players for lobbies by prioritizing “close individual skill matches.” The developers will be looking into more Ranked Playlists as well.

Casual lobbies like Big Team Battle received a major change. Now, their matchmaking will look for players with low latency. There are also plenty of other changes in the full update patch notes.

Halo Infinite December 14 update patch notes

White Spartan running in Halo Infinite

Matchmaking playlist updates

At launch, we took a measured approach to include a baseline set of playlists in a simple and straightforward way. Thankfully, our beta period went very well, and we heard your feedback around wanting more variety and more control over the modes you play. And, following Halo Infinite’s first official event, Fracture: Tenrai, we heard your feedback around wanting Fiesta to persist as a regular offering rather than be limited to just the active event period.

We also heard a lot of feedback around a desire for a pure Slayer playlist – something that was always coming but was originally a bit further out as more time was needed to test and finalize new game mode variants. Slayer fans should expect this playlist to expand with new experiences in the months to come.

As a result of this feedback, we’re excited to bring four new social matchmaking playlists to Halo Infinite today:

  • Team Slayer
  • Free-for-All
  • Tactical Slayer (“SWAT”)
  • Fiesta

Today’s playlist update is just a first step – we know players want even more agency and more variety – and the team continues to work on longer term plans for rotational and core playlists, game modes, and improved matchmaking experiences.

Ranked and BTB Matchmaking updates

Since the beta launch, the team has been monitoring matchmaking data and keeping a close eye on the overall system to ensure it’s working as expected. Additionally, we’ve heard feedback from players who are concerned with how the rankings are working and/or express frustration with their ranked experience. Work will continue in this space but we’re making some targeted changes in the short term:

  • We adjusted the ranked matchmaking rules to increase the priority of close individual skill matches, particularly for players at the higher skill levels. We’re taking this in stages – the first priority increase took place on Dec 11th, and the second took place today.
  • We adjusted the BTB matchmaking rules to prioritize making matches with lower latency. This will mainly help players in lower population regions avoid high latency matches.
  • We’re doubling the overall matchmaking timeout from 5 minutes to 10 minutes, to better accommodate very high skilled players finding suitable matches, particularly when in full fire teams or searching from low population regions.

We will continue to monitor ranked and overall matchmaking closely and will share more details on the system and future plans as we can.

As of this news post, the team is aware of and actively working to address Big Team Battle intermittent matchmaking issues that have been reported over the past few days. We appreciate your patience and support as we continue investigating and working on solutions. Please be sure to follow @HaloSupport on Twitter for the latest updates.

Lastly, we understand some players are also eager for more Ranked Playlists beyond the game’s current offering. Please be note that we have more technical complexities to navigate with Ranked Playlists than Social, so any future ranked updates are going to take more time.

Rank Distribution

We received a ton of feedback, especially early in the beta, about CSR progression. We’re planning a separate post that will dig deeper into some of the issues people are seeing, but wanted to briefly address two areas of feedback here: rank inflation and overall rank distribution. 

One of our goals in the design of the CSR system is that the median CSR should be around Platinum 1. You may notice that the Open Queue playlist is quite close to our goal, but the Solo/Duo playlists are skewed towards Diamond/Onyx. You may also notice two other things that are present in all three playlists:

  • A decent sized “spike” at Diamond 1. This exists because Diamond 1 is the highest rank we’ll grant to a player immediately after completing their 10 qualifying matches. So the “extra” players in Diamond 1 are players who would add to the high Diamond and Onyx columns if they continued to play more ranked and work their way up through the higher levels of the CSR system. (But for now they have taken a break to do more social matchmaking, or campaign.)
  • A smaller spike at Onyx 1500. This is a result of aspects of the CSR algorithm that make CSR progression slightly harder once a player reaches Onyx.

We are working on adjustments to the CSR algorithm to shift the distribution to be more in line with our goals and your expectations, especially for the Solo/Duo playlists. However, as we do that, we have to be careful not to make changes that will have a negative effect on players who have already achieved these higher-than-expected CSRs, so it may take some time.

Challenges update

Today marks the third overall update to Challenges and Progression since Halo Infinite’s beta launch on November 15. In each case, Challenges have been iterated and tuned, removing outliers and adjusting troublesome entries, while also helping to speed up overall Battle Pass progression. So far, we’re happy with the results of these changes, but we know there are plenty of opportunities to continue evolving and improving.

There’s a lot of work to do here to truly address player feedback around these systems – and broader changes are going to take time (i.e. performance based XP, per-match XP, additional progression vectors, etc..)– but in the interim, the team will continue targeting meaningful services-side updates to hone and improve the overall experience.

Today’s update aims to further alleviate frustrating challenges, adds brand new challenges to take advantage of the new playlists, and reduces the requirements for the weekly Ultimate Challenge. And, while it won’t come into play quite yet, changes have also been made for Event Challenges to help address some initial player feedback.

Challenge Pruning

Overall, a number of mode and activity-specific challenges have been removed entirely, had their requirements lowered, and/or had their weight reduced across the challenge pool. Additionally, the overall weighting of ‘General’ challenges has been increased.

We understand the inability to pick a specific mode to coincide with a specific challenge can be frustrating and today’s changes should help reduce some of that friction in the near term as longer-term work continues.

New Challenges

Today’s playlist additions will also usher in new playlist-specific challenges. You can expect to find specific playlist versions of each of the following new challenge types:

  • Personal Score – Accumulate personal score in the specified playlist to complete
  • Kills – Earn the required # of kills in a specific playlist
  • Double Kills – Earn double kills in a specific playlist
  • Complete Games – Play and complete games in a specific playlist
  • Win – Win games in a specific playlist

The specific requirements and corresponding XP will vary depending on the rarity type of the challenge (i.e. “Normal”, “Heroic”, “Legendary”).

Event Challenges

Player’s gave feedback that it was difficult to progress Event Challenges due to them getting ‘stuck’ behind Weekly Challenges and/or not having enough to tackle during the event week. Going forward, and when Fracture: Tenrai returns, Event Challenges will come in more frequently, removing gaps where a player would previously be stuck waiting. And, while Events will often still have a finite limit to the number of challenges available in a given week – meaning it will take playing across a few weeks to fully complete – the maximum will increase to provide more buffer and let highly engaged players progress a bit faster.

We’ll have more details about these changes, and a few other ways in which Event feedback was addressed, when Fracture: Tenrai returns on January 4.

HCS Spotlight

To commemorate and celebrate the first Halo Infinite major esports event – HCS Raleigh – players will be able to earn double XP for a new set of ranked-focused challenges for one week (Dec. 14 – Dec. 20). Channel your inner HCS Pro and jump into ranked matchmaking to speed up your Battle Pass progression and be sure to watch the amateur and pro teams battle it out when HCS Raleigh kicks off on Dec.17. Support your favorite HCS players with official in-game skins and a portion of each sale goes directly to the org. Viewers of this weekend’s event will also have a chance to score exclusive Halo Infinite Twitch Drop cosmetics so be sure to stay tuned to @HCS on Twitter for the latest info!

For more Halo, check out our guide on how to earn Valor in Halo Infinite, and every Halo Infinite map ranked from worst to best.

Image credits: 343 Industries


FIFA 23 players fear Ultimate Team SBCs will be a nightmare to complete

Due to the drastic chemistry changes introduced to FIFA 23, Ultimate Team players are dreading the completion of SBCs.



Jack Grealish FIFA 23 Manchester City

With major chemistry changes set to impact FIFA 23’s Ultimate Team mode, players are already convinced that completing SBCs will be a nightmare.

With the standard version of FIFA 23 set to arrive on September 30, players are excited to discover what the game’s new features have to offer. EA have been breaking down FIFA 23’s new features across each game mode ahead of the highly anticipated release.

While Ultimate Team fans are excited for FUT Moments, other changes like the ones made to team chemistry have not gone down well with the fanbase. It seems players are worried about the implications this new Ultimate Team chemistry system could have on SBCs.

SBCs have been a staple of the Ultimate Team mode for some time now. These FUT puzzles grant players valuable items and packs to improve squads. In order to earn rewards, players must submit a squad that meets certain criteria. Most SBCs will have a chemistry requirement which makes finding the correct solution a challenge.

With team chemistry set to be a thing of the past in FIFA 23, players are worried that SBCs will be an aggravating experience to complete. As one FIFA fan puts it, “More controllers will be broken trying to complete SBCs than from actual gameplay.”

Previously, players could be asked to submit a squad with a minimum chemistry rating of 80. However, this is no longer possible with FIFA 23’s shift to player chemistry.

A statement from EA confirms that players will be asked to meet new SBC chemistry requirements of either the “Total Chemistry of all Players combined, up to a maximum of 33,” or “Chemistry Points per Player between 0 and 3.”

Players have yet to come to grips with the new system of calculating chemistry, which makes the idea of FIFA 23 SBCs with the new system a daunting task on the horizon.

An example of a FIFA 23 SBC requirement would be for all players in the squad to have a minimum of two chemistry points. Given that players are used to using straightforward chemistry lines, this new system could cause a ton of frustration, especially during FIFA 23’s early days.

A post to the FIFA subreddit highlights most players’ perplexed reaction to a system that according to them, did not need changing: “The system doesn’t make sense and it’s vastly inferior to the previous system.”

FIFA 23 players will have to adjust to a learning curve when it comes to Ultimate Team SBCs, despite the fact that they believe the previous system did not require any changes. One can only hope that no controllers will be damaged in the process.

For more on Ultimate Team rewards up for grabs, check out how you can secure a free FIFA 23 Marvel FUT Hero World Cup card.

Image Credit: EA Sports

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New Lord of the Rings game in development by Weta Workshop and Outer Worlds publisher

The VFX company behind the Lord of the Rings movies are teaming up with Private Division to create a brand-new game set in Middle-earth.



Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings

Private Division, the publisher behind hit games such as The Outer Worlds have announced a partnership with Weta Workshop to develop a brand-new Lord of the Rings game set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

A ton of fan-favorite games have come from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Tolkien’s wider world, and now, Private Division and Weta Workshop are partnering to develop a brand-new game set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Weta Workshop is a name that should be extremely familiar to Lord of the Rings fans, as they created Middle-earth as we know it. Weta is the studio behind the props, costumes and special effects for both the movies and Amazon’s TV show, and will now be working alongside Private Division to create this brand-new Lord of the Rings game.

Private Division is part of Take-Two Interactive and have published highly-rated games such as Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds, OlliOlli World, and Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.

“We are thrilled to partner with Wētā Workshop to publish a game set in such an extraordinary and celebrated universe,” said Michael Worosz, Take Two’s Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Private Division.

“The Lord of the Rings IP is home to so many remarkable stories, and no entity is better equipped than the team at Wētā Workshop to create a distinctive, new Middle-earth gaming experience.”

“It’s a privilege to create a new game set in Middle-earth, especially one that’s so different from what fans have played previously,” said Amie Wolken, Weta’s Head of Interactive. “As fans ourselves, we’re excited for gamers to explore Middle-earth in a way they never have before, and introduce new fans to the magic of The Lord of the Rings.”

Not much else is known about the game right now, but it sounds like it will be separate from the movies and will “interpret the underlying lore of the books.”

While there’s no official release date, the game is “expected to launch during Take-Two’s Fiscal Year 2024,” which is sometime between April 2023 and March 2024.

Gollum releases later this year, and EA are developing a new Lord of the Rings mobile game alongside a brand-new Star Wars FPS. Plus, Gandalf and other LotR characters have been leaked for MultiVersus.

Image Credit: New Line Cinema

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Every leaked MultiVersus character: The Joker, Gandalf, Harry Potter, more

MultiVersus has a solid lineup of fighters in Season 1, but even more characters have leaked and could be arriving later down the line.



MultiVersus characters

MultiVersus already boasts an impressive lineup of popular characters from Warner Bros. back catalog, but there are still plenty more rumored to be joining the fight. Here is every leaked MultiVersus character hinted at so far.

Since it launched in open beta back in July, MultiVersus has become one of the breakout successes of 2022. The free-to-play fighting game takes iconic characters from the huge Warner Bros. library of licenses and throws them into a Smash-style platform fighter.

With Season 1 now underway, the roster is only going to grow, with Rick and Morty both coming later down the line. But on top of the characters we know are scheduled to arrive, such as Black Adam and Stripe, there are plenty of leaked and rumored names that could show up in Season 2 or beyond.

Here’s every leaked MultiVersus character we’ve seen rumored so far.

MultiVerses leaked characters

MultiVersus characters fighting

With so many iconic franchises to draw from, it’s no surprise that players’ minds ran wild when Warner Bros. announced MultiVersus.Even before the game went into open beta, dataminers and leakers were digging around in the files to find out which familiar faces would be coming to MultiveVerus once it was released.

To the delight of fans, major characters from some of popular culture’s biggest properties were discovered, including Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and DC Comics.

Check out the full list of leaked MultiVersus characters below, as well as where the rumor came from:

  • The Joker (DC Comics) – Datamine
  • Static Shock (DC Comics) – Datamine
  • Poison Ivy (DC Comics) – Datamine
  • Black Adam (DC Comics) – Datamine
  • Nubia (DC Comics) – Datamine
  • Raven (DC Comics) – Datamine
  • Gandalf (Lord of the Rings) – Leaked images
  • Legolas (Lord of the Rings) – Datamine
  • Marvin the Martian (Looney Tunes) – Datamine
  • Harry Potter – Early build
  • Ron Weasley (Harry Potter) – Early build
  • Fred Flintstone – Early build
  • Johnny Bravo – Early build
  • Mad Max – Early build
  • Ben 10 – Early build
  • Godzilla – Datamine
  • King Kong – Datamine
  • Neo (The Matrix) – Datamine
  • Scorpion (Mortal Kombat) – Datamine
  • Sub Zero (Mortal Kombat) – Datamine
  • Gizmo (Gremlins) – Datamine
  • Emmet (The LEGO Movie) -Datamine
  • Craig of the Creek – Datamine
  • Wicked Witch (The Wizard of Oz) – Datamine
  • Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones) – Datamine
  • Ted Lasso – Datamine

There you have it, that was every leaked fighter that could appear in MultiVersus in the future. Of course, these are just leaks so there’s no guarantee that every character on this list will appear, as the information could prove to be incorrect or the developer’s plans may have changed.

For more major gaming news, take a look at when Hogwarts Legacy hits shelves, as well as everything we know about Starfield.

Image credits: Warner Bros.

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