Despite Cancellation, Halo Infinite Split-screen Co-Op Is Very Playable

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Halo Infinite’s split-screen co-op feature was officially canceled by developer 343 Industries earlier this month, but an exploit that enables the mode has been around since the game’s launch. As detailed by the folks over at Digital Foundry, that exploit still works, and the feature runs surprisingly well.

Split-screen co-op functions similarly to how the game’s online co-op does, where players must stay within a certain range of each other or else be killed. It’s a reasonable limitation considering the size of Halo Infinite’s world. Though Digital Foundry notes various glitches, framerate dips, and texture pop-in, (which are all more more noticeable on the Xbox One) the core experience functions as intended, and even allows for both players to earn Achievements while playing co-op.

The main drawback of using the exploit to enable split-screen co-op is that it runs the risk of corrupting save files. Digital Foundry notes that while they’ve done the exploit numerous times and haven’t had it happen to them personally, others in the community have reported it happening, making playing split-screen co-op a potentially risky endeavor.

That all begs the question: Why did 343 cancel a feature that, judging from Digital Foundry’s video, appears to be largely functional? The mode is playable, and though problems like the save file corruption bug would need to be ironed out, it seems the majority of the work is done. But game development is complicated, and until 343 gives fans more information on what additional work would have been needed to complete the feature to their standards, what exactly happened to split-screen co-op will remain a mystery. 343 has officially only said it canceled work on the feature to better allocate resources to future content for Halo Infinite, which recently saw its third multiplayer season delayed until March of 2023.

Reactions from the game’s community have not been positive in light of the news, largely because 343 had explicitly promised to include split-screen co-op in future titles following the feature’s absence in Halo 5. The community’s predictable negative reaction to the mode’s cancellation makes 343’s decision even stranger, since the mode is in many ways already fully functional, albeit in an unofficial capacity.

Halo fans may be disappointed in 343’s lack of official support for split-screen co-op, but long-awaited features like Forge are finally coming soon. To hold players over until March, Halo Infinite will receive a free 30-tier battle pass in November as part of the game’s Winter Update, along with new maps, the beta for Forge, and more.

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