Halo Infinite adds ray-tracing on Xbox, two years late

An image of a red and gold mark v Spartan firing an assault rifle in Halo Infinite with raytraced sun shadows enabled

An image of a red and gold mark v Spartan firing an assault rifle in Halo Infinite with raytraced sun shadows enabled

Microsoft’s Xbox Series flagship title Halo Infinite finally has ray-tracing options on current-gen consoles. Announced on launch, this long-awaited feature has been subtly added in the game’s Season 4 Infection update.

Released yesterday, Halo Infinite Season 4 adds a new battle pass, the Infection game mode, new maps, equipment and more. However, in the settings menu, you’ll now notice a brand-new ray-tracing option that can be enabled.

On Xbox Series X and S, players can go into the graphics submenu of their settings to find the new option. Underneath “Target Framerate”, you can see the all-new “raytraced sun shadows feature”.

An image of the Halo Infinite settings menu on Xbox Series showing an option for raytraced sun shadows.
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There is is: the long-awaited ray-tracing option in Halo Infinite.

Raytraced sun shadows in Halo Infinite have been in the game’s PC version for a few months now. Also added later than expected, the ray-tracing feature was used to show off the power of new AMD graphics cards, although many were underwhelmed.

The new graphical feature results in markedly sharper shadows that properly match what characters are doing. Objects now realistically cast shade on themselves and others, leading the game a fuller look overall. The game’s shadows with ray-tracing also move with their objects, meaning swaying leaves have moving shadows. Nevertheless, it can still be subtle for those unaware of the change, especially in the heat of action

On Xbox Series X and S, the graphical option does warn that it may result in a lower framerate in certain areas. Busier scenes, such as large skirmishes in Big Team Battle, may see some slowdown with the feature enabled.

In our testing, we didn’t see any noticeable performance issues when using the feature at 60fps. Players who use the game’s 120Hz mode may find larger framerate dips, but any problems on our Series X machine were unnoticeable, but we’re no Digital Foundry. 

Halo Infinite raytracing isn’t as immediately impressive as RT Global Illumination or even crystal clear reflections, but it is a good addition to the game. However, its late addition is another sign that Xbox’s flagship multiplayer title still isn’t where it needs to be.

343 Industries are slowly turning Halo Infinite into the fantastic multiplayer experience it should’ve been at launch. It’s brilliant gunplay and stellar maps are now joined by a great number of modes and the best Forge experience the series has ever seen, but it’s still failing to entice old fans and new players alike.

Halo Infinite multiplayer is currently available as a free-to-play title on Xbox Series X, S, Xbox One and PC. The game’s awesome campaign is available as a separate purchase as well as on Xbox Game Pass.

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