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Will Halo Infinite run on your laptop?

With the free multiplayer beta for Halo Infinite available now, it's a good time to make sure your PC is up to speed.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
3 min read

You should probably just play Halo Infinite on an Xbox. The Series X and Series S consoles are the game's natural home, and it'll run on older Xbox One hardware as well. Remember, Halo is the game that originally made the Xbox a success 20 years ago

But some of us like to play on PC, and many Halo games have come to PC in versions that run at higher resolutions and better frame rates than consoles, depending on your hardware. It's a bit of a whiplash for PC gamers, as Halo 5 never made it to PC, while Halo Infinite is launching on Xbox and PC simultaneously. 

That includes the new multiplayer beta, an early version of the multiplayer mode that will be free to play. The full game, including the single-player campaign, will be included in the Xbox Game Pass subscription, or available a la carte for $60. 

Read more: Halo Infinite multiplayer mode out now for PC and Xbox

Just the specs

But can your laptop or desktop PC run Halo Infinite, including the new multiplayer beta? Looking at the published specs, this is not a game your basic work laptop is going to be able to handle. You'll need at least an Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, but preferably a RTX 2070 or better. 

Halo Infinite PC specs


Requires a 64-bit processor and operating systemRequires a 64-bit processor and operating system
Windows 10 RS5 x64Windows 10 19H2 x64
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 or Intel i5-4440AMD Ryzen 7 3700X or Intel i7-9700k
AMD RX 570 or Nvidia GTX 1050 TiRadeon RX 5700 XT or Nvidia RTX 2070
Version 12Version 12
50GB available space50GB available space

Fortunately, many laptops with Halo-worthy specs are available for well under $1,000, like the Dell G series and Lenovo's Legion series. 

Read more: Best cheap gaming laptops under $1,000

The way of the cloud 

If you don't have an Xbox or a decent gaming PC, I guess you're just out of luck, right? Not so fast. Halo Infinite is also coming to Xbox Cloud Gaming. Part of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, this lets you stream a limited library of games directly from the cloud to nearly any screen, from iPhones and iPads to Android devices to Chromebooks and boring old business laptops. Google's Stadia and Nvidia's GeForce Now operate similarly.  

While it launched several hours after the downloadable Xbox and PC versions, the Halo Infinite multiplayer beta is now listed on the Xbox Cloud Gaming website


Xbox Cloud Gaming works on a huge variety of devices. 

Dan Ackerman/CNET

I've tested Xbox Cloud Gaming extensively, and it mostly works, depending on what kind of game you're playing. I don't see it being great for fast-paced multiplayer games like Halo Infinity, but if you get decent throughput it's OK. The single-player game will probably be more forgiving (it's not available yet), and cloud gaming is great for turn-based games like Wasteland 3 and more casual games like current indie darling Unpacking

If you're a Game Pass Ultimate subscriber, getting started should be much faster than waiting for the Halo Infinite multiplayer beta to download. Just connect an Xbox controller to your device via Bluetooth and launch the game from the Cloud Gaming menu right in your browser window. 

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