Halo Infinite Matchmaking Update Improves Geofiltering & Prioritizes Low Ping

Halo Infinite has suffered latency issues due to broken geofiltering that has allowed players from all over the world to use the same servers.

Halo infinite matchmaking update geofiltering latency
Anything to improve latency in Halo Infinite is a good move. | © 343 Industries

When playing any multiplayer game, latency can be a real pain point. Everyone wants to play with the best ping and the best frame-rate and in a game like Halo Infinite, where mere milliseconds can be the difference between victory and defeat, high-quality performance is especially important. Whilst Halo Infinite has generally performed well, despite not being the perfect game in other regards, there are ongoing problems with the game's latency. This is – especially – due to broken geofiltering that has been allowing players from different regions to mix in matchmaking.

It isn't great to continuously be dropped into matches in the wrong region and consistently suffer from bad performance. Thus, 343 Industries are here with a fix that addresses geofiltering, increases the priority of low-ping players in the matchmaking process, and an announcement that more fixes are on their way.

Last week, 343 Industries released a patch that not only fixed BTB but also increased bot difficulty and announced ranked matchmaking resets. The development team have been on top of things ever since the game's multiplayer saw a surprise drop back in November 2021. This has been especially impressive considering the several events that they have worked on and their preparation for Halo Infinite Season 2. Now, with this latest patch, it seems that 343 Industries are listening to the community once more...

Halo Infinite's Problem with Geofiltering

Here is what 343 Industries had to say about the problem:

Normally, when a match is created, the matchmaker hosts the game on a server with the best connection for the highest number of players in the lobby. That means sometimes it will select a server that is in between all the players and other times it will pick a server that’s closer to where the majority of the people from the match are located.

However, if one of the players in the lobby is geofiltering, they will then force the game to be played on their datacenter. To be clear, this means a geofiltering player’s actions take effect after all of the players have already been selected for the match. This happens because the matchmaking system pulls the lobby together when it still believes that all our data centers would be available to host the game. Then, in the process of picking the best data center to host this match, the manipulation blocks out any servers that the geofiltering player does not allow.

When players do this, it creates a small benefit to them at the cost of making the match worse for everyone else.

Honestly, it's not just a problem with the individual player, but a problem with a system that actually allows this to happen. Thus, it's great to see that 343 Industries are on the case. What are they doing about it, though?

How Is 343 Industries Fixing Halo Infinite's Geofiltering Latency Problems?

Seeing as the reasons behind why players are geofiltering are pretty fair enough, 343 Industries are focusing their first round of changes on improving matchmaking itself. Through this, they seek to eliminate geofiltering and thus fix the issues that are being caused by this. They will also place controls of geofiltering players that will prevent them from searching in matchmaking. Players who use geofilters will receive an error message until they stop doing so.

This is not all, though, as the majority of changes that have come in this update seek to address the root-cause of geofiltering – after all, if you take away players' need to geofilter then they won't do it, right?

As of today, we’ve increased the priority of low pings to our servers in the matchmaking process. This step should help you match with local players, and therefore have a better connection, more often. As you get more of these local matches, instances of playing on further data centers will also decline.

Separate from the bullet point above, our Services team has taken additional steps to help ensure you can have quality matches with players from your respective regions, more often. We expect this to have a noticeable impact when making matches for players in less populated regions around the world including - but not limited to - Australia and Asia. This update, which went live yesterday, has already shown promising results and should take further advantage of this morning’s changes. Please keep an eye out and let us know how your games start to feel.

Ultimately, if 343 Industries can fix the way that matchmaking works in Halo Infinite, they will resolve the entire geofiltering-latency problem instantaneously. The reality on the ground is that Halo Infinite owes a lot of its performance woes to its matchmaking system, which really needs a huge overhaul. To the developers' credit, they do seem to be on top of it.

In the blog post, 343 Industries admitted to ongoing problems with ranked matchmaking in particular and acknowledged that "there's still work to do to improve ranked matchmaking as well". If they follow through on these promises than Halo Infinite will likely improve a great deal over the coming weeks. You have to admit that, even if you aren't the biggest fan of Halo Infinite's new direct, 343 Industries are definitely on top of things. Let's hope that it stays that way...