I’m not good at first-person shooters, so it stands to reason that I shouldn’t be particularly good at Halo Infinite: the latest in a series that’s been a mainstay of the genre for 20 years. Logically, I should be getting my ass kicked at it; I picked up the Master Chief Collection only a few months ago, so a game with such a following of veteran players should be routinely fucking my shit up.
And yet, despite all of this, I’m doing… alright? Sometimes even great. As a matter of fact, I’m winning almost every 1v1 I get locked into. At first, I thought this was plain luck. But as I became an increasing mainstay at the top of the scoreboard, I had to start questioning what was going on. I thought my own playing was a total fucking mess, so what was working?
And then I figured it out: Halo Infinite’s melee is really fucking good.
When I first started playing Halo: Combat Evolved, I noted the Chief’s dinky little weapon bonking abilities and dismissed them out of my hands almost entirely after the first few levels. They’re a nice panic option for Grunts and shieldless Elites, but getting up in the face of an enemy is wildly unwise even in the best of circumstances. Even if you can kill your target, the move often left you exposed in the middle of a battlefield. Halo enemies usually bring backup, so the triumph of pulling it off was often short-lived.
I wasn’t having much more luck with the Master Chief Collection’s various multiplayer options. This is where the seasoned pros are: people who have been playing Halo games for so long that I can barely hope to get within five feet of them. Trying baby shit on these folks is like trying to trick a chess-playing robot with one of those goofy chess traps that are usually called something like The Rook’s Diaper. Every trick in these games has been discovered, written down, codified, and thrown away more times than I can probably comprehend.
But Halo Infinite is new. It’s also free, which means the honed professionals are being buffered by new or rusty players an average person can actually hope to take on. This is having a dramatic effect on how I play Halo: not only am I playing more aggressively, but I’m actually using the melee attack.
So, here’s how I keep racking up kills in Halo Infinite:
- When you’re within medium range of a target, beeline towards them while firing with the intent of taking out their shields (if you can bypass this step and go straight to step 2, go for it). Do not hesitate or fall back when they start returning fire.
- Once you’re in their personal space, melee the player until they die. If step one went alright, one hit should do it!
I feel like a fucking idiot for telling you about such a stupidly simple maneuver, but it works. At least until it doesn’t, making this article useless and outdated. Why it works, I can’t say decisively. In some lobbies, it definitely works less. But generally, I’m rarely finding myself a victim of Infinite’s extremely powerful melee attack. Often, players seem to actually forget about it. I’ve had people directly behind me start dry-firing at my back, which usually just results in me turning around and skipping to step 2 of my strategy: hitting F on my keyboard.
So, maybe the F key just generally isn’t something people are training themselves to press? Or maybe people are being generally thrown off their game by the initial beelining to such an extent that the melee just fries their sense of control? Perhaps, much like real life, getting punched in the face simply fucks with people? I can’t claim to know how these things work, but I can claim that I’m somehow kicking ass by working them.
There are a few drawbacks to this strategy. Obviously, if someone on the other team sees you doing this and starts firing at you from a good-ish distance away, you’ll probably die. If you try this on a group of players, you will definitely die. I’ve racked up as many as five kills in succession using the melee, but it largely depends on how lucky you get with individual players funnelling into one area. Since killing one person and immediately dying afterwards isn’t ideal, just keep this in mind while scoping out targets for what I’m tentatively titling the Two-Part Bash. Bash responsibly.
Anyway, if you get one takeaway from this, it’s that you should use the melee attack. It kills, it’s fast, and it’s good. Go out and start hitting people in the face. It works.