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Discussion MCC Xbox One X Update!

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"MCC was essentially six pretty different game engines strapped together."

BY BRIAN BARNETT Halo developer 343 Industries is updating Halo: The Master Chief Collection to resolve lingering issues with the game's matchmaking system and improve game performance on Xbox One and Xbox One X.

In a post on Halo Waypoint, franchise development director Frank O'Connor discussed the development history of The Master Chief Collection (MCC), highlighting areas where the developer made mistakes and detailing their plans to make it right.

FULL ARTICLE: http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/10...ill-rearchitect-the-games-matchmaking-systems

Thoughts? Can MCC be revived?


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BY SKE7CH - 4/17/2018
Time sure has flown by since our last MCC development update blog! We appreciate everyone’s patience (and excitement) as the team has been heads down working on fixes and improvements to MCC. Today we’re going to catch up on what the team has been focused on since our last blog and dig into some more details about what to expect with the first public flight – which is getting closer by the day.

Before we dive in, if you’re just joining us, be sure to check out the first two blogs for some important background and context about the MCC update project!


Ever since we first announced our intent to update and improve the Master Chief Collection, public flighting has been a critical component of the plan. We’ve discussed this quite a bit in our previous blogs but in a nut shell, flighting is the process of releasing standalone work-in-progress builds for members of the MCC Insider program to help test in the wild. Think of it like an alpha or beta that’s released in ongoing intervals with a specific set of content aimed at testing specific facets of the MCC update. Of course, we do have a dedicated internal test team that's working hard on this update, but flighting offers us way to get critical data and feedback at a much larger scale thanks to so many passionate players.

Also, keep in mind that because flighting is a snapshot of a specific piece of the build at a specific moment in development, by the time the flight is released to the public, it's already behind the overall state of the main build internally. This just means that you may experience elements of a flight that don't seem to align with what you've been reading about in terms of overall progress but it's likely the result of the granular focus for the flight and the point in time that specific part of the game was sliced off and isolated for flight purposes.

There are two critical MCC flighting program details that we want to convey today:

  • Thank you! The initial response and excitement shown by the community has been awesome. We’re humbled and inspired by the outpouring of support and interest across the community. In the short time since we kicked off official MCC Insider Program sign-ups, over 13k fans have registered to join the cause. This is our first time operating a public flight, and it’s a four year old game, so we honestly weren’t sure what to expect but the community has blown us away with their eagerness to help. Thank you!
  • Not everyone will be activated right away. As we’ve stated before, we’re intentionally starting with a small group of participants for our first flight. In fact, the vast majority of our 13K+ registered insiders will NOT be included in the first flight.
Please don’t take this the wrong way – we are thrilled and eager to make sure everyone has a chance to participate and share input and feedback. We sincerely value your time and your insights. If you’re not selected for the first flight, please don’t fret – we still want your help and look forward to your involvement and you will have opportunities!

Since there are so many questions still surfacing with regards to public flighting, here are a few answers to some of the most common inquiries (as a reminder, you can post questions and discuss the overall MCC Insider Program with us here at Halo Waypoint.

No, you don’t have to own MCC to participate. However, players who have prior experience with MCC do have a higher likelihood of getting selected to participate in a flight(s). But the content itself is a separate, standalone download that doesn’t require the retail game.

For the first public flight, our team is looking at stress testing the new matchmaking updates that have been integrated over the past few months. In order to achieve this goal, the content offering will be specifically tailored to help us measure and test these systems.

The first flight build will be limited to Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer matchmaking and will include only Team Slayer on a handful of favorite maps. The game time will be set to 5 minutes to facilitate more matches to stress the matchmaking itself. Our team will be looking at two key pieces of data to assess and validate this flight: the time it takes for players to match, and the overall match success rate.

We will have a few focused play sessions at specific days/times to help drive maximum engagement, and ensure there's adequate population for matchmaking. We'll be watching very closely - while our internal testing has already shown great improvements in these matchmaking areas, it is possible that if we don't get enough people playing to hit our concurrency targets, participants may actually feel like matchmaking is actually slower than it is in the current retail product. If we need to bring in more players and/or add more play sessions, we will. Additionally, the team is considering just leaving the content up and available outside of the targeted windows but keep in mind that it may be difficult to actually find a match depending on the active player population at the time.

Future flights will have differing scopes of content, experiences, and participants that align with the specific testing goals the team is looking to hit. Also, as flights get larger in scope, so too should the overall broader appeal of the included content (i.e. more Halo goodness than just 5 min matchmaking games).

We’re in the process of validating and testing what will become the public flight build now. There are still a few loose ends to wrap up and a few dependencies pending so we don’t have a date to announce just yet. We hope to see the first flight rolling out within the next few weeks, with selected MCC Insider Participants receiving an official email with additional details and instructions as soon as it’s locked. We are getting very close. Stay tuned.

It’s awesome how many people have signed up and expressed interest to help us improve MCC! It’s also really important to us that we deliver a positive flight experience for our participants and release a build that is stable and helps us achieve our testing goals. As this is a new process for us, and MCC is complicated project, we’re intentionally keeping the audience small and targeted for at least this inaugural flight. We hope things go exactly according to plan but the reality is that surely there will be at least some amount of issues we’ll have to work through together – that’s just the nature of flighting. Over time, we will absolutely be expanding our flight participant audience to include more and more players and remain committed to ensuring that eventually, everyone who wants to participate is given the opportunity.

Well, for each flight, the number of participants and criteria used to build out the roster will likely vary depending on the specific needs and goals of the flight. For this first flight though, one of the main criteria is selecting players who have logged at least ~20 MCC multiplayer sessions in the last 6 months. Note that this query was already run, so while we'd still love your support and to have you spend time playing MCC, playing twenty games today won't necessarily get you into the first flight at this stage.

Going forward, one way you can definitely help your odds is to just play the current retail version of MCC. Everything we’re doing is building upon the current game and it’s important to us that participants have some context when providing feedback on specific fixes and improvements.

Hang in there! Please don’t abandon us, we do need you. In the meantime, make sure you’re setup with the Xbox Insider Program (if not already) and consider spending some time re-acclimating yourself with MCC at it exists today. We will call for your help soon enough, stay tuned.

Yes, the MCC Insider Program is governed by the Microsoft Confidentiality Agreement that all participants agreed to upon registration. This means that participants won’t be able to stream, capture, post or discuss the flights on Waypoint or any other public channels. Instead, participants will be asked to use the Xbox Insider Hub to file issues and everyone will receive an official feedback survey via email at the conclusion of a flight.

For now, we’re feeling pretty good about where we stand. In fact, as noted above, we’re facing a situation where we have to temporarily turn away the vast majority of people who have registered for the MCC Insider Program. Once we get rolling, if we find that we need more bodies, we’ll work to get the word out broader.


If you’ve yet to sign-up for the MCC Insider Program we’d still love to have you! Registration is pretty simple, to help streamline the process and account for some email issues some have reported, you can now sign up directly (we'd of course still love to have you join the Halo Community Feedback Program as well!).

Please check out this thread on Halo Waypoint for some additional info and the registration link. We’re always looking for more members of our community who are passionate about Halo and want to help shape the future of The Master Chief Collection!

Currently the team is in the process of wrapping up work items for “Milestone 5” – a collection of priorities and deliverables that both 343 and our external partner have been working towards since our last blog update. What types of things are included in M5? Glad you asked! Here’s a high-level summary provided by the production folks:

  • P1 & P2 continued bug fixing
  • Texture streaming
  • Intelligent Delivery updated functionality and presentation (Still WIP)
  • UI & UX Updates which include: Updated Title Screen Background Video, Main Menu from horizontal to vertical layout on top tier menus, HDR Settings (Gamma, Brightness)/SDR (Gamma), LAN Support Options (Changes network from Xbox LIVE to LAN and vice versa)
  • Matchmaking playlist management has been moved from Xbox platform to 343's CMS services
So, what does this all mean? Let me try and unpack a few of these items as best I can….

“P1 & P2 continued bug fixing” is a broad way of saying “fixing all the worst bugs that negatively impact our ability to deliver the flighting build or complete a milestone.” Some of these bugs are carryovers from the retail version of MCC while others are new and were introduced during the process of this update work.

Texture streaming is something the engineering folks have been working on and I’m told some of the fruits of their labor are already noticeable in-game via considerably quicker load times. Greg says that MP map load times across the board are significantly quicker (approx. 35-40% of what they were previously).

Intelligent Delivery (the feature that will enable players to eventually have the option of only installing one or more specific titles within MCC or even changing which language they want to install) has been underway for a while now. This feature gets really complicated really quickly but is something the team continues to make good progress against. For what it’s worth, even though our flighting build will only have Halo 2 Anniversary in it, the other content is being manually stripped out for now – this is not technically “Intelligent Delivery” at work. Not yet.

We’ll talk more about the some of the UI and UX updates further below (including some show-and-tell!) but suffice it to say that the fruits of this work have slowly been making their way into our internal builds. Some of this, like the updated title screen and main menu, will be included in the first flight. Others, like HDR settings and LAN Support options, are not within the scope of the initial flight.

The last item on the list is more of a behind-the-scenes update but this has effectively migrated the tools and systems that are used to update and deploy MCC matchmaking playlists to a new, modernized CMS (content manage system) here within 343. It sounds trivial but this will pay big dividends down the road and should result in more efficient, consistent means of updating playlists and things like the Message of the Day.

There’s a lot going on with the MCC update and we’ve tried to be up front and clear about what’s considered a day one must-have, what’s being evaluated for further down the road, and still what other things are just pie-in-the-sky considerations for the future. To help manage expectations I wanted to clarify the current plan of record regarding what you can expect to be available when the retail version of MCC receives its first true patch. There's currently no firm ETA to share publicly, but assuming flighting and dependencies go as planned - which is honestly a potentially risky assumption with a project of this complexity - we're targeting release of the first patch sometime later this Summer. Ultimately, this project is driven by quality first and foremost, so the team will take as much time as needed to achieve their goals. We'll continue to keep you updated on release timing targets as the team continues to make progress.

Here’s what’s being prioritized for the first retail update:

  • Intelligent Install
  • Xbox One X Visual Enhancements
  • HDR/SDR Calibration Settings
  • Networking and Matchmaking Improvements (Continuous Matchmaking, Network/Multiplayer API updates)
  • P1 & P2 Bug Fixes
  • LAN Support
  • UI & UX Updates (Main Menu, Title Screen Video, Button States/Highlight States)
This means that other new features, like the highly anticipated Custom Game Browser, will not be included with the first patch. It is, however, high atop the list for the next round of work (and will no doubt surface in public flighting rings in the coming months). In addition, for areas like “UI & UX updates”, that work will continue and is expected to grow in scope over time.

As we’ve stated all along, this MCC project is viewed as an ongoing process and partnership with our community – the team has ambitious goals for the title that involves a steady stream of rolling updates (and continuous public testing) well after the initial retail patch. We’ll continue to keep you abreast of these features, priorities, and targets as the project progresses. For now, what are you most looking forward to with this first update? Let us know over in the MCC forums!

One of the best ways for me to really get to the bottom of what’s been going on with the MCC project is to trap Greg Hermann, Andrew Schnickel and Sean Cooper in a room and talk shop. I don’t claim to fully understand everything they tell me, but here’s my best attempt at sharing some insights from the engineering trenches:

  • Regression – When I ask the team “what keeps you up at night?” the answer was a resounding “REGRESSIONS!” This is a complicated project and with so much being worked on across so many engines and code bases there’s always a very high risk of introducing new bugs in the process of adding a new feature or fixing an old bug. This is nightmare fuel for an engineering team. Thankfully we’ll have an army of community players helping to catch any pesky bugs that might slip through the cracks!
  • Blue Screen – Sean has done some work to bring back to the Halo 2 network transition screen (the bluescreen that pops up saying “Connecting to game…” and when there’s a wait for a player to join or when a host migration occurs). Turns out that original code was ‘commented out’ during MCC development which resulted in H2 network games just having black screens or just a scoreboard which isn’t informative for players (nor historically correct!).
  • Classic Controls - Sean managed to squeeze in a few fixes addressing some MCC-era Halo 2 control scheme inconsistencies.
  • Custom Edition – Another area Sean has been tinkering with on the side is working on the pipeline and process to bring Halo Custom Edition maps into MCC. This is longer lead proof-of-concept work that isn’t part of the near-term scope but he’s shared some exciting progress successfully loading a Halo Custom Edition map into MCC. There’s a lot of rough edges and plenty of work to still do on this front - and to be honest this feature work isn't currently even tied to an official milestone - but it’s a really tantalizing and exciting prospect to think about further down the road.
  • Dedicated Optimizations - Andrew has spent some time behind the scenes improving how MCC’s dedicated servers operate. When MCC shipped originally, with all of its different MP engines, each individual game required a separate, individual server deployment. Now the team has been able to build this into a single dedicated server deployment that can support all of the games within MCC. This streamlining means that on our end, dedicated servers can be operated and managed much more efficiently.
  • Spawning – Sean has been working on adjustments to restore the Halo 2 spawning code back to how it worked in the original game. Originally, in MCC, Halo 2 spawning was modified to heavily weight players to respawn by teammates / at team spawns, which is something a portion of the community (particularly the Halo 2 Vista community) has given a lot of feedback around. While it seems minor, it’s just another example of the focus the team has on trying to get all of MCC’s titles to play and feel as close to the original console games as possible.
  • Tickrates – A single update of a game simulation is known as a "tick." The rate at which the simulation is run on a server is referred often to as the server's tickrate; this is essentially the server equivalent of a client's frame rate, absent any rendering system. When the Vista port was created for Halo 2, the “tickrate” was updated from 30 to 60, which resulted in the fire rate of some weapons inadvertently changing. There are also some similar oddities that have been discovered with AI fire rates that appears to be linked to the shift from 30hz to 60hz. Sean has been working on digging into this and identifying areas where this can be adjusted to more accurately replicate the original Xbox experience. This is ongoing but eventually is an area where the team will definitely want community feedback once this work hits a public flight build.
  • Enhanced Visuals – When MCC shipped, Halo 2: Anniversary's Campaign was the only piece of the collection that wasn’t locked at 1080p. H2A was built for Xbox One natively, and so has very high fidelity assets and textures relative to the games ported in MCC. For that reason, it uses a variable resolution approach that prioritizes a smooth frame rate but can occasionally result in the resolution dropping slightly (the same tech was used in Halo 5). What this means is that as MCC is receiving visual enhancements, with a goal of making everything 4K, there’s still a likelihood that H2A might periodically dip below that resolution. The team continues to work on this area but wanted to let me know that it’s likely that H2A’s campaign, while getting a sweet visual boost, will still fundamentally rely on a “variable resolution” model.
Lastly, to end things with some eye candy, I present to you some brand new work-in-progress screens from the MCC update project. Today we’re looking at two areas specifically – a brand new ‘splash screen’ and an in-progress comp for a new take on the game’s main menu screen. (here's a slightly larger version which makes for a sweet wallpaper!)


I asked Jeremy Cook, MCC Art Director, to share a bit of background with us about the updated MCC splash screen. Why change it?

The splash screen is the first impression into a title. I wanted it to immediately say “Halo” and give that sense of wonder and scale. The ring is not just our namesake, it’s (effectively) a main character, and is a constant theme throughout MCC. And with 4k, you’ll see all those amazing details in the ring and on the surface.

The team has already shared their desire to take this opportunity to give some TLC to the menu and UI in MCC. Some of this work is already starting to show up in the latest internal builds – like this screenshot below, which gives a good look at how the main menu is being tweaked.


One minor, cool detail – in the upper right corner you can see a progress bar that’s denoting what % of the entire MCC package is installed – this is tied to the “Intelligent Delivery” feature.

Again, here’s MCC Art Director Jeremy Cook with some additional context around these changes. Why change the menu and what are the goals behind these changes?

MCC is a BIG title. In fact, it’s five titles. So making it feel cohesive, thematic, and not confusing to the player in the process is a challenge.

With our updates, we approach every screen with the goals of having as few of clicks as possible to interact, making what is important stand out, and limit confusion on what you can do and where you can go from that current state/location.

Artistically, I wanted to visually simplify things, declutter and give everything a cohesive, Halo look, regardless of what “Halo” you’re playing.

And Jeremy and team aren’t done yet. What else are they working on and exploring when it comes to a MCC visual refresh?

This flighting build is just the first, baby steps - We’re tackling the early main menu areas for now, so stay tuned for bigger and better in the future.

Getting fan feedback is critical for us to inform future designs. A good example of this is hearing; “ODST is too buried, I can’t find it!” so we reordered some things and have it sitting with the other titles, front and center. (note that ODST is extra content that not everyone has). Nothing should ever be ‘buried’ or ‘lost.’ It’s a big job, and we’re working very hard to make as many logical, visual and flow changes to make MCC a better experience. We hope you like this first glimpse and the direction we’re going.

How do you like the refreshed splash screen and main menu? Share your feedback with Jeremy and the team over in the MCC forum here on Waypoint.

With the finishing touches getting put on the first flight, we’re just about ready to take this project to the next level and bring members of the MCC Insider Program aboard to roll up their sleeves and help us stress the new matchmaking systems. We’ll be back in the not-too-distant future with additional updates on the first flight and more details about what’s in store for future flights. Stay tuned and please, keep the feedback coming!



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Luckily I picked this up after the big update, so I didn't face the bigger issues. But things are not perfect by any means. I play the campaigns mostly for nostalgia so I get what I want from it.


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Finally fixing the most broken game in the world. Jeez, now I can play it with no problems.


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BY SKE7CH - 8/27/2018
Welcome new and returning Spartans to the updated and enhanced Halo: The Master Chief Collection! The latest major game update is beginning to roll out today, 8/27, in preparation for MCC’s inclusion in Xbox Game Pass on September 1st. Read on for additional details about new features and enhancements, Matchmaking Playlists, how and where you can provide ongoing feedback, and what’s still to come.

Today’s update, which will automatically begin downloading the next time you log in to MCC, is the culmination of months of work by the team here at 343 in close partnership with the MCC Insider community. Together, via extensive player feedback and public flighting, we’ve been working to bring these new features and improvements to MCC in time for the game’s official debut on Xbox Game Pass on 9/1/18.

And to our MCC Insiders, who have played, tested and provided feedback over the past weeks and months, THANK YOU! Your passion and participation have been a critical part of the process and this simply wouldn’t be possible without your support.

Whether you’re an existing MCC veteran or a newcomer excited to experience the Master Chief saga for the first time via Xbox Game Pass, the definitive classic Halo experience is now better than ever. If you’ve been following along with us on this journey and are already familiar with this update, skip to the bottom for the official patch notes. For everyone else, read on for a breakdown of what’s new and noteworthy with this latest release.

This first major update weighs in at a hefty ~73GB and includes a variety of brand new features available to everyone who owns a copy of MCC (or acquires it via Xbox Game Pass). Here are the big-ticket items you’ll experience once it's installed:

If you own an Xbox One X and a compatible TV you’re in for a real treat – MCC has received visual enhancements to deliver the entire Master Chief saga up to 4K UHD and HDR. And of course, each of the titles in MCC already run at 60FPS delivering what truly is the definitive way to experience the classic Halo collection.

A new HDR and SDR video settings option has been added to the game to provide fine-tuning and calibration options to ensure MCC looks as good as possible across a variety of different hardware setups and personal preferences.


The Xbox platform and online services have evolved and grown in many ways since MCC was first released in 2014. With this patch, the foundation of MCC is getting modernized and updated to take advantage of the latest and greatest Xbox matchmaking and networking features and functionality. The result for players is an online experience that’s significantly more stable across both Multiplayer and Campaign co-op offerings.

MCC also now utilizes dedicated servers housed in Microsoft global datacenters for all Matchmaking game sessions to provide further stability, reliability, and consistency. Within the game you’ll now see what your average ping time is to each of the data centers. You can view your approximate pings in the main menu under “Options & Career / Settings / Network.”

The MCC community has given lots of feedback over the years that the original voting system that was used to determine the game/map offerings for Matchmaking wasn’t ideal and made it challenging for players to play what they wanted, when they wanted. With this update, most Matchmaking Playlists have been broken up into per-game offerings, ensuring you can enjoy Halo 3 BTB all day long or stick with Halo 4 Team Arena if that’s your preference. MCC also now offers continuous Matchmaking so once a game ends, players will be able to get right back in the action quickly and conveniently.

Well before the advent of Xbox Live, the early days of Halo were defined by late nights of intense multiplayer games in basements, dorms, and living rooms. MCC now works better than ever online but the ability to play classic Halo games with friends on the same local network with minimal latency is something players have been asking for since initial launch. With this update, MCC will now support offline play across a LAN with no internet connectivity needed at all.


Once the “NETWORK” is switched to “LAN”, the roster will populate to display all players on the same network.

In order to setup offline LAN play on MCC, a DHCP enabled hub will be required - these hubs allow IP addresses to be assigned to connected consoles. Alternatively, you can also manually configure the IP addresses for each Xbox via the System Settings for each console on the network. Either way, each Xbox needs to have a unique identity with a network configuration that allows it to route packets.

“Intelligent Delivery” is a new feature that allows the individual facets of the overall MCC package to be selectively installed by players. MCC is a large game, jam packed with content (and it could even grow more in the future), so this really is a great quality of life improvement to give players more control over the experience and their console’s storage.

If you don’t care to play the Halo 2 campaign or Halo 4 multiplayer, you don’t have to install those components. Another nice bonus of Intelligent Delivery is that it will also allow players to install languages other than what their console is natively set to.

It's important to note that choosing not to install game components is an “opt out” process. This ensures most players have the needed content for co-op and multiplayer scenarios while giving everyone control over their hard drive usage and which content they want to keep installed. By default, MCC will attempt to install the entire ~70GB package. However, once the game displays “Ready to Play”, you can launch the game and access the Intelligent Delivery settings to customization your installation specifics.

MCC Intelligent Delivery offers the following game installation options:

  • Halo: Combat Evolved – Campaign + Multiplayer
  • Halo 2: Campaign + Multiplayer (includes Halo 2: Anniversary MP (w/ Forge) & Halo 2 Classic MP)
  • Halo 3: Campaign + Multiplayer (includes Forge)
  • Halo 4: Campaign + Multiplayer (includes Spartan Ops + Forge)
You’ll find Intelligent Delivery configuration in the main menu via the “Options & Career” page under “Settings.”


Under “GAMEPLAY”, select “CHANGE INSTALLED GAMES” to configure which game components to install.


In addition to specific Campaign or MP content, you can also choose which language you’d like to use for all the games – both for audio and text. If the default language chosen isn’t supported by some games, you have the option to select a fallback language. Here are the available options:


  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish (ES)
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (BR)
  • Russian
  • Spanish (MX)
  • Traditional Chinese (TW)

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish (ES)
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Simplified Chinese (CN)
  • Spanish (MX)
  • Traditional Chinese (TW)
Under “AUDIO”, select “CHANGE LANGUAGES” to pick your primary and fallback voice and text language preferences:

Then select your primary language for Voice and Text along with fallback language choice:


Over the course of working on this update, the team has been able to achieve significant optimizations across the entire title which results in greatly reduced loading times for all of the content in MCC. Regardless of which flavor of Xbox One you’re playing on, everyone will experience quicker load times on every aspect of MCC - but it’ll be extra noticeable with Halo 2 Anniversary in particular.

From the moment you launch MCC you’ll notice a brand-new splash screen and updated layouts and UI components throughout the game. From a new horizontal layout to new settings options to a more prominent Message of the Day, MCC got a fresh coat of paint and is both better looking and more functional.


As part of the update, MCC’s Matchmaking Playlist offerings are receiving a significant overhaul based in large part on player feedback over the course of the MCC Insider Program. Playtests, surveys, polls and forum discussions all led to the creation of an initial spec of 14 playlists that will launch following the update.

Since it will take time for this massive game update to propagate and broadly roll out, the initial playlist offerings will be limited to help ensure that players can still find matches and have a positive experience.

Initial MCC Matchmaking Playlists available beginning today, 8/27:

  • Halo: CE Team Doubles
  • Halo 2 Classic Team Arena
  • Halo 2 Anniversary Team Arena
  • Halo 3 Team Arena
  • Halo 4 Team Arena
Activity and match times in these playlists will vary depending on which game(s) players choose to install and how quickly the update makes its way across the player base. Based on our public flight data we generally expect Halo 2 to be the specific title most players will install first/most often, which should result in better matchmaking experiences in that playlist compared to Halo 4 Team Arena, which is generally sees a smaller niche player base. In general, please be prepared for potential longer than ideal match times until a critical mass of players in each region have the required content installed and jump into matchmaking.


In the coming days, as more players install the update, the title arrives on Xbox Game Pass, and the online population grows - MCC’s Matchmaking Playlists will expand to the following:

Social Playlists

  • Team Slayer (H1 – H4 Team Slayer)*
  • Action Sack*
  • Crossplay BTB (H1 / H2C & H2A / H4)*
  • Halo: CE Team Arena
  • Halo 3 BTB
  • Halo 3 FFA
  • Halo 4 Team Arena
Ranked Playlists

  • Halo: CE Team Doubles
  • Halo 2 Team Arena
  • Halo 2 Team Hardcore
  • Halo 2: Anniversary Team Arena
  • Halo 3 Team Doubles
  • Halo 3 Team Arena
  • Halo 3 Team Hardcore
*These playlists include cross-game offerings and require all four titles to be installed in order to join/play.

Later next month, the team will kick off a regular cadence of rotational playlists with different short-term experiences popping up for days or weeks at a time. Fan favorite niche game modes such as Infection, SWAT, Snipers and more are all slated to rotate in over the coming weeks and months.

The team is working out the final details and will share the plan here on Halo Waypoint in the near future. In the meantime, please share your feedback and playlist ideas and suggestions with us via the MCC Forum.

With this patch, Ranked Matchmaking will now match players based on a +/-10 rank threshold - so a level 10 player will match with/against players down to rank 1 or up to rank 20. Additionally, Party matching has been abled to help ensure a more fair playing field by matching pre-made teams against pre-made teams. The 343 development team will be monitoring these systems closely and as always, feedback is welcomed.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR RETURNING PLAYERS: Due to the extensive nature of this update and major changes to playlists, all prior playlist rankings have been reset. All Spartans will now start fresh so party up and get to it!

The focus and priorities of this first update were driven in large part by feedback directly from the community. We’re excited to get these new improvements and features into your hands, but the team isn’t done yet and it’s important to us to keep this feedback loop going as work continues on future patches and updates.

We’d love to hear from players whether it’s new feature requests or letting us know about any issues you encounter. There are a few different channels available to provide feedback to the MCC team.

The easiest and most efficient way to share your feedback is via the official MCC forums here on Halo Waypoint. We’ve setup new pinned threads to gather feedback in three general buckets:

Our team regularly reviews everything in the forums and even if we can’t directly respond to every post, know that it is being read and relayed to appropriate folks on the team.

The Halo Community Feedback Program (HCFP) is run by the Xbox Research Team and is open to anyone age 18 or older from seasoned Halo veterans to brand new recruits. When you choose to join the HCFP you'll become eligible to receive periodic surveys that offer a chance to share your unique perspectives and help the 343 Industries team create even better Halo games, products, and experiences.

If you're passionate about Halo and want to have a voice in the future of the franchise, please considerjoining the HCFP!

Today we’re excited to kick off the official Halo Discord Server as an additional outlet and channel to facilitate discussion with and amongst the Halo community. Within the Halo Discord Server you’ll find a variety of channels including one specifically designated for all things MCC. While there, you can also check out other channels to discuss anything and everything related to Halo, find teammates, and more. Members of the 343 team and some official community moderators will be both active (and lurking) so stop by and say hi!


In an effort to help better communicate important player-facing information we’ve launched an MCC Trello Board. This is something new we’re experimenting with to elevate and more effectively share development status updates, patch notes, known issues, player feedback topics the team is currently investigating, playilst specs, and more. Naturally we'll still leverage channels like the in-game message-of-the-day and the forums here on Halo Waypoint but we're always exploring ways to communicate even better with the community. Bookmark this page to stay up to speed on ongoing work and please share any feedback you have as we continue to refine this new resource.

Of course, many of you regularly engage with members of the team via social networks like Twitter or by posting on external sites like the official Halo subreddit. The 343 team does its best to monitor all of these channels but due to the large volume of discussions it's not always feasible to catch or respond to every post. Please feel free to reach out and share feedback on any channel but if possible, add your comments to our official forums here at Halo Waypoint to better ensure it's picked up and passed along to the right people.


The MCC Insider Program has been an integral component of this update process and without the help and input of Insiders, this update wouldn’t have been possible! Tens of thousands of players across the Halo community volunteered their time and energy to play work-in-progress builds via public flighting and provided critical feedback and input that’s helped the team address issues and focus their efforts. We can’t express enough how appreciative and thankful we are for all our MCC Insiders who have partnered with us on this journey.

On behalf of the entire MCC team and the entire 343 studio, THANK YOU. This has been a new process and experience for our studio and while this directly resulted in an improved MCC, it’s also feeding into plans for similar programs down the road for Halo Infinite.

As a small token of thanks, all of our MCC Insiders will receive a special commemorative lobby nameplate in MCC. We have two special exclusive lobby nameplates being worked on - one for everyone in the MCC Insider Program (left image below) and one for Insider "MVPs" who were extra active, helpful and involved during the program (right image below). Here's a work-in-progress glimpse of each:


We don’t have a locked ETA quite yet, but we expect this grant to occur sometime later in September – we’ll share more details here on Halo Waypoint in the coming weeks.

We’re grateful for all our MCC Insiders who’ve helped us ship this update but there’s a small group in particular, dubbed as “The Reclaimers” that we’d like to give an extra-special shout out. These folks have gone above and beyond the call of duty – devoting dozens of hours working in direct partnership with our test team to chase down and work through some tricky issues that arose on the path to release.

  • snickerdoodle
  • BreezyStarfish1
  • Hoss Sauced
  • Comedic Hermit
  • Fishmvn
  • FRiCTiON just
  • The Little Moa
  • CIutchy
  • Zeckariah
  • GregoR
  • Ka Five
  • Def Guru 7777
  • Disasterpiece
  • Chamillion
  • stckrboy
Hats off to you, Reclaimers, and thank you for your service!

For now, the MCC Insider Program is going into cryo-sleep and the existing Insider game build will be decommissioned in early September. Feel free to delete the insider build and reclaim some hard drive space – it’s now at parity with the retail build so there’s no reason to hold onto it.

Going forward, there will be additional updates that will require additional community testing via public flights. This will be administered somewhat differently – anyone who is an existing MCC Insider and/or owns a digital copy of MCC and/or has an active Xbox Game Pass subscription will have access to the “Public Test Realm” and be able to play and provide feedback on future in-progress updates. We’ll have more info to share in the coming weeks but for now, we’re wrapping up the current Insider Program and encourage everyone to join us in the retail version of MCC!

As you may or may not know, the Halo 3: ODST Campaign is available as a premium add-on for MCC. If you have ODST installed, it’ll also benefit from the same Xbox One X visual enhancements and many of the improvements found across the core MCC offering. If you don’t have ODST, it’s available for purchase from the Xbox Marketplace for $4.99 USD.


Xbox Game Pass members should note that the ODST Campaign add-on and access to Halo Nightfall are not included with your subscription once MCC arrives on September 1st.

This first update is a huge milestone that dramatically improves and enhances MCC – but the team isn’t planning to stop. An oft-requested feature, a Custom Game Browser, is on the agenda as are a variety of additional quality of life improvements and additional fixes (based on both current known issues and new issues that arise after this update is out in the wild). We’ll be monitoring game data and feedback regularly so please let us know what you think!

And yes, when it comes to future features, the team is definitely aware that many, many players are very eager to see Halo: Reach added – we don’t have anything to announce or commit to right now, but it’s on the long list of things the team is constantly evaluating and thinking about for possible future updates.

Whether you're a returning player or jumping in for the first time, we hope you enjoy your time with the updated and improved Master Chief Collection and look forward to hearing your feedback and playing together online. And please help us spread the word - beginning September 1st, MCC will be avaialble with Xbox Game Pass which makes an incredible amount of Halo content and experiences more accessible than ever before!


This update includes numerous new additions, features, improvements and fixes. Here’s a breakdown of the noteworthy changes included in the 8/27 update:

  • Visual enhancements – up to 4K UHD w/ HDR on an Xbox One X with compatible TV
  • Intelligent Delivery – Customize game component and language installation
  • Offline LAN – Play MCC with minimal latency over a local network
  • All Matchmade games now run on dedicated servers
  • Updated network transport layer
  • Round-to-round Matchmaking
  • Improved party stability & host migration
  • Updated Ranked Matchmaking logic
  • “Join in progress” for Custom Games
  • Dedicated Server optimizations
  • LAN enabled
  • Title Screen / update to background video
  • Main Menu UI refresh / vertical design
  • Options refresh / layout update
  • Networking settings
  • Audio settings / main menu volume slider
  • Controller settings
  • Message of the Day (MOTD) update
  • HDR / SDR settings
  • Load time & texture streaming optimizations
  • Campaign playlist / save bug fixes
  • Fixed crashes when playing various Remix Playlists in Xbox Live co-op
  • Fixed issues with earning Achievements for completing levels in Playlists in Halo: CE & Halo 2
  • Fixed incorrect Mission being displayed as Next Mission in cross-game playlists
  • Competitive Score & Time now correctly reset when Restarting during Playlists
  • Split screen Co-op Framerate improvements throughout Halo 1 & 2
  • Fixed Kills appropriately populating on leaderboards in Campaign missions
  • Fixed time penalty issues when saving and quitting various missions
  • Fixed issues resuming missions from a suspended state
  • Fixed global stats not incrementing properly when completing missions in both singlepayer and co-op
  • Fixed improper scoring calculations and persistence in stat-history
  • Fixed multiple co-op related crashes across all Campaigns
  • Fixed issues displaying duplicate PGCRs when completing a Playlist with Scoring/Timing on
  • Matched lobbies can now continue playing together after their match ends
  • Players now begin another search instead of being returned to the Main Menu after games
  • Parties are now maintained after changing the Game Session Leader
  • Matchmaking Games no longer continue if entire team quits before a match starts
  • Fixed players being assigned to the wrong teams from roster changes before match starts.
  • Fixed win/loss conditions when an entire team quits in both Halo 3 & Halo 4
  • Improved Betrayal Booting messaging
  • Fixed multiple maps and conditions that caused performance issues for frames rendered
  • Fixed issues with players being unable to join each other
  • Fixed multiple soft locks when joining players in various states
  • Fixed host migration in lobbies and peer-to-peer games
  • Fixed crashes and instances where a soft lock can occur when accepting invites
  • Fixed host being placed in solo game after leaving session
  • Fixed Oddball issues after host quits game
  • Fixed scoring disparity issues when host migration occurs
  • Fixed games not ending appropriately if there is no opposing team on launch of match
  • Fixed PGCR so it now reports correctly for all gametypes
  • Fixed multiple medals not appearing in PGCR appropriately
  • Optimized Voice chat networking to have reduced requirements
  • Fixed various instances where Achievements wouldn’t appropriately unlock
  • Fixed crashes when game is suspended during various MP game scenarios
  • Fixed issues where guests and silver accounts were incorrectly named
  • Fixed soft lock when removing players from parties
  • Fixed silver accounts being able to/unable to matchmake with/without a gold profile signed in
  • Fixed issues where players were kicked out of matchmaking while others in roster continued
  • Fixed issues related to ranks altering after closing the title just after ranking up
  • Fixed issue where Xbox One X players would be removed from lobby at end of custom game
  • Revert gametype settings now functions more reliably across all games
  • Fixed several Custom Game stats to now correctly update for sessions where player was a client
  • Enabled Host Migration in Forge for all games
  • Fixed error where Temporary Gametype Files did not always list original author
  • All: Added Settings to Pause Menu in Films for all supported games
  • All: Fixed Dynamic Lighting not rendering in Films of Forge Maps
  • H3: Fixed issue with Forge objects missing when first loading into a Forge Session
  • H3: Adjusted object list window to better reflect Halo 3 assets
  • H3: Adjusted Damage Modifier text to match 360 descriptions
  • H4: Fixed Bumpers & Triggers not swapping correctly
  • Physics have been corrected for multiple Forge related items
  • Correct Player Emblem now displays on Scoreboards in-game
  • Improved Roster refresh & response time
  • Improved Host Migration support throughout supported games
  • Fixed issues with 0’s appearing for Time & Score in Leaderboards
  • Fixed various medals earned not displaying in the PGCR
  • Fixed issue where Guest Player’s 4 controller settings were not respected
  • Fixed various crashes when returning to gameplay after the Xbox is suspended
  • Voice Chat & Team Chat improvements & fixes
  • Improved Leaderboard response time
  • Reorganized Controller Settings Order to place most commonly changed at the top
  • Fixed Error Message telling players they do not have Xbox LIVE Gold during Xbox LIVE service outage conditions
  • Fixed error when a Gold Profile player with a Guest profile on the same console attempts to Join other players from an Invite.
  • Parties now merge more gracefully when another Party’s host accepts an Invite
  • Fixed multiple issues associated with resuming game from suspended state
  • Fixed many different situations that would result in crashes
  • Fixed players getting disconnected from squads in many different situations
  • Fixed various issues caused with multiple controllers connected during and after gameplay
  • Fixed incorrect and/or missing callout for Rosters
  • Fixed issues using ‘Save As’ to create new map variants in Forge not working in all scenarios
  • Fixed sorting of temporary Gametypes
  • Fixed improper hero image displaying in next mission for Campaign playlists
  • Fixed load time increases when local files storage is full
  • Fixed issues where players in parties would lose audio in various loading situations
  • Fixed multiple instances of debug text being present across the title
  • Fixed being returned to Main Menu after completing a Halo 1 Level in Cross-Game Playlists
  • Various Text & HUD fixes
  • Improved FOV for Split screen
  • Fixed rare mission progress loss when player selects Save & Quit during Halo 1 Playlists
  • Fixed various Halo 1 map weapon spawns not matching Xbox Retail
  • Improved Magnum shot registration issues in networked matches
  • Fixed bullet magnetism being incorrectly applied to teammates in Matchmaking
  • Fixed a Host/Client score discrepancy on PGCR for King of the Hill matches
  • Fixed enemy placement varying when restarting checkpoints
  • Fixed Score & Time UI disappearing if Captain Keyes dies in Truth & Reconciliation
  • Fixed double Halos appearing in Halo: CE Pillar of Autumn outro cinematic
  • Fixed weapon fire rates not matching H2 for original Xbox
  • Beating the Prophet of Regret to death with your fists now grants Campaign Scoring points
  • Fixed FOVs to match original Xbox setting for both single player and split screen
  • Returned original Xbox Connection & Host Migration screens for nostalgia
  • Fixed rare issue with matches starting before all players have joined
  • Fixed Steaktacular medal for H2C Matchmaking
  • Campaign no longer resumes in Legacy graphics if player is set to Remastered graphics
  • H2: Fixed invalid Team Color options appearing as selectable in various custom game modes
  • Enabled Host Migration for H2A Custom Games
  • Fixed Blood Thirsty! Achievement not unlocking when blasted in Matchmaking
  • Fixed issues with Kill Feed not updating for every kill
  • Fixed control mapping for Banshee tricks when using Universal Bump & Jump
  • Fixed Kill camera in Custom Games on large-budget Forge maps
  • Ninja Redux Achievement can now be earned during FFA games
  • Blast Resort gametype now respects player’s Rounds to Win settings in Custom Games
  • Fixed issue with incorrect HUD displaying for clients in Monitor Mode
  • Fixed object misalignment issue when snapping to coordinates
  • Fixed Pause Menu navigation controlling Films menus at the same time
  • Fixed players being taken to the Custom Game menu when exiting Forge sessions
  • Fixed numerous issues with Halo 2 Anniversary Campaign Co-op
  • Fixed Halo 3 default Gamma/Contrast settings
  • Improved lighting bloom to better reflect the Xbox 360 version’s presentation
  • Re-ordered Custom Gametypes so Slayer appears first
  • Guerilla Achievement unlock conditions improved
  • King of Crows Achievement unlock conditions improved
  • Who Needs Them? Achievement unlock conditions improved
  • Reduced time for post-credit cinematics to play after completing final mission
  • Fixed issues with Suicide Penalty not applying in certain gametypes
  • Fixed several option descriptions to match Xbox 360 text in custom games
  • Fixed incorrect button prompt on screen during final Didact quick time event
  • Weapon Skins can now be selected independently per loadout
  • Fixed bullet refunding issues when playing matches on dedicated servers
  • Adjusted default Gamma settings to better match original presentation
  • Fixed Tutorial prompts for Mantis melee button for various control layouts
  • Fixed grenade button prompt during final Didact encounter
  • Corrected Score values for various vehicles (Phantoms, Pelicans)
  • Fixed stereo playback for various language audio
  • Improved rubber banding during Broadsword sequence for co-op
  • Fixed rare respawn issue on Ravine
  • Various Achievement unlock condition improvements
  • SPOPS: Skulls now have names & descriptions displayed in menu
  • Theater Improvements
The team is aware of and actively working on/investigating the following issues for future MCC updates:

  • Campaign and playlist progress counters may read as 0s across the board on initial launch
  • Intelligent Delivery prioritization can be lost if console enters Connected Standby during install
  • Halo 4 Forge objects exposed to the global light source may appear incorrectly
  • Some career stats do not update until the title is relaunched
  • Corrupted installation can occur through Intelligent Delivery installation
  • Aim sensitivity feels faster in update compared to previous MCC retail
  • Players idling in match are not always automatically removed from the game
  • Elites are not dual wielding in various Campaign missions
  • Players with high ping times may be unable to find a game
  • Objects will pop-in during the Halo 4 Campaign
  • Players can go out-of-sync when moving from mission to mission in Halo 2 co-op Campaign when there is an original Xbox One hosting and an Xbox One X client
  • Players may need to reacquire previously collected ODST audio logs before receiving Achievements related to them
Please keep an eye on the MCC Trello Board for the latest list of Known Issues and feedback areas that are under investigation by the team. In some cases, like “Corrupted Installation”, we have additional details to help troubleshoot and work around the problem should you encounter this rare issue.

If you encounter a bug or issue, please let us know in the MCC forums here on Halo Waypoint.

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