Just a week ahead of the collection’s release on Sept. 1 for the Microsoft Game Pass library, Microsoft and 343 Industries have released a massive patch which aims to bring Xbox One X support, but also fix some long-standing issues that have plagued the game.
In a surprising move, developer 343 Industries has revealed that their long-awaited update for the game has finally been released and is quite impressive as its the most significant update since the games release. Totaling in at roughly 73GB, aims to bring some massive fixes to the game sine its launch and had been in beta for quite a while.
Having debuted nearly four years ago, The Halo: Master Chief Collection has been plagued by numerous bugs including networking issues, critical errors, and random crashing that rendered the game almost unplayable. Having been in beta testing for quite sometime, 343 has finally released the patch itself and a post alongside their long-awaited patch.
“To our [Master Chief Collection] 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.”
The problems that plagued the game had been bad enough that 343 Industries figurehead, Bonnie Ross, eventually issued a formal apology on behalf of the team and later offered a peace offering with their fans through a remastered version of Halo 3: ODST‘s campaign, which many took their time to once more enjoy. The most important part of this update isn’t just the various bug fixes or the rather long-winded patch notes that accompany them, but also the addition of Xbox One X enhancements with 4K resolutions and HDR capabilities.
343 Industries does explain, however, that Halo: Nightfall nor the Halo 3: ODST campaign will be available through the Xbox Game Pass release. If you want to upgrade to the ODST campaign, you can do so for $4.99 today. The biggest portion of this week’s update isn’t what you’ve already red. You can choose what you want to download when you want to download it, which makes the game playable based on your preferences. This includes that you can boot up the game and download Halo 2 Anniversary while skipping out on Halo 4 altogether.
In turn, you can also choose to use the games Intelligent Delivery system that will allow you to choose what you want and when you want it. In order to know what to expect from this update, lets take a look down below at the patch notes 343 Industry released:
“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.”
FASTER LOAD TIMES
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.
UPDATED MENUS & UI ELEMENTS
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
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:
- 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
- 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
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.
For those wanting the full scope of things, you can visit the official Blog Post featuring the patch notes for more information via Halo Waypoint. The company has confirmed that this is only one of multiple planned updates that will be released over the upcoming months.
This includes the possibility of Halo: Reach where 343 has responded saying, “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.”
Stay tuned as we’ll keep you updated as we revisit Halo: Master Chief Collection in the upcoming days.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.