Skip to main content

Forums / Games / Halo 5: Guardians

[Locked] Halo 5's TRUE Population Size?

OP Gods in Pain

If you've tried matchmaking in the past few months, you've probably come across this message a few times:
Sorry, there may not be enough players to support this playlist. Please try again at a later time.

This message is extremely concerning for most. For me personally, this message pops up very often when I play on expanded. It doesn't matter which playlist; whether it's BTB, Team Slayer, the featured playlist, Arena, HCS, or what; the message still pops up more often than anybody would like to see.

This forum is me attempting to break down the population for Halo 5: Guardians. I'll walk you down every step.

Halo has always been the Number 1 Exclusive game on Xbox. Now, it is not even on the top 20 most played xbox games (monthly) charts.
We all know that Halo 5 has sold about 5 million copies, which is less than what Halo: Combat Evolved has sold (5.5 million). This is the worst amount of sales for a mainstream Halo game. Halo 3 sat at 12.14 Million Copies. Halo Reach at 9.87 million and Halo 4 at 9.75 million. Halo has lost well over half of its mainstream sales since 10 years ago.
Now, we want to know the population size for Halo 5. Let's see what HaloTracker has to say.
Ignore the "and are adding a few thousand an hour* part as this post is a bit outdated by a week or two.
What we want to be focusing on is "We now automatically add new players. We are scanning your games, and adding everyone."
and "We have tripled our tracked players."

So now that HaloTracker is scanning all of these "new players," the population has tripled? Let's think for a second. Has Halo 5 started selling like hot pancakes, attracting thousands of new players now? No. The game is two years old. The "players" that HaloTracker is talking about are Smurf Accounts - New accounts created by existing players in order to give those players a chance at playing against lower-ranking players, playing without having to ruin their existing rank, de-ranking or rank-boosting online, and many other logistical reasons. I personally have about 10+ "Smurf" accounts that I use to play with some of my casual friends.

So Two-Thirds of Halo 5's population isn't really "True." 360,000 accounts play Halo per season. 240,000 of those are Smurf accounts. Halo's true monthly (season) population is around 120,000. The number 1 Xbox Exclusive game now has 120,000 true players playing the game on a monthly basis.

So that number is pretty horrific, but it doesn't end there.

If we look at HaloTracker, we can see that there are a good percentage of players who are unranked in certain playlists. To be unranked, you must play less than 10 games in that playlist per month/season.
Team Slayer has the lowest unranked percentage at 41.4%
OddballWC, Team Snipers, Team Doubles, Breakout, and FFA have above a 50% unranked rating.
Do with those numbers as you will :)
This Forum is an informational forum. This can help many players who have been flooding the forums with "Halo 5 Matchmaking takes too long" or "I can't find a game."

I created this Forum for two purposes.
1.) In order to understand why I was constantly getting Halo 5 Errors telling me that "there aren't enough players to support this playlist," even on expanded.
2.) I saw the matchmaking forums and it appears that many people also have problems like this.


  • Halo 5 has the least amount of sales of any mainstream video game, even less than Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)
  • Halo 5 is Xbox's number 1 exclusive game yet no longer is one of the top 20 most monthly played xbox games.
  • Halo 5's population consists mostly of alternate/smurf/new accounts. HaloTracker estimates up to 2/3rds.
  • Using HaloTracker, we can estimate the true population to be around 120,000 players (who have played at least 1 arena game)
  • Using HaloTracker, we can also see that Halo has a very high unranked count in arena playlist
I prettymuch just play WZ game modes and never search more that 1-2 mins.
with the copies sold that's just physical copies we don't know the digtal copies sold.

This post has been hidden.

There is a mega thread on this topic already. Here HALO 5 POPULATION DISCUSSION THREAD