Forums / Games / Classic Halo Games

Halo PC and Halo 2 PC FAQ (Please read)

OP James060394

Since there has been a number of repeat topics regarding Halo CE and Halo 2 for the PC, I thought I would create a single topic that condenses many of the frequently asked questions for active users or new users to consult before creating a new topic. If you have a separate question not added here, please comment below and the FAQ will be updated accordingly. I hope this helps any users out there interested in the PC versions of Halo CE or Halo 2.

Both Halo PC, Custom Edition and Halo 2:

Where can I get Halo PC, Halo MAC, Custom Edition or Halo 2?

Halo PC, Mac and Halo 2 can only be purchased by a physical disc copy, which comes with a unique CD Key. The game can then be installed onto your PC.

Can I download/purchase a digital copy of Halo PC, Mac or Halo 2 for PC online?

Halo PC, Mac and Halo 2 are only available via a physical disc. There is NO digital copy of any Halo PC, Mac or Halo 2 available online.

What is Halo 'Custom Edition'?

Halo Custom Edition is a free add on for Halo PC supported by Gearbox/Bungie that allows users to create and play user created content. It features heavily modified Halo content, custom user made campaigns, conversions of modern Halo multiplayer maps and more. You MUST have a Halo PC/Mac CD key to install Custom Edition.

Halo PC and Mac ONLY:

Can I use a Halo PC key for Halo Mac (and vice versa)?

No. Halo PC CD keys can only be used for Halo PC for Windows. Likewise, Halo Mac CD keys will only work for the Mac version of Halo CE. The CD keys have a different combination and you must purchase the respective copy for your system.

Can I run Halo PC on my Mac?

Yes via Bootcamp or a virtual desktop. If you intend to get the best experience, run Halo PC via Bootcamp on a native Windows installation.

Does Halo PC run on Windows 'X'?

Halo PC currently runs on all known versions of Windows to date (10 as of this writing).

Can I play with Mac users with the PC copy?

Yes. Halo PC and Halo Mac are cross platform with the latest patch installed. Both use the same servers and can play with each other online.

Why is the Mac version more expensive than the PC copy?

Despite being the same game, the Mac version is much more difficult to get a hold of and as such, it commands a higher price than the more readily available PC version. If you want native MacOS support, get the Mac version. Otherwise, you can run the PC version via Bootcamp and acquire it for a cheaper price than its Mac equivalent.

Can I still buy Halo PC/Mac brand new?

Since Halo PC/Mac released in 2003, it will be extremely difficult to acquire a new copy. You will have to shop around to try and find a new copy.

Can I use an Xbox Controller for Halo PC/Mac?

Yes. You can plug in an Xbox 360 controller for the PC version of Halo and it will recognise and allow you to configure your controls to your liking.

Can I enable aim assist with a controller for Halo PC/Mac?

Open up the console and type in:

player_magnetism 1

This will enable aim assist that you have in the Xbox version of Halo CE

Can I play Halo PC/Mac online?

Yes. Halo PC/Mac is the first official online Halo game predating Halo 2 on Xbox in 2004 and the servers are still maintained by Bungie to this day.

Can I play co-op or split-screen on Halo PC/Mac?

No. Halo PC/Mac does not support co-op or split-screen in any way. Only the Xbox version, CEA and MCC support co-op and split-screen.

Why are there some missing graphic effects from the Xbox version of Halo CE?

For some reason, on modern NVIDIA GPU's Halo PC is missing some graphics effects (Active camouflage, lighting etc), all of which are present natively on AMD GPU's.

Can I re-enable these missing effects?

Yes, some of the effects can be fixed by updating to the final patch released by Bungie in 2014. There are other ways to fix some of the other missing shader effects however, I personally cannot remember the steps to do so but will update this section accordingly.

Can I use the same CD key for LAN/Online play on a second PC?

No. Each user will need a separate CD key for both LAN and Online play.

I am shooting a player but none of the shots are hitting. What is going on?

Halo PC requires you to lead your shots due to its netcode limitations as a result of supporting dial up. Halo Custom Edition servers that were running SAPP managed to fix this issue.

My screen seems zoomed in, what is going on?

Halo PC/Mac has a lower default Field of View (FOV) than the Xbox original. This can be adjusted to your liking or reset via third party mods.

Does Halo PC/Mac support widescreen?

Not officially, although there are mods out there that do enable widescreen support and you can force resolutions such as 1080p (1920x1080).

Halo 2 PC (Vista)

Can I still play Halo 2 Vista online?

Officially no. The Halo 2 Vista servers were shutdown a while ago.

Can I run Halo 2 on Windows 'X'?

Halo 2 Vista can run on Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10.

Why isn't Halo 2 working on Windows 'X'?

Make sure you are running Halo 2 on one of the supported versions of Windows. Download and update the Games for Windows Live client before launching Halo 2.

Can I play Halo 2 in co-op or split-screen?

No. Officially Halo 2 cannot be played in co-op or split-screen on PC. There are a few mods out there for online co-op but it was incomplete due to netcode desync issues with scripted sequences and split-screen despite being in the PC code is broken and inaccessible. You can only play Halo 2 co-op or split-screen officially on the Xbox version or MCC version and online co-op by the MCC version.

Can I still get achievements for Halo 2?

Yes although they do not count towards your Halo waypoint score or any Halo: Reach related milestones.

I can't install the game despite using a genuine CD key with a copy I purchased?

Halo 2 Vista can only be installed a maximum of 5 times per CD Key. Please note this includes uninstalling/reinstalling the game regardless of the situation. For example, you install the game with a fresh CD key, you have 4 installs left. If you then have to reinstall the game for whatever reason such as a new install of Windows, you will have 3 uses left. Once you have used all 5, you can no longer use the CD key you have. You will need to purchase a new copy.

Can I use an Xbox controller?

Yes. Halo 2 Vista supports an Xbox 360 controller out of the box as well as the Xbox One controller. The game plays almost identically to the OG Xbox version.

My game is running erratically but I have over 60fps? What is going on?

Halo 2 Vista becomes incredibly glitchy when the game runs at over 60fps. You must forcibly enable VSync in your GPU control panel to lock the FPS to 60. If you have a 120/144hz monitor, you will need to use a 3rd party program to lock the FPS to no more than 60fps.

My mouse feels sluggish when aiming?

For some reason Halo 2 Vista has mouse acceleration on and has some sort of input lag when using a mouse, making it somewhat more difficult to play using a mouse and keyboard. You are much better off using an Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller, where these issues do not persist. Halo PC/Mac do not suffer from any sort of mouse and keyboard issues and play fine as a PC/Mac games in their own right.


The screen seems zoomed in?

Halo 2 Vista, like Halo PC has a lower Field of View (FOV) than the OG Xbox counterparts. Like Halo PC, there are third party mods that can allow you to modify this to your liking or set it back to the Xbox original.
Good info to look at. We need more players on PC.
halo well no run on windows10 help
jimdeeus wrote:
halo well no run on windows10 help
What issue are you having?
Nice job going above and beyond with that information!
Nice job going above and beyond with that information!
Thank you, I'll try to add to it as and when more questions reappear.
Nice job going above and beyond with that information!
Thank you, I'll try to add to it as and when more questions reappear.
You're welcome! I have no doubt anyone seeing the post, appreciates the information
https://youtu.be/bLqPBLGoCLU

https://youtu.be/UsQZjM0r0AA
https://youtu.be/bLqPBLGoCLU https://youtu.be/UsQZjM0r0AA
Just saying, you can now post links since you're rank Marine now.

Oh yeah! If you go to the official website of Project Cartographer, you can download the base game with the installer.