News

Campaign Countdown

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It's Community Update time, which means we're diving into the latest and greatest Halo news from around the franchise – from past to present. We'll be discussing Halo 3's upcoming launch on PC as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Halo 5: Guardian's future offerings, and what you can expect from Halo Infinite during the Xbox Games Showcase on July 23.

Buckle up, it's going to be a good one!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

HALO 3 on PC

Halo 3 is coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC next week on July 14! Prepare to finish the fight on Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta), Microsoft Store, and Steam. This epic conclusion to the original trilogy marks yet another huge milestone in our journey to bring all of MCC to PC. We'll be talking about Halo 3: ODST and Halo 4 soon enough, but let's focus on everything you can expect to see on July 14.

First-Look Livestream

We just wrapped up a livestream with our Publishing Team that provides a first-look at the upcoming MCC content, features, and updates – including Halo 3 on PC. You can catch the rebroadcast of it on Twitch or on YouTube. It provided some fantastic insight into our development and design process while also showcasing all the new goodness.

Universal Updates

As the Publishing Team talked about in the livestream, we're not just adding Halo 3 to PC with this update. We're updating the game across both platforms to include a multitude of other features, fixes, and quality-of-life improvements as well. Let's take a closer look at some of them!

Forge

Halo: Reach, Halo 2: Anniversary, and Halo 3's Forge will all be added to MCC on PC. Additionally, Halo 3's Forge will be updated (on both platforms) to include tons of new features like phased physics, coordinate snap, rotation, rotation snap, and increased budget, and brand-new pieces.

Audio Fixes

As outlined in our in-depth explanation in the latest MCC Development Update, Halo: Reach and Halo 3 will be getting many audio fixes across the board. Boost up the volume and give it a listen!

Halo 3 Customization

As many of you saw in the recent Halo 3 flight, updated customization will be available for Halo 3. This includes being able to select specific armor pieces separately, as opposed to the full set system we had before, as well as displaying your emblem on your shoulder and armor detail colors in-game.

HALO: CE CUSTOMIZATION

For the first time ever, Halo: CE will have officially supported customization options including Weapon Skins, Vehicle Skins, and Visors. A player's custom Weapon Skins and Vehicle Skins will be applied whenever they are in control of them. These skins will stay applied, even after dropping the weapon or exiting the vehicle, up until a new player gains control of them.

While we're all excited about these additions, we're aware that some players may prefer to keep that original CE feel. To support those players, we'll be providing the option to toggle skins on or off in their settings.

Season 2 & CHALLENGES

In addition to Halo 3, July 14 also brings MCC's Season 2 and our new Challenge System. Season 2 contains over 100 new customization items, which can now be unlocked via Campaign, Firefight, and Multiplayer gameplay and challenges. Based on community feedback, we are also making it so that players can choose the order in which they can unlock season items in any given tier. You will still need to unlock all items in your first tier before accessing the next one, but the order is now up to you.

This new Challenge System will also neatly tie into our events like the Yappening and Winter Contingency. Before, players would have to read about the events online and then wait for a manual grant for their reward, without any sort of way to track if they had successfully met the criteria in-game. Now, players will be able to see their progress and immediately get rewarded when they complete the criteria for our in-game events. There will be a few specific Challenges and rewards available to celebrate launch which includes the abiilty to unlock a brand-new Halo 3 Campaign Skull and exclusive nameplate. 

HALO 3: ODST FIREFIGHT

We broke the news right around the time of our last Community Update, but I wanted to make sure to call it out again. Halo 3: ODST Firefight will be coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection – on PC and Xbox One – later this Summer!

  • Already own Halo 3: ODST for MCC? The addition of Firefight to Halo 3: ODST in MCC will come at no extra charge. When it becomes available, your game should update to add it in without any fuss.
  • Don't own Halo 3: ODST for MCC? This addition does not change the $5 USD cost of Halo 3: ODST across all platforms. If this announcement is exactly what you were waiting for, here are some helpful links to where you can pre-order it for PC via the Microsoft Store or Steam.

If you want to participate in flighting for Halo 3: ODST, make sure you're registered for the Halo Insider program!

PLAYLIST UPDATES

As the team hammers hard on the future of MCC, they've still kept up with weekly playlist updates. Last week we had Shotty Snipers and as of yesterday, it's now transitioned over to the sport of the future – Grifball. To learn more about these recent playlist updates, check out the links below:

And, speaking of Matchmaking, we wanted to make sure everyone is aware that when Halo 3 launches next week and the new season begins, all player skill rankings will be reset. We've talked about the likelihood of resetting ranks with new seasons in the past and this time it also corresponds to some new back-end updates to Matchmaking including the addition of a new "lifetime highest rank" stat per ranked playlist going forward. 

Halo Esports

MCC Pro Series

The MCC Pro Series, our new online tournament series for pro players and amateurs, will be hosting its third Open tournament this Saturday, July 11. During our last Pro tournament we saw Sentinels secure the three-peat with their third straight MCC Pro Series win. They, along with the seven other teams in the Top 8, have qualified for next weekend's Pro tournament where they await the Top 8 teams from this weekend's Open tournament. That cycle will repeat and continue through the lifetime of the MCC Pro Series, meaning it's never too late to jump in and get started. 

If you want to play in this weekend's Open tournament, just head on over to aka.ms/PSRegistration and register today!

REMAINING Tournament Dates

  • July 11 (Open)
  • July 18 (Pro)
  • ­čĹÇ

Don't miss out on our Pro tournament broadcasts that happen every other weekend live on twitch.tv/Halo & mixer.com/Halo starting at 2pm PT. You can catch our official coverage of the competition or you could watch your favorite players' streams on aka.ms/HaloMCCStreams to follow their individual journey!

HCS Grassroots

SWAT NATION

Tomorrow, July 10, SWAT Nation is hosting their 2v2 SWAT tournament, "The Summer Night Classic." Registration for this event closes later today, so sign-up quickly and secure your spot as fast as you can on their event page. If you can't compete or miss the registration deadline, consider tuning in tomorrow at 5pm PT on twitch.tv/SWATNationLive!

GT HALO

The GT Halo team is organizing their fourth schoolyard-style tournament next Sunday, July 19! This means that you and your partner will get paired up with another duo as a team of four and battle it out against other teams that have also been randomly paired together. These are always a good time, so be sure to sign up before slots fill up. And, if you don't, you can always catch the broadcast that Sunday at 9am PT on twitch.tv/GTHalo!

Europa Halo

Later this month on July 26, the Halo European Nations Cup will take place with players representing the European countries they call home. Learn more and register for the Cup here and watch the announcement here!

Lastly, if you haven't seen it already, the HCS Team kicked off a new content series called "Halo Game Sense," which dives into the minds of Halo players and shows how they pull off highlight reel moments.

Halo 5: Guardians

As a reminder, for the next 10 days all proceeds from REQ Pack purchases will be donated to the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund. We kicked off this fundraising initiative on Juneteenth, June 19, and have seen an outpouring of support over the past three weeks. Thank you all for standing up for what's right and showing your support!

Moving on to the playlist schedule, here's what you can expect in Halo 5 for the next two months!

Upcoming Calendar

JuLY

  • July 2: Solo Queue Team Arena & Free-For-All stay in Ranked
  • July 2: Shotty Snipers rotates in for Forerunner Slayer
  • July 2: Warzone Turbo through 4th of July Weekend
  • July 9: ODST Slayer rotates in for Shotty Snipers
  • July 16: Rock 'n' Rail rotates in for ODST Slayer
  • July 16: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
  • July 23: CE Anniversary Throwback rotates in for Rock 'n' Rail
  • July 30: Roaming King rotates in for CE Anniversary
  • July 30: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend

August

  • August 6: Mythic Arena will be added to Ranked for the month
  • August 6: Grifball rotates in for Roaming King
  • August 13: Action Sack rotates in for Grifball
  • August 13: Warzone Assault goes live for the weekend
  • August 20: H2 BR Slayer rotates in for Action Sack
  • August 27: Castle Wars rotates in for H2 BR Slayer
  • August 27: Warzone Turbo goes live for the weekend

Halo Gear

One of the most common ways to tell that the Halo hype train is moving full-speed ahead is that we've got new Halo gear popping up online and on store shelves.

Halo 3 Mousepad

As has become tradition with the launch of each Halo title on PC, a new mousepad featuring the game's cover art has been released. To snag the latest addition to our mousepad lineup, you can click on the blue header above or visit gear.xbox.com!

Mega Construx

Another signal that the Halo hype train is rolling along is that Halo Mega Construx sets have started hitting store shelves! There are tons of awesome sets, including some that correlate to Halo Infinite and some that are general Halo universe additions the existing lineup. You can see all the Halo sets on the Mega Construx site, but I wanted to share some of my favorites here as well:

Hero Micro Action Figure Line

Banshee Breakout

(Side note: What do you call a Banished Banshee? A Bananshee?)

Warthog Rally

As a note, we have seen the chatter around these being "leaks or spoiler," but as ske7ch mentioned on Twitter, these recent releases are absolutely part of the roadmap to launch and do not spoil any key details from Halo Infinite. I know how easy it is to get swept up in speculation, I was in your shoes before the release of Halo 5 after all, but I can promise you that there isn't much to read into here. And, yes, this is a great general practice to apply to all toys, products, and collectables.

  • Community Spotlightsnickerdoodle's latest #HaloSpotlight showcased colored pencil drawings, tons of SFM & Blender art, some incredible cosplays, cakes, and so much more. If you're looking for some beautiful and creative eye-candy, look no further!
  • Audio Team Field Recordings: Our final #SoundDesignSaturday post, featuring Buddy the Pug, went live on our @Halo Instagram account. Over the past year, our Audio Team has been creating and sharing videos of some of their favorite field recording sessions. By doing so, they showed us how they captured the sounds for explosions, vehicles, guns, and so much more. We hope you enjoyed the series and I look forward to seeing you all pinpoint the sounds when you hear them in Halo Infinite!
  • Community Playdates: You can find us hosting Community Playdates online every Tuesday at 1pm PT alternating between MCC and Halo 5 each week. During these playdates, we hand out Ice Unicorn skins and nameplates for matching us. If you're curious where to find Team 343 during these Community Playdates, keep an eye on @Halo on Twitter!
  • Pets of 343: As the studio transitioned to working-from-home in an effort to keep our employees and their families safe, many of us were able to spend much more time with our pets. In our latest spotlight on 343industries.com, we featured furry, feathered, and scaly home-officemates who are working tirelessly to help us build the future of Halo. Meet the pets of 343!

Halo Infinite

Save the date! We’re excited to share what the team’s been working on – the first look at Halo Infinite’s Campaign is coming on July 23!

You'll be able to catch the show on Xbox.com and pretty much everywhere else you may expect, including Xbox's Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

We'll see you in two weeks. 

Art

This week I'm not sharing a concept art for any specific game, but instead for a specific cause. To support our Halo 5 REQ Pack Initiative, we asked for a new piece of art that showed our favorite hero lending a helping hand. Espen Olsen Sætervik, an incredibly talented artist on our team, absolutely nailed it by creating this stunning piece that we'll never forget.

As always, you can save this art by clicking on the links (or the art itself) below!

Thanks for joining us for another Community Update, please continue to stay home and stay safe whenever possible. If Master Chief can wear a helmet for six straight Halo games, you can wear a mask when going outside.

See you all on July 23.

Until next time,

- UNY

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