News

Halo 3 Now Available for PC

By 343 Industries -

It’s time to Finish the Fight, Spartans – Halo 3 is now available for PC via Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta), the Microsoft Store, and Steam! Pick up Halo 3 for your preferred platform HERE and read on for more details on what’s new and everything else included in today’s massive update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

Finish the fight

At long last, nearly thirteen years after Master Chief returned to Earth to finish the fight on Xbox 360, the triumphant conclusion to the original Halo trilogy has arrived on PC!  Relive 11 unforgettable missions and fight through 24 multiplayer maps all updated with new features, optimizations, and settings custom-tailored for the PC platform. 

Halo 3 looks and plays better than ever at 60 frames-per-second (or greater) with up to 4K UHD support and numerous PC-specific enhancements. Players can fine-tune their experience with a vast array of options including variable framerate, native mouse/keyboard support and the ability to rebind controls, support for ultra-wide displays and different aspect ratios, adjustable field-of-view, updated texture/shadow quality, and more. Additionally, Halo 3 within MCC also now supports expanded player customization options, higher resolution matte paintings, improved audio, and a brand new skull for Campaign - to name a few.

For the first time on PC, unleash your inner designer with the power of an updated and expanded Forge that allows you to build the multiplayer experiences of your dreams and utilize the Theater to commemorate your greatest triumphs. 

Select your platform of choice and jump in today to experience everything Halo 3 and Halo: The Master Chief Collection have to offer! 

MCC UPDATES

Alongside today’s release of Halo 3, Halo: The Master Chief Collection (MCC) owners will also get an update that includes numerous quality-of-life improvements and new features on PC and Xbox One. Noteworthy items are listed below but please be sure to check out the full patch notes HERE.

Forge

Forge is now available for the first time on PC for Halo: Reach, Halo 2: Anniversary, and Halo 3! Additionally, new features and functionality have been added to Forge on Xbox One.

PC General

Forge on PC includes support for mouse and keyboard input, multiple key bindings, and file share downloads. Please note that for now, uploading to file share on PC is not supported and is still being worked on for a future update. However, map variant files can still be directly shared between players on PC. And as a reminder, all content uploaded to the MCC file share on Xbox One can also be accessed by MCC players on PC.

Some of the new Forge objects now available within "Avalanche" in Halo 3

Halo: Reach

Forge within Halo: Reach on PC and Xbox One retains its original functionality but also receives a few cool updates. First, Halo: Reach Forge will now support the ability to toggle between rotating an object along the global world axes or along its local axes. Second, many new objects are now available along with significantly increased budget and object quota limits on “Forge World” and “Tempest.”

Halo 2: Anniversary

Forge within H2A is already very robust but like Halo: Reach, it will now also "support axes rotation toggling" for greater control. 

Halo 3

Halo 3 introduced the world to Forge back in 2007 but the feature has grown and evolved a great deal in the subsequent games. Several new editing features are now supported in Halo 3 to bring it more inline with what’s offered in the newer titles. 

  • Object physics – Toggle objects ability to interact with the environment while editing or be set to ‘no-clip’
  • Rotation Snap – Snap rotation to degree increments
  • Coordinate Snap – Snap position to world grid position
  • Precision Edit – More granular object position shifts for increased precision
  • Toggle Rotation Axes – Toggle between rotating an object along the global world axes or along its local axes

And, as with Halo: Reach, new objects and substantially increased budget and object quota limits have been added for "Foundry", "Avalanche", and "Sandbox." 

 Season 2 & Non-Linear Season Unlocks

With the launch of Halo 3 and today’s update, MCC’s second season of progression and unlockable content is now live on PC and Xbox One!

Season 2, called “Spark”, includes a full suite of brand-new cosmetics for Halo: Combat Evolved including weapon skins, vehicle skins, and visor colors. Additionally, several new nameplates will be available based on Halo 3 and other themes.

As a reminder, all content from Season 1 is still available to be unlocked just as Season 2 content will continue to be available once Season 3 eventually releases. Players can apply their season points towards whichever content they’d like to prioritize.

With the addition of Season 2, ‘non-linear unlocks’ are being introduced in response to community feedback. We’ve heard that players would like more control over what items are being unlocked so now tiers within a page can be unlocked in any order you wish. However, players will need to completely unlock all ten tiers on the page before they can progress to the next page. Non-linear tier unlocks will also retroactively apply to Season 1 content.

Season Points (SP) are still available from each of the first 100 rank-ups in MCC’s progression system. However, additional SP can now be earned from Challenges starting in Season 2 (more details below). SP can be spent in either season.

Lastly, a new Season Preview widget has been added to the Main Menu which provides at-a-glance status on current SP and progress within the current season.

Challenge System

The new fully featured Challenge System is now available in MCC on PC and Xbox One. These new robust Challenges allow players to earn XP, SP, and other rewards across MCC. Challenges are viewable within the Challenge Hub in the Options and Career Menu.

Challenges are delivered to players in “decks” and each deck has its own tab in the Challenge Hub. There are currently three main decks but additional decks may be added over time for special events. Each of the three primary Challenge decks is broken out into further detail below:

Weekly PvE

  • Rewards players for engaging with Campaign, Campaign Playlists, and Firefight (custom and matchmade).
  • Challenges will vary in content week over week
  • Offers five new SP each week
  • Expires/resets each Wednesday at 10 AM PT

Weekly PvP

    • Rewards players for engaging with Social and Competitive Matchmaking
    • Challenge content varies week over week
    • Offers five new SP each week.
    • Expires/resets each Wednesday at 10 AM PT

 Seasonal

    • Rewards players for completing longer-term goals across MCC. Some Challenges are short term and simply encourage players to experiment in modes like Forge.
    • Offers 50 total SP (expected to take much longer to complete than the other two categories)
    • Also offers Challenges which reward golden weapon skins for Halo: CE. Each of these is earned by using its respective weapon anywhere in MCC.
    • Expires at the end of the season (TBD)

Here are a few other odds-and-ends worth knowing about the new MCC Challenge system:

  • PVE and PVP Challenges will automatically reset on Wednesday mornings and you don’t even need to re-launch the game.
  • Within the Challenge Hub, Challenges will be sorted in descending order by relative progress. Challenges you’re actively working towards will filter to the top.
  • You can pin a Challenge to anchor it to the top of the Challenge Hub for easy tracking. A pinned Challenge also appears in the Main Menu.
  • Challenges will provide an in-game progression notification at every 10% completion interval.
  • Challenge progress is shared across PC and Xbox One – you can start a Challenge on PC and finish it on Xbox (and vice-versa).
  • Challenge progress saves when a match or mission ends and when a checkpoint is reached in Campaign.
  • Players must be online to receive and complete Challenges but interim progress can be made while offline.

Customization

New customization options and capabilities are now available in MCC on PC and Xbox One!

Halo: Combat Evolved

Weapon skins, vehicle skins, and visor colors are now supported in Halo: Combat Evolved and can be equipped in Custom or Matchmaking multiplayer games.Your selected skin for a given weapon will be applied when you spawn with or pick up that weapon and persist even once dropped until it is picked up by a player with a different skin. Your selected skin for a given vehicle will be applied when you enter the driver seat of that weapon and persist even once exited until it is entered by a player with a different skin.

Players can disable these skins entirely via the New Skins setting in the Gameplay Settings menu if they prefer the pure legacy experience.

Lastly, the default skins in Halo: Combat Evolved are now higher fidelity than before.

Halo 3

Halo 3 now supports full armor customization of helmets, left and right shoulders, and chest pieces for Spartans and Elites. All armor items from the legacy version (including the Recon armor set and flaming head) are present and available for all players. Additionally, players’ selected emblem will now display on their Spartan Armor in Multiplayer games.The tertiary color is also now supported. This color selection was previously absent form MCC and adds a highlight color of the player’s choice which is visible even in team games.

New Skill Rank System

The team has made some behind-the-scenes changes to our competitive ranking system which will provide more stability and now track a player’s highest lifetime rank, in addition to highest current rank, on the Player Details screen. Going forward, players will also be able to retain and see their highest ranks for playlists even if those playlists are eventually removed (i.e. a rotational or seasonal playlist).

Please note that in order to institute these changes and provide more functionality going forward, all player skill ranks across MCC are reset as of this update. This reset only applies to skill rank and will not affect players’ XP progression rank.

General Improvements & Updates

The following updates apply to MCC on both PC and Xbox One unless otherwise specified.

  • Halo: Reach audio improvements
  • Halo 3 audio improvements
  • Halo 3 higher fidelity skybox matte paintings
  • Halo 3 Acrophobia Skull
  • New MCC Main Menu background
  • Halo: CE custom game setting additions
    • Added support for some options from Halo 2+ including Powerups on map, grenades on map, and starting grenades.
  • Halo 3 weapon selection additions
    • All first person weapons are now available on every multiplayer map and in the random weapon set in Halo 3. This means that weapons like the Sentinel Beam and Fuel Rod Gun are now available for custom games and have a chance to be spawned with in Fiesta.
  • Halo 3 matchmaking game variant polish
    • Aligned time limits, score limits, sudden death timers, etc. to be more consistent across the board.
  • Dual-Wield Inversion setting for H2, H2A, and H3 (PC-only)
    • Allows players to swap which weapon their primary and secondary fire actions control while dual-wielding
  • Halo 3 PC has a few key improvements over previous MCC PC releases:
    • Improved interpolation for unlimited framerates
    • Improved first person weapon viewmodel positioning for centered crosshair

MATCHMAKING UPDATE

In addition to the Skill rank changes noted above, here’s what you’ll find for Halo 3 Matchmaking options at launch:

Competitive Games

  • H3 Team Slayer
  • H3 Team Hardcore
  • H3 Team Doubles

Social Games

  • 1v1 – Hardcore settings
  • 2v2 – Precision Slayer, Flag & Bomb, Zone Control, and Asset Denial
  • 4v4 – Precision Slayer, Auto Slayer, Flag & Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, Action Sack, Swat, and Snipers
  • 8P FFA – Precision Slayer, Auto Slayer, Zone Control, Asset Denial, Action Sack, Swat, and Snipers
  • 12p FFA – Infection
  • 8v8 – Precision Slayer, Flag & Bomb, Zone Control, Asset Denial, Action Sack, Snipers, and Heavies

TARGET ACQUIRED

PC players will have a few different avenues to obtain Halo 3 depending on their platform of choice:

  •  Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta) – Join Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta) and get Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, and Halo 3 today as part of Halo: The Master Chief CollectionHalo 3: ODST and Halo 4 are also included in your membership and will be available on each game’s respective release date, completing the collection in 2020.
  • Microsoft Store and Steam – The Halo: The Master Chief Collection bundle is available today for $39.99 USD, which includes today’s launch of Halo 3 along with the already-available Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and Halo 2: Anniversary and will automatically update with the remaining titles as they launch over the course of this year. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo: Reach, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3 and the remaining titles within Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC can also be purchased individually for $9.99 USD (except for Halo 3: ODST which can be purchased for $4.99 USD).

LAUNCH CELEBRATION

To commemorate this momentous occasion we’re excited to announce a few special, limited-time in-game promotions you won’t want to miss!

Halo 3 Acrophobia Campaign Skull

This brand new gameplay-modifying Skull allows players to fly and hover around the battlefield, letting them approach encounters and explore environments like never before. When enabled, the Skull is activated by pressing and holding the jump button while airborne. Acrophobia can be enabled in any Halo 3 Campaign mission (solo or cooperative). 

To unlock this skull, players will need to complete the “Acrophobia” Challenge by 10AM PT on July 29th. This Challenge requires players to defeat 343 flying enemies in Halo 3 Campaign or Campaign playlists on Normal difficulty or higher. Flying enemies include Sentinels, Buggers, Banshees, and Phantoms.

“Alliance” Nameplate

Earn an exclusive nameplate by completely the “Three’s Company” Challenge by 10AM PT on July 29th. To complete this Challenge, complete three cooperative Halo 3 missions in Campaign or Campaign Playlists on Normal difficulty or higher.

Triple XP Weekend

Lastly, to help players accelerate their progression, we will be offering a triple XP weekend starting at 10AM PT on July 24 through 10AM PT on July 27.

FEEDBACK AND SUPPORT

Today is an exciting milestone for the team and Halo players but please remember that our work is far from done. As the team looks ahead to the remaining titles in the collection, work still continues on backlog items including community reported issues and feature requests.

Some of these items are well underway and targeted for flighting soon, while others are further out and will require more time. Keep an eye on our monthly development updates, along with our Friday Halo Insider updates here on Halo Waypoint, for the latest news and insights on future fixes and features.

Forum Feedback

Remember that you can share feedback with us here in the Halo Waypoint Forums, which we review and track regularly to help inform future work priorities and opportunities. Please use the forums for feedback and suggestions – not bugs and issues.

Halo Support Site

If you encounter a bug or similar issue while playing MCC, please visit the Halo Support Site

Before filing a support ticket, please check current the known issues lists:

These articles include various issues the team is already aware of and, in many cases, working on via more current internal builds. If you encounter an issue on this list, a support ticket is not required. 

Please help our agents help you by only filing bug tickets for issues that aren’t on the Known Issues list and by only filing a single bug/issue per ticket. If you need help using the Support Site, please check out THIS ARTICLE.

 Additionally, keep an eye on @HaloSupport for late-breaking news and support-related information.

LOOKING AHEAD

Now that’s Master Chief’s Fight is Finished (well, in terms of the original trilogy that is), our next order of business will be preparing to drop with Halo 3: ODST! And, in case you missed it last month:

We’ll be sure to get the word out once we’re ready to begin public flighting for ODST. In the meantime, make sure you’re registered with the Halo Insider Program and your profile is accurate and up to date so we can reach you when the time comes.

In addition to ODST, the team will continue working on regular Matchmaking updates and continued quality-of-life improvements, fixes, and updates to MCC as a whole. Keep an eye out for our monthly development update blogs here on Waypoint for the latest insights into what the team is working on.

THANK YOU

With today’s release of Halo 3, we’ve officially crossed over the halfway point on our journey to bring all of MCC to PC! From our earliest flights of Halo: Reach last year through our biggest flights yet for Halo 3 last month, we wouldn’t be here without the support of the community.

Halo Insider participation in our public flights and continued feedback have been instrumental in helping the team deliver the best experiences possible while helping to prioritize work that’s most important to the community.

On behalf of the entire team, THANK YOU for your partnership and support and we’re looking forward to dropping in together when ODST flighting kicks off. Until then, we hope to see you online in Halo 3 and a freshly updated MCC!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

For more insights into the journey to bring MCC to PC, check out our monthly development update blogs which are jam-packed with insider info on everything from in-development features to flight planning to community requests, bug fix status, and more.

  • Halo 3 Preview Livestream (Join 343 staff for a closer look at some of the new features available in Halo 3 and MCC)
  • June Update Blog (H3 feature preview, Audio fix deep dive, and more)
  • May Update Blog (H3 flighting preview, MCC bug investigations, and more)
  • April Update Blog (Covid WFH recap, key binding update, view model adjustments, H2A flighting recap, and more)
  • March Update Blog (Challenge system preview, backlog update, H2A flighting info)
  • Weekly Insider Update Thread (This thread is updated ~every Friday with the latest Insider flighting news)
  • Ongoing Playlist Update Notes - Xbox & PC  (An archive for past and present weekly Matchmaking updates)

And as always, follow @Halo on your favorite social media platform to keep up with MCC and all things Halo!

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