Halo Wars 2 Early Access

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All Units! Early access to Halo Wars 2 is available today for players who have purchased Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition. The 343 Industries and Creative Assembly teams are beyond excited to welcome players into the next epic Halo saga and we're thankful for your support! 

Halo Wars 2 launches worldwide for Xbox One and Windows 10 on Feb. 21. 

 To share perspective on what this launch means, here's 343's Studio Head of Strategy Games Dan Ayoub:

Over two and a half years ago, we embarked a on a journey that many deemed overdue – to bring Halo Wars back to the forefront of our Franchise. A lot had happened since the original game had released in 2009. Gameplay patterns had changed, entire new genres had emerged, and the Halo Universe itself had changed considerably. We asked ourselves if an RTS could be popular in this day and age, and we all agreed it was time for the crew of the Spirit of Fire to make their return.

The first stop in this adventure was to sign up the best partner we could, and even with full hindsight would not hesitate to call up Creative Assembly. The instant chemistry between the teams on that first meeting flourished into a remarkable partnership that led to Halo Wars 2 being what it is. I don’t think that either team alone could have created what we have together, and ultimately we thought and acted as a single team: The Halo Wars 2 Team. The team was united by a common goal: to make an amazing Halo RTS on console and PC that would appeal to hardcore RTS players and new players alike.

From the start, we wanted Halo Wars 2 to be different. We wanted it to be unique even within the franchise, and that led to the creation of Atriox and the Banished, to a unique art style, and to carving out a section of the Universe for these characters to evolve. Even our debut at gamescom was different, and we intentionally changed things up by showing Atriox defeating three Spartans in battle. To our delight, Atriox was very well received, and thus began HIS journey through the Halo Universe.

All along, the team and I have been touched by the emotion and excitement shown by the fans. Across two betas, you helped us tune the game and make it better – changing everything from controls, to the economy, to the placement of the cameras. This game came to be because the fans demanded it, and you showed up and helped us make the game better. For that, we thank you – this game is for you, and we all hope you enjoy it, and lose yourself a little in this world we love so much.

For us, the launch represents the end of a long, emotional trek to create something new within a franchise that has a lot of history with players. It also is a beginning. It’s the beginning of what we hope is a new arm of the Franchise, where we can continue to tell new stories and meet new characters, and in the immediate future it’s the beginning of tons of new content and features for Halo Wars 2. On behalf of the team, thank you for taking this journey with us.

See you online!  

Halo Wars 2: Live

Last night, 343 Industries and Creative Assembly celebrated Halo Wars 2 with the community via a special livestream event hosted at 343 Industries, which included exclusive interviews, gameplay hands-on and prize giveaways. We also shed new light on what fans can expect with the Season Pass, including new content available every third Wednesday of the month, new campaign missions in Operation: Spearbreaker and a new leader named Kinsano. Future multiplayer maps will also be available for free to all players, regardless of whether they purchased the Season Pass. The Halo Wars 2 team will have more to share at PAX East next month. 

If you missed the show last night you can catch the whole thing on-demand right here:

And if you want evenmoreLive show goodness, check out this behind-the-scenes Periscope stream that GrimBrother One and I recorded yesterday afternoon. 

Lastly, if you just want to catch some of the special featurettes that were shown during the show, we've got you covered below!

The Music of Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2 Strategy Vidoc

Halo Wars 2 Character Vidoc

Halo Wars 2 MegaConstrux Challenge

Additional Resources

If you're in need of more information about Halo Wars 2 chances are we've got what you're looking for right here on Waypoint. Check out the following resources:

Halo Wars 2 Blitz Tips w/ Creative Assembly

Learn more about the all-new multiplayer mode, Blitz, with this helpful overview from members of the Creative Assembly Halo Wars 2 team!

Community Participation

Want to discuss the game, talk about the story or share strategies? Stop by our Halo Wars 2 Game Forum

Need help or assistance? Check out the Halo Wars 2 Support Forum

Thanks again for picking up the Halo Wars: Ultimate Edition and we look forward to seeing you online and having you as part of our community!