Halo: The Master Chief Collection Gets Its Last Update (For Now)

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been four years since Halo: The Master Chief Collection came out for Xbox One. It’s just as hard to believe that the game hasn’t really been 100 percent since its release. Sure, it’s fun to play, but it’s run into a myriad of online problems and other little concerns.

But this time, it looks like Microsoft’s finally patching the game to the level where it needs to be -- and just in time for its Game Pass inclusion in a few days.

Over on the Halo Waypoint page, 343 Industries has posted a new blog announcing the final patch (for now, anyway) for The Master Chief Collection, which finally brings everything full circle with a number of enhancements, just in time for its Game Pass debut.

The patch is available now, and it’ll provide a number of enhanced features to the game. It better, considering that it clocks in at a very hefty 73GB in size.

Here’s what you can expect:

Visual Enhancements For Xbox One X

If you own an Xbox One X and a compatible TV you’re in for a real treat – MCC has received visual enhancements to deliver the entire Master Chief saga up to 4K UHD and HDR. And of course, each of the titles in MCC already run at 60FPS delivering what truly is the definitive way to experience the classic Halo collection.

A new HDR and SDR video settings option has been added to the game to provide fine-tuning and calibration options to ensure MCC looks as good as possible across a variety of different hardware setups and personal preferences.

Improved Matchmaking

The Xbox platform and online services have evolved and grown in many ways since MCC was first released in 2014. With this patch, the foundation of MCC is getting modernized and updated to take advantage of the latest and greatest Xbox matchmaking and networking features and functionality. The result for players is an online experience that’s significantly more stable across both Multiplayer and Campaign co-op offerings.

MCC also now utilizes dedicated servers housed in Microsoft global datacenters for all Matchmaking game sessions to provide further stability, reliability, and consistency. Within the game you’ll now see what your average ping time is to each of the data centers. You can view your approximate pings in the main menu under “Options & Career / Settings / Network.”

The MCC community has given lots of feedback over the years that the original voting system that was used to determine the game/map offerings for Matchmaking wasn’t ideal and made it challenging for players to play what they wanted, when they wanted. With this update, most Matchmaking Playlists have been broken up into per-game offerings, ensuring you can enjoy Halo 3 BTB all day long or stick with Halo 4 Team Arena if that’s your preference. MCC also now offers continuous Matchmaking so once a game ends, players will be able to get right back in the action quickly and conveniently.

Offline LAN Support

Well before the advent of Xbox Live, the early days of Halo were defined by late nights of intense multiplayer games in basements, dorms, and living rooms. MCC now works better than ever online but the ability to play classic Halo games with friends on the same local network with minimal latency is something players have been asking for since initial launch. With this update, MCC will now support offline play across a LAN with no internet connectivity needed at all.

In order to setup offline LAN play on MCC, a DHCP enabled hub will be required - these hubs allow IP addresses to be assigned to connected consoles. Alternatively, you can also manually configure the IP addresses for each Xbox via the System Settings for each console on the network. Either way, each Xbox needs to have a unique identity with a network configuration that allows it to route packets.

Intelligent Delivery

“Intelligent Delivery” is a new feature that allows the individual facets of the overall MCC package to be selectively installed by players. MCC is a large game, jam packed with content (and it could even grow more in the future), so this really is a great quality of life improvement to give players more control over the experience and their console’s storage.

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You can read more about the additional features on the Halo Waypoint page.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is available now for Xbox One.