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Halo: Master Chief Collection to support Windows 7 and possibly mods on PC

Mister Chef a-la-carte, and looking tasty

In a Q&A session on Reddit today, 343 Industries's Brian "Ske7ch" Jarrard had plenty of good news on the upcoming PC version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. In addition to Steam support, the remastered Halo series (starting with Halo: Reach) will also support Windows 7 and plenty of PC mod cons too. Among the goodies mentioned were FOV sliders, uncapped frame-rates and even the possibility of mod support. Check out the full list of the good news, the bad news and the stuff we still don't know yet below.

The Good:

  • You won't need Windows 10 to play the Steam versions. Windows 7 is supported, Windows 8 is being looked at.
  • Windows Store and Steam players will be able to play together.
  • It won't be ready in time for launch, but 343 are working with members of the ElDewrito mod team to explore options for official mod support.
  • Uncapped frame-rates are planned for all games, but there may be per-game limits. Variable field-of-view, too.
  • Multiple aspect ratios supported, from boxy 4:3 up to ultra-wide 21:9, plus "windowed mode". No word on custom ratio support.
  • No season passes or microtransactions planned. Games will be sold individually, and in a bundle when all six are ready.
  • The games will have anti-cheat systems for online play. 343 will reveal more on that later.
  • New cosmetic customisation stuff and progression system planned for Halo: Reach. Mix-and-match armour pieces.
  • Not new, but 343 say "delivering great KB+M controls is one of our top priorities", which is nice to know.

The Bad:

  • Probably no PC-to-Xbox cross-platform play at launch, but something 343 is "actively investigating", so that may change.
  • There are currently no plans to bring Halo 5 to PC. No huge loss (it wasn't great) but it'd be sad to have all of the series but that on PC.
  • Split-screen multiplayer may not make it. 343 are "still looking at what can be supported". Fingers crossed.
  • Halo: ODST's Firefight horde/arena mode is "something the team will continue to evaluate for the future", so probably not making launch. Reach's Firefight is in, though.
  • On Xbox Play Anywhere, 343 still only had the irritatingly vague "we are still exploring ways to recognise the continued support of our Xbox One players" to say.
  • No 'PC style' dedicated servers for drop in/drop out play at launch, but it's something else 343 are looking into.

The To-Be-Announced:

  • Still no word on release dates or prices. 343 have a "flexible release plan", so it depends on how many issues crop up in beta.
  • 343 are aware that centred crosshairs are a wanted feature, but it's "currently being investigated" and not confirmed either way.

Lots of good news and a few potential disappointments, but it sounds like they're not cutting more corners than absolutely necessary on this PC release. A few neutral points in there too. Most of 343 Industries are working on Halo Infinite right now, so Ruffian and Splash Damage are doing most of the heavy lifting on the PC version. While I've never been a huge fan of competitive Halo, I'm really looking forward to this bundle for its sheer weight of co-op stuff to do. While ODST's Firefight mode may not make it, there's still six games worth of stuff to play with friends on the way.

You can read the full Reddit Q&A here. Beta sign-ups for the Master Chief Collection are live now, and you can read about it here. The Steam page for the collection is here.

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