Halo 1 PC's online multiplayer will survive despite GameSpy shutdown

GameRanger ensures Halo players can continue to duke it out online on PC.

The shutdown of GameSpy's servers will affect a wide range of games on both PC and consoles, as we've learned over the past month. Halo: Combat Evolved on PC will be among them, but thanks to online service GameRanger, it won't mean the end for the shooter's online multiplayer component.

Support for the first Halo game (as well as its demo and the multiplayer-only Halo: Custom Edition) was introduced to GameRanger this week (via PC Gamer), meaning it will be possible to continue playing the game online indefinitely. In addition to offering features like friends lists and messaging, GameRanger provides online support for hundreds of games, many of which would otherwise no longer be playable online.

The computer version of Combat Evolved was the only one to offer official online multiplayer support. Online multiplayer didn't become standard in the series' console versions until Halo 2, although it was possible to play its predecessor online on the Xbox using third-party services.

Many of Combat Evolved's multiplayer maps were brought back for the multiplayer mode in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (pictured above), making them playable online. However, they were only playable using the Halo: Reach engine, leaving the PC version of Combat Evolved as the only official way to experience the game's original gameplay online.

GameSpy's shutdown later this month will mean online support goes away for a number of games, such as Crysis and Crysis 2 on PC, Borderlands and Civilization Revolution on the PS3, and Max Payne 3 for Mac. Some companies have indicated they plan to update their games in order to enable online support in the future, including 2K Games, though it remains to be seen whether this will pan out.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX

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Discussion

44 comments
nixxin25
nixxin25

I played this game a lot back in the day with my friends on the original Xbox... It cheers me up to hear that even after all these years, Combat Evolved lives on.

No other Halo game hooked me in like this one did. Good times.

vincelongman
vincelongman

Very good news!

I hope it gets put on Steam or GOG soon

kingnothing47
kingnothing47

Worst comes to worst you can still Tuungle that bitch. PC master race always has a card up its sleeve

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

This is good news, I playe this game yearly :Dnever gets old !

masterchief6380
masterchief6380

Some of the best moments/memories of gaming were from this game in its prime. It was so fun coming home hopping on AIM/xfire and playing in your own server with friends. (No searching or rank bs) Then there was halomods and hackhalo which were great modding communities at the time. Halo CE was fun too with all the maps and such but never had enough players. Halo PC...pure nostalgia for me.

Lach0121
Lach0121

Now if only this was Co-op online, or even LAN..


And they brought the rest of Halo series to the PC.. I would buy 2 copies of all of them in a heartbeat.  I would absolutely love to play through the campaigns of all the Halo games co-op with my GF.  I think she would really enjoy it.

robertcain
robertcain

That's great news! I was thinking of picking up Halo 1 and 2 for my laptop and I can rest easy knowing I'll still be getting the full game and not just single player!

xcollector
xcollector

Funny how the PC version lives on but the original xbox version of Halo 2 can't go online anymore. Take note console fanboys. PC will live forever as long as there is interest. Thats something you can't do with consoles.

BranKetra
BranKetra moderator moderator

Halo: Combat Evolved online is one of my top ten multiplayer experiences. I am glad it will persist beyond GameSpy's shutdown.

kovaras1984
kovaras1984

should let voobly host it 2, very good little games service

teller76567
teller76567

Such bull they shut down the halo 2 servers on xbox live...i miss halo 2 but yet i can still play the campaign though...would be bad ass if Microsoft brought back the halo 2 servers but it won't happen. 


Given they are going to do a remaster version of halo 2 for the xbox one well just rumors...should bring back the halo 2 servers un tell the re make comes out...that's what will happen to a grate game is they will shut it down to boost sales for a new game in the line up...makes me wonder what games are not going to be supported for the xbox 360...what game will have the fate of no longer being supported...

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

I remember trying Halo's multiplayer and it just didn't engage me, but then I was playing Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, CoD 1 and UT2K3 at that time.  Does it still even have a community on PC?

Anyway, good to see support continue, for those who need it.

rasterror
rasterror

Yes. I still play this online. And Sony is shutting down online for GT5 and Resistance 3. Pitiful.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

I can't even begin to guess how many cheats aimbots are used in this game by now.

origkillmachine
origkillmachine

Wow, I wonder if a lot of people still play this. I still have the disc, remember having tons of fun playing it. Might be fun to pop it back in.

SpLiTMaN
SpLiTMaN

okok first who the fudge was playing halo 1 thru gamespy????2 how is gamespy even relevent to halo at anypoint in time or space halo as always ran on host cumputers for there matches...ALWAYS never had servers or cloud sync or w-e its the one game that still allows you to jump in kill 50 and jump out within 10 min and I Still Play!...You may have seen God pass by considering were a few 100's left playing it on pc... 

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

Phew, me and the two others still playing this game are very relieved!

iown2ps4s
iown2ps4s

 It's surprising that devs used GameSpy up to this point. It was very outdated 8 years ago.

beuneus12
beuneus12

gamespy is true garbage for online gaming, just ask MK9

adub424
adub424

Aren't all PC games supposed to be immune to this kind of shutdown? Perhaps developers should post patches that allow all PC gamers to download the server software. Relying on third parties to produce patch software is a little sketchy and unreliable. Hopefully too any gamers will not lose their old games, maybe they have moved on to improved sequels.

brande77
brande77

@xcollector The PC version of Halo 2 is about to go down with the GFWL shutdown too...

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

@xcollector  It actually is something you can do with consoles. MS just decided to be idiotic and shutdown the support for the games.

onixevil
onixevil

@xcollector  And for freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

teller76567
teller76567

@BranKetra  I never had the chance to play it on p.c i know i still can but i don't have the knowledge to get a good p.c gaming rig. That and also just p.c gaming is not my cup of tea...but i'm glad to hear that it will continue to be playable for people...The re-master version of halo 1 for the 360 was a big let down...but it sounds like if you want to have the true experience play it on p.c. 

teller76567
teller76567

@rasterror  Makes me wonder what Microsoft will get rid of and for nintendo mario kart on the wii will be shut down soon that or it already happend...

bernard978
bernard978

@SpLiTMaN  Gamespy does (did) master servers for browser lists etc as well, it had many functions.

hystavito
hystavito

@adub424  Some of the affected games have public released server files to run your own server, and some of them allow direct IP entry.  However those will still lose their server browser / list.  The more dedicated or knowledgeable players will just directly connect to their favourite servers, assuming they are still running.  That's the problem, the loss of the server list will likely cause a major decrease in players, and that will hurt overall as well as completely kill off some servers.

Saidrex
Saidrex

@adub424 we are immune. If officials servers are down there ALWAYS is a way to get around it. Hamachi and Tunngle is one way, it creates virtual local area network (LAN) but you are able to host servers and play with other players using same software no matter where they are. Works with most games.

BranKetra
BranKetra moderator moderator

@teller76567 @BranKetra The PC version is a port from the original Xbox. You can buy an inexpensive modern PC and play it on max settings. Plus, there are controllers designed for PC or you can get a console-specific controller with PC-compatibility such as the Dual Shock 4. The experience is not all that different from consoles that way.

Scott_Kevill
Scott_Kevill

@Saidrex @adub424  Not necessarily. Many more recent games don't provide LAN or Direct IP. They use account-based services.


There are ways to get around this since the games are no longer moving targets (not being updated anymore), but certainly simple VPNs like you describe are not enough.