Halo: Master Chief Collection Gets Another Big Update; "Modern Aiming," Bug Fixes, And More

Another major update for the Xbox One game has arrived.

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343's commitment to expanding and improving upon Halo: The Master Chief Collection continues with a new update available now for all players of the Xbox One game.

Following the big update in November that added the very-excellent "match composer" feature, the first big update of 2019 introduces a new "modern aiming" option, more skulls for Halo: Combat Evolved, a lot of bug fixes, and more.

The first thing you'll notice with the update is that the Halo: MCC menu screen now has a winter makeover. The animated menu screen shows snow falling on a warthog. It's peaceful and serene. This new title screen replaces the Flood-inspired screen that was launched to mark celebrate the game's Flood event that started back in October. Going forward, 343 said it plans to release more "menu takeovers" that are based on and inspired by in-game events and challenges.

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When you actually get into the game, one of the first things you may notice is the new "modern aiming" option. Some players remarked that Halo: MCC's aiming feels a little bit off for some games. You'll find the new setting in the "Aim Control" section of the controller settings tab for each game in Halo: MCC. With modern aiming turned on, aim acceleration zones are "smoothed" out so the game feels more like Halo 4 or Halo 2 Anniversary. You can revert to "Classic" aim control if you don't like how it feels.

There are also new skulls for Halo: Combat Evolved. You can see a full rundown of these below as written by 343, but some of them include "Anger" (enemies fire weapons faster and more frequently), "Catch" (enemies throw and drop more grenades), and "Tough Luck" (enemies go "berserk," basically).

New Halo: CE Skulls

  • Anger – Enemies and allies fire their weapons faster and more frequently.
  • Bandana – Fixed a bug with this skull so now energy-based weapons have infinite ammo as well.
  • Catch – Enemies throw and drop more grenades.
  • Ghost – A.I. characters will not flinch from attacks, melee or otherwise.
  • Sputnik – the Mass of objects is decreased, making them more easily displaced
  • That's Just Wrong – Strengthens the hearing of both allies and enemies. They will now notice the slightest sound of reloading or drawing a weapon, footsteps, etc. A.I. also have increased accuracy.
  • Thunderstorm – Field Promotions to the ranks of all A.I. characters so they are more difficult to fight, smarter, and more dangerous.
  • Tough Luck – Enemies always go berserk, always dive out of the way, and never flee.

Additionally, 343 has released a new playlist--Super Duper Fiesta. This new playlist includes Fiesta game types for Halo 2 classic and Anniversary, as well as Halo 3 and Halo 4. The new playlist replaces Team Action Sack.

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What's more, 343 has made changes to Halo: MCC's match composer. In addition to replacing Action Sack with Super Duper Fiesta, the changes include the following:

Match Composer Settings Changes:

  • Removed Action Sack and replaced with Super Duper Fiesta
  • [4v4] Added a Super Duper Fiesta! Game preset.
  • [4v4] [H2, H2A, H3, H4] Added Super Duper Fiesta! Entries.
  • [8v8] [H3, H4] Moved BTB Heavies entries from Action Sack to Slayer at low weighting
  • [8v8] [H4] Moved Dominion entries from Action Sack to King of the Hill.

In other news, the Halo 3 hardcore team doubles playlist has been removed from all matchmaking playlists. 343 pulled it because "engagement has slowed" and because tournaments that used it are now over.

As for the bug fixes, there are many, spread across the entire game and the specific titles within it. For Halo: CE, the update fixes a bug that caused "inconsistent hit detection" when aiming at players with poor connections. In Halo 2, the update addresses a problem related to the Bandana skull, and in Halo 3, the update fixes an issue related to the Shade Turret not appearing in post-game reports. A full rundown of changes is below as written by 343.

Halo: MCC Bug Fixes:

Global

  • Cleansed the Flood infection from the main menu
  • Added error handling to prevent users from joining each other from different versions of the game
  • Fixed an issue where players could not enter gameplay using custom map or game variants in offline LAN
  • Fixed an issue where menu music volume slider changes were not respected while in a squad
  • Fixed some navigation inconsistencies in the main menu
  • Fixed an issue where the descriptions for some campaign killstreak medals were inaccurate in the medal chest

Halo: CE

  • Fixed an issue that resulted in inconsistent hit detection against players with poor connections
  • Fixed an issue where the Bandana skull did not grant infinite ammo to energy weapons in Campaign

Halo 2

  • Fixed an issue where the Bandana skull did not grant infinite ammo to energy weapons in Campaign

Halo 3

  • Fixed an issue where the Shade Turret was not appropriately displayed as the tool of destruction in the post-game carnage report

ODST

  • Improved messaging around which playlists support co-op play

Forge & Films

  • Fixed an issue where incorrect file sizes were being displayed for films
  • Fixed an issue where the character limit for map variant names was displayed inaccurately in Halo 3
  • Fixed an issue where players were forced to re-enter a map variant name after inputting an invalid description

The update doesn't fix all the problems in Halo: MCC, however, as some of the known issues 343 spoke about included checkpoint loss in Halo: CE and Halo 3 campaigns, as well as career stats pages showing as blank or otherwise bugged.

This won't be Halo: MCC's last update, as 343 teased that there is "plenty more MCC goodness coming" in 2019. In the future, 343 plans to add the much-request custom game browser to the game, improvements to the post-game carnage report, and updates that help fix issues related to vulnerabilities that bad actors can exploit to kick people out of games.

Halo: MCC got off to a very rocky start when it launched back in 2014. It was nearly unplayable for some. 343 never gave up on the title, however, and all of these updates demonstrate the studio's ambition to constantly and significantly improve the experience. And it sounds like 343 will continue to improve the game in 2019 and beyond.

"We look forward to continuing this open dialogue and partnership through 2019 and beyond. We would like to offer our heartfelt thank you everyone in the community who has supported and helped improve MCC by playing, critiquing, and providing thoughtful feedback," 343 said.

Head to Halo Waypoint to see a full rundown of the January update for Halo: MCC.

Halo: MCC is free with Xbox Game Pass, and its inclusion there has surely helped keep player figures at a decent level. All these years after release, it's still easy to find a match, and that's great to see for Halo fans.

The next big Halo game is Halo Infinite, which is in development for Xbox One and PC. Little is known about the game, however, and it sounds like it still may be a long time off.

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